Less than a week after The New York Times reported on decades of sexual harassment allegations against movie executive Harvey Weinstein—which led to his termination from the Weinstein Company on Sunday—The New Yorker published an exposé Tuesday in which 13 women described instances of sexual harassment, and, in some cases, sexual assault, involving Weinstein. Soon after, The New York Times published a second report, in which Gwyneth Paltrow, Angelina Jolie, and five other actress shared their stories of harassment by Weinstein.
Speaking with The New Yorker, aspiring actress Lucia Stoller, now Lucia Evans, described an incident in 2004 in which Weinstein sexually assaulted her at the Miramax offices in New York. Evans alleged that Weinstein forced her to engage in oral and genital contact with him. “It was like it was just another day for him,” she recounted. “It was no emotion.”
Italian actress Asia Argento told The New Yorker that she was raped by Weinstein at a French hotel in 1997. Argento, who was 21 years old at the time, says she was led by a producer to a hotel room occupied only by Weinstein. After briefly leaving the room, Weinstein returned wearing a bathrobe and asked for a massage, before forcibly making oral contact with her genitals. “I was not willing,” Argento remembers. “I said, ‘No, no, no.’ ... It’s twisted. A big fat man wanting to eat you. It’s a scary fairy tale.”
In 2015 former Miss Italy contestant Ambra Battilana Gutierrez met Weinstein at a reception for the New York Spring Spectacular. Weinstein wanted to set up a meeting with Gutierrez to discuss a budding acting career, she told The New Yorker. At the meeting, which took place at the Miramax offices in New York, Gutierrez says Weinstein groped her breasts and tried to put his hand up her skirt. Gutierrez reported the assault to the NYPD, who worked with her to set up a sting operation for her next meeting with Weinstein.
The New Yorker obtained an audio recording from that subsequent meeting. In it, Weinstein can be heard repeatedly asking Gutierrez to go upstairs to his hotel room. When she asks why he groped her at their earlier meeting, he responds, “I’m used to that.”
Following the meeting, negative stories about Gutierrez began appearing on gossip sites. Though the Manhattan District Attorney’s office had the evidence, it declined to file charges against Weinstein. In return for a paid settlement, Gutierrez later signed a “highly restrictive nondisclosure agreement with Weinstein, including an affidavit stating that the acts Weinstein admits to in the recording never happened,” according to The New Yorker.
In the Times’ story, Paltrow, who starred in several films produced by Weinstein’s Miramax—including Emma, Bounce, and an Oscar-winning turn in Shakespeare in Love—described an incident with Weinstein before filming Emma, when the actress was 22. Weinstein asked Paltrow to go to his hotel suite at the Peninsula Beverly Hills. There, Weinstein placed his hands on Paltrow and suggested that they massage one another in his bedroom. She rebuffed his advances and told her then-boyfriend, Brad Pitt, about the incident.
After Pitt confronted Weinstein, the producer threatened Paltrow to never tell anyone else about what happened. “He screamed at me for a long time,” she says. “It was brutal.”
In an email provided to the Times, Angelina Jolie said she had a “bad experience” with Weinstein in her youth at the time of 1998’s Playing by Heart release—distributed by Miramax—and from that point forward avoided working with him again. “This behavior towards women in any field, any country is unacceptable,” she said.
Ten other women told The New Yorker that Weinstein sexually harassed them, and five more went on the record for the Times. Mira Sorvino, who starred in several Weinstein-produced films—including 1995’s Mighty Aphrodite, which won her an Oscar—recounted a hotel incident with Weinstein at the 1995 Toronto International Film Festival. “He started massaging my shoulders, which made me very uncomfortable, and then tried to get more physical, sort of chasing me around,” the actress says. A former temporary employee of the Weinstein Company, Emily Nestor—whose complaint to the company’s HR department in 2014 was cited in the Times’ report—described a meeting with Weinstein at the Peninsula Beverly Hills that she calls the “most excruciating and uncomfortable hour” of her life. During the meeting, Nestor told The New Yorker, Weinstein boasted about sleeping with famous actresses and boosting their careers, and offered to do the same for Nestor.
In 2010 Weinstein invited French actress Emma de Caunes to his hotel room in France to discuss a “strong female role” for her in a movie he was producing. When he went to the bathroom, he returned naked and with an erection. “I was very petrified,” de Caunes told The New Yorker. “But I didn’t want to show him that I was petrified, because I could feel that the more I was freaking out, the more he was excited.” Judith Godrèche, an actress who gained recognition in France, met Weinstein at Cannes Film Festival in 1996, when she was 24. He wanted to discuss a film Miramax acquired, which she starred in, and asked her to join him in his hotel suite. He asked her to give him a massage, Godrèche told the Times. “The next thing I know, he’s pressing against me and pulling off my sweater.” When she shared the incident with a female executive at Miramax, she reportedly responded, “This is Miramax. You can’t say anything.”
In the early ’90s, Weinstein met with actress Rosanna Arquette at the Beverly Hills Hotel, where he asked her to meet him in his room. Providing accounts to both The New Yorker and the Times, Arquette said that when she entered the room, Weinstein was in a bathrobe. She rejected his advances and left. Arquette told The New Yorker that it did affect her career, and cited at least one role she believes she lost due to his influence. “He’s going to be working very hard to track people down and silence people,” she said. “That’s what he does.”
The New Yorker piece also described the “strained complicity” from employees at Miramax and the Weinstein Company, who may have acted as “honeypots” for Weinstein’s alleged behavior. Several employees, speaking anonymously, described a “culture of silence” regarding sexual assault at both companies and in the industry as a whole. “The more of us that can confirm or validate for these women if this did happen, I think it’s really important for their justice to do that,” one female executive said. “I wish I could have done more. I wish I could have stopped it. And this is my way of doing that now.”
In a statement to the Times on Tuesday, Weinstein spokeswoman Sallie Hofmeister said: “Any allegations of non-consensual sex are unequivocally denied by Mr. Weinstein. Mr. Weinstein has further confirmed that there were never any acts of retaliation against any women for refusing his advances. He will not be available for further comments, as he is taking the time to focus on his family, on getting counseling and rebuilding his life.”