Movie producer Harvey Weinstein, of the Weinstein Company and Miramax, announced he will be stepping down and has no assurance of his return to the board or as co-chairman. This comes after he was accused of making sexual advances toward female employees and other women.
Actress Ashley Judd stated in an interview that two decades ago, Weinstein had scheduled a business meeting with her. When she arrived, he was in his hotel room at the Peninsula Beverly Hills Hotel, wearing a bathrobe and asking her to give him a massage or watch him shower.
In 1991, former employee Laura Madden says the Hollywood producer made advances toward her and asked for massages while they were at hotels in Dublin and London.
In 2014, Weinstein invited Emily Nester, a temporary employee, to the Peninsula Hotel where he made sexual advances toward her. If she accepted, he would boost her career like he has with other stars.
The following year he pressured another female assistant to the point she was left “crying and very distraught.” He wanted her to massage his naked body.
Numerous women have made complaints about the movie producer, and he has reached at least eight settlements with payouts ranging from $80,000 to $150,000. He declined to comment about the settlements.
Lauren O’Connor, a former employee who was also victimized by Weinstein stated, “There is a toxic environment for women at this company.” After she had reached a settlement with the movie producer “she withdrew her complaint and thanked him for the career opportunity.”
Dozens of his employees either knew or suspected him of sexual advances but no one confronted him because he was more wealthy and powerful than them.
Weinstein released a statement,”I appreciate the way I’ve behaved with colleagues in the past has caused a lot of pain, I sincerely apologize for it. Though I’m trying to do better, I know I have a long way to go.”
Charles Harder, a lawyer for Weinstein says agreeing to the settlements is not an admission of guilt but a way to avoid costly litigation.
Some of the producer’s peers and colleagues agree that this is being overdone seeing that he did not force anyone to have sex with him, nor did he slip anything into a women’s drink to get the sexual favors he proposed to the women. He gave them an option. A top talent agent stated, “He asked for a few massages? Waaah! Welcome to Hollywood!”
Weinstein has since stated that he will be suing The New York Times for publishing a story about him that hurt his character and published false and defamatory accounts.
Written by Nicole Thompson
Edited by Jeanette Smith
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