Harvey Weinstein's Sexual Abuse Scandal, 1 Year Later
One of the biggest scandals to ever rock Hollywood broke on Oct. 5, 2017, when The New York Times published its explosive expose detailing decades of alleged sexual misconduct and abuse leveled against Harvey Weinstein, one of the industry's biggest and brashest power players.
As the storm of allegations grew in intensity, fueled bythe harrowing accusations of over50 women, the tidal wave of reckoning crested and broke, rolling out beyond the boundaries of show business and into every realm of culture as the #MeToo and Time's Up movements were created by brave survivors looking to start a dialogue and hold people accountable.
The initial controversy was followed by statements filled with half-acknowledged culpability followed by fiery denials from Weinstein and his legal team, then highly publicized efforts to seek treatment.
After a divorce, the near-complete dissolution of the production company bearing his name, a list of accusers spanning two continents and serious questions about his legal future, Weinstein was arrested nearly six months after The New York Times' first expose, and was indicted by a grand jury on charges of rape and a criminal sexual act, in a legal battle that is still ongoing.
So, one year later, we're looking back at what legal stakes the former movie mogul is facing and how the contentious, eye-opening scandal developed over the last 12 months.
The Hollywood Mogul
Harvey Weinstein was a powerful and influential Hollywood producer for decades. The media mogul and his brother, Bob Weinstein, co-founded the independent film distribution studio Miramax in 1979, and in 2005, they left to start their own independent movie studio, The Weinstein Company.
Through his decades in art house production and distribution of wildly profitable films, the 65-year-old executive formed friendships and professional connections with a large number of A-list celebrities and celebrated filmmakers, often early in their careers.
In 1987, Weinstein married his personal assistant at Miramax, Eve Chilton. The pair, who share three daughters -- Lilly, 22, Emma, 19, and Ruth, 14 -- later divorced in 2004.
Later that same year, he began dating English fashion designer and Marchesca co-founder Georgina Chapman, They tied the knot in 2007 and share two kids -- 7-year-old daughter India and 4-year-old son Dashiell.
As of today, The Weinstein Company is no more, after having filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in March and its assets acquired by Lantern Capital in July and renamed Lantern Entertainment. Additionally, Chapman filed for divorce from Weinstein days after the first allegations came to light.
The First Report Surfaces
While many insiders have admitted that rumors of Weinstein's inappropriate conduct have been circulating around Hollywood for years, the first major report detailing specific allegations was published by The New York Times on Oct. 5.
The report -- which claims Weinstein has reached at least eight settlements with women over sexual harassment claims from 1990 to 2015 -- featured an interview with Ashley Judd, who was the first big-name star to go on the record with her allegation that Weinstein sexually harassed her.
Judd claimed Weinstein invited her to the Peninsula Beverly Hills hotel for a breakfast business meeting, but was surprised when he sent her up to his suite. Judd claimed the producer appeared in a bathrobe and alleges that, despite her repeated rejections, he continuously requested intimate favors from her -- including a massage, a shoulder rub and allegedly asking if she would watch him take a shower.
Weinstein Responds, Apologizes and Threatens to Sue
In a statement to ET, Weinstein's lawyer, Charles J. Harder, said The New York Times report was "saturated with false and defamatory statements," and that it "relies on mostly hearsay accounts and a faulty report, apparently stolen from an employee personnel file, which has been debunked by nine different eyewitnesses."
"We sent the Times the facts and evidence, but they ignored it and rushed to publish," Harder stated. "We are preparing the lawsuit now. All proceeds will be donated to women’s organizations."
After the report was published, Weinstein released a lengthy statement to The New York Times where he wrote, "I came of age in the ‘60s and ‘70s, when all the rules about behavior and workplaces were different. That was the culture then. I have since learned it’s not an excuse – in the office or out of it. To anyone."
Weinstein also stated, "I appreciate the way I’ve behaved with colleagues in the past has caused a lot of pain, and I sincerely apologize for it. Though I’m trying to be better, I have a long way to go. This is my commitment. My journey now will be to learn about myself and conquer my demons… I so respect all women and regret what happened."
The Women Who Have Spoken Out
- Mira Sorvino:
The Oscar-winning actress claimed in a lengthy New Yorker expose that Weinstein sexually harassed her and tried to pressure her into a physical relationship while they worked together. Sorvino alleged that during the Toronto International Film Festival in September 1995, she warded off Weinstein's advances in a hotel room, telling him it was against her religion to date married men. "He started massaging my shoulders, which made me very uncomfortable, and then tried to get more physical, sort of chasing me around," she alleged.
- Rosanna Arquette:
The Pulp Fiction actress claimed she too rejected Weinstein's advances in a hotel room in the early '90s. She agreed to meet Weinstein for dinner at the Beverly Hills Hotel to look at a new script, but was told to meet him upstairs in his hotel room.
She then alleged that Weinstein opened the door wearing a bathrobe, and after telling her he needed a massage, grabbed her hand. She claimed the incident escalated when, after yanking her hand away, he allegedly grabbed it again and pulled it towards his visibly erect penis.
"My heart was really racing. I was in a fight-or-flight moment,” Arquette said. The actress claimed that, after rejecting Weinstein's advances, "He made things very difficult for me for years."
- Rose McGowan:
The New York Times reported that Weinstein reached a previously undisclosed settlement with the actress in 1997 "after an episode in a hotel room" during the Sundance Film Festival when she was 23 years old. The publication reported that they had viewed legal documents that stated McGowan received a $100,000 settlement, which was "not to be construed as an admission" by Weinstein but intended to "avoid litigation and buy peace."
In her memoir, Brave, released on Jan. 30, McGowan broke her silence on her alleged encounter with Weinstein in detail, referring to the mogul simply as The Monster. Weinstein's lawyers denied McGowan's recounting of the incident, stating, "It is erroneous and irresponsible to conflate claims of inappropriate behavior and consensual sexual contact later regretted, with an untrue claim of rape."
- Asia Argento:
The actress claimed Weinstein sexually assaulted her in 1997 at the Hôtel du Cap-Eden-Roc on the French Riviera when she was 21 years old. Argento said she came to the event for a party that Miramax was throwing, but found herself in a hotel room alone with Weinstein after a producer took her upstairs to him.
Argento alleged that, after reluctantly giving a massage to Weinstein, who was in his bathrobe, he forced her legs apart and performed oral sex on her after she repeatedly told him to stop. "[Weinstein] terrified me, and he was so big," Argento claimed. "It wouldn’t stop. It was a nightmare. ... I was not willing."
- Gwyneth Paltrow:
The Shakespeare in Love actress spoke with The New York Times in an article published on Oct. 10, where she alleged that Weinstein summoned her to his suite at the Peninsula Beverly Hills hotel for a work meeting when she was 22, before production began on the 1996 romantic dramedy Emma. The meeting allegedly ended with the producer placing his hands on her and suggesting they head to the bedroom for massages.
"I was a kid, I was signed up, I was petrified,” Paltrow said, adding that she refused his alleged advances, and told a few friends, family members, her agent, and her then-boyfriend, Brad Pitt. ET later learned that Pitt "strongly confronted [Weinstein] and told him repeatedly that it better never happen again."
- Angelina Jolie:
Jolie recounted a time when Weinstein allegedly made unwanted advances during the release of Playing by Heart in 1998. "I had a bad experience with Harvey Weinstein in my youth, and as a result, chose never to work with him again and warn others when they did," Jolie told The New York Times in an email. "This behavior towards women in any field, any country is unacceptable."
- Cara Delevingne:
The model turned actress took to Instagram on Oct. 11 with allegations that Weinstein had sexually harassed her on two different occasions. According to Delevingne, she first heard from Weinstein in her early years as an actress. "I was working on a film and I received a call from Harvey Weinstein asking if I had slept with any of the women I was seen out within the media," she claimed, calling their talk "odd and uncomfortable."
Delevingne said her next encounter with Weinstein occurred "a year or two later," when Weinstein allegedly brought her to his hotel room and tried to get her to kiss another woman who was already waiting there.
"I swiftly got up and asked him if he knew that I could sing. And I began to sing...I thought it would make the situation better...more professional....like an audition...I was so nervous," she wrote. "After singing I said again that I had to leave. He walked me to the door and stood in front of it and tried to kiss me on the lips. I stopped him and managed to get out of the room."
- Jessica Barth:
The Ted actress told The New Yorker that she met Weinstein at the 2011 Golden Globe Awards, where he invited her to go up to his room. Barth claimed that, during their conversation, Weinstein demanded she give him a naked massage and, when she refused, he angrily berated her. She claimed Weinstein told her she needed to lose weight "to compete with Mila Kunis," and that she ran out of the hotel room in tears over the ordeal.
- Paz de la Huerta:
In November, the Boardwalk Empire star opened up to Vanity Fair, where she alleged that the 65-year-old producer raped her on two separate occasions in 2010. The actress claimed the first incident took place in November 2010, alleging that Weinstein -- whom she'd known professionally for several years -- demanded to enter her apartment.
"Immediately when we got inside the house, he started to kiss me and I kind of brushed [him] away,” de la Huerta told the publication, claiming, "Then he pushed me onto the bed and his pants were down and he lifted up my skirt. I felt afraid. . . . It wasn’t consensual . . . It happened very quickly. . . . He stuck himself inside me. . . . When he was done he said he’d be calling me. I kind of just laid on the bed in shock."
Later that year, de la Huerta claimed Weinstein approached her in a similar fashion. "He hushed me and said, ‘Let’s talk about this in your apartment,'" de la Huerta alleged. "I was in no state. I was so terrified of him... I did say no, and when he was on top of me I said, ‘I don’t want to do this.’ He kept humping me and it was disgusting. He’s like a pig... He raped me.”
- Angie Everhart:
Everhart called into the Frosty, Heidi and Frank radio show on Oct. 13, where she accused Weinstein of inappropriate behavior while she was on a private boat at the Venice Film Festival years prior.
"I had just arrived and I was sleeping. I was in my bed. I wake up, and Harvey is standing above my bed," she alleged. "Now, that alone is frightening," Everhart claimed that Weinstein had taken his pants off and was masturbating and that he was also blocking the door.
"I can't get out," she said. "And then he says, 'You're a really nice girl. You shouldn't tell anybody about this.'"
"I told everybody on the boat, but nobody did anything about it. Nobody wanted to say anything about it, because everybody was terrified of Harvey," she claimed, adding that she felt relieved hearing other women's stories. "Being one of the people that this happened to, it's very justifying."
- Salma Hayek:
In an op-ed for The New York Times, the 51-year-old actress alleged that on numerous occasions she was sexually harassed and berated by Weinstein. Hayek said she fought to work with Weinstein's then-production company, Miramax, but after he said "yes" to working with her, it was her turn to "say no."
"No to opening the door to him at all hours of the night, hotel after hotel, location after location, where he would show up unexpectedly, including one location where I was doing a movie he wasn’t even involved with," she wrote. "No to me taking a shower with him. No to letting him watch me take a shower. No to letting him give me a massage. No to letting a naked friend of his give me a massage. No to letting him give me oral sex. No to my getting naked with another woman. No, no, no, no, no …"
Hayek claimed Weinstein's advances could quickly turn to rage. "I don’t think he hated anything more than the word 'no,'" she continued. "The range of his persuasion tactics went from sweet-talking me to that one time when, in an attack of fury, he said the terrifying words, 'I will kill you, don’t think I can’t.'"
- Lysette Anthony:
In an interview with the Sunday Times published on Oct. 15, the British soap opera star alleged that the movie mogul attacked her in her home in London in the 1980s, saying that she reported the rape allegations to police days after the scandal broke.
The 54-year-old actress described the alleged attack as "pathetic and revolting" and said she spent years trying to forget it.
Anthony said she first met Weinstein in 1982 while starring in the sci-fi fantasy Krull. The two became friends, and one night she came to a house he rented in London. Anthony claimed, "The next thing I knew he was half undressed and he grabbed me."
"It was the last thing I expected and I fled. I blamed it on myself because I was tired, a bit drunk and therefore so completely off my guard," Anthony said. The actress claimed that Weinstein then began to show up at her house, uninvited.
Anthony claimed that the producer came to her apartment one morning at 10 a.m. where he allegedly "pushed me inside, rammed me up against a coat rack. He was trying to kiss me and shove me inside." Anthony further claimed that she tried to push Weinstein off of her, but he was too heavy and she "just gave up."
Police said at the time that they would investigate the report. As of today, Anthony is one of 11 women in the U.K. to level accusations of sexual misconduct against the producer.
- Uma Thurman:
The actress came forward with specific allegations in February, when she opened up about her experience with the disgraced producer in an interview with The New York Times.
According to the Pulp Fiction star, Weinstein emerged in a bathrobe during a meeting in his Paris hotel room in 1994, where he led her down a hallway to a steam room. Thurman said she declared, "This is ridiculous, what are you doing?" and he "ran out."
Thurman went on to call an encounter with Weinstein at the Savoy hotel in London, England, his first "attack." "He pushed me down. He tried to shove himself on me. He tried to expose himself. He did all kinds of unpleasant things. But he didn’t actually put his back into it and force me," she alleged. "You’re like an animal wriggling away, like a lizard. I was doing anything I could to get the train back on the track. My track. Not his track."
The actress claimed that when she later confronted him about his behavior, he threatened to derail her career.
Weinstein's lawyers vehemently denied Thurman's recollection of events. In a statement to ET, a spokesperson for Weinstein denied Thurman's allegations, saying: "Mr. Weinstein acknowledges making an awkward pass 25 years ago at Ms. Thurman in England after misreading her signals, after a flirtatious exchange in Paris, for which he immediately apologized and deeply regrets. However, her claims about being physically assaulted are untrue. And this is the first time we have heard those details."
- More Accusers:
The enormous list of women to come out, on record, to speak openly about Weinstein also includes Amber Anderson, Kate Beckinsale, massage therapist Juls Bindi, Zoë Brock, Cynthia Burr, Emma de Caunes, Liza Campbell, Marisa Coughlan, Juliana de Paula, Florence Darel, Sophie Dix, Lacey Dorn, Dawn Dunning, Lisa Esco, Alice Evans, Hope Exiner d’Amore, Claire Forlani, Romola Garai, Louisette Geiss, Louise Godbold, Judith Godrèche, Trish Goff, Larissa Gomes, Heather Graham, Eva Green, Ambra Battilana Gutierrez, Mimi Haleyi, Daryl Hannah, Lena Headey, Anne Heche, Natasha Henstridge, Lauren Holly, Dominique Huett, Minka Kelly, Katherine Kendall, Heather Kerr, Mia Kirshner, Liz Kouri, Ivanna Lowell, Laura Madden, Natassia Malthe, Julianna Margulies, Brit Marling, Sarah Ann Masse, Ashley Matthau, Katya Mtsitouridze, Emily Nestor, Connie Nielsen, Kadian Noble, Lupita Nyong’o, Lauren O’Connor, Samantha Panagrosso, Zelda Perkins, Vu Thu Puong, Tomi-Ann Roberts, Lisa Rose, Erika Rosenbaum, Melissa Sagemiller, Annabella Sciorra, Léa Seydoux, Lauren Sivan, Jennifer Siebel Newsom, Chelsea Skidmore, Sarah Smith, Lucia Stoller, Tara Subkoff, Paula Wachowiak, Paula Williams and Sean Young.
Celebs Condemn the Allegations
In the wake of the massive sexual harassment scandal, many stars began speaking out against Weinstein and a pervasive culture of sexism and sexual misconduct that some say permeates the entire entertainment industry.
Meryl Streep said in a statement to the Huffington Post that "the disgraceful news about Harvey Weinstein has appalled those of us whose work he championed, and those whose good and worthy causes he supported," adding, "The intrepid women who raised their voices to expose this abuse are our heroes."
It was a sentiment shared by many of Streep's fellow A-listers, including Judi Dench, Kate Winslet, Glenn Close, Mark Ruffalo, Cate Blanchett, Jennifer Lawrence, Matt Damon, George Clooney, Christian Slater, Nicole Kidman, Leonardo DiCaprio, Benedict Cumberbatch and dozens of others.
Many of those who spoke out against Weinstein's alleged actions also said that there were rumors that he behaved inappropriately, but the extent of the accusations was largely unknown.
According to Jessica Chastain, however, the stories of misconduct were more pervasive than people have acknowledged.
"I was warned from the beginning. The stories were everywhere. To deny that is to create an environment for it to happen again," Chastain tweeted on Oct. 9.
I was warned from the beginning. The stories were everywhere. To deny that is to create an enviornment for it to happen again.— Jessica Chastain (@jes_chastain) October 9, 2017
Chastain also tweeted her support for a Variety article by critic Maureen Ryan about the need for men in Hollywood to take a vocal stand against pervasive sexual harassment in the industry.
"Yes. I'm sick of the media demanding only women speak up. What about the men? Perhaps many are afraid to look at their own behavior," she wrote.
Yes. Im sick of the media demanding only women speak up. What about the men? Perhaps many are afraid to look at their own behavior..... https://t.co/tGUsjUYNMR— Jessica Chastain (@jes_chastain) October 9, 2017
The Immediate Fallout for Weinstein
- His Termination
The Weinstein Company board of representatives -- which included Weinstein's brother -- released a statement to ET on Oct. 8 announcing that the embattled producer's employment had been "terminated, effective immediately."
On Oct. 10, the board released a follow-up statement again decrying Weinstein's actions and promising to conduct an independent investigation and assist in any criminal investigations.
"[We] are shocked and dismayed by the recently emerged allegations of extreme sexual misconduct and sexual assault by Harvey Weinstein," the statement read. "These alleged actions are antithetical to human decency. These allegations come as an utter surprise to the Board. Any suggestion that the Board had knowledge of this conduct is false."
"We are committed to assisting with our full energies in all criminal or other investigations of these alleged acts, while pursuing justice for the victims and a full and independent investigation of our own," they added.
The Weinstein Company announced in a statement on March 19 that they had filed for bankruptcy, and revealed their decision to end all legally binding non-disclosure agreements that had allegedly been used by the disgraced former movie mogul to silence accusers.
The lenghty statement said TWC "regrets that it cannot undo the damage Harvey Weinstein caused, but hopes that today’s events will mark a new beginning."
- His Marriage
Chapman announced on Oct. 10 that she planned to leave her husband in the wake of the allegations.
"My heart breaks for all the women who have suffered tremendous pain because of these unforgivable actions. I have chosen to leave my husband,” Chapman said in a statement to People. "Caring for my young children is my first priority and I ask the media for privacy at this time."
Weinstein addressed their split in a statement obtained by ET after the allegations broke: "Over the last week, there has been a lot of pain for my family that I take responsibility for."
"I sat down with my wife Georgina, who I love more than anything, and we discussed what was best for our family," he added. "We discussed the possibility of a separation and I encouraged her to do what was in her heart. In the end, she made the decision to separate. I understand, I love her and I love our children and hopefully, when I am better, I will be in their lives again. I support her decision, I am in counseling and perhaps, when I am better, we can rebuild."
A source told ET in January that Chapman and Weinstein had reached a divorce settlement.
In May, following Weinstein's surrender to authorities, a source told ET that Chapman is focusing on the couple's children and is trying to cope with the aftermath of the scandal.
"Georgina told friends that Harvey was surrendering himself to the authorities on Friday but there was no sense of relief in her voice. Each day Georgina wakes up to the reality of what her husband did and this is just another painful blow in what Georgina fears her children will one day hear about," ET's source said. "At this point, no matter how this plays out, there is no relief for their family, there is only fear for her kids."
Weinstein Seeks Treatment
On Oct.10, it was reported that Weinstein was planning on leaving the country to seek treatment for sex addiction at a live-in facility overseas.
However, a source told ET on Oct. 11 that his originally planned trip was delayed due to "plane issues." Hours later, a source told ET that the film producer had flown out of Los Angeles and was headed to Arizona to receive treatment. After much back and forth about where Weinstein would receive treatment, he eventually ended up "at a private Arizona residence that is isolated from the public eye."
In March, The New York Times reported that Weinstein still had not completed inpatient sex-rehab treatment, months after entering. Representatives for Weinstein contacted The New York Times and stated that Weinstein "has been in and out of Arizona and seeking treatment for sex addiction at various locations across the U.S."
Regarding reports that he did not finish treatment, the producer's reps claimed, according to Vanity Fair, that Weinstein "completed the 45-day program early, and has been seeking additional therapy for 'anger management, nutrition, and several addiction-related behaviors.'"
Weinstein was taken into custody on May 25 in New York, where he pleaded not guilty to rape and other sex crime charges filed by the Manhattan District Attorney's Office.
"Today, at the NYPD’s 1st Precinct, Harvey Weinstein was arrested, processed and charged with rape, criminal sex act, sex abuse and sexual misconduct for incidents involving two separate women," read a statement from the New York City Police Department at the time. "The NYPD thanks these brave survivors for their courage to come forward and seek justice. The arrest and ensuing charges are the result of a joint investigation between the NYPD and the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office."
He was arraigned later that morning and was charged with rape in the first degree for two alleged incidences involving two different women in 2013 and 2014.
“Today’s charges reflect significant progress in this active, ongoing investigation,” District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance, Jr. said. “I thank the brave survivors who have come forward, and my office’s prosecutors who have worked tirelessly on this investigation. I would also like to thank Commissioner James O’Neill and our dedicated partners at the NYPD. We urge additional survivors and others with relevant information to call our sex crimes hotline at 212-335-9373.”
Weinstein's attorney, Ben Brafman, released a statement to ET following the arraignment, which read: "Mr. Weinstein has always maintained that he has never engaged in non-consensual sexual behavior with anyone. Nothing about today's proceedings changes Mr. Weinstein's position. He has entered a plea of not guilty and fully expects to be exonerated."
The Grand Jury Indicts
On May 30, a grand jury voted to indict Weinstein on charges of rape in the first and third degrees, and criminal sexual act in the first degree.
“This indictment brings the defendant another step closer to accountability for the crimes of violence with which he is now charged. Our office will try this case not in the press, but in the courtroom where it belongs," Vance said in a statement to ET. "The defendant’s recent assault on the integrity of the survivors and the legal process is predictable. We are confident that when the jury hears the evidence, it will reject these attacks out of hand."
Weinstein's team, meanwhile, revealed that he will not testify before the grand jury for his case, and that his indictment "does not come as a surprise."
"We remind everyone that an Indictment is merely a formal accusation. Mr. Weinstein intends to enter a plea of Not Guilty and vigorously defend against these unsupported allegations that he strongly denies. We will soon formally move to dismiss the indictment and if this case actually proceeds to trial, we expect Mr. Weinstein to be acquitted," Brafman said in a statement to ET at the time.
Weinstein did in fact plead not guilty to rape and criminal sex act charges in a brief hearing on June 5, in front of a judge in New York.
Then, on July 2, Weinstein was indicted on three more felony charges of sexual misconduct after a third woman pressed charges related to an alleged incident in 2006. The charges include one count of a Criminal Sexual Act in the First Degree, as well as two counts of Predatory Sexual Assault, a Class A-II felony that carries a minimum sentence of 10 years and a maximum sentence of life imprisonment.
Weinstein pleaded not guilty to the additional charges on July 9. The following month, Weinstein's lawyers attempted to get some of the charges dropped when they presented emails from one of the three accusers -- sent one month after the alleged attack -- in which she allegedly expressed appreciation for "all you do for me." Another, days later, said, "It would be great to see you again."
No decision has yet been made regarding Weinstein's motion, and his court hearing has been set for November.
Amid his criminal court battle, the producer is also facing multiple lawsuits including one filed by Judd, another filed by a German actress -- going by the pseudonym Emma Loman -- accusing him of rape, and one filed by AI International Holdings, demanding Weinstein repay a $45 million loan taken out by Weinstein's now-defunct production company.
Where We Stand Now
In the wake of Weinstein's downfall, and a series of high-profile exposes that toppled other Hollywood power players in the weeks that followed, a movement has grown across the nation demanding accountability and change.
Through the #MeToo and Time's Up movements, millions of individuals have found the strength and courage to speak up and speak out, sharing their own stories of being assaulted, harassed, abused and intimidated to shed light on the epidemic that has been festering in society for generations.
From Hollywood executives to leaders of industry sowing the seeds of their own bad behavior in a more public way and at a higher rate than ever, the grassroots efforts to change the way culture discusses and punishes sexual misconduct have had a widespread impact -- a lasting testament to the strength of using your voice and your platform to hold a fire to the feet of those who feel unimpeachable.
For more on the ongoing scandal and the many accusations leveled against Weinstein, watch the video below.
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