Gwyneth Paltrow and Angelina Jolie have both come forward to accuse Harvey Weinstein of sexually harassing them when they were young actors, adding their names to the continually growing list of Hollywood stars who have publicly condemned the producer for his alleged sexually predatory behaviour.
Explaining that the incident occurred when she was 22, shortly after she was hired for the lead in Weinstein’s adaptation of Jane Austen’s Emma, Paltrow says that she was summoned to the producer’s hotel suite for a meeting.
It ended with Weinstein placing his hands on her and suggesting they head to the bedroom for massages, she alleges.
“I was a kid, I was signed up, I was petrified.” she said in an interview with the New York Times.
After the confrontation, Paltrow told the NYT that Weinstein called her and threatened her not to speak to anyone else about it.
“I thought he was going to fire me,” she told the paper. “He screamed at me for a long time. It was brutal.”
Jolie also alleged to the Times that Weinstein made unwanted advances on her in a hotel room during the release of Playing by Heart in the late Nineties.
She rejected him and “chose never to work with him again and warn others when they did”.
“This behaviour towards women in any field, any country is unacceptable,” added Jolie.
Last week, eight women spoke out against Weinstein in an NYT report, accusing him of sexual harassment and inappropriate behaviour. The paper also reported that Weinstein reached private settlements with eight women, including actress Rose McGowan.
On Tuesday (10 Oct), a follow-up story in The New Yorker revealed accounts of alleged sexual harassment, assault or rape from another 13 women, including Mira Sorvino and Rosanna Arquette.
The paper also alleged that Weinstein forcibly performed oral sex on Italian actress Asia Argento two decades ago.
Responding to the lengthy allegations against him, Weinstein's spokeswoman, Sallie Hofmeister, told the Times: “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 counselling and rebuilding his life.”
The statement continued: “Mr. Weinstein has further confirmed that there were never any acts of retaliation against any women for refusing his advances. Mr. Weinstein obviously can’t speak to anonymous allegations, but with respect to any women who have made allegations on the record, Mr. Weinstein believes that all of these relationships were consensual.
“Mr. Weinstein has begun counselling, has listened to the community and is pursuing a better path. Mr. Weinstein is hoping that, if he makes enough progress, he will be given a second chance.”
Weinstein has already been sacked by his own company, The Weinstein Company: however, Rose McGowan is now calling for the entire board to stand down, as well as describing any high-profile men who stood by as “weak and scared”.
Speaking to The Hollywood Reporter, former Charmed star McGowan had a simple but powerful message.
“I’m calling on the board to resign effective immediately. And for other men to stop other men when they are being disgusting.”
Images: Rex Features