Oprah Winfrey details Harvey Weinstein’s bullying phone calls to Gwyneth Paltrow

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Susan Devaney
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Oprah Winfrey has detailed the bullying tactics employed by disgraced producer Harvey Weinstein towards her in a new podcast with Gwyneth Paltrow. 

There’s no denying that Oprah Winfrey is a super successful one-woman brand.

To note just one of her many achievements: The Oprah Winfrey Show was one of the most successful programmes in TV history, running for 25 years, pulling in such high ratings and awards to the point where Winfrey won so many Emmys that she opted to stop submitting herself for consideration.

Which is why it comes as a surprise that disgraced Hollywood producer, Harvey Weinstein managed to bully the media mogul.

“I was in Chicago, in my own little world, but what I knew about Harvey was that Harvey was a bully and that if Harvey’s on the phone, you didn’t want to take the call because you’re going to get bullied in some way,” Winfrey told Gwyneth Paltrow in a podcast for Goop.

Calls from Weinstein usually involved him pressuring her to have certain people on her show.

“What I do question for myself is why I was willing to put up with a bullying thing?” she continued. “I was willing to put up with, ‘Okay I’ll take the call,’ ‘Okay I’ll do that’… why am I willing to put up with an a**hole? Why we won’t tolerate other things, but you can throw phones and call people jerks or whatever and do all this nasty stuff.”

Weinstein, at the time of writing, has now been accused of sexual harassment, assault and misconduct by 84 women. Another 13 – including Rose McGowan and Asia Argento – have accused him of rape. Winfrey believes the #MeToo movement, which sparked from such allegations against the producer, was a long time coming.

“It had been coming, it had been coming,” Winfrey said. “It had been coming with [Bill] Cosby and nothing happened, it had been coming with Bill O’Reilly, even with the President of the United States, where people can hear the Access Hollywood tape and yet, nothing happens. It had been coming and [Weinstein] was the moment was where it all crystallised … In order for a phenomenon to be a phenomenon everything has to line up. It means the culture, the zeitgeist, for a particular moment in time to be ready, available and open to hear that message.”

Paltrow, who has also accused Weinstein of sexual harassment, spoke of the difficulty she’s experienced in coming to terms with his alleged behaviour towards multiple women in the film industry.

“It’s been months of me trying to process through it all,” said Paltrow, who worked with Weinstein several times after the alleged incident. “It only happened one time and I confronted him and he never tried anything like that again, but he was [always] a bully about work things, he was shaming, he was really hard on me and then was incredibly generous and would send me a private plane somewhere.

“It was a kind of typical abusive relationship and I hadn’t processed it, because so much of my acting career and so many of the incredible highs and lows, as well, were associated with him and Miramax.”

Weinstein denies all allegations made against him.

Images: Rex Features / Instagram