Film studio executive Harvey Weinstein faces nearly three decades of sexual harassment allegations and has paid out at least eight settlements to women over the years, The New York Times writes in a bombshell report published Thursday. Women described Weinstein, who has six Academy Awards for Best Picture to his name, as inviting them to hotel rooms and "appearing nearly or fully naked in front of them, requiring them to be present while he bathed, or repeatedly asking for a massage or initiating one himself," the Times writes.
Most of the women were in their early or mid-20s and aspiring to break into the film industry: "The balance of power is me: 0, Harvey Weinstein: 10," wrote Lauren O'Connor, a former employee, in a 2015 memo.
In addition to being behind projects like Pulp Fiction, Good Will Hunting, Silver Linings Playbook, and Chicago, Weinstein has publicly portrayed himself as an advocate for women:
In 2015 […] his company distributed The Hunting Ground, a documentary about campus sexual assault. A longtime Democratic donor, he hosted a fund-raiser for Hillary Clinton in his Manhattan home last year. He employed Malia Obama, the oldest daughter of former President Barack Obama, as an intern this year, and recently helped endow a faculty chair at Rutgers University in Gloria Steinem's name. During the Sundance Film Festival in January, when Park City, Utah, held its version of the nationwide women's marches, Mr. Weinstein joined the parade. [The New York Times]
In a statement, Weinstein said he "came of age … when all the rules about behavior and workplaces were different" and that he is "trying to do better." He will take a leave of absence from his company in the wake of the report. Read the full story at The New York Times.