Harvey Weinstein reportedly made his assistants procure erectile dysfunction shots

Harvey Weinstein
(Image credit: Getty Images)

"Harvey Weinstein built his complicity machine out of the witting, the unwitting, and those in between," The New York Times reports at the beginning of a lengthy cataloging of the passel of "enablers, silencers, and spies" he relied on to allegedly sexually harass and assault actresses and employees for decades, and celebrities and politicians he courted to "enhance his reputation as well as his power to intimidate."

Among the revelations, Lena Dunham and Tina Brown said they had warned aides to Hillary Clinton about Weinstein, a longtime Clinton donor, during her 2008 and 2016 presidential campaigns. Gwyneth Paltrow says Weinstein lied about sleeping with her to pressure other actresses to have sex with him. Weinstein was "so close to David J. Pecker, the chief executive of American Media Inc., which owns The [National] Enquirer, that he was known in the tabloid industry as an untouchable 'F.O.P.,' or 'friend of Pecker,'" the Times says, a status "shared by a chosen few, including President Trump."

Some of the most disturbing reports involve Weinstein turning low-level assistants into cogs of his complicity machine. Two former assistants, Michelle Franklin and Sandeep Rehal, "said they were tasked with procuring injectable erectile dysfunction drugs, Caverject and alprostadil," the Times reports, continuing:

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Weinstein paid with his company card and gave Ms. Rehal a $500 bonus for supplying the medication, she said. Ms. Rehal said she had to keep a supply of the shots at her desk, dispense them to him in brown paper bags and sometimes deliver the medication to hotels and elsewhere before his meetings with women. ... Weinstein somehow knew personal information about Ms. Rehal, mentioning her student loans and where her younger sister attended school and saying he could have her kicked out. [The New York Times]

Weinstein has denied sexually abusing anybody and he denied just about every assertion in the Times article. You can read more about them at The New York Times.

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Peter Weber

Peter Weber is a senior editor at TheWeek.com, and has handled the editorial night shift since the website launched in 2008. A graduate of Northwestern University, Peter has worked at Facts on File and The New York Times Magazine. He speaks Spanish and Italian and plays bass and rhythm cello in an Austin rock band. Follow him on Twitter.