In a story by The New York Times published Tuesday, Paltrow, 45, recalls an incident from when she was 22 years old. Weinstein asked her to meet him at his suite at the Peninsula Beverly Hills for a work meeting, just after she was cast as the lead in Emma (a 1996 movie Weinstein helped produce), the Oscar winner explains.
According to Paltrow's description to the Times, he placed his hands on her and suggested they enter the bedroom for massages. She didn’t oblige and Paltrow says she left the hotel thinking, “I thought you were my Uncle Harvey.”
“I was a kid, I was signed up, I was petrified,” she says of her encounter with Weinstein, whom she viewed as a mentor.
In the interview, she reveals that she confided in Brad Pitt, her boyfriend at the time, who later confronted Weinstein—and told him to never touch the actress again. Pitt confirmed the account to the Times through a representative.
After that though, Paltrow says Weinstein called her about telling Pitt about the incident. “He screamed at me for a long time,” she says, explaining she asked him to keep it professional. “It was brutal."
“I thought he was going to fire me [from Emma],” she says. Ultimately, she kept the role and continued to star in movies produced by Weinstein’s production company at the time, Miramax. “I was expected to keep the secret,” she says of her experience. She went on to win a best actress Oscar for her role in 1998's Shakespeare in Love, which was produced by the studio.
In the Times interview, other women including Tomi-Ann Roberts, Rosanna Arquette, Katherine Kendall, Judith Godrèche, Dawn Dunning, and Angelina Jolie claim Weinstein sexually harassed them.
Jolie says her personal experience occurred around the time of the release of 1998's Playing by Heart. “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,” she said in an email to the New York Times. “This behavior towards women in any field, any country is unacceptable.”
Weinstein was fired by the Weinstein Company on Sunday, after the Times released its initial report last week.