A Timeline of Harvey Weinstein's Allegations Paints a Grim Picture of Hollywood
The more women spoke out against him, the more power, money, and awards he received.
It was one of those moments too dystopian to be scripted: At Sunday night’s Golden Globes, host Ricky Gervais made a joke about Hollywood director, producer, and notorious bigwig Harvey Weinstein. Less than 24 hours later, Weinstein was on trial in New York for attacking two women (though a total of six women are expected to testify), charged with first-degree rape, two counts of predatory sexual assault, one count of first-degree sexual assault, and one count of third-degree rape. At the same time, news broke that in Los Angeles Weinstein will be charged with four counts of sexual assault, including forcible rape, forcible oral copulation, sexual penetration by use of force, and sexual battery by restraint. According to reporting by the Los Angeles Times, these charges brought forth while he is on trial in New York “will only deepen the legal peril faced by Weinstein.”
While the accusations are bold and blunt, the Weinstein trial has seemed complicated: At the beginning of December, following two years of negotiating, Weinstein (and the board of his now-bankrupt film studio) reached a $25 million settlement with more than 30 actresses and former employees who accused him of assault and misconduct, a payout that would be covered by insurers for the former Weinstein Co. studio — not Weinstein himself. Not only that, but he wouldn’t be required to admit to wrongdoing, and those women's cases would be considered closed.
Some point to the exposure of Weinstein as a sexual predator as a turning point of the #MeToo movement, after reporters Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey broke the Weinstein story for the New York Times in October 2017, shifting widespread rumors about Weinstein’s misconduct into fact-based reporting. Now facing a litany of charges, Weinstein could see a minimum sentence of 10 years in prison, with the trial process in New York expected to last about two weeks. Meanwhile, jury selection for Weinstein’s trial in Los Angeles is just beginning.
Central to the Weinstein case is that you cannot separate his abuse of power from that power itself. The assaults he perpetrated, the harassment and misconduct are inextricably linked to a career that’s been lauded and celebrated by the Hollywood community, and allowed to continue. In fact, despite reports that Weinstein’s conduct was an open secret in the industry, it wasn’t until 2017, when several stories naming high-profile victims broke, that someone previously regarded as a Hollywood god began to lose some of his luster. He'd been at it for nearly three decades by that time.
As his trials begin, here’s a timeline of Weinstein’s alleged sexual misconduct, and how it was interwoven with his Hollywood career. This includes a selection of allegations against him; too many have been made to list here, and some include private citizens who've chosen not to be named. Our list focuses on the most high-profile among them, and paints a picture of a prosperous career that was built on — and not at all hampered by — decades of abuse.
According to IMDb, Weinstein served as executive producer or producer on 69 films between 1990-1998, including movies that would become career-making hits: Pulp Fiction in 1994, Good Will Hunting in 1997, and Shakespeare in Love in 1998.
The New York Times reported that Weinstein reached settlements regarding allegations of “sexual harassment and unwanted physical contact” with at least eight women, including a New York assistant in 1990, an actress in 1997, and a London assistant in 1998.
In a statement released by TIME’S UP Monday morning, Katherine Kendall is quoted as saying: “I’ve seen him a couple times by accident and my knees started to tremble and I felt like I just had to leave immediately.” In 1993, Kendall told the Times, Weinstein exposed himself to her and attempted to trap her in a hotel room.
In 1995, Mira Sorvino reported that Weinstein repeatedly came onto her, once even showing up at her apartment door. Weinstein produced Mighty Aphrodite, for which Sorvino won an Oscar.
In the 1990s, Weinstein also reportedly attempted to sexually assault Uma Thurman, star of a Weinstein hit Pulp Fiction. In 2017, she posted an Instagram caption including: “Harvey, and all your wicked conspirators — I’m glad it’s going slowly — you don’t deserve a bullet.”
Before shooting began for Emma, which released in 1996, Weinstein allegedly sexually harassed then-22-year-old star of the film, Gwyneth Paltrow. He reportedly brought Paltrow to his hotel for a meeting, before putting his hands on her and suggesting they go to his bedroom for massages. Per the same report by the New York Times — Rosanna Arquette; star of Pulp Fiction, French actress Judith Godrèche; and Angelina Jolie, who was in Playing by Heart in 1998 — all had similar accounts of unwanted advances and harassment. In Arquette’s case, Weinstein also asked her for a massage before grabbing her hand and pulling it down toward his crotch. Jolie told the New York Times she had such a bad experience working with Weinstein in her youth that she refused to work with him again, and warned others against it.
In 1997, Ashley Judd reported being harassed by a boss who invited her to his hotel room to watch her shower, that she later revealed to be Weinstein. While on stage at the Cannes Film Festival in 2018, Asia Argento shared one of the first public accusations against Weinstein: “In 1997, I was raped by Harvey Weinstein here at Cannes. I was 21 years old. This festival was his hunting ground,” she said according to The New York Times. Also in 1997, Weinstein allegedly raped Rose McGowan at his hotel following a screening of her film, Going All the Way, at the Sundance Film Festival. Monday in New York, McGowan and Arquette, among other activists and survivors, held a rally outside Weinstein’s trial.
Meanwhile, Weinstein's career was on the ascent during this era: He won an Academy Award for Shakespeare in Love, and Good Will Hunting and Pulp Fiction received nominations across various awards. Pulp Fiction won the prestigious Palme d’Or award at the Cannes Film Festival in 1994.
Weinstein was accused of sexually assaulting a Canadian actress twice in 2000 (in 2017, she sued for $14 million). A Polish woman, identified as “Jane Doe,” accused Weinstein of assaulting her when she was 16 and working as a model in 2002. Model Samantha Panagrosso accused Weinstein of touching her inappropriately during the Cannes Film Festival in 2003. Also in 2003, then-aspiring actress Dawn Dunning was approached by Weinstein with contracts for her to appear in his next three movies, if she’d agree to have three-way sex with him, according to the Times.
In 2004, according to reporting from the New Yorker, Lucia Stoller (now Lucia Evans) says Weinstein forced her to perform oral sex on him: “That’s the most horrible part of it, and that’s why he’s been able to do this for so long to so many women: People give up, and then they feel like it’s their fault,” she said in 2017.
In a searing piece for The New York Times, Salma Hayek Pinault alleged Weinstein sexually harassed her in the early 2000s: “I don’t think he hated anything more than the word “no,” she wrote.
During this time, Weinstein produced roughly 68 films or television shows, including Fahrenheit 9/11, The Lord of the Rings, Chicago (which won six Oscars), and Gangs of New York (which was nominated for 10).
In 2005, Weinstein hit a career-success peak: He founded The Weinstein Company, his own American independent film studio, with his brother Bob.
In 2006, a German actress sued Weinstein for allegedly raping her at the Cannes Film Festival. In 2007, Weinstein was accused of unwanted sexual advances by Juliana De Paula, and trapping then-news anchor Lauren Sivan in the hallway of a restaurant and masturbating in front of her. Represented by Gloria Allred, Natassia Malthe claimed Weinstein raped her in 2008, and also represented by Allred, actress and screenwriter Louisette Geiss claimed Weinstein made unwelcome sexual advances toward her in 2009.
Weinstein produced around 58 films and shows during this period. Among them, Project Runway and Project Greenlight received Primetime Emmy nominations. The Weinstein Company continued to be a film powerhouse.
In this era of Weinstein’s career, everything got louder: He produced critically acclaimed films, including Django Unchained (winner of two Oscars), August: Osage County (which received two Oscar nominations), and Silver Linings Playbook (which won an Oscar), and continued working with Hollywood’s biggest celebrities. Meanwhile, references to Weinstein as a predator began popping up in pop culture, including a 2012 reference to turning down sex with Harvey Weinstein on the show 30 Rock. Seth MacFarlane, while announcing the 2013 Best Supporting Actress Academy Award nominations, quipped that the women nominated no longer needed to pretend to be interested in Weinstein. Ivana Lowell, a former staffer of Weinstein, wrote about his misconduct in her memoir.
While hitting major career highs, Weinstein allegedly assaulted or harassed eight women in 2010, including Cara Delevingne; propositioned or assaulted four women in 2011, including Lupita Nyong’o; and had over 10 allegations of sexual assault, rape, and misconduct between 2011 and 2015.
In 2014, he received Harvard University’s W.E.B. Du Bois Medal. The Weinstein Company’s worth was an estimated $150 million.
In case you’re wondering, at this point, whether any of these accusations affected Weinstein’s standing in Hollywood, as of 2017, almost no one had been thanked in Oscars acceptance speeches more than he had. Quartz logged that Weinstein was personally thanked by name in 34 acceptance speeches from 1993 to 2016 (as much as God, according to their tally).
By 2017, allegations against Weinstein became public, permanently altering the trajectory of his glowing career and casting light on the fact that Weinstein’s abuse as a serial predator coexisted alongside a work life that was celebrated for decades. Today, 100 women have accused Weinstein of harassment, assault, or misconduct, as collected by The Cut. Among the grimmest parts of the still-ongoing saga is how many public accolades he collected, while doubling as a predator who used his power and presence to find and exploit victims. By the looks of it, 2020 begins a new era for Harvey Weinstein, one in which he no longer has the power to harm, and instead continues seeing his accolades and access being stripped away.