7 Disturbing New Details from The New Yorker's Harvey Weinstein Investigative Report
On Tuesday morning, The New Yorker published an in-depth report on Harvey Weinstein. And it describes new sexual assault allegations against him that go much further than what the New York Times published in last week's exposé.
The New Yorker piece, the result of a 10-month investigation, is written by Ronan Farrow (son of Mia Farrow and Woody Allen) and outlines the stories of 13 women who have accused Weinstein of sexual harassment and assault. Three women allege that they were raped by the film producer, according to the publication.
Multiple women who spoke out said that they feared sharing their stories earlier because their careers and reputations were threatened by Weinstein, the report outlined.
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“Four actresses, including Mira Sorvino and Rosanna Arquette, told me they suspected that, after they rejected Weinstein’s advances or complained about them to company representatives, Weinstein had them removed from projects or dissuaded people from hiring them,” Farrow writes. "Multiple sources said that Weinstein frequently bragged about planting items in media outlets about those who spoke against him; these sources feared that they might be similarly targeted."
Read on for disturbing new details unearthed by The New Yorker’s investigation.
1. Weinstein has been accused of rape by three women.
Asia Argento and Lucia Evans are two of the women who have accused Weinstein of forcing oral and/or vaginal sex on them. Argento describes an experience from 1997, when she was a 21-year-old rising actress, when she agreed to attend a Miramax party in France and was led to a hotel room for it:
When the producer led her upstairs that evening, she said, there was no party—only a hotel room, empty but for Weinstein: “I’m, like, ‘Where is the fucking party?’ ” She recalled the producer telling her, “Oh, we got here too early,” before he left her alone with Weinstein. (The producer denies bringing Argento to the room that night.) At first, Weinstein was solicitous, praising her work. Then he left the room. When he returned, he was wearing a bathrobe and holding a bottle of lotion. “He asks me to give a massage.
Argento said that, after she reluctantly agreed to give Weinstein a massage, he pulled her skirt up, forced her legs apart, and performed oral sex on her as she repeatedly told him to stop. Weinstein “terrified me, and he was so big,” she said. “It wouldn’t stop. It was a nightmare.”
Farrow describes what Evans said about an experience at the Miramax's New York City office in 2004 from when she was a senior in college:
In the meeting, Evans recalled, “he immediately was simultaneously flattering me and demeaning me and making me feel bad about myself.” Weinstein told her that she’d “be great in ‘Project Runway’ ”—the show, which Weinstein helped produce, premièred later that year—but only if she lost weight. He also told her about two scripts, a horror movie and a teen love story, and said one of his associates would discuss them with her.
“At that point, after that, is when he assaulted me,” Evans said. “He forced me to perform oral sex on him.” As she objected, Weinstein took his penis out of his pants and pulled her head down onto it. “I said, over and over, ‘I don’t want to do this, stop, don’t,’ ” she said. “I tried to get away, but maybe I didn’t try hard enough. I didn’t want to kick him or fight him.” In the end, she said, “He’s a big guy. He overpowered me.” At a certain point, she said, “I just sort of gave up. 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.”
2. Even more women have accused Weinstein of sexual harassment.
Academy Award-winning actress Mira Sorvino, who starred in several of Weinstein’s films, has accused the former film executive of trying to pressure her into a physical relationship.
She said that, at the Toronto International Film Festival in September, 1995, she found herself in a hotel room with Weinstein, who produced the movie she was there to promote, Mighty Aphrodite, for which she later won an Academy Award. ‘He started massaging my shoulders, which made me very uncomfortable, and then tried to get more physical, sort of chasing me around,’ she recalled.
3. The police formally investigated Weinstein for groping Ambra Battilana Gutierrez.
The New York Police Department Special Victims Divisions investigated Gutierrez’s claims against Weinstein in 2015, when she reported an assault and described him as having “lunged at her, groping her breasts and attempting to put a hand up her skirt while she protested.” Gutierrez wore a wire that recorded Weinstein's response to a question of why he touched her chest with “I’m used to that,” and “I won’t do it again.” The New Yorker even published the audio from the conversation. In the end, the Manhattan District Attorney’s office decided not to file charges against Weinstein.
4. Weinstein’s behavior was reportedly well known within both Miramax and The Weinstein Company.
Sixteen former and current executives and assistants at Weinstein’s companies told me that they witnessed or had knowledge of unwanted sexual advances and touching at events associated with Weinstein’s films and in the workplace. They and others describe a pattern of professional meetings that were little more than thin pretexts for sexual advances on young actresses and models. All sixteen said that the behavior was widely known within both Miramax and the Weinstein Company. Messages sent by Irwin Reiter, a senior company executive, to Emily Nestor, one of the women who alleged that she was harassed at the company, described the ‘mistreatment of women’ as a serial problem that the Weinstein Company was struggling with in recent years. Other employees described what was, in essence, a culture of complicity at Weinstein’s places of business, with numerous people throughout the companies fully aware of his behavior but either abetting it or looking the other way. Some employees said that they were enlisted in subterfuge to make the victims feel safe. A female executive with the company described how Weinstein assistants and others served as a ‘honeypot’—they would initially join a meeting, but then Weinstein would dismiss them, leaving him alone with the woman.
5. Weinstein reportedly bragged about not drugging women “like Bill Cosby.”
Emily Nestor, a temporary front-desk assistant at The Weinstein Company in 2014, accused Weinstein of sexual harassment.
In Nestor’s account of the exchange, Weinstein said, “Oh, the girls always say ‘no.’ You know, ‘No, no.’ And then they have a beer or two and then they’re throwing themselves at me.” In a tone that Nestor described as “very weirdly proud,” Weinstein added, “that he’d never had to do anything like Bill Cosby.” She assumed that he meant he’d never drugged a woman. “It’s just a bizarre thing to be so proud of,” she said. “That you’ve never had to resort to doing that. It was just so far removed from reality and normal rules of consent.”
6. Weinstein's teams have reportedly escalated attempts to suppress harassment and assault allegations as of late.
Weinstein and his legal and public-relations teams have conducted a decades-long campaign to suppress these stories. In recent months, that campaign escalated. Weinstein and his associates began calling many of the women in this story. Weinstein asked Argento to meet with a private investigator and give testimony on his behalf. One actress who initially spoke to me on the record later asked that her allegation be removed. ‘I’m so sorry,’ she wrote. ‘The legal angle is coming at me and I have no recourse.’ Weinstein and his legal team have threatened to sue multiple media outlets, including The New York Times.
7. A spokesperson for Weinstein, Sallie Hofmeister, gave a statement to The New Yorker in response to the article's allegations.
It reads in full: "Any allegations of non-consensual sex are unequivocally denied by Mr. Weinstein. Mr. Weinstein has further confirmed that there were never any acts of retaliation against any women for refusing his advances. Mr. Weinstein obviously can’t speak to anonymous allegations, but with respect to any women who have made allegations on the record, Mr. Weinstein believes that all of these relationships were consensual. Mr. Weinstein has begun counseling, has listened to the community and is pursuing a better path. Mr. Weinstein is hoping that, if he makes enough progress, he will be given a second chance."