A little over two weeks ago, one could argue that the number of people in Hollywood more powerful than Harvey Weinstein could be counted on one hand.
However, after The New York Times dropped a bombshell report into the history of Harvey Weinstein sexually harassing and even assaulting young actresses over the course of the last couple decades there suddenly weren’t enough hands in the world to count his status.
The silver lining in all of this is that it has finally started the conversation about sexual harassment and assault in Hollywood and beyond, as it seems that pretty much every celebrity either has a similar story or knew about Weinstein but were too afraid to speak up.
To highlight the strength of the women who survived the horror that was working with Harvey Weinstein, here are 15 victims of his abuse .
15. Asia Argento
Asia Argento is an Italian actress best known for her role in the xXx franchise. Now, she is more known for her interaction with Harvey Weinstein. While her story is horrible, her strength and courage in coming forward and holding Weinstein accountable shows what an amazing person she is.
Her story is almost too graphic to write about on this site. Weinstein reportedly forced himself on Argento and performed oral sex on her, according to The New Yorker. She, like many in Hollywood, didn’t come forward because she feared that Weinstein would “crush” her. She told The New Yorker:
“I know he has crushed a lot of people before, that’s why this story — in my case, it’s 20 years old; some of them are older-[and have] never come out”.
14. Mira Sorvino
That New Yorker piece also included Mira Sorvino’s account which is less graphic but just as terrible. Because Sorvino rejected Weinstein’s advances her film career stalled.
That’s the worst type of harassment because it gives one person so much power that clearly no one — besides Courtney Love — could come forward. Victims feared that they’d either be sued or that their career would end.
Sorvino said that in 1995, Weinstein started “massaging her shoulders in a hotel room” and when she made him stop he literally started chasing her around the room. In a separate incident, Weinstein showed up to her apartment well after midnight under the guise that they “needed to go over marketing ideas” for an upcoming movie.
When Sorvino lied and told Weinstein that her boyfriend was on his way over, Weinstein left in a huff. The role in that movie never materialized and she told The New Yorker, in regards to the effect rejecting him twice had on her film career:
“There may have been other factors, but I definitely felt iced out and that my rejection of Harvey had something to do with it.”
Grade A sleazebag.
13. Claire Forlani
Actress Claire Forlani, who you might recognize from films like Mall Rats and Meet Joe Black, was in a ton of movies at the beginning of the century but seemingly disappeared. Turns out, she had to reject Weinstein not once but FIVE TIMES. The actress addressed the Weinstein situation on Twitter, saying:
“This sort of thing was something my generation dealt with, all the time,” she wrote. “For me it started at age 14, my parents had two male friends who I trusted and adored and they were deeply inappropriate. It happened all the time when I modeled and it happened all through my twenties in the film business. For us it was something you weren’t supposed to make a big deal out of; it was sadly our normal.”
12. Ambra Battilana Gutierrez
Some say that Hollywood is hypocritical because everyone knew that Weinstein was a monster but no one did anything because they were too concerned with their own careers to make any sort of sacrifice. So, while there is some truth to that, it’s also a lot more complicated than that.
The women who were assaulted feared being sued or losing their livelihoods if they went to the police or the press. Some men did stick up for women — Brad Pitt — but there’s a reason why men in high levels of power do things like this; they can get away with it.
So, one has to applaud aspiring model/actress Ambra Battilana Gutierrez for going to the New York City police. She wore a wire to one of Weinstein’s now infamous hotel room “meetings.” The audio was leaked to the Internet and it shows how creepy and pushy Weinstein was.
On the audio, he’s heard begging Gutierrez to sit and watch him shower for “five minutes.” He sounds desperate, using every tool at his disposal to get her to stay — saying she doesn’t need to do anything but sit, that she can read a book for all he cares. Perhaps most damning, he says that she shouldn’t “ruin their friendship over five minutes.”
While the NYPD didn’t pursue charges against Weinstein, it was the final nail in the coffin.
11. Jessica Barth
While Jessica Barth may not be a household name, her story led Seth MacFarlane to make a “joke” about Harvey Weinstein during the 2013 Oscar announcements. Barth reportedly told MacFarlane — a friend of hers — that Harvey had “asked” her to give him a massage while he was completely naked in 2011.
So, MacFarlane bided his time — considering his career wasn’t dependent on Weinstein’s massive influence. He let loose by saying that the five women who he just had announced were nominated for the Oscar for Best Actress, “congratulations, you five ladies no longer have to pretend to be attracted to Harvey Weinstein.”
It seemed innocent enough at the time but you could tell by the reaction in the crowd that there was definitely more to that joke than met the eye. It helped solidify the fact that Weinstein’s behavior was essentially an “open secret” in Hollywood, which opens a ton of questions and concerns about what type of behavior is tolerated in Tinseltown and how far this scandal goes.
10. Angie Everhart
Angie Everhart, a former Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition model and actress was yet another of Weinstein’s victims. Everhart could barely explain her story to Page Six this week. In the article, she states:
“I was on a friend’s boat [at Cannes Film Festival]. Harvey walked in, walked in front of me, took his pants down, did his thing, “exited” on the floor, if you know what I mean, pulled his pants back up, said “You’re a really nice girl. Don’t tell anybody about this”, and left.”
She said that his body was “blocking the door” so she had no option but to watch. Everhart was extremely courageous afterward and told “everyone on the boat,” but their response was, “oh, that’s just Harvey.” Which is damning in and of itself.
9. Florence Darel
One of the bigger questions surrounding Harvey Weinstein’s escapades is what and when his wives knew about his behavior. Actress Florence Darel’s story is one of the more damning in that regard but not towards Weinstein’s current soon-to-be-ex-wife Georgina Chapman, but his first wife, Eve Chilton.
According to People magazine, Darel states that in the mid-90’s Harvey Weinstein propositioned her for sex, again in a hotel room, as his wife Eve Chilton was in the NEXT ROOM. She says:
“I was in shock, I was in shock. I was astonished. When you have someone so physically disgusting in front of you, continuing and continuing as though this was all perfectly normal… What happened to me may not be illegal but it was inappropriate. Very inappropriate.”
At one point during his year-long harassment of Darel, Weinstein stated: “‘If you want to continue in America, you have to go through me.’” Considering you haven’t seen her in any major films since the 90’s, the fact that she rejected him may have ruined her career.
8. Rosanna Arquette
Rosanna Arquette’s story could be copy and pasted into almost every one of these entries. She was a young actress looking for any opportunity she could. She was able to book a meeting with one of the most powerful producers in the industry — in his hotel room! To pick up a script no less!
Arquette recently told The New York Times that instead of sharing a script, Weinstein asked for a massage after answering the door in nothing but his bathrobe. To deflect the gross, Arquette attempted to suggest a professional masseuse.
It must have displeased Weinstein, who reportedly grabbed her hand and pulled it down towards the area where people have to dig through fat to find his genitals. When she pulled her hand away, Weinstein said that she was making a “big mistake.” Afterwards, her career stalled. She later snagged a small role in the Weinstein-produced Pulp Fiction.
7. Heather Graham
Heather Graham was nearly everywhere in the late 90’s and early 00’s. Part of the non-Weinstein/Miramax production Boogie Nights, Graham’s star was flying high especially after she appeared in the smash sequel to Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery.
Graham took it upon herself to write an article for Variety. Around that time, she said Weinstein heavily implied during a conversation that if she wanted to be in any upcoming roles of his she’d have to sleep with him. She declined and she said it hurt her career.
Her star has faded mightily — besides a brief part in The Hangover, where has she been? She says she does feel guilty for taking this long to come out. “While I still do feel guilty for not speaking up all those years ago, I’m glad for this moment of reckoning,” she said. “To the countless other women who have experienced the gray areas: I believe you.”
6. Ashley Judd
Actress Ashley Judd often plays the type of person that doesn’t take a lot of crap. That’s why it’s little surprise that she was the first accuser to be openly cited in The New York Times piece that destroyed Harvey Weinstein.
According to that story, Weinstein invited Judd to a meeting over breakfast, when she was first getting into the biz. When she arrived at the hotel, she was directed to his room , where he answered the door in his bathrobe.
“How do I get out of the room as fast as possible without alienating Harvey Weinstein,” she told the newspaper.
5. Kate Beckinsale
Kate Beckinsale and really Ashley Judd were able to overcome Weinstein’s actions. They denied him and still enjoyed successful careers. Beckinsale first met Weinstein when she was only 17 years old. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Beckinsale was yet again invited up to his hotel room, where he greeted her wearing a bathrobe.
She said she declined his advances. She also said that when she ran into him years later he “couldn’t recall the event.” Apparently, Weinstein asked HER “if he had tried anything with [her] in that first meeting.”
Because of that, she refused to work with the mogul over the years. While she’s had a decent career, Weinstein was known for creating Oscar-winning actresses — it’s said that he’s the most thanked person ever at the Academy Awards.
4. Cara Delevingne
Weinstein, 65 years old, reportedly harassed Cara Delevingne, a relative newcomer to the film world on TWO separate occasions. The first occurred over the phone, in a conversation where he apparently asked her about her sexual preference and sexual partners.
The second time, Delevingne said that Weinstein propositioned her for a threesome with another woman, who was apparently in on it. The actress said:
“I was so hesitant about speaking out… I didn’t want to hurt his family. I felt guilty as if I did something wrong. I was also terrified that this sort of thing had happened to so many women I know but no one had said anything because of fear”.
She nailed it. Her thought process is exactly what rape experts say are the reasons why less than 20 per cent of women report rapes to the police. There’s an actual guilt factor that plays into it, where victims blame themselves for what happened.
3. Gwyneth Paltrow
One person who thanked Weinstein when accepting her Oscar was Gwyneth Paltrow, who was the “It” girl in the late 90’s and early 00’s. She came from a famous industry family and she had natural good looks. When Paltrow was only 22, right before shooting the movie Emma, she had a meeting at Weinstein’s hotel suite.
During that meeting, Weinstein apparently put his hand on Paltrow’s leg and suggested they go to the bedroom for a massage. Paltrow reportedly refused, left the suite and then told her then-boyfriend Brad Pitt. Pitt allegedly pushed Weinstein up against a wall and threatened him. It made Weinstein furious.
He reportedly called Paltrow and screamed in a rant that terrified her. It made her sign a contract for more films with Weinstein. It’s not quite Stockholm syndrome, but when the entire world feels one way and you’re only one person, it’s not hard to see why people just acquiesce.
2. Angelina Jolie
Angelina Jolie, actress and UN Ambassador who’s fought for women’s rights across the globe, refused to work with Weinstein after a “bad experience” in the late 90’s.
If someone as strong and passionate as Jolie, who is willing to go to countries where she may be attacked by groups like Boko Haram, or contract malaria, doesn’t come out against Weinstein then it should really show you how powerful this man was.
While some are disappointed in Jolie, there are reasons why people don’t say things and the main one with Weinstein is the fact that he is highly litigious. He’s suing The New York Times for posting the article that exposed him despite acknowledging that he did those things — and apologizing.
Most young, struggling actors are working film to film and can’t afford to fight a producer who has endless money and endless connections. A man who can ruin careers with a few phone calls or emails. So, Jolie did what she could: refuse to work with Weinstein.
1. Rose McGowan
Besides The New York Times, Rose McGowan has been responsible for breaking Weinstein down more than anyone. Although she initially declined to comment for The Times article, the paper did report that in 1997, McGowan and Weinstein reached a $100,000 settlement.
Now, that settlement included a clause that stated that McGowan was not allowed to talk about what the settlement was about. This shows that McGowan actually went after Weinstein. Seven other women did settle with Weinstein over the years.
However, after the public became aware of Weinstein’s behavior, perhaps McGowan felt that Weinstein couldn’t countersue her for breaking the gag order. She posted a picture of herself in 1997 on Twitter and said:
“This is the girl that was hurt by a monster. This is who you are shaming with your silence. This is about a power structure that needs to be brought down. I cannot thank the women who came forward and the boss writers at [The New York Times] enough”.
She also did state in another tweet that “HW Raped” her. She later took offense to Ben Affleck’s post about Weinstein. Weinstein was close friends with Affleck and basically started his and Matt Damons’ careers.
She said she recalled an instance when the two were filming a movie together. Back then, she told Affleck what Weinstein was doing and he angrily responded, “I told him to stop doing that.” So, this entire scandal is about more than just Weinstein, it’s about the entire culture in Hollywood.