Sexual misconduct allegations are mounting against Harvey Weinstein, as a growing number of actors, models and former employees claim the Hollywood producer harassed or assaulted them.
Earlier this month, the New York Times revealed that the Miramax co-founder had reached at least eight settlements with women who accused him of sexual harassment or non-consensual physical contact.
The Times article opened the floodgates, and Weinstein has since been accused of multiple indiscretions, ranging from inappropriate sexual advances and groping to indecent exposure and rape.
Hollywood stars who have detailed their alleged experiences of harassment include Gwyneth Paltrow, Angelina Jolie, Rose McGowan and Ashley Judd.
According to the Times, McGowan received $100,000 from the 65-year-old after an incident in a Sundance Film Festival hotel room in 1997.
Paltrow claimed Weinstein summoned her to his hotel room after casting her as the lead role in ‘Emma’ in 1996. He then allegedly placed his hands on her and suggested they retire to the bedroom for massages.
She rebuffed his advances and informed then-boyfriend Brad Pitt of the incident, who confronted Weinstein at a premiere. Paltrow said Weinstein later phoned her and berated her for disclosing the encounter to Pitt.
One of the most serious accusations levelled at the producer was from Italian actor and director Asia Argento, who said Weinstein forcibly performed oral sex on her after she reluctantly gave him a massage in a hotel room in 1997.
Argento told the New Yorker that she repeatedly said no but eventually feigned enjoyment in the hope the assault would end.
“The thing with being a victim is I felt responsible. Because, if I were a strong woman, I would have kicked him in the balls and run away. But I didn’t. And so I felt responsible,” she explained.
Her allegations are complicated by the fact that she would later go on to have consensual sex with Weinstein on a number of occasions over the following five years. However, multiple women have come forward with similar stories about the producer.
Weinstein is reportedly preparing to sue the New York Times for defamation, releasing a statement to US Weekly denying many of the accusations.
“Any allegations of non-consensual sex are unequivocally denied by Mr Weinstein,” his spokesperson, Sallie Hofmeister, said.
“Mr Weinstein has further confirmed that there were never any acts of retaliation against any women for refusing his advances.”
The Weinstein scandal is currently unfolding in the US, but victims of institutional sexual harassment and assault in Australia may be eligible for compensation.
Contact Gerard Malouf & Partners Compensation, Medical Negligence & Will Dispute Lawyers to find out more.