by WorldTribune Staff, October 6, 2017
Allegations of sexual harassment against Hollywood film mogul Harvey Weinstein’s have been “floating around” since the 1990s, yet the highest-of-profile Democrats had no problem taking cash from the producer of such movies as Pulp Fiction and Oscar-winner Shakespeare in Love.
According to a bombshell New York Times report on Oct. 5, Weinstein settled no fewer than eight sexual harassment complaints over 25 years, between 1990 and 2015.
In 2016, Weinstein hosted a fundraiser for Hillary Clinton that included several A-list actors. He has donated to her political campaigns about 10 times between 1999 and 2016.
During the Obama presidency, he visited the White House 13 times. The Obamas routinely visited with Weinstein at fundraisers, and Weinstein even employed Malia Obama as an intern this year.
“Protecting Weinstein from the consequences of his behavior are his ‘correct’ politics,” John Nolte wrote fro Breitbart. “Weinstein is a leftist, a Democrat power donor, and high-profile political activist who passed himself off in public as a male feminist.”
Weinstein believes that “shadowy right wing forces are ‘out to get me’ and that he is being targeted for his liberal views,” DailyMail.com reported on Oct. 6. “In an echo of his close friend Hillary Clinton’s notorious claim that ‘a vast right-wing conspiracy’ was out to get her and her husband, the Democratic supporter is making the claim to those around him.”
Breitbart’s Nolte noted Weinstein’s “deeply cynical and somewhat pitiful bid to retain the affections of the Hollywood crowd” in his announcement that he would use this time to attack the NRA and President Donald Trump.
“I am going to need a place to channel that anger, so I’ve decided that I’m going to give the NRA my full attention,” Weinstein said. “I hope Wayne LaPierre will enjoy his retirement party. I’m going to do it at the same place I had my Bar Mitzvah. I’m making a movie about our President, perhaps we can make it a joint retirement party.”
Several of the allegations stem from a two-year period when Lauren O’Connor, a Weinstein employee, documented numerous complaints and compiled them in a 2015 memo. O’Connor complained, as did other females employees, that she was “being used to facilitate liaisons with vulnerable women who hoped he will get them work.” This included setting up private meetings with aspiring actresses in Weinstein’s hotel room.
The New York Times report also notes that Weinstein’s behavior has never been much of a secret. Rumors involving sexual harassment, a volcanic temper, and bullying of subordinates have swirled around Weinstein for two decades.
The Times report said: “In interviews, eight women described varying behavior by Mr. Weinstein: appearing nearly or fully naked in front of them, requiring them to be present while he bathed or repeatedly asking for a massage or initiating one himself. The women, typically in their early or mid-20s and hoping to get a toehold in the film industry, said he could switch course quickly – meetings and clipboards one moment, intimate comments the next. One woman advised a peer to wear a parka when summoned for duty as a layer of protection against unwelcome advances.
“According to one accuser, Weinstein went beyond indecent proposals. Italian model Ambra Battilana claims Weinstein ‘grabbed her breasts after asking if they were real and put his hands up her skirt[.]’ ” The police got involved but no charges were filed. According to theTimes, Weinstein later settled with Battilana.
Lisa Bloom, a high-powered attorney who usually stands with accusers, is representing Weinstein and told the Times that her client “denies many of the accusations as patently false.”
According to The Hollywood Reporter, attorney Charles Harder says Weinstein is planning to sue the New York Times. Harder said in a statement: “The New York Times published today a story that is saturated with false and defamatory statements about Harvey Weinstein. It relies on mostly hearsay accounts and a faulty report, apparently stolen from an employee personnel file, which has been debunked by 9 different eyewitnesses. We sent the Times the facts and evidence, but they ignored it and rushed to publish.”
Buzzfeed reported that Anita Dunn, a former top adviser to President Barack Obama, was among the list of public relations professionals and lawyers consulting Weinstein over the Times story.
Sources also told Buzzfeed that Lanny Davis, former special counsel to Bill Clinton, has been central to the PR effort for Weinstein.
Bustle reported that “it’s clear that as the fallout from this Weinstein expose continues and in light of the Times specifying that other female actors are allegedly involved, more and more women will be asked to comment on the allegations. Only time will tell if some will step forward.”
Gwyneth Paltrow “is one of Weinstein’s most successful collaborators,” Bustle noted. “Paltrow began working with Weinstein in the ‘90s, collaborating on movies The Pallbearer and Emma, both released in 1996. Their most successful collaboration, however, came in 1998 with Shakespeare in Love.The film won both Weinstein and Paltrow Oscars at the 1999 Academy Awards, for Best Picture and Best Actress in a Leading Role, respectively. But in a ’90s New York profile about Weinstein, the actor claimed that he called in some uncomfortable favors, like asking her to pose in an S&M outfit for Talk magazine. ‘There were certain favors that he asked me to do that I felt were not exploitive but not necessarily as great for me as they were for him,’ Paltrow told the magazine. ‘I brought this to his attention, and he said, ‘I will never do that again.’ And he’s been true to his word.’ ”
Paltrow isn’t the only female actor who has famously worked with the mogul. Jennifer Lawrence also won an Oscar for a Weinstein-produced project, Silver Linings Playbook. Other actors such as Minnie Driver (Good Will Hunting), Anna Faris (Scary Movie), Jessica Alba (Sin City), and Sienna Miller (FactoryGirl) also worked with Weinstein early in their careers, often times making movies that helped launch them further as Hollywood stars. Whether any of them will have a story to tell remains unknown.
Breitbart’s Nolte noted that “Today Weinstein is widely regarded as past his prime. Numerous reports indicate that the 65-year-old is in deep financial trouble. Moreover, he has not produced a hit or come near Oscar gold in nearly five years, and his highest profiles offerings have all bombed, including Quentin Tarantino’s The Hateful Eight. Weinstein no longer has the juice to ruin anyone. Without that shield, it looks as though Weinstein faces a reckoning that has been a long time in coming.”