There’s more to say about the sexual harassment and assault allegations against Harvey Weinstein. The New York Times has a blistering 7,500-word piece, with five bylines, detailing exactly how he got away with it — and naming those who aided and abetted over three decades.
Among those cited in “Weinstein’s Complicity Machine” are Creative Artists Agency, various executives at Miramax and The Weinstein Company, and The National Enquirer, among others. As the NYT reporters frame it: “Some aided his actions without realizing what he was doing. Many knew something or detected hints, though few understood the scale of his sexual misconduct. Almost everyone had incentives to look the other way or reasons to stay silent.”
It’s an extraordinary piece of reporting that deserves your careful read, but here’s a digest of some of its most damning allegations.
According to the New York Times:
— Assistants were told to compile “bibles” that included guides to facilitating encounters with women and dealing with phone calls from his wife.
— Assistants were also told to buy penile injections for erectile dysfunction, using his company card. (This task came with a $500 bonus.)
— At this year’s Toronto International Film Festival, when Weinstein knew reporters were working on stories, he invited two women to his hotel room where he made “massage requests, other unwelcome advances and offers of career help, said the women, who asked to remain unidentified.”
— While trying to stop Rose McGowan from writing in her upcoming memoir, “Brave,” that he sexually assaulted her, Weinstein tried to arrange a $50,000 payment to her former manager and throw new business to Lacy Lynch, a literary agent advising McGowan.
— “Exotica” star Mia Kirshner attended a meeting with Weinstein, set up by her CAA agents, at her hotel. “When he came to her room, his agenda was to exchange sex for career opportunity… ‘I was told to forget about it; it was pointless to do anything about this.’”
— Gwyneth Paltrow said she is now hearing “devastating” stories that as Weinstein tried to coerce women to have sex with him, he repeatedly boasted that he had sex with her. Paltrow told the New York Times: “He’s not the first person to lie about sleeping with someone, but he used the lie as an assault weapon.”
— Former New York Daily News gossip columnist A. J. Benza was a longtime resource for killing Weinstein stories, collecting a monthly retainer. Benza recalled telling Weinstein: “I could supply your P.R. girls with a lot of gossip — a lot of stories — and if people come at them with the ‘Harvey’s having an affair story,’ they can barter.” (Weinstein spokeswoman Sallie Hoffmeister told the New York Times that the payments “were for public relations work during Miramax’s dispute with Disney.”)
— Lena Dunham said she warned Hillary Clinton’s team about Weinstein’s behavior, with Dunham saying she told the campaign’s deputy communications director Kristina Schake: “I just want you to let you know that Harvey’s a rapist and this is going to come out at some point.”
— Former Miramax executive VP and lawyer Steve Hutensky, known in the office as “the Cleaner-Upper,” wrote a settlement agreement for London assistant Zelda Perkins that prevented her from mentioning Weinstein’s name to anyone — even her therapist.
— Weinstein received an email from the investor Paul Tudor Jones October 7, the day before he was kicked out of TWC. “I love you,” he wrote. “Focus on the future as America loves a great comeback story. The good news is, this will go away sooner than you think and it will be forgotten!”
Read the piece in full here.
UPDATED (December 6): Through a spokesperson, Weinstein refuted several points from the Times story, mostly echoing sentiments he had already expressed in the article. There were a few additions:
— Weinstein Company executive Irwin Reiter told Weinstein when Reiter faced an HR complaint from a female employee. The spokesman wrote, “To Mr. Weinstein’s surprise, Mr. Reiter told him he viewed the woman who made the complaint as ‘skanky.'”
— “Mr. Weinstein has been a significant contributor to both Republicans (Guiliani and Pataki) as well as Democrats (Clintons, Obama).”
— “Although there were plans for a documentary at some point with Secretary Clinton, the project was never realized.”
UPDATED (December 11): Weinstein’s spokesman offered further clarification regarding claims he allegedly made about having sex with Gwyneth Paltrow, Charlize Theron and Renée Zellweger: “Mr. Weinstein vehemently denies these accusations and has never stated he slept with any of them. It’s ridiculous that anyone would believe these talented women, Academy Award winners, provided sexual favors in exchange for roles they earned based on their talent and brilliant work. It’s simply not true.”