October 11, 2017 08:26
Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein is accused of raping three women in a report published Tuesday by the New Yorker. The accusation comes as Weinstein is engulfed in a scandal involving his decades-long sexual harassment of women in the film industry.
Actresses Asia Argento and Lucia Evans went on-the-record in the New Yorker story to accuse Weinstein of raping them, while another woman chose to remain anonymous.
According to the report, 13 women accused Weinstein of sexually harassing or assaulting them. Several of those accusations were previously reported by the New York Times, which published a story last week detailing eight sexual assault claims against Weinstein. All of those accusations resulted in financial settlements.
Among the accusers are some of Hollywood's A-listers, including Angelina Jolie, Gwyneth Paltrow and Rosanna Arquette.
The New Yorker story says 16 current and former employees as the Weinstein Co. and Miramax either witnessed or knew of Weinstein's sexual abuse. According to the report, all of those employees said Weinstein’s sexual deviancy was widely known within the two companies.
Weinstein was fired by the board of the Weinstein Co. on Monday following the explosive Times report.
The 65-year-old Weinstein oversaw production of many popular films over the last 30 years, including "Shakespeare in Love," "Pulp Fiction," "Sex, Lies and Videotape," "The English Patient," "Good Will Hunting" and "Lee Daniels' The Butler." He ran Miramax and later the Weinstein movie companies with his brother Bob Weinstein.
His fall came quickly after Times reported on his unwanted sexual advances on women stretching over nearly three decades. The story said Weinstein, who is known in Hollywood for his demanding control of film productions and angry outbursts, had paid confidential settlements to his female accusers.
In a statement last week, Weinstein said that "the way I've behaved with colleagues in the past has caused a lot of pain, and I sincerely apologize for it." Later, he claimed some of the newspaper's claims were false and said he would sue for defamation.
◆ Immediate Termination
Weinstein took a leave of absence from his company on Friday, but on Sunday the board said that "in light of new information about misconduct by Harvey Weinstein that has emerged in the past few days," it had told him that "his employment is terminated, effective immediately."
Weinstein has been big donor in recent years to Democratic politicians in the U.S., including twice-failed presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. But with the sexual harassment revelations, Democratic political figures scrambled over the weekend to distance themselves from the disgraced filmmaker.
Several Democrat politicians, including Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and Sen. Elizabeth Warren have promised to donate money they received from Weinstein to charities supporting women.
Clinton broke her silence on the matter on Tuesday, saying she was "shocked and appalled by the revelations about Harvey Weinstein." "The behavior described by women coming forward cannot be tolerated," she added in a statement.
President Donald Trump said over the weekend he's "known Harvey Weinstein for a long time" and he is "not at all surprised" by the sexual abuse allegations.
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