News & Opinion | October 5, 2017 3:31 pm

New York Times Details Decades of Sexual Harassment Accusations Against Harvey Weinstein

The movie producer recently hired lawyers push back against the negative stories.

Harvey Weinstein
Harvey Weinstein in Tribeca on March 7, 2017 in New York City. (Alo Ceballos/GC Images)
GC Images

Two decades ago, Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein asked Ashley Judd to a hotel room and then asked if he could give her a massage or she could watch him shower. In 2014, Weinstein invited Emily Nestor, who worked as a temporary employee for a day, to the same hotel and said he would boost her career if she accepted his sexual advances. One year later, at the same hotel yet again, Weinstein forced a female assistant to give him a foot massage while he was naked, according to a memo written by Lauren O’Connor asserting sexual harassment and other misconduct by their boss.

All these stories have just been released in a bombshell article by the New York Times about decades of sexual harassment allegations made against Harvey Weinstein. An investigation by the Times found that allegations against him stretch across three decades, shown through interviews with current and former employees and film industry workers, “as well as legal records, emails and internal documents from the businesses he has run, Miramax and the Weinstein Company.”

Over those years, Weinstein has reached at least eight settlements with women, The Times reports, according to two company officials who spoke on the condition of anonymity. On Thursday afternoon, Weinstein said in a statement to The Times, “I appreciate the way I’ve behaved with colleagues in the past has caused a lot of pain, and I sincerely apologize for it. Though I’m trying to do better, I know I have a long way to go.”

According to The Times, the statement also said that he is working with therapists and plans to take a leave of action to “deal with the issue head on.” Lisa Bloom, one of the lawyers advising Weinstein who has been advising him on gender and power dynamics for a year, said in a statement that “he denies many of the accusations as patently false.”

Weinstein has won six best-picture Oscars and is known for movies like Pulp Fiction and Good Will Hunting, as well as the hit TV show, Project Runway. According to The Times, he presents himself publicly as a “champion of women and a winner of not just artistic but humanitarian awards.”

During the same year O’Connor wrote her searing memo, Weinstein’s company distributed a documentary about campus sexual assault called The Hunting Ground. He employed former president Barack Obama’s daughter, Malia Obama, as an intern this year, and previously hosted a fundraiser for presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.

But dozens of Weinstein’s former and current employees told The Times that they knew of inappropriate conduct while they worked with him, but only a handful ever confronted him. Employees of the Weinstein Company have contracts saying they will not criticize it or its leaders in a way that “could harm its ‘business reputation’ or ‘any employee’s personal reputation,’” a recent document shows, according to The Times.