Gwyneth Paltrow, Angelina Jolie Claim Harvey Weinstein Harassed Them

Gwyneth Paltrow and Angelina Jolie - Split - Getty - H 2017
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Paltrow details an encounter that she had with Weinstein in a Beverly Hills hotel room, which she later confided in then-boyfriend Brad Pitt, who confronted the mogul on her behalf.

Gwyneth Paltrow and Angelina Jolie are now going on the record to allege that Harvey Weinstein sexually harassed them.

The New York Times, which published a bombshell Oct. 5 report detailing decades of sexual harassment allegations leveled at the mogul, spoke to both of the actresses — as well as Rosanna Arquette, Judith Godrèche, Tomi-Ann Roberts, Katherine Kendall and Dawn Dunning — for a Tuesday story.

Paltrow recalled what has now become a horrifyingly familiar story, told by many of his accusers in both the Times and, as of this morning, The New Yorker: An actress — in this case, a 22-year-old Paltrow — is invited to meet Weinstein at his hotel suite where he propositions them, requests a massage or something more. For Paltrow, she had just been cast in an adaptation of Emma, playing the title role. (The film, directed by Douglas McGrath, was released in 1996.) She agreed to meet Weinstein at the Peninsula Beverly Hills, which has been frequently mentioned as one of his regular haunts in the city.

Though the meeting seemed like typical business at first, Paltrow told the Times' Jodi Kantor and Rachel Abrams that the mogul eventually suggested they go to the bedroom for massages. “I was a kid, I was signed up, I was petrified,” she said.

Paltrow declined and told her then-boyfriend Brad Pitt of the encounter. Pitt later confronted Weinstein, the paper reports. Weinstein then threatened Paltrow, which led her to think she was going to lose her big break. “I thought he was going to fire me,” she said. Through his rep, Pitt confirmed the details to the Times, the paper reported.

Paltrow and Weinstein would continue working together, and two years after Emma, Paltrow won a best actress Oscar for her work in John Madden's Shakespeare in Love, leading many to believe that she was living a Cinderella life in Hollywood, with much of the credit for her rise directed at Weinstein. However, Paltrow's account shows that behind the scenes, her relationship with Weinstein was anything but a dream.

After Pitt confronted Weinstein, Paltrow, who added that at the time she also told friends, family and her agent, said that the producer confronted her. “He screamed at me for a long time,” she said. “It was brutal."

She also offered insight on what Weinstein was like, traits which are often associated with abusers. "He was alternately generous and supportive and championing, and punitive and bullying," she said. 

Jolie went on the record with the Times via email, revealing that she, too, had an encounter with Weinstein in a hotel room around the time of the release of her film Playing by Heart in the late 1990s. “I had a bad experience with Harvey Weinstein in my youth, and as a result, chose never to work with him again and warn others when they did. This behavior towards women in any field, any country, is unacceptable," Jolie said.

Paltrow and Jolie are just two of seven additional on-the-record accounts delivered to the Times, which was the first outlet to publish a damning exposé on Weinstein's decades-long pattern of harassment and sexual misconduct. It was followed this morning by The New Yorker's bombshell report by Ronan Farrow that contained far more serious allegations that Weinstein had raped several women, including actress Asia Argento, who participated in the story.

The Times reports that after the newspaper's initial story last Thursday, "additional actress began sharing with the Times on-the-record stories of casting-couch abuses. Their accounts hint at the sweep of Mr. Weinstein's alleged harassment, targeting women on the way to stardom, those who had barely acted and others in between."

Weinstein, working with new spokesperson Sallie Hofmeister, denied the new round of claims. "Any allegations of non-consensual sex are unequivocally denied by Mr. Weinstein. Mr. Weinstein has further confirmed that there were never any acts of retaliation against any women for refusing his advances. He will not be available for further comments, as he is taking the time to focus on his family, on getting counseling and rebuilding his life."

But there will be many more questions to answer while Weinstein takes his alleged break. 

Implicated in Weinstein's troubling behavior, according to the Times' latest report, are many of his employees, though none are named. "He had an elaborate system reliant on the cooperation of others: Assistants often booked the meetings, arranged the hotel rooms and sometimes even delivered the talent, then disappeared, the actresses and employees recounted. They described how some of Mr. Weinstein’s executives and assistants then found them agents and jobs or hushed actresses who were upset," reports the Times.

The article also includes personal accounts from the aforementioned actresses of their encounters with Weinstein.

Roberts said she met Weinstein in 1984 when she was a 20-year-old college student. After he offered her an audition for a movie that he and his brother, Bob Weinstein, were going to direct, she met up with him at an undisclosed location where he was naked in the bathtub. He suggested she get naked too, but she refused.

Arquette's experience came in the 1990s at the Beverly Hills Hotel. She, too, found Weinstein wearing only a bathrobe. He asked for a massage and, she claims, pushed her hand toward his crotch. When she pulled back, he allegedly said to her, “Rosanna, you’re making a big mistake,” she told the paper.

Kendall met Weinstein when she was 23 years old at a meeting set up through her agency. She says that he invited her to a daytime screening, but she showed up to discover that it was just the two of them. After the film, he proposed they go to his apartment. “He’s keeping it professional, he makes me a drink, we talk about movies and art and books for about an hour,” she told the Times, adding that he then asked for a massage after changing into a robe.

He bragged that "everybody does it," she claims, and even mentioned the name of a famous model. “He literally chased me,” she said. “He wouldn’t let me pass him to get to the door.”

Godrèche encountered Weinstein during the 1996 Cannes Film Festival when she was 24. Her film, Ridicule, was the opening night film, and Weinstein's old company, Miramax, had acquired it for distribution. After breakfast at the Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc, Weinstein invited Godrèche to his suite. “The next thing I know, he’s pressing against me and pulling off my sweater,” she claims. Particularly troubling is that Godrèche called a female Miramax staffer who advised that she not say anything. “They put my face on the poster,” she said.

Lastly, Dunning says she met Weinstein in 2003 when she was 24 years old and working at a nightclub. He offered her a screen test at Miramax, she says, and later invited her to dine with him. One of those meetings took place at a New York hotel, where she was met by a bathrobe-clad Weinstein.

He claimed, she says, that the papers strewn about were contracts for upcoming films and if she were to sign them, she would have to agree to a three-way. She laughed and he got mad, she claims.

As the stories continue to come out, giving voice to many of his accusers, Paltrow said she hopes this is a tipping point, adding that she tells her story to support those who had already come forward. "We’re at a point in time when women need to send a clear message that this is over. This way of treating women ends now," she said.