Less than a week after the New York Times published a bombshell report alleging that Hollywood mega mogul Harvey Weinstein has sexually harassed employees and aspiring actresses in a pattern that goes back decades, the New Yorker has published an even more damning report of its own.
It’s not an unexpected development. Shortly before Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey published their story in the New York Times on October 5, the Hollywood Reporter wrote that Weinstein was facing the possibility of damaging exposés from two different publications and had retained legal counsel in preparation. The Times had been calling around, THR reported — and so had journalist Ronan Farrow, the son of Mia Farrow and Woody Allen, on behalf of the New Yorker.
In 2016, Farrow famously accused Allen of sexually abusing his little sister Dylan Farrow. Now he’s turning his sights on another powerful man in the entertainment industry around whom disquieting rumors have long circulated. Farrow’s article on Harvey Weinstein is long, in-depth, and extremely graphic, with explicit details of multiple alleged rapes at the top of the story. It also includes an audio recording of Weinstein meeting with Ambra Battilana Gutierrez, the Italian actress who reported him for sexual assault in 2015, as she asks him why he groped her. He does not deny it.
A spokesperson for Weinstein told the New Yorker that he believes all the relationships depicted on the record in the story “were consensual.”
Please be advised as we list the biggest takeaways from the New Yorker piece that the details are explicit, and disturbing.
On Weinstein’s alleged patterns, the New Yorker report lines up with the New York Times’s
Farrow’s report, like the New York Times one before it, sketches out an overall culture in Hollywood of intimidation and willingness to overlook Weinstein’s behavior, which enabled it to continue for decades. Over 10 months, Farrow writes, he spoke to 16 former and current executives and assistants at Weinstein’s companies, who acknowledged that they had “witnessed or had knowledge of unwanted sexual advances and touching at events associated with Weinstein’s films and in the workplace.”
Weinstein’s pattern also corresponds with that reported by the Times: Weinstein would allegedly find a young actress or assistant who would be in his debt if he used his considerable influence to help her career, lure her to a hotel room for a “meeting,” and expose himself in the hopes of engaging in sexual acts — and would sometimes coerce those sexual acts. The accounts Farrow collected also emphasize that Weinstein would use the promise of female executives being present for these so-called meetings, only to dismiss the executive at the last minute, leaving him alone with the young woman he had invited.
But where the Times article mostly focused on allegations of Weinstein requesting naked massages and exposing himself, Farrow’s uses on-the-record accounts from several actresses detailing everything from flashing to rape.
This new report includes on-the-record accounts from Rosanna Arquette, Mira Sorvino, Asia Argento, and more
Here are the women who went on the record to speak up about their experiences with Weinstein (and bear in mind that there are still more who spoke to Farrow anonymously in light of Weinstein’s formidable legal team):
Rosanna Arquette (early 1990s)
Arquette recalled that, when she arrived at the room, Weinstein opened the door wearing a white bathrobe. Weinstein said that his neck was sore and that he needed a massage. She told him that she could recommend a good masseuse. “Then he grabbed my hand,” she said. He put it on his neck. When she yanked her hand away, she told me, Weinstein grabbed it again and pulled it toward his penis, which was visible and erect. “My heart was really racing. I was in a fight-or-flight moment,” she said. She told Weinstein, “I will never do that.”
Mira Sorvino (1995)
Sorvino alleges that Weinstein harassed her while they were promoting Mighty Aphrodite, a film that would eventually win her an Oscar. Aware that this was her big break, Sorvino told Farrow she was afraid to speak up after Weinstein tried to massage her and come by her apartment in the middle of the night.
“I have great respect for Harvey as an artist, and owe him and his brother a debt of gratitude for the early success in my career, including the Oscar,” Sorvino said. But she was, and remains, horrified by how unsafe she felt around him. When she did reveal the harassment to a female employee at Miramax, Sorvino added, the employee reacted with “shock and horror that I had mentioned it.”
Asia Argento (1997-1999)
The Italian actress was 21 when she met Weinstein, as Miramax was distributing her thriller B. Monkey. What happened after they met would follow her for years, as she entered into what she told Farrow became a “consensual” relationship only insomuch that she knew it would be worse if she refused.
Here are the details of the first alleged assault, as told to Farrow:
At first, Weinstein was solicitous, praising her work. Then he left the room. When he returned, he was wearing a bathrobe and holding a bottle of lotion. “He asks me to give a massage. I was, like, ‘Look man, I am no fucking fool,’” Argento said. “But, looking back, I am a fucking fool. And I am still trying to come to grips with what happened.”
Argento said that, after she reluctantly agreed to give Weinstein a massage, he pulled her skirt up, forced her legs apart, and performed oral sex on her as she repeatedly told him to stop. Weinstein “terrified me, and he was so big,” she said. “It wouldn’t stop. It was a nightmare.”
At some point, Argento said, she stopped saying no and feigned enjoyment, because she thought it was the only way the assault would end.
In 2000, Argento wrote and directed a movie called Scarlet Diva, which included a scene in which a “heavyset producer” lures a woman (played by Argento) to a hotel room, asks for a massage, and assaults her. Argento says she heard from many women after the movie’s release, all asking if she was depicting Weinstein. When Weinstein saw the movie, she says, he thought it was funny but was “sorry for whatever happened.”
Lucia Evans (2004)
Evans told Farrow that after meeting Weinstein in New York the summer before her senior year of college, the producer set up a “meeting” with her and — much to her initial relief — a female executive. But the meeting turned out to be with Weinstein alone, who told her she could be good on Project Runway if only she would lose some weight.
“At that point, after that, is when he assaulted me,” Evans told Farrow. “He forced me to perform oral sex on him.”
Her account continues:
As she objected, Weinstein took his penis out of his pants and pulled her head down onto it. “I said, over and over, ‘I don’t want to do this, stop, don’t,’ ” she said. “I tried to get away, but maybe I didn’t try hard enough. I didn’t want to kick him or fight him.” In the end, she said, “He’s a big guy. He overpowered me.” At a certain point, she said, “I just sort of gave up. That’s the most horrible part of it, and that’s why he’s been able to do this for so long to so many women: people give up, and then they feel like it’s their fault.”
Emma de Caunes (2010)
The French actress met Weinstein at the Cannes Film Festival, where, she says, he told her she’d be perfect for an adaptation of a book that he had in his hotel room:
As they got to his room, she received a telephone call from one of her colleagues, and Weinstein disappeared into a bathroom, leaving the door open. She assumed that he was washing his hands.
“When I hung up the phone, I heard the shower go on in the bathroom,” she said. “I was, like, What the fuck, is he taking a shower?” Weinstein came out, naked and with an erection. “What are you doing?” she asked. Weinstein demanded that she lie on the bed and told her that many other women had done so before her.
De Caunes says she was “very petrified” as she left, and that Weinstein hounded her afterward with gifts to insist that “nothing” had happened.
Jessica Barth (2011)
The Ted actress met Weinstein at a Golden Globes party, and found that the subsequent “business meeting” he set up was him in his hotel room, “alternat[ing] between offering to cast her in a film and demanding a naked massage in bed”:
When she moved toward the door to leave, Weinstein lashed out, saying that she needed to lose weight “to compete with Mila Kunis,” and then, apparently in an effort to mollify her, promising a meeting with one of his female executives. “He gave me her number, and I walked out and I started bawling.”
Emily Nestor (2014)
Nestor is the Weinstein Company assistant at the center of the memo cited heavily by the New York Times, whose experience with Weinstein left her embarrassed and deeply shaken. Nestor says she was warned from the outset that she was Weinstein’s “type,” which seemed to be confirmed as Weinstein asked her to drinks, then offered to relocate her to the London office so she could be “his girlfriend.” When she finally agreed to get coffee, Nestor says, she had “the most excruciating and uncomfortable hour of my life”:
In a tone that Nestor described as “very weirdly proud,” Weinstein added “that he’d never had to do anything like Bill Cosby.” She assumed that he meant he’d never drugged a woman. “It’s just a bizarre thing to be so proud of,” she said. “That you’ve never had to resort to doing that. It was just so far removed from reality and normal rules of consent.”
Ambra Battilana Gutierrez (2015)
Gutierrez provides the most public example of Weinstein’s alleged harassment and abuse, having filed sexual assault charges in 2015 after she said Weinstein grabbed her breasts in another one of his private “meetings.” The charges since fell apart, with the Manhattan district attorney’s office alleging “a criminal charge is not supported.” (Following the New York Times’ story, the International Business Times reported that Weinstein attorney David Boies made one in a series of large donations to Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance’s campaign after the Gutierrez case was dropped.)
But when Gutierrez first reported it, she and the police apparently decided to try to catch Weinstein confessing to the crime on tape the next day — a tape Farrow has, and has included an excerpt in the article:
On the recording, which I have heard in full, Weinstein lists actresses whose careers he has helped and offers Gutierrez the services of a dialect coach. Then he presses her to join him in his hotel room while he showers. Gutierrez says no repeatedly; Weinstein persists, and after a while she accedes to his demand to go upstairs. But, standing in the hallway outside his room, she refuses to go farther. In an increasingly tense exchange, he presses her to enter. Gutierrez says, “I don’t want to,” “I want to leave,” and “I want to go downstairs.” She asks him directly why he groped her breasts the day before.
“Oh, please, I’m sorry, just come on in,” Weinstein says. “I’m used to that. Come on. Please.”
“You’re used to that?” Gutierrez asks, sounding incredulous.
“Yes,” Weinstein says. He later adds, “I won’t do it again.”
“I have to say, the behavior did stop for a little bit after the groping thing,” a female Weinstein Company employee told Farrow. “But he couldn’t help himself. A few months later, he was back at it.”
You can read the full article at the New Yorker.