Gwyneth Paltrow and Angelina Jolie have accused Harvey Weinstein of sexual harassment, The New York Times reports. The allegations from the two Oscar winners come days after Weinstein was fired from his own company following the publication of a comprehensive Times report alleging the film executive had a history of sexual assault that spanned several decades.
Paltrow and Jolie said that Weinstein acted inappropriately towards them in the beginnings of their careers. While Jolie did not go into detail about her encounter with Weinstein she said, “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.”
Paltrow, however, spoke openly about a meeting she had with Weinstein after the producer hired her for what would be her breakout turn in the 1996 adaptation of Jane Austen’s Emma. The actress said she received a fax from her representatives at Creative Artists Agency scheduling a meeting with Weinstein at a hotel. While the meeting began uneventfully, Paltrow said Weinstein eventually touched her, tried to massage her and invited her into the bedroom.
“I was a kid, I was signed up, I was petrified,” Paltrow said, adding that she had viewed the producer as a mentor.
Paltrow said that after the meeting, she told her then-boyfriend, Brad Pitt, about the producer’s behavior. The actor reportedly confronted Weinstein at a theater premiere and told him never to touch Paltrow again (Pitt confirmed the story via a representative). Weinstein, in turn, unloaded on Paltrow. “He screamed at me for a long time,” she recalled. “It was brutal.”
Paltrow said she was afraid she would lose her role in Emma, but was firm with Weinstein that their relationship remain professional. After the success of Emma, Paltrow and Weinstein continued to work together for years, most notably on 1999’s Shakespeare in Love, for which Paltrow won the Oscar for Best Actress. Still, Paltrow said she was “expected to keep the secret” about Weinstein’s behavior.
“He was alternately generous and supportive and championing, and punitive and bullying,” she said, adding: “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.”
The New York Times‘ latest report about Weinstein’s alleged history of abuse also includes detailed accounts from Rosanna Arquette, Judith Godrèche, Katherine Kendall, Dawn Dunning and Tomi-Ann Roberts.