Harvey Weinstein accused of sexual harassment by Ashley Judd

Harvey Weinstein accused of sexual harassment by Ashley Judd



Movie mogul Harvey Weinstein made unwanted sexual advances on a cast of women including actresses Ashley Judd and Rose McGowan — and he’s admitting he “caused a lot of pain,” according to a bombshell report.


The New York Times reported on Thursday that Weinstein invited Judd to the Peninsula Beverly Hills hotel about 20 years ago for what she thought would be a breakfast meeting about her career.


Instead of meeting the “Kiss the Girls” star in the restaurant, Weinstein, 65, had her sent to his suite, where he greeted her in a bathrobe and asked if he could give her a massage, she told the newspaper.


He then proposed she watch him shower, she told The Times.

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“I said no, a lot of ways, a lot of times, and he always came back at me with some new ask,” Judd recalled. “It was all this bargaining, this coercive bargaining.”


Judd said she ordered the simplest thing on the menu — cereal — so it would arrive quickly and she could make her escape.


“How do I get out of the room as fast as possible without alienating Harvey Weinstein?” Judd said she remembers thinking.


Now an established A-lister and political activist, Judd, 49, said she felt compelled to speak publicly about what she called an open secret in celebrity circles.

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“Women have been talking about Harvey amongst ourselves for a long time, and it’s simply beyond time to have the conversation publicly,” she said.


In a similar but much more recent run-in reported by The Times, Weinstein allegedly invited office temp Emily Nestor to the Peninsula Beverly Hills hotel in 2014 and offered to boost her career if she gave in to his sexual advances.

Harvey Weinstein reached at least eight settlements with various women, The Times reported.

(Bryan Smith)


Weinstein has reached at least eight settlements with various women, The Times reported.


In a surprising turn, Weinstein admitted Thursday he has acted inappropriately.

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“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,” Weinstein said in a statement to The Times.


The married father of five said he identified with accused adulterer Jay Z and quoted a supposed lyric the Brooklyn rapper saying, “I’m not the man I thought I was and I better be that man for my children.”


There’s no actual Jay Z lyric using those words, but Weinstein went on.


“The same is true for me,” he said. “This is a wake-up call. I cannot be more remorseful about the people I hurt and I plan to do right by all of them.”

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The producer of indie mega-hits “Pulp Fiction” and “Shakespeare in Love” said he was working with therapists and planned to take a break from work to “deal with this issue head on.”


The extensive Times investigation found that Weinstein’s history of doling out hush money included settlements with a young assistant in New York in 1990, an actress in 1997, an assistant in London in 1998, an Italian model in 2015 and Lauren O’Connor, a former production executive at The Weinstein Company.


O’Connor reportedly wrote a searing 2015 memo that claimed Weinstein left a female assistant “crying and very distraught” after he allegedly badgered her into massaging his naked body inside the Peninsula that year.


It was also in 2015 that Italian model Ambra Battilana claimed Weinstein sexually assaulted her at his Tribeca office.

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Not Released (NR)

Weinstein, 65, greeted Ashley Judd (pictured) in a bathrobe and asked if he could give her a massage, she said.

(Jemal Countess/Getty Images)


Battilana told police Weinstein asked if her breasts were real, touched them without permission and ran his hand up her skirt. She claimed he finally backed off after she rejected his request for a kiss.


Cops later had Battilana call Weinstein as they listened in, and a source told the Daily News the movie mogul never denied touching her.


Prosecutors ultimately declined to prosecute citing a lack of evidence.


Battilana’s lawyer did not immediately respond to request for comment Thursday.

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The Times said most of the women who reached settlements with Weinstein collected between roughly $80,000 and $150,000.


Weinstein paid McGowan $100,000 in 1997 after an incident in a hotel room during the Sundance Film Festival, the paper said.


The payment “was not to be construed as an admission,” according to legal paperwork reviewed by The Times.


McGowan declined to speak with the Times, but the “Charmed” actress claimed in a series of Twitter posts last year that she had been raped by an unidentified studio boss.

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Using the popular hashtag #WhyWomenDontReport, McGowan said she didn’t report the assault because she was concerned about her career. She was told no one would take her word over that of a successful movie industry titan.


“A (female) criminal attorney said because I’d done a sex scene in a film I would never win against a studio head,” she tweeted on October 13, 2016.


“Because my ex sold our movie to my rapist for distribution,” she continued, again using the #WhyWomenDontReport hashtag.


The wide-ranging Times story was published after news of its existence leaked Wednesday and reports surfaced that Weinstein had hired a small army of lawyers including Lisa Bloom and Charles Harder.

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Bloom specializes in celebrity sexual harassment cases, and Harder represented Hulk Hogan in his lawsuit against Gawker.


Speaking to The Times, Bloom said Weinstein “denies many of the allegations as patently false.”


She called the Hollywood heavyweight “an old dinosaur learning new ways” and said she has counseled him that “due to the power difference between a major studio head like him and most others in the industry, whatever his motives, some of his words and behaviors can be perceived as inappropriate, even intimidating.”

Tags:
harvey weinstein
ashley judd
sexual harassment

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