Effects of sexual assault claims against Weinstein continue
Weinstein, who co-produced Oscar-winning films like the king’s speech and the artist, has been accused by multiple women of harassment and rape.
NEW YORK – The repercussions of sexual assault allegations against Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein continue to ripple through the entertainment industry.
Weinstein, who co-produced Oscar-winning films like The King’s Speech and The Artist, has been accused by multiple women of harassment and rape.
As authorities in London and in New York City continue to investigate various allegations against Harvey Weinstein, women in Hollywood say they hope their longtime calls for change may finally be coming to something.
Following on from Weinstein's expulsion from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, he was also booted out the Producers Guild of America.
“Sexual harassment of any type is completely unacceptable,” it said in a statement. “This is a systemic and pervasive problem requiring immediate industrywide action.”
The film production company co-founded by Weinstein, which he was fired from, is in talks over a possible sale.
The Weinstein Company said it had entered a preliminary deal with US private equity firm Colony Capital.
LEGAL TEAM WOES
Meanwhile, attorney Charles Harder has withdrawn from the legal team Weinstein after previously threatening to sue The New York Times over its reports that the movie producer had been the target of sexual harassment complaints, said a source familiar with the matter on Sunday.
The New York Times reported on 5 October that Weinstein, 65, had reached eight previously undisclosed settlements with women who accused him of sexual harassment and unwanted physical contact. The New Yorker magazine then reported on 10 October that 13 women claimed Weinstein sexually harassed or assaulted them.
Reuters has been unable to independently confirm any of the allegations. Weinstein has denied having non-consensual sex with anyone.
When The New York Times report that included claims spanning over 30 years was published, Weinstein released an initial statement to the paper obtained by Reuters apologising for his behaviour. Harder subsequently put out a statement saying the newspaper’s story was defamatory because it relied on “mostly hearsay accounts and a faulty report.”
The source confirmed Harder had withdrawn from representing Weinstein on Tuesday but did not give further details.
A representative for Weinstein, Sallie Hofmeister, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, which runs the Oscars, expelled Weinstein on Saturday in a sharp rebuke for the Hollywood mogul known for powering a string of films to Oscar gold.
The academy said in a statement that its 54-member board of governors “voted well in excess of the required two-thirds majority to immediately expel him from the Academy.”
The New York Police Department also said this week it was investigating an allegation of sexual assault from 2004 against Weinstein.
His accusers include the actress Gwyneth Paltrow, who told The New York Times that she was sexually harassed by Weinstein more than 20 years ago, and actress and director Angelina Jolie, who told the publication that she “had a bad experience with Harvey Weinstein in my youth and as a result chose never to work with him again.”
Additional reporting by Reuters
(Edited by Leeto M Khoza)