Harvey Weinstein poses on the Red Carpet after arriving at the 89th Academy Awards in Hollywood, California, US, February 26, 2017..
(photo credit: REUTERS/MIKE BLAKE)
The movie production firm started by Harvey Weinstein fired him following sexual harassment allegations by several women, including Hollywood actress Ashley Judd.
The Weinstein Company’s directors announced the co-founder’s dismissal Sunday, citing “new information about misconduct” by Weinstein, who founded the firm in 2005.
Last week, the New York Times
published an article alleging that Weinstein, who is Jewish, had harassed Judd and Rose McGowan, another Hollywood actress, as well as many other female talents and employees over decades
After the report was published, Weinstein, 65, issued a statement in which he said he’ll “take a leave of absence” from his production firm, The Weinstein Company, and “spend more time with a therapist.”
But the Weinstein Company Board of Representatives said in a statement Sunday that Harvey Weinstein’s employment “is terminated, effective immediately.”
Despite admitting to “some responsibility” for behavior that brought on the complaints, Weinsten also said that the Times
’ report is rife with inaccuracies and that he plans to sue the paper for $50 million, the New York Post
According to the Times
’ exposé of Weinstein — who produced many box office hits including Pulp Fiction
; Sex, Lies, and Videotape
; The Crying Game
— he used his position of influence in Hollywood to demand sexual favors from actresses and female assistants over the past three decades.
He has paid off at least eight women to settle complaints about his lewd behavior, according to the Times.
The women, most in their early to mid-20s at the time, said Weinstein would appear nearly or fully naked, make them watch him bathe or give him a massage, and, in at least one instance, press a young employee for sex, The New York Times
Some were paid $80,000 to $150,000 each to make their complaints go away, the Times
said, with Scream
actress McGowan, then 23, getting $100,000 in 1997 over an incident that took place during the Sundance Film Festival.
Judd told the Times
that she was filming 1997’s Kiss the Girls
when Weinstein, who has five kids and has been married to fashion designer Georgina Chapman since 2007, lured her to his hotel room.
Judd said she showed up at the Peninsula Beverly Hills for a planned breakfast meeting but instead got sent up to his suite and subjected to a series of sexual advances.
She said that Weinstein, a co-founder of the successful Miramax production company, offered to give her a massage or a shoulder rub, solicited her advice on what he should wear and even asked whether she wanted to watch him shower.
“I said no, a lot of ways, a lot of times, and he always came back at me with some new ask,” she told the Times
. “It was all this bargaining, this coercive bargaining.”
Judd, who was not among the women the Times
said scored settlements, described feeling “panicky, trapped” and recalled thinking, “How do I get out of the room as fast as possible without alienating Harvey Weinstein?”
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