Tsunami of sleaze

French actress Judith Godreche says he asked for a massage and pulled off her sweater. Angelina Jolie "had a bad experience" with Mr Harvey Weinstein. Gwyneth Paltrow said he asked her for a massage in his hotel suite. Ashley Judd said he asked her f
Police in London and New York have launched investigations into sexual allegations against producer Harvey Weinstein, while the Weinstein movie studio could face a sale or shutdown, reported The Wall Street Journal. PHOTO: REUTERS
Actress Asia Argento said Mr Weinstein forced himself on her.
Actress Asia Argento said Mr Weinstein forced himself on her.PHOTO: REUTERS
Actress Rose McGowan claimed that Mr Weinstein raped her.
Actress Rose McGowan claimed that Mr Weinstein raped her. PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE
French actress Judith Godreche says he asked for a massage and pulled off her sweater. Angelina Jolie "had a bad experience" with Mr Harvey Weinstein. Gwyneth Paltrow said he asked her for a massage in his hotel suite. Ashley Judd said he asked her f
Angelina Jolie ''had a bad experience'' with Mr Harvey Weinstein.
French actress Judith Godreche says he asked for a massage and pulled off her sweater. Angelina Jolie "had a bad experience" with Mr Harvey Weinstein. Gwyneth Paltrow said he asked her for a massage in his hotel suite. Ashley Judd said he asked her f
Gwyneth Paltrow said he asked her for a massage in his hotel suite.
French actress Judith Godreche says he asked for a massage and pulled off her sweater. Angelina Jolie "had a bad experience" with Mr Harvey Weinstein. Gwyneth Paltrow said he asked her for a massage in his hotel suite. Ashley Judd said he asked her f
Ashley Judd said he asked her for a massage and to watch him shower.
French actress Judith Godreche says he asked for a massage and pulled off her sweater. Angelina Jolie "had a bad experience" with Mr Harvey Weinstein. Gwyneth Paltrow said he asked her for a massage in his hotel suite. Ashley Judd said he asked her f
French actress Lea Seydoux said he jumped on her and tried to kiss her.
French actress Judith Godreche says he asked for a massage and pulled off her sweater. Angelina Jolie "had a bad experience" with Mr Harvey Weinstein. Gwyneth Paltrow said he asked her for a massage in his hotel suite. Ashley Judd said he asked her f
Mira Sorvino said she received unwanted sexual attention while promoting a film.
French actress Judith Godreche says he asked for a massage and pulled off her sweater. Angelina Jolie "had a bad experience" with Mr Harvey Weinstein. Gwyneth Paltrow said he asked her for a massage in his hotel suite. Ashley Judd said he asked her f
Rosanna Arquette said he made things difficult for her after she rejected him.
French actress Judith Godreche says he asked for a massage and pulled off her sweater. Angelina Jolie "had a bad experience" with Mr Harvey Weinstein. Gwyneth Paltrow said he asked her for a massage in his hotel suite. Ashley Judd said he asked her f
US actress Louisette Geiss said he tried to force her to watch him masturbate.
French actress Judith Godreche says he asked for a massage and pulled off her sweater. Angelina Jolie "had a bad experience" with Mr Harvey Weinstein. Gwyneth Paltrow said he asked her for a massage in his hotel suite. Ashley Judd said he asked her f
British actress Kate Beckinsale said he sexually harassed her when she was 17.
French actress Judith Godreche says he asked for a massage and pulled off her sweater. Angelina Jolie "had a bad experience" with Mr Harvey Weinstein. Gwyneth Paltrow said he asked her for a massage in his hotel suite. Ashley Judd said he asked her f
TV reporter Lauren Sivan said he once masturbated in front of her.
French actress Judith Godreche says he asked for a massage and pulled off her sweater. Angelina Jolie "had a bad experience" with Mr Harvey Weinstein. Gwyneth Paltrow said he asked her for a massage in his hotel suite. Ashley Judd said he asked her f
US actress Jessica Barth said he asked her to massage him while he was naked.
French actress Judith Godreche says he asked for a massage and pulled off her sweater. Angelina Jolie "had a bad experience" with Mr Harvey Weinstein. Gwyneth Paltrow said he asked her for a massage in his hotel suite. Ashley Judd said he asked her f
Model-actress Cara Delevingne said Mr Weinstein tried to kiss her in his hotel room.
French actress Judith Godreche says he asked for a massage and pulled off her sweater. Angelina Jolie "had a bad experience" with Mr Harvey Weinstein. Gwyneth Paltrow said he asked her for a massage in his hotel suite. Ashley Judd said he asked her f
French actress Emma De Caunes said he appeared naked before her and made advances.
French actress Judith Godreche says he asked for a massage and pulled off her sweater. Angelina Jolie "had a bad experience" with Mr Harvey Weinstein. Gwyneth Paltrow said he asked her for a massage in his hotel suite. Ashley Judd said he asked her f
French actress Judith Godreche says he asked for a massage and pulled off her sweater.

Harvey Weinstein sex scandal could change face of world's biggest entertainment industry

LOS ANGELES • In the last week, Hollywood has been rocked by a scandal so explosive it could change the face of the world's biggest entertainment industry.

For decades, the powerful Harvey Weinstein, 65, a movie producer who brought a string of award-winning hits, such as Shakespeare In Love, The Crying Game, Pulp Fiction and Gangs Of New York, to the big screen, put the casting couch cliche into reality.

He would ask actresses to go to his hotel room under the pretence of holding an audition. He would greet them in his bathrobe, then make sexual advances, such as asking them for a massage or to watch him take a shower, or worse, force himself on them.

His predatorial behaviour had been an open secret for years in show business, but his female victims - among them Angelina Jolie, Gwyneth Paltrow and Ashley Judd - kept quiet out of fear.

As actress Asia Argento, who was sexually assaulted by Mr Weinstein, told The New Yorker: "I know he has crushed a lot of people before. That's why this story - in my case, it's 20 years old, some of them are older - has never come out."

But a week ago, all the skeletons came tumbling out of Mr Weinstein's costly closet.

  • HOW SCANDAL UNFOLDED OVER A WEEK

  • Oct 5

    The New York Times runs an investigative piece exposing decades of sexual harassment by movie mogul Harvey Weinstein, who was said to have made actresses trade sexual favours for career advancement.

    Mr Weinstein apologises for having caused "a lot of pain", but says he "came of age in the '60s and '70s, when all the rules about behaviour and workplaces were different", and "that was the culture then".

    His lawyer also says he is suing The New York Times.

    Oct 6

    The Weinstein Company launches an inquiry, saying it takes the allegations "extremely seriously".

    Oct 7

    Mr Weinstein's lawyer resigns, saying Mr Weinstein and his board are "moving towards an agreement".

    Oct 8

    Mr Weinstein gets the sack from the company he co-founded after his board of directors receive new information about him.

    Oct 9

    British actress Romola Garai tells The Guardian that she felt "violated" when Mr Weinstein auditioned the then 18-year-old wearing a bathrobe in his hotel room. Actresses Meryl Streep and Judi Dench condemn the producer.

    Oct 10

    Another 13 women step forward with allegations, including rape, in a story published in The New Yorker magazine. Gwyneth Paltrow and Angelina Jolie also speak up about being harassed.

    Mr Weinstein's wife, Ms Georgina Chapman, announces she is leaving him.

    Oct 11

    British Academy of Film and Television Arts suspends Mr Weinstein's membership with immediate effect. Model-actress Cara Delevingne says Mr Weinstein made advances towards her.

    Oct 12

    London and New York police say they are investigating complaints against Mr Weinstein. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, which hands out the Oscars, says it will meet on Saturday to discuss whether to take action against Mr Weinstein. Actress Rose McGowan claims on Twitter she was raped by Mr Weinstein, an allegation he denies.

First were revelations that, for three decades, he was forcing employees and actresses to trade sexual favours for career advancement.

A New York Times investigation also exposed at least eight settlements reached between him and women from as early as 1990 to as recent as 2015.

One of the women who settled with Mr Weinstein was Italian model Ambra Battilana Gutierrez, who in 2015 was invited by him to his office for a meeting. While there, Mr Weinstein was said to have touched her breasts and tried to put his hand up her skirt.

The police set up a sting after Ms Gutierrez reported Mr Weinstein, involving a 22-year-old operative who secretly recorded Mr Weinstein confessing to groping Ms Gutierrez.

That could have put paid to the movie mogul's sex-filled spree, except the authorities never pressed charges. It was reported that Mr Weinstein reached a settlement with Ms Gutierrez in exchange for a non-disclosure deal.

Since the New York Times expose, one after another, the women - more than 30 now - stepped forward with more and more tales of coercion, blackmail and even rape.

The New Yorker followed up with another expose, after speaking to 13 women who said Mr Weinstein sexually harassed or assaulted them. Among the things he did: forcing himself on them, exposing himself or masturbating in front of them.

While the condemnations have come fast and furious along with the accusations, insiders say Mr Weinstein's behaviour is hardly unique in Hollywood.

His own company, The Weinstein Company, had apparently known about his settlements and said nothing. It fired Mr Weinstein last week only after the sex scandal blew up.

Actress Rose McGowan, who said she was raped by Mr Weinstein, claimed she had complained to Amazon Studios chief Roy Price but was ignored. Mr Price last week was put on immediate leave of absence after he himself was accused of sexually harassing a producer.

"I think there are probably about a million missed opportunities to call this man out on his disgusting behaviour," actress Emma Thompson said of Mr Weinstein last week to BBC.

"I don't think you can describe him as a sex addict, he's a predator. That's different. He's at the top of, as it were, the ladder of a system of harassment and belittlement and bullying and interference. This has been part of our world, women's world, since time immemorial."

In an interview with CNN's Christiane Amanpour, actress Jane Fonda revealed she was told a year ago by actress Rosanna Arquette that Mr Weinstein had made sexual advances towards her.

"I'm ashamed that I didn't say anything right then," said the 79-year-old. "I didn't feel it was my place."

But the fallout has been swift, even as the saga continues to unravel.

After getting the sack from his company, Mr Weinstein's wife, fashion designer Georgina Chapman, announced she was leaving him, taking their two children with her.

Police in London and New York have also launched investigations into sexual allegations against Mr Weinstein, while the Weinstein movie studio could face a sale or shutdown, reported The Wall Street Journal.

  • Big names condemn Weinstein

  • Actress Meryl Streep

    "The behaviour is inexcusable, but the abuse of power familiar. "

    Former US presidential candidate Hillary Clinton

    "It was just disgusting and the stories that have come out are heartbreaking. And I really commend the women who have been willing to step forward now and tell their stories."

    Actor Leonardo DiCaprio

    "There is no excuse for sexual harassment or sexual assault - no matter who you are and no matter what profession."

    Actor Colin Firth

    "It's with a feeling of nausea that I read what was going on while I was benefiting from Harvey Weinstein's support."

    US President Donald Trump

    "I've known Harvey Weinstein for a very long time, I'm not at all surprised to see it."

    Actress Emma Thompson

    "I don't think you can describe him as a sex addict, he's a predator. That's different.

    "He's at the top of, as it were, the ladder of a system of harassment and belittlement and bullying and interference. This has been part of our world, women's world, since time immemorial."

    Actress Jane Fonda

    "Let's not think this is some unique, horrific (incident). This goes on all the time. It's this male entitlement - in Hollywood, and everywhere."

This morning (Singapore time), the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is convening an emergency meeting to discuss if it should kick Mr Weinstein out of the organisation.

The man himself, seen in public for the first time last Wednesday, since the scandal broke, as he left his daughter's home in Los Angeles, appeared remorseful as he asked for a "second chance".

"I got to get help. You know what, we all make mistakes."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on October 15, 2017, with the headline 'Tsunami of sleaze'. Print Edition | Subscribe