Hollywood producer, Harvey Weinstein, was fired Sunday from his own production company after sexual assault complaints from the last three decades were brought to light.
Last week, News Reporter Lauren Sivan, reported an incident of sexual assault by Weinstein that occurred in 2007. Sivan was one of a group of friends who were invited to join Weinstein in Manhattan at an upscale restaurant, Cipriani and later to Socialista, a Cuban Club. Weinstein was an investor in the club and took Sivan on a tour of the restaurant, separating her from the group. He eventually cornered her and attempted to kiss her. Silvan rejected Weinstein, telling him she had a boyfriend. He quickly responded saying, “Well, can you just stand there and shut up?” He then exposed himself, masturbated and ejaculated into a potted plant, leaving Sivan shocked at a loss for words, according to the New York Daily News.
An article in Variety Magazine said Sivan was surprised by ‘the casualness’ of his actions. She told Variety, “There’s that feeling of shame. Perhaps I did something to give him the wrong impression.” Weinstein even called her the next day asking to see her again.
A recent New York Times investigation found previous undisclosed allegations by former employees, assistants, models, actresses against Weinstein dating back thirty years ago. The accusations were from the time period when he ran Miramax and the Weinstein Company, both production companies known for producing major Hollywood films.
Weinstein is an Oscar winning producer, most known for his films, “Pulp Fiction”, “Good Will Hunting”, and the television show, “Project Runway”.
The investigation uncovered Weinstein reached at least eight settlements with women throughout the years. The accusations were all similar in nature. Weinstein would invite an actress, model or employee to meet him at his hotel for a breakfast meeting while he was in town. Instead, he would have her sent up to his hotel room where he would appear in a robe, ask for massages and/or ask the women to watch him while he showered. He would promise to take their careers to high levels.
Many women told the New York Times they did not report the behavior previously because they feared retaliation, there were no witnesses and they felt embarrassed. However, some confided in co-workers. Mark Gill, former president of Miramax, remembers multiple times when female employees would be invited by Weinstein for a one-on-one meeting and she would bring another colleague, as to not be alone with him.
Weinstein gave a statement to The New York Times last Thursday stating, “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.”
It was his statement that made Sivan come forward with her story. She told Variety it was, “disgusting and kind of pathetic,” and that it showed “no remorse.”
The Weinstein Company decided to fire Harvey Weinstein after one-third of the company’s all-male board resigned on Friday.
It is very brave of all these victims to come forth against their abuser.
For more on the investigation:
*Photo Credit: New York Times