The news broke Thursday afternoon that disgraced movie mogul Harvey Weinstein is expected to turn himself in to the NYPD related to sexual misconduct charges, according to CNN. The former Hollywood producer has had dozens of women accuse him of misconduct and is under investigation for alleged sex crimes in New York, Los Angeles and London.
Weinstein, who has been accused of sexual assault, sexual harassment and rape by more than 50 women including A-list actresses such as Gwyneth Paltrow, Ashley Judd and Angelina Jolie, is being formally charged for a case involving a woman named Lucia Evans. Evans, a former college student and aspiring actress, says she was forced to perform oral sex on Weinstein in 2004 despite repeatedly telling him “no,” according to the New Yorker.
The accusations, which many in the entertainment industry say have been common knowledge for several decades, were uncovered by by Megan Twohey and Jodi Kantor at the Times and Ronan Farrow at The New Yorker.
Here’s what you need to know about the accusations against Weinstein:
1. Women Have Been Accusing Weinstein of Sexual Misconduct for Decades, but the #MeToo Movement was the Catalyst that Caused the “Weinstein Effect”
It was no secret that Weinstein was considered a deviant for years, as young Hollywood actresses and other women in the industry had been accusing him of sexual misconduct for decades. A-list celebrities such as Gwyneth Paltrow, Ashley Judd and Angelina Jolie had all had run-in’s with the movie mogul years ago. You can read their stories below.
It took the #MeToo movement, a hashtag used on social media, to help demonstrate the widespread prevalence of sexual assault and harassment towards women around the world. The hashtag went viral shortly after the allegations against Weinstein were made public.
The phrase was first coined by Tarana Burke, but was popularized by Alyssa Milano when she encouraged women to tweet the message to “give people a sense of the magnitude of the problem.”
Since then, the phrase has been re-posted on social media millions of times, often with an accompanying personal story of sexual assault or harassment. Celebrities like Jennifer Lawrence and Uma Thurman picked up the hashtag, sharing their own stories on social media in the hopes of empowering women to speak up and stand against sexual violence.
The allegations catalyzed the movement and have been drawing attention to sexual misconduct, sending a “ripple effects across multiple industries and taking down powerful men,” according to CNN.
What is now being called the “Weinstein effect” – when people come forward to accuse famous or powerful men of sexual misconduct – has significantly impacted not only Hollywood, but abusers across worldwide industries.
More than 200 celebrities, politicians, CEO’s, comedians and news personalities have been accused of sexual assault since the post-Weinstein, #MeToo movement started. The Weinstein allegations are considered a tipping point, or a “watershed moment” that precipitated a national reckoning against sexual abusers across the world.
Hollywood has been significantly impacted by the movement, with high-profile celebrities like Louis C.K., who admitted to acts of sexual misconduct after years of rumors about his abusive treatment of women comedians. Oscar-winning actor Kevin Spacey was accused by more than a dozen men — including five who said they were teens at the time — alleging that he sexually harassed, assaulted or attempted to rape them. An investigation has been under review regarding the allegations against Spacey.
2. Gwyneth Paltrow Claims Weinstein Tried to Lure her to his Bedroom for a Massage; when Paltrow told her Then-Boyfriend Brad Pitt, he Confronted Weinstein
Actress Gwyneth Paltrow told The New York Times that Weinstein tried to sexually assault her when she was 22-years old. She had been hired as the lead actress in the adaptation of Emma by Weinstein when he asked her to come to his suite at the Peninsula Beverly Hills hotel for a work meeting, according to the New York Times. When she arrived, Weinstein placed his hands on her and asked her to go to the bedroom for a massage.
“I was a kid … I was petrified,” she told The Times during an interview.
Paltrow said she refused his advances and told her then-boyfriend Brad Pitt, who confronted Weinstein at a Hollywood premiere, telling him to never put his hands on her again. After the encounter, Weinstein allegedly warned Paltrow not to tell anyone else about the incident.
“I thought he was going to fire me,” she said.
Paltrow said she came forward with her story because: “We’re at a point in time when women need to send a clear message that this is over. This way of treating women ends now.”
3. Ashley Judd Claims that Weinstein Invited her to his Hotel Room Wearing Nothing but a Bathrobe and Asked if Judd Would Like to Watch Him Shower
Ashley Judd told the Times that she also had an incident with Weinstein over 20 years ago, also at the start of her career. She allegedly met Weinstein at the Peninsula Beverly Hills hotel for what he told her would be a breakfast meeting.
Judd told the Times that she was sent to Weinstein’s hotel room for a meeting, where he was waiting in a bathrobe and asked if she would like to watch him shower.
“How do I get out of the room as fast as possible without alienating Harvey Weinstein?” Judd told The Times, adding that women in the entertainment industry had been talking about Weinstein’s misconduct “for a long time.”
When she declined to watch him shower, Weinstein then offered her a shoulder rub, which she also turned down.
Weinstein reportedly offered Judd a shoulder rub instead, but she declined before he asked her to pick out his clothing for the day from a nearby closet.
“I said no, a lot of ways, a lot of times, and he always came back at me with some new to ask,” Judd said to The Times. “It was all this bargaining, this coercive bargaining.”
4. Asia Argento Wrote and Directed a Scene in the Movie “Scarlet Diva” Based Around the Encounter She Had With Weinstein at a Party in 1997
Argento, an Italian actress who starred in Miramax’s crime drama B. Monkey in 1999, told The New Yorker she was assaulted by Weinstein in 1997. Argento was 21 at the time, and claims that Weinstein’s producers invited her to what she thought was a party at the Hôtel du Cap-Eden-Roc on the French Riviera.
When she arrived at the party, she was led to a room to meet with Weinstein alone. Argento claims Weinstein left the room, returned wearing nothing but a bathrobe and asked her to give him a massage before forcibly performing oral sex on her.
Argento eventually went on to write and direct the movie Scarlet Diva, in which the character she plays appears in a hotel room with a heavyset producer who asks for a massage before attempting to sexually assault her.
Many other actresses have come forward to accuse Weinstein of similar incidents, often involving him in a bathrobe, offering massages, and forcing himself on the young actresses.
According to Newsweek, Italian model Ambra Battilana Gutierrez was competing for the 2015 Miss Italy title when she met Weinstein at a reception for the New York Spring Spectacular. After claiming she was groped by Weinstein in his Tribeca office the following day, Gutierrez filed a sexual assault report, participated in a police investigation of Weinstein, and eventually recorded him repeatedly asking Gutierrez to watch him shower.
Other victims that have come forward alleging abuse at Weinstein’s hands include Mira Sorvino, Salma Hayek, Lupita Nyong’o and Lena Headey, among many, many others.
5. Weinstein is Being Formally Charged in the Case of Lucia Evans, one of the First to Come Forward About the Allegations Against Weinstein
Lucia Evans played a pivotal role in Weinstein’s downfall, as one of the first women to publicly speak out against him. Evans told The New Yorker that he forced her to perform oral sex on him in 2004.
An aspiring actress back in 2004, Evans met Weinstein at an upscale club in Manhattan the Summer before her senior year, and she gave him her number. In the interview with The New Yorker, Evans she said had reservations about the producer; she had heard rumors about him, and he also called her late at night. Nonetheless, she showed up at his Miramax office but felt relieved when she saw that a female casting executive was present.
It didn’t take long for things to take an uncomfortable turn. She and Weinstein ended up meeting alone in an office. He started berating her, saying she needed to lose weight to be on Project Runway. Then he assaulted her, pulling out his penis, and pulling her head down, Evans said.
“I said, over and over, ‘I don’t want to do this, stop, don’t,’” she said. “I tried to get away, but maybe I didn’t try hard enough. I didn’t want to kick him or fight him.”
He overpowered her, she said. “I just sort of gave up. That’s the most horrible part of it, and that’s why he’s been able to do this for so long to so many women: people give up, and then they feel like it’s their fault.”
Evans, now known as Lucia Stoller, ultimately did not pursue acting. Evans said that after the incident she continued to blame herself for not fighting harder, reports the New Yorker.
“It was always my fault for not stopping him,” she said. “I had an eating problem for years. I was disgusted with myself. It’s funny, all these unrelated things I did to hurt myself because of this one thing.”
Weinstein is being brought up on formal charges in the case involving Evans. Manhattan prosecutors will charge Weinstein with first- and third-degree rape in one case and a first-degree sex act in a second case, the source said.