Harassment claims against Harvey Weinstein stacking up

By Wade Sheridan, Daniel Uria and Sam Howard  |  Oct. 10, 2017 at 12:41 PM
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Oct. 10 (UPI) -- Actresses Gwyneth Paltrow and Angelina Jolie said they were sexually harassed by Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein.

Former actress Louisette Geiss followed Paltrow and Jolie's claims Tuesday, holding a news conference in Los Angeles to say Weinstein had harassed her, too.

Geiss said at the Sundance Film Festival in 2008, Weinstein asked her to his office, next to his hotel room, where he changed into a bathrobe, entered a hot tub and asked her to watch him masturbate.

Geiss was trying to pitch him a screenplay. She said she only entered the office under an agreement that Weinstein wouldn't touch her.

"I do not think that Harvey Weinstein understands or comprehends how much pain and suffering this brings to me and scores of other women," Geiss said.

In an article published earlier Tuesday, Paltrow told the New York Times Weinstein placed his hands on her and tried to lead her into the bedroom for a massage after a meeting in a hotel room when she was cast as the lead in the Jane Austen adaptation Emma at the age of 22.

"I was a kid, I was signed up, I was petrified," she said.

Paltrow told Brad Pitt, her boyfriend at the time, about the sexual advances and the actor confronted Weinstein, who in turn threatened Paltrow to not tell anyone else about the harassment.

"I thought he was going to fire me," she said. "He screamed at me for a long time. It was brutal."

Paltrow, who became known as the "first lady of Miramax" said she was "expected to keep the secret" of Weinstein's harassment for may years, but felt it was time to support the women who had already come forward by sharing her experience.

"We're at a point in time when women need to send a clear message that this is over," she said. "This way of treating women ends now."

Jolie shared a similar story of unwanted sexual advances from Weinstein during the release of Playing by Heart in 1998.

"I had a bad experience with Harvey Weinstein in my youth, and as a result, chose never to work with him again and warn others when they did," she said. "This behavior towards women in any field, any country is unacceptable."

Former U.S. Sen. and first lady Hillary Clinton released a statement regarding the allegations against Weinstein, who contributed to her 2016 presidential campaign.

"I was shocked and appalled by the revelations about Harvey Weinstein," Clinton said. "The behavior described by women coming forward cannot be tolerated. Their courage and the support of others is critical in helping stop this kind of behavior."

Paltrow and Jolie shared their stories after three women came forward in a new report stating that Weinstein raped them.

The report by Ronan Farrow and published in The New Yorker, features Italian actress and director Asia Argento stating that Weinstein 20 years ago forcibly performed oral sex on her.

Lucia Evans and a third woman also share their stories of rape along with four other women who told the publication that the producer touched them inappropriately.

The piece also mentions that 13 woman said they were sexually harassed or assaulted by Weinstein with 16 former and current executives sharing that they had seen or known about the reports of Weinstein's sexual advances.

Weinstein has denied the accusations stating through his spokesperson Sallie Hofmeister, "Any allegations of non-consensual sex are unequivocally denied by Mr. Weinstein. Mr. Weinstein has further confirmed that there were never any acts of retaliation against any women for refusing his advances. Mr. Weinstein obviously can't speak to anonymous allegations, but with respect to any women who have made allegations on the record, Mr. Weinstein believes that all of these relationships were consensual. Mr. Weinstein has begun counseling, has listened to the community and is pursuing a better path. Mr. Weinstein is hoping that, if he makes enough progress, he will be given a second chance."

The New Yorker piece comes after Weinstein was fired from the film production company he founded, The Weinstein Co., due to reports that he sexually harassed several women.

Information on Weinstein first came to light in a New York Times piece that featured actresses Ashley Judd and Rose McGowan who shared their stories concerning Weinstein's behavior towards them.

"The disgraceful news about Harvey Weinstein has appalled those of us whose work he championed, and those whose good and worthy causes he supported. The intrepid women who raised their voices to expose this abuse are our heroes," Meryl Streep, who has worked with Weinstein in the past, said recently before calling his behavior "inexcusable."

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