Here’s what you need to know about the Harvey Weinstein sexual harassment scandal

Here’s what you need to know about the Harvey Weinstein sexual harassment scandal
A New York Times report on Thursday detailed nearly three decades of sexual harassment allegations against Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein, who is a co-founder of film company Miramax. (Alberto Pizzoli/AFP/Getty Images)

What’s the story?

The New York Times published a report Thursday detailing nearly three decades of sexual harassment allegations against Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein, who is also a co-founder of the powerhouse film company Miramax.

The report alleges that Weinstein would frequently invite actresses — including Ashley Judd and Rose McGowan — and Miramax employees to hotel rooms where he would ask them for massages, request that they watch him shower, and give unsolicited massages to the women. One account even accused the 65-year-old movie mogul of promising career advancement in exchange for sexual favors.

An investigation also concluded Weinstein settled at least eight sexual harassment lawsuits over the span of those three decades.

How has Weinstein responded?

Weinstein released a statement explaining that he grew up in a different era, when rules in the workplace were different. He apologized for his actions and said he would take a leave of absence from Miramax and will instead channel his anger into fighting the National Rifle Association. Weinstein’s statement has been widely criticized across the political spectrum as a piece of sophisticated deflection.

Read the full statement here.

Is that where it ends?

Although Weinstein issued the public apology, Weinstein’s lawyer contradicted the Times report, insisting it was “saturated with false and defamatory statements” and threatening a lawsuit.

“[The report] relies on mostly hearsay accounts and a faulty report, apparently stolen from an employee personnel file, which has been debunked by 9 different eyewitnesses. We sent the Times the facts and evidence, but they ignored it and rushed to publish. We are preparing the lawsuit now. All proceeds will be donated to women’s organizations,” Weinstein’s lawyer said Thursday.

 

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