Gwyneth Paltrow, Angelina Jolie and Others Say Weinstein Harassed Them

Gwyneth Paltrow, Angelina Jolie and Others Say Weinstein Harassed Them

Rosanna Arquette, a star of “Pulp Fiction,” has a similar account of Mr. Weinstein’s behavior, as does Judith Godrèche, a leading French actress. So does Angelina Jolie, who said that during the release of “Playing by Heart” in the late 1990s, he made unwanted advances on her in a hotel room, which she rejected.

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Angelina Jolie said that in the late 1990s, she rejected Mr. Weinstein’s unwanted advances in a hotel room.

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Stefan Rousseau — WPA Pool/Getty Images

“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,” Ms. Jolie said in an email. “This behavior towards women in any field, any country is unacceptable.”

A New York Times investigation last week chronicled a hidden history of sexual harassment allegations against Mr. Weinstein and settlements he paid, often involving former employees, over three decades up to 2015. By Sunday evening, his entertainment company fired him.

On Tuesday, The New Yorker published a report that included multiple allegations of sexual assault, including forced oral and vaginal sex. The article also included accounts of sexual harassment going back to the 1990s, with women describing how intimidating Mr. Weinstein was.

Several days ago, additional actresses began sharing with The Times on-the-record stories of casting-couch abuses. Their accounts hint at the sweep of Mr. Weinstein’s alleged harassment, targeting women on the way to stardom, those who had barely acted and others in between. Fantasies that the public eagerly watched onscreen, the women recounted, sometimes masked the dark experiences of those performing in them.

The encounters they recalled followed a similar narrative: First, they said, Mr. Weinstein lured them to a private place to discuss films, scripts or even Oscar campaigns. Then, the women contend, he variously tried to initiate massages, touched them inappropriately, took off his clothes or offered them explicit work-for-sex deals.

In a statement on Tuesday, his spokeswoman, Sallie Hofmeister, said: “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. He will not be available for further comments, as he is taking the time to focus on his family, on getting counseling and rebuilding his life.”

Even in an industry in which sexual harassment has long persisted, Mr. Weinstein stands out, according to the actresses and current and former employees of the film companies he ran, Miramax and the Weinstein Company. He had an elaborate system reliant on the cooperation of others: Assistants often booked the meetings, arranged the hotel rooms and sometimes even delivered the talent, then disappeared, the actresses and employees recounted. They described how some of Mr. Weinstein’s executives and assistants then found them agents and jobs or hushed actresses who were upset.

His alleged behavior became something of a Hollywood open secret: When the comedian Seth MacFarlane announced Oscar nominees in 2013, he joked, “Congratulations, you five ladies no longer have to pretend to be attracted to Harvey Weinstein.” The audience laughed. According to a 2015 memo by a former Weinstein Company executive that The Times previously disclosed, the misconduct continued.

More established actresses were fearful of speaking out because they had work; less established ones were scared because they did not. “This is Harvey Weinstein,” Katherine Kendall, who appeared in the film “Swingers” and television roles, remembers telling herself after an encounter in which she said Mr. Weinstein undressed and chased her around a living room. Telling others meant “I’ll never work again and no one is going to care or believe me,” she reasoned at the time, she said in a recent interview.

Ms. Paltrow, 45, is now an entrepreneur, no longer dependent on securing her next acting role. But she emphasized how much more vulnerable she felt at 22, when Mr. Weinstein had just signed her up for a star-making part. On a trip to Los Angeles, she received a schedule from her agents for the hotel meeting with Mr. Weinstein.

There was no reason to suspect anything untoward, because “it’s on the fax, it’s from C.A.A.,” she said, referring to Creative Artists Agency, which represented her.

When Mr. Weinstein tried to massage her and invited her into the bedroom, she immediately left, she said, and remembers feeling stunned as she drove away. “I thought you were my Uncle Harvey,” she recalled thinking, explaining that she had seen him as a mentor.

After she told Mr. Pitt about the episode, he approached Mr. Weinstein at a theater premiere and told him never to touch Ms. Paltrow again. Mr. Pitt confirmed the account to The Times through a representative.

Soon after, Mr. Weinstein called Ms. Paltrow and berated her for discussing the episode, she said. (She said she also told a few friends, family members and her agent.) “He screamed at me for a long time,” she said, once again fearing she could lose the role in “Emma.” “It was brutal.” But she stood her ground, she said, and insisted that he put the relationship back on professional footing.

Even as Ms. Paltrow became known as the “first lady of Miramax” and won an Oscar for “Shakespeare in Love” in 1999, very few people knew about Mr. Weinstein’s advances. “I was expected to keep the secret,” she said.

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In 1999, Ms. Paltrow won an Oscar for her role in “Shakespeare in Love,” a film produced by Mr. Weinstein, center.

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Monica Almeida/The New York Times

Like several of the other women interviewed for this article, she felt she had to suppress the experience. She praised Mr. Weinstein publicly, posed for pictures with him and played the glowing star to his powerful producer. Yet their work relationship grew rockier over the years, she said, and she distanced herself. “He was alternately generous and supportive and championing, and punitive and bullying,” she said.

Now, with the process of tallying the size and scope of Mr. Weinstein’s abuse allegations underway, Ms. Paltrow and others said they wanted to support women who had already come forward and help those in similar situations feel less alone.

“We’re at a point in time when women need to send a clear message that this is over,” Ms. Paltrow said. “This way of treating women ends now.”

Tomi-Ann Roberts

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