The revelations of Harvey Weinstein’s abusive and criminal behavior against women over the past decades are quickly coming out, with now even A-list stars such as Gwyneth Paltrow and Angelina Jolie providing statements of the movie mogul’s gross sexual harassment when they were up-and-coming actresses in the business, as well as outright sexual assault with other women, including Italian actress and filmmaker Asia Argento, outlining a well organized enabling structure, where female execs would lure young women to Weinstein’s hotel suite, thinking it was a business meeting, and then leaving them alone with him usually dressed in just a bath robe.
Weinstein’s criminal behavior has been going on for decades and is purported to be Hollywood’s worst kept secret. As recent as 2015, Weinstein was under investigation by the NYPD, when a complaint was filed by a Filipina-Italian model named Ambra Battilana Gutierrez to the police led to a sting operation where the young model wore a wire to draw a confession from Weinstein.
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An article written for The New Yorker by Ronan Farrow – himself a vocal activist against sexual predatory behavior whose voice was first raised against “father” Woody Allen — includes an audiotape of Weinstein trying to lure the model into his hotel room. After the investigation went no where, what followed was media used as a weapon to bash the model. However, and it’s quite clear, Weinstein admitted to inappropriately touching Gutierrez in this tape. The article also has on the record quotes from women who said they were raped by him. In this audiotape, you can hear her repeatedly try to shut down Weinstein who clearly doesn’t understand what it means when a woman says ‘no.’
It is truly disturbing to hear. Weinstein was fired from his own company this past Sunday, but the floodgates have opened as more women come out of the woodwork, telling their horrid stories. But what is perhaps more disturbing is the culture of silence and enabling that allowed such activity to happen. But, that’s Hollywood. This is definitely a watershed moment and perhaps the beginning of actual sweeping cultural change.