Recent sexual harassment allegations against Hollywood exec Harvey Weinstien may be rocking the entertainment industry, but rumours and allusions to his indiscretions have been around for years, it is emerging.
Actress Gwyneth Paltrow, who this week told The New York Times of an inappropriate encounter she had with Weinstein in a hotel room in 1995, joked about the producer’s “coercive” nature in an interview with David Letterman way back in 1998.
The then 26-year-old Paltrow appeared on Letterman’s Late Show the day before Thanksgiving to promote a film she had made with Weinstein’s company.
“I would have ordinarily gone not on Thanksgiving, but I’m here for you,” Paltrow told Letterman.
“Are you here of your own free will?” Letterman asked, “Has someone coerced you into being here?”
Paltrow responded: “Do you count Harvey Weinstein as a coercer?”
Letterman joked Weinstein used to be “a kind of junior mob guy” but was now a “big powerful film guy”.
“I do all my movies for Harvey Weinstein and I’m lucky to do them, but he will coerce you to do things,” Paltrow said.
When asked by Letterman what she received in return, Paltrow responded, “Nothing”.
“I’m kind of fed up with Harvey’s behaviour,” the Late Show host declared, referring to Weinstein’s pushy nature.
“Every night Harvey comes by, ‘Can you talk about the film? Would it kill you to talk about the movie?’. Eight or nine years of that it’s amusing but I woke up this morning and thought, ‘What’s in it for me?’.”
Earlier this week, Paltrow revealed to the Times Weinstein tried to massage her when she was 22. At the time, she told then-boyfriend Brad Pitt who confronted Weinstein about the incident.
Weinstein has denied the allegations via a spokesperson, who 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.”
Following Paltrow’s claims, several other famous actresses have accused Weinstein of similar behaviour. French actress Lea Seydoux, 32, said Weinstein tried to kiss her during a business meeting.
“Everyone knew what Harvey was up to and no one did anything,” she wrote in The Guardian.
Model and actress Cara Delevingne, 25, alleged Weinstein tried to convince her to engage in sexual acts with another woman and told her being a lesbian would ruin her career.
In 2013, comedian Seth Macfarlane also alluded to Weinstein’s behaviour while hosting the Oscars, joking that the Best Supporting Actress nominees “no longer have to pretend to be attracted to Harvey Weinstein”.
On Thursday Macfarlane said his joke was a thinly-veiled stab at Weinstein, whom he knew had assaulted his friend, Jessica Barth, in 2011.
“I couldn’t resist the opportunity to take a hard swing in his direction, Macfarlane tweeted,
— Seth MacFarlane (@SethMacFarlane) October 11, 2017
Weinstein, meanwhile, told Page Six he was “saddened” by people he considered friends denouncing him and was “profoundly devastated” his wife, fashion designer Georgina Chapman, had left him.
On Thursday, TMZ reported his 22-year-old daughter Remy Weinstein called police to her home because she feared her father was “suicidal and depressed”.
LAPD public information officer Tony Im told The New Daily: “At 10.37am on Wednesday (local time), officers responded to a 911 call to Mr Weinstein’s daughter’s residence at North Kilkea Drive. Officers are currently investigating but we are unable to comment further on the matter at this stage.”
US reports allege that police were called to a family dispute which spilled onto the street.