Australian actress Cate Blanchett has become the latest Hollywood star to accuse disgraced movie mogul Harvey Weinstein of sexual misconduct.
The two-time Oscar winner, who has appeared in Weinstein-produced films including The Talented Mr Ripley, Carol and The Aviator follows the likes of Rose McGowan, Gwyneth Paltrow, Salma Hayek and Angelina Jolie in making allegations of sexual misconduct against the disgraced producer.
Asked in a wide-ranging interview with Variety whether Weinstein had sexually harassed or behaved inappropriately toward her, Blanchett replied simply: “With me, yes.”
“I think he really primarily preyed, like most predators, on the vulnerable. I mean I got a bad feeling from him. He would often say to me, ‘We’re not friends’.”
When asked what he meant by that, Blanchett replied: “Well, I wouldn’t do what he was asking me to do,” but declined to specify further.
It’s the first time Blanchett, a vocal supporter of the #TimesUp movement, has spoken openly about Weinstein’s behaviour towards her.
“I’m really interested in the people who have transgressed in ways that are beyond the bounds of offensive, what people like Harvey have done, and there are men across many industries [who have done that],” she said.
“He’s been held up as an exemplar because he’s unfortunately typical of certain men. I’m interested in those people being prosecuted. We have to set a legal precedent.
“Part of the mission of Time’s Up is to help those who do not have the capacity to raise the funds to defend themselves and to move toward workplace equality, fairness and safety.
“When legal precedent is set by people being actually convicted, then other people can benefit from that because those precedents have been set.
“But me fuelling the gossip and accounts? There’s enough out there.”
Weinstein has been accused of sexual misconduct by dozens of women and is the subject of police investigations in London, New York and Los Angeles.
He has denied all allegations of non-consensual sex.
When asked if she thought Weinstein could go to jail, Blanchett responded: “Well, I hope so.”
“Statutory rape is a crime, the last time I looked.”
Blanchett said that it feels like “the dam has broken” in respect to tolerance of inequality in Hollywood.
“The window needs to be open for people to realise how stale the air is, and women have said, ‘The window is open now — see how sweet the air smells,'” she said.
“I feel like the dam has broken. There were cracks in the dam for an incredibly long time, and we were trying to sort of put putty on them.
“But it’s not just women; it’s also men. It’s also people of different sexual persuasions. It’s the lack of ethnic diversity.
“Our job is, yes, to be creative, but one of our primary jobs as artists is to be fearless. And I think we’re fearlessly examining the issues in our industry.
“We are not going back to ground zero.”