In the latest batch of boldfaced names describing revolting or criminal encounters with Harvey Weinstein, British actress Lena Headey — Cersei in Game of Thrones — posted a series of tweets Tuesday describing meetings in which she felt menaced by the fallen movie mogul.
Headey, 44, who plays the bloodthirsty, power-mad, incestuous Queen Cersei in the always-menacing HBO series, added her voice to the continuing what-Harvey-did-to-me campaign by famous women in Hollywood.
The effort to call out Weinstein began two weeks ago after the New York Times and The New Yorker published separate investigative reports documenting allegations of rape and sexual assault by Weinstein dating back decades.
Headey said she first met Weinstein at the Venice Film Festival when her movie, The Brothers Grimm, was showing, which would have been 2005. (As an aside, she said she was subjected to “endless bullying” by director Terry Gilliam.)
She said he asked her to take a walk with him down to the water, then made “some suggestive comment, a gesture,” which she laughed off.
“I was genuinely shocked, I remember thinking this has got to be some kind of joke, I said something like, Oh come on mate?!?! It’d be like kissing my dad!” she wrote.
But she never appeared in any other Miramax film, she added.
Years later, she met him again in Los Angeles at breakfast. He tried to ask her about her love life, she shifted the conversation to something less personal. He asked her up to his room to show her some scripts and walked her to the elevator.
“The energy shifted, my whole body went into high alert,” she wrote. She told him she wasn’t interested in anything other than work and not to think she got into the elevator with him for any other reason. “I don’t know what possessed me to speak out at that moment, only that I had such a strong sense of don’t come near me.”
He was silent and “furious” in the elevator after she spoke; she said she felt “powerless” as he walked her to the room with his hand on her back. He got angrier when they reached the door and the key wouldn’t work, she said. He walked her back to the elevator and through the hotel to the valet, “grabbing and holding tightly to the back of my arm.”
“He paid for my car and whispered in my ear, Don’t tell anyone about this, not your manager, not your agent,” she wrote. “I got in my car and cried.”
Weinstein resigns from board of his company, even though it already fired him
The Weinstein Company board, staggering from the scandal, possibly for sale, threatened with a possible avalanche of lawsuits and shedding board members, shed another one on Tuesday: Harvey Weinstein himself.
Although the board of directors had fired him as co-chairman when the scandal first broke, he still had a seat on the board until Tuesday, when Weinstein officially resigned, according to a person familiar with the situation but not authorized to speak publicly.
Weinstein has contended his firing was illegal. He continues to own 22% of the company’s stock.
Representatives from the company did not immediately respond to requests for comment about the resignation. The company has been scrambling to distance itself from Weinstein, including possibly changing its name, as the mounting turmoil from the scandal threatened to engulf it.
Michelle Yeoh would have used martial arts on Weinstein if he tried anything
Michelle Yeoh said Tuesday she was aware of Weinstein’s reputation as a bully but he never sexually harassed her and would have felt her wrath if he had.
“I knew he was a bully and not always honorable,” she told the Associated Press in Hong Kong. “I wasn’t exposed to this side of him, otherwise he would have experienced the full effect of years of martial arts training.”
The Malaysian star added her voice to the chorus speaking out about the sexual misconduct scandal that has taken down Weinstein, who produced or distributed many of Yeoh’s films and TV shows.
“Any man who treats women with such disrespect and contempt should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law,” said Yeoh, who stars in the new TV series Star Trek: Discovery.
The Weinstein Co. was one of the producers of last year’s Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: Sword of Destiny, a sequel in which Yeoh reprised her role from the original blockbuster martial arts film. The company also produced the Netflix series Marco Polo, a period epic in which Yeoh had a role.
Weinstein’s previous company, Miramax, distributed Yeoh’s earlier films. He was also a big donor to amfAR, an AIDS charity for which Yeoh, 55, is an ambassador.
Other Hollywood moguls weigh in on ‘monster’ Weinstein
Media titan Barry Diller, speaking at The Wall Street Journal’s WSJ D.Live technology conference in Laguna Beach, Calif., on Tuesday, said the Weinstein scandal will mark a dividing line in the culture: “Before and after Harvey.”
And by the way, Weinstein’s reputation is toast, Diller said. He “is not going to be known for anything other than this. This is a hard demarcation line.”
On Monday, showbiz executive Jeffrey Katzenberg, who also spoke at the conference, denounced Weinstein, but said a systemic “casting couch” problem has long prevailed Hollywood, the Journal reported.
Katzenberg goes way back with Weinstein: He was chairman of Walt Disney Co. when the company bought Weinstein’s Miramax studio in 1993.
“The casting couch has been in Hollywood from the beginning,” Katzenberg said. “The complicity around the acceptance of it and silence about it is the crime. Harvey Weinstein, make no mistake about it, he is a monster.”
But he said Weinstein is “not a lone actor.” Asked if other men in Hollywood abused women, Mr. Katzenberg said “100%.”
“There’s a pack of wolves,” he said, although there also are moguls with “great integrity,” such as Oscar-winning filmmaker Steven Spielberg, he said.
Katzenberg said he never saw Weinstein behave in the way more than 30 women so far, including major stars such as Angelina Jolie and Gwyneth Paltrow, have described.
“Literally not a single time had Harvey ever been abusive to somebody in my presence,” Katzenberg said. “That’s why I said there were two Harvey’s. Somehow or another his behavior was masked from me by him.”
Contributing: The Associated Press
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