Harvey Weinstein: 'Beautiful Girls' Scribe Scott Rosenberg

Re: Harvey Weinstein: 'Beautiful Girls' Scribe Scott Rosenbe

Postby admin » Fri Dec 22, 2017 12:35 am

10 More Famous Men EXPOSED After The Harvey Weinstein Scandal
by TheTalko
Published on Nov 10, 2017

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The wall of shame of men in Hollywood.

When the lid was blown off of the Harvey Weinstein scandal, it was just the tip of the iceberg. As the entertainment industry tried to deal with the aftermath, more and more women stepped forward with their claims against Hollywood’s mega-producer. Soon enough, other famous men in various industries were also accused of heinous acts against other men and women. From Ethan Kath of Crystal Castles, Oliver Stone, Michael Oreskes, and Kevin Spacey, this is 10 More Famous Men EXPOSED After The Harvey Weinstein Scandal.

Even a former U.S. president was accused of acting inappropriately with women. Two different accusers came forward to expose George H.W. Bush for groping them and telling them dirty jokes during public appearances. He didn’t deny the allegations. In fact, he confirmed through his spokesman that he would sometimes touch women on the rear end and tell them inappropriate jokes just for fun.

Many of these men find out the hard way that behaving improperly can cost them their lives and their livelihoods. Actor and comedian Andy Dick was fired from a movie after he licked people on set. And Mark Halperin, a TV political analyst, was terminated by NBC and lost a book and HBO deal after his alleged victims came forward.

If you’d like to hear about even more about these alleged victims and the famous men who were exposed, including Robert Scoble, Brett Ratner, and actor Jeremy Piven, make sure to watch our video. Let us know in the comments section which of these scandals shocked you the most.
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Re: Harvey Weinstein: 'Beautiful Girls' Scribe Scott Rosenbe

Postby admin » Mon Dec 25, 2017 11:12 pm

The Miss America Emails: How The Pageant’s CEO Really Talks About The Winners
Internal correspondence reveals name-calling, slut-shaming and fat-shaming in emails between the Miss America CEO, board members and a pageant writer.

by Yashar Ali
12/21/2017 05:52 pm ET Updated 2 days ago

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Image
DONALD KRAVITZ VIA GETTY IMAGES
Sam Haskell has helped Miss America regain prominence after the institution struggled for several years. But emails tell a different story about his thoughts on the women competing in his pageants.


In late August 2014, the CEO of the Miss America Organization, Sam Haskell, sent an email to the lead writer of the Miss America pageant telecast, Lewis Friedman, informing him of a change he wanted to make in the script: “I have decided that when referring to a woman who was once Miss America, we are no longer going to call them Forever Miss Americas....please change all script copy to reflect that they are Former Miss Americas!”

Friedman replied, “I’d already changed “Forevers” to “Cunts.” Does that work for you?”

Haskell’s short reply came quickly: “Perfect...bahahaha.”

8/18/2014

Subject: Re: Forever Miss Americas
From: Sam Haskell [DELETE]
To: lewis@[DELETE]
Cc: brent@[DELETE]
Date: Monday, August 18, 2014 6:23 AM

Perfect...bahahaha

Sent from my iPhone

On Aug 18, 2014, at 9:17 AM, Lewis Friedman <lewis@[DELETE]> wrote:

Sam --

I'd already changed "Forevers" to "Cunts." Does that work for you?

--
lewis

Lewis Friedman
[DELETE]

On Sun, Aug 17, 2014 at 11:00 PM, Sam Haskell <samhaskell@[DELETE]> wrote:
Sharon and I have decided that when referring to a woman who was once Miss America, we are no longer going to call them Forever Miss Americas....please change all script copy to reflect that they are Former Miss Americas! Thanks, Sam

Sent from my iPhone


At that point, Haskell had been the leader of Miss America for nine years, after rising through the ranks at a top Hollywood talent agency. Many prior winners, or as they’re called, “formers,” consider the pageant a wonderful, wholesome activity for young women. But Haskell’s behavior behind closed doors shows he regularly maligned, fat-shamed and slut-shamed the former Miss Americas, calling them shocking names and in one case laughing at the suggestion that one of the women should die.

When it came to one particular former, Haskell took his efforts so far that she lost her pageant coaching business.

Image
GETTY IMAGES
Miss America Organization board members Tammy Haddad, left, and Lynn Weidner.


Two Miss America board members served as a virtual rubber stamp for Haskell’s behavior: Tammy Haddad, a media consultant and D.C. power connector; and Lynn Weidner, a Las Vegas socialite. And though Friedman was never a board member, he regularly sent offensive and sexist messages to Haskell, which Haskell often responded to by indicating he thought Friedman was funny or endorsed what Friedman was saying.

For this story, HuffPost reviewed nearly three years of internal emails provided by two sources. They reveal a CEO who regularly wrote and responded to unprofessional, offensive emails about the women who poured their hearts into the pageants and the organization he was leading.

(Update: The board suspended Haskell on Friday, hours after an open letter from 49 former Miss Americas called for top-level resignations, adding, “The Board will be conducting an in-depth investigation into alleged inappropriate communications and the nature in which they were obtained. In addition, the Board wishes to reaffirm our commitment to the education and empowerment of young women, supporting them in every way possible.”)

Improving A Struggling American Institution

Sam Haskell joined Miss America’s board in 2005 after retiring from the William Morris Agency (now called WME), where he was the worldwide head of television.

Most everyone agrees that to a certain extent, Haskell helped the organization get back on its feet. Miss America has returned to broadcast television, airing on ABC after being relegated to basic cable. It has also come back to its original home of Atlantic City, New Jersey, from Las Vegas, where the pageant took place in a smaller venue. In 2014, the Miss America Organization and Dick Clark Productions announced a one-year deal (later extended to three years) for the storied entertainment company to produce and cover the cost of the annual pageant telecast, in addition to paying a fee to the Miss America Organization for the rights to produce the telecast. As part of the deal, Dick Clark Productions received two seats on the Miss America Organization board.

Over the past 12 years, Haskell has gone from a board member to a well-compensated CEO. He makes $500,000 a year, which has been a source of internal and external controversy.

But despite his success at growing the pageant, internal emails show a different story.

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MICHAEL LOCCISANO VIA GETTY IMAGES
Sam Haskell applauds at the 2018 Miss America event in Atlantic City, New Jersey.


In some cases, Haskell was professional. In an August 2013 email exchange, one month before Mallory Hagan, 2013’s winner, would crown the new Miss America in Atlantic City, Haskell exchanged emails with his daughter and one of his top employees, Brent Adams, about Hagan.

His daughter, Mary Lane, said, “Here’s hoping you get another good one!”

Haskell replied to Mary Lane, “It’s going to be hard to replace Mallory, but I’m hopeful!”

But in other cases, Haskell and Haddad routinely maligned the former Miss Americas, calling them “malcontents” and treating them as embarrassing inconveniences rather than honored alumnae.

In May 2014, Haskell forwarded one of Haddad’s emails to a Miss America executive. In it, Haddad had referred to some former Miss Americas as a “pile of malcontents and has beens who blame the program for not getting them where they think they can go.”

She added, “80% of the winners do not have the class, smarts and model for success.”

She then encouraged Haskell to try to avoid getting riled up by the “formers,” saying, “YOU have to let them go. You don’t need them. They need you. We also have to punish them when they don’t appreciate what we do for them.”

In his forward, Haskell called the advice wise.

In response to email questions sent to Haskell and Haddad, HuffPost received a response from a Miss America Organization spokesman. He said Friedman had been let go from the organization after an investigation.

“The Miss America Organization Board of Directors was notified about the concern of inappropriate language in email communications several months ago. Consequently, the organization’s Board of Directors took the allegations of inappropriate comments very seriously and formed an investigative committee,” he wrote. “As a result of the investigation, the Board directed the organization terminate the relationship with most egregious author of inappropriate comments. In addition, the Board has started the process of instituting additional policies and procedures for communication.”

“The Board has full confidence in the Miss America Organization leadership team,” he added.


In a reply to an email with questions about his statements, Friedman said, “Before commenting to correct your information and provide context, I’ll speak to my attorney as this matter is the subject of pending litigation.” It is not clear what litigation he was referencing.

‘It Should Have Been Kate Shindle’

Image
DONNA CONNOR VIA GETTY IMAGES
Kate Shindle winning in 1998.


Haskell sometimes focused on Kate Shindle, who was crowned in 1998. The former Miss Illinois is now a successful actor and singer, and serves as president of the Actors’ Equity Association, the union representing more than 51,000 American stage actors and stage managers.

In 2014, Shindle released a book in which she questioned the Miss America board’s decision to pay Haskell a $500,000 consulting fee, during a year the organization was over $400,000 in the red. (The board said the money was back-pay for Haskell.)

Shindle was not revealing new information; press accounts had already exposed the payment. In her book, she also alleged Haskell blacklisted those who dissented against his leadership, with the national organization calling state-level pageants and giving those groups names of people they could not associate with.

In December 2014, Friedman emailed Haskell to offer his condolences on the death of former Miss America Mary Ann Mobley, writing, “So sorry to hear about Mary Ann Mobley”

The subject line of Friedman’s email read: “It should have been Kate Shindle.”

Haskell replied, “Thanks so much Coach...even in my sadness you can make me laugh...how was the Kennedy Center Honors? Love you and appreciate you! Sam.”

Shindle declined to comment for this article.

‘Drive Gretchen Insane’

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ASTRID STAWIARZ VIA GETTY IMAGES
Gretchen Carlson was involved with Miss America for years.


Haskell and Haddad also appeared to dislike Gretchen Carlson, who won the Miss America title in 1989 and was on the organization’s board of directors for many years. The root cause of their disdain, according to three sources, was Carlson’s push to modernize the organization and her refusal to attack former Miss Americas.

Haskell told Carlson not to have Hagan on her program, according to three sources familiar with the conversation. Carlson refused.

On Aug. 15, 2014, Weidner sent an email to a group of former Miss Americas, including Carlson, about Shindle’s book, saying, “Is it possible for each of you to speak out in defense of Sam and the organization?”

Carlson replied, “It’s one thing to talk about your own personal experience as Miss America … but totally different to attack people individually.”

Haskell forwarded Carlson’s response to Haddad, who replied to Haskell, “Snake but now u have not doubts as to her loyalty. Makes it easy not to respond. Right?”

Just before Shindle’s book came out, Haddad emailed Haskell and said, “Why don’t u read susan POWELL’s [former Miss America] email on the board call and say it’s a shame that only one miss america who has come forward to offer help in any way.” Haddad was referring to an email Powell had written that was supportive of Haskell.

Haskell replied, “Brilliant…..fucking Brilliant!!!! That will drive Gretchen INFUCKINGSANE.”


After the email exchange, Haskell did not feature Carlson in the next Miss America broadcast ― an unusual decision given her prominence.

In a statement sent by email, Haddad said, “I have the highest regard and gratitude for Gretchen and her extraordinary leadership in fighting for women.”

Carlson later resigned from the Miss America board. Haskell and other board members were telling people Carlson couldn’t be trusted, which she felt was maligning her integrity, according to a source familiar with her thinking at the time.

Carlson responded to HuffPost on Thursday, “As a proud former Miss America and former member of the Board of the Miss America Organization, I am shocked and deeply saddened by the disgusting statements about women attributed to the leadership of the MAO. No woman should be demeaned with such vulgar slurs. As I’ve learned, harassment and shaming of women is never acceptable and should never be tolerated. Every MAO executive and board member who engaged in such crude behavior and signed off on it like it was no big deal should resign immediately. The Miss America Organization, which is tasked to uphold an almost 100 year old tradition of female empowerment and scholarship, deserves better. I hope all former Miss Americas, state and local titleholders and volunteers will join me in a collective effort to fight for the dignity of this great institution.”

In 2016, Carlson rocked the media world when she sued former Fox News Chairman Roger Ailes for sexual harassment. Carlson’s suit led to Ailes being pushed out, and she later received a settlement. She has since focused on bringing attention to the epidemic of sexual harassment in the workplace and is working with members of Congress to approve legislation to protect women’s rights in the workplace.

Focused Attacks

Image
STEVE MARCUS / REUTERS
Mallory Hagan wins the crown in 2013.


Haskell also appeared to have special disdain for Hagan. In January 2013, she was crowned Miss America at the pageant in Las Vegas.

But just three months later, she was publicly fat-shamed for a bikini photo that surfaced. Haskell said nothing publicly about the images at the time. Later, though, he did internally.

Image
SPLASH NEWS/GETTY IMAGES
Hagan was publicly fat-shamed for the photo on the left. The right shows her while competing for Miss America.


As the reigning champion, Hagan spent time in Oxford, Mississippi, at Haskell and his wife’s home. It was there Hagan got to know Adams, whose official title was director of development at Haskell’s production company, which had a television deal with Warner Brothers. Adams essentially acted as a chief of staff, overseeing the various elements of Haskell’s business and personal life, including Miss America.

Adams and Hagan realized they had a connection after spending time together, but, fearful that professional entanglements could complicate a romantic relationship, the two decided if they were going to date it would be best to wait until Hagan’s reign was over.

Shortly after Hagan crowned the new Miss America in September 2013, she and Adams started dating. According to Adams, Haskell wanted Adams to date his daughter, not Hagan, and was open about this request.

Adams recalled an encounter with Haskell at his home in which Haskell attempted to convince Adams to break up with Hagan and instead date his daughter. Haskell stretched out his arms and told Adams, “All of this can be yours,” ostensibly referring to his Oxford mansion and the family’s money.

“You don’t need a piece of trash like Mallory. You need someone with class and money like my daughter,” he said, according to Adams.

When Adams was in New York with the Haskell family, Haskell accidentally sent a text message to a group chat that suggested his daughter try to hold Adams’ hand.
Adams described the text in a phone interview.

Once, when Hagan made a payment for dinner to Adams via the peer-to-peer payment app Venmo (which shows payments between friends), Haskell confronted Adams about it, asking why he was still in touch with Hagan.

‘Are We Four The Only Ones Not To Have Fucked Mallory?’

In August 2014, Haskell received an email from someone he knew, who said Hagan’s hairdresser in New York had been commenting on Hagan’s sex life while Hagan was living in Los Angeles, as well as her recent weight gain.

Haskell forwarded the email to Friedman saying, “Not a single day passes that I am not told some horrible story about Mallory.”

Friedman replied, “Mallory’s preparing for her new career … as a blimp in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade As she continues to destroy her own credibility, her voice will attract less and less notice while she continues her descent to an unhappy pathetic footnote.”

Friedman ended the email with, “Ps. Are we four the only ones not to have fucked Mallory?”

Haskell replied and said, “It appears we are the only ones!”

He then wrote Hagan had slept with someone he knew, and he told the man’s mother “he needs to have a blood test because we lost count of the number of men she slept with at 25.”


A source close to Hagan says the accusations about her hairdresser and having sex with the man in question are not true.

8/17/2014

Subject: Re: Interview
From: Sam Haskell [DELETE]
To: [DELETE]
Cc: [DELETE]
Date: Sunday, August 17, 2014 8:51 AM

It appears we are the only ones! Liza [DELETE] took me aside after dinner on Thursday to tell me that Mallory seduced her son in NY at a party one week before giving up her crown in AC...she said it had been weighing on her heart and she needed to tell me....I told her he needs to have a blood test because we lost count of the number of men she slept with at 25

Sent from my iPhone

On Aug 17, 2014, at 11:07 AM, Lewis Friedman [DELETE] wrote:

Mallory's preparing for his new career... as a blimp in the Macy's Thanksgiving Parade.

As she continues to destroy her own credibility, her voice will attract less and less notice while she continues her descent to an unhappy pathetic footnote. Fortunately, the Miss America brand is strong enough to easily shake off this annoyance.

--
lewis

ps. Are we four the only ones not to have fucked Mallory?


′Why Does He Want That?′

On Jan. 25, 2015, Weidner sent Haskell a photo of Hagan with three other former Miss Americas. Weidner did not comment on the photo in her email.

Haskell replied, saying, “OMG she is huge...and gross...why does he want that?????” Haskell did not name Adams specifically, but it appears he was discussing his employee, who was still dating Hagan at the time.

Haskell then forwarded the email to Josh Randle, who now serves as president of the Miss America Organization, and added, “Look at MH in this photo...OMG...Why does he want that?”

Randle said, “She’s a healthy one!! Hahaha.”

Haskill said, “Look at this photo from the Former Retreat!!! Shindle was there too and I was told she made everyone sign an NDA as she rolled out her plan of attack...evil lurks.”

Haddad said, “Mallory is barely recognizable”

Haskell said, “It is unreal.”

Haddad replied, and said, in part, “U think he left u for that? Don’t believe it. It makes NO sense.”

Haskell also forwarded the email to Friedman, who said, “My screen just cracked! What happened?”


Hagan declined to comment for this article. A Miss America Organization spokesman replied to questions sent to Randle with the same statement he gave for Haskell and Haddad. That statement said Friedman had been let go and the board was instituting new guidelines for internal communication.

Consequences For Hagan

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CHRISTIAN SCIENCE MONITOR VIA GETTY IMAGES
Hagan meets children at a school in 2015.


At the end of December 2015, emails suggest Haskell felt Hagan was personally maligning him. In an email to Haddad, Weidner and Randle, among others, Haskell asked for help, saying Hagan was “viciously and cruelly” attacking him and his family “every day.”

It’s unclear what Hagan was doing or saying at the time, but a comb of her social media posts doesn’t reveal anything egregious. She continued to be critical of Haskell’s leadership and the direction of the organization, but not in a way that would warrant what was suggested next by Haddad in response to Haskell’s urgent plea.

Haddad said, “Hi. I am so sorry. It is ridiculous but she is not going to stop. She has no control. I think u should hire an investigator to get something on her.”


(A source close to Haddad said she was not suggesting in the email that Haskell hire an investigator to dig up something of a personal nature on Hagan. Rather, her intention was to suggest Haskell hire an investigator to see if Hagan had been posting messages anonymously on internal Miss America message boards.)

Haskell said, “Thoughts on Tammy’s note below? Threatening her won’t work and we already have ‘enough info on her’ to shut down Ft. Knox.....ugh. I really think the best way is to shut down her social media, and convince the Formers to ostracize her”

Weidner said, “I wish I had an easy answer to this dilemma. If we can prove a direct connection between MH and specific instances of cyber bullying, we could at least threaten her with a lawsuit right? I do believe that our anti coaching initiatives are already impacting her business. And that our policy of ignoring her is driving her crazy!”


I do believe that our anti coaching initiatives are already impacting her business.

-- an email from Lynn Weidner about Mallory Hagan’s pageant coaching business


“I pray none of you ever experience anything like this....It is finally clear that I am on my own,” Haskell replied.

In response to list of questions sent via email, specifically if it was appropriate for nonprofit resources to be used to investigate former Miss Americas, Haddad said in an email, “This was a terrible, highly divisive time in the Miss America Organization, fueled by inflammatory character attacks. I along with the Board worked to stop the damage that was being inflicted on the organization and members of its community.”

In a statement, Weidner called Haskell “one of the most outstanding individuals I have ever had the pleasure of knowing.”

“Sam had led us to becoming a nationally recognized and positive force for the education and the empowerment of young women,” she wrote. “The fact that he would be so ruthlessly attacked by a handful of disgruntled malcontents is disgraceful. I am very proud of the way he has kept above the fray and always conducted himself in a way that does honor to this program.”


Opportunities Lost

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ETHAN MILLER VIA GETTY IMAGES
Women compete during the swimsuit portion of the 2007 Miss America pageant.


After winning the pageant, Hagan signed with a WME agent in Los Angeles, Lee White, whom Haskell introduced her to.

But within months, a source close to Hagan says White started to withdraw and decline requests to meet with her.

In one email from White to Haskell described verbally by a source, White suggests he shouldn’t have drinks with Hagan based on something Haskell told him. Haskell replies, saying White made the right judgment.

A few months later, Hagan dropped White as her agent. She moved back to New York and joined a friend training contestants for the all-important interview portion of the pageant.

But within months, the national Miss America Organization told contestants they couldn’t have coaches ― specifically, interview coaches. The national organization also said that anyone wanting to use a coach would have to seek approval from the executive director of their local organization.

The national organization had an informal list of coaches contestants couldn’t use, which contestants found out about through their local and state pageant directors. Hagan was on the list.

Soon after, Hagan’s lucrative coaching business fell apart.


In August 2016, Hagan moved back home to Alabama, where she had to rebuild her career. Today, she is the evening anchor of a small NBC affiliate in Columbus, Georgia.

Cease And Desist

In August 2017, Adams and a former Miss America board member, Regina Hopper, flew to Los Angeles to talk to Dick Clark Productions about Haskell’s behavior. They had copies of egregious emails from Haskell, some of which are included in this article.

The duo expected that Dick Clark Productions, a large entertainment company, would be horrified by the messages. In the meeting, Amy Thurlow and Mark Bracco, both executives at Dick Clark Productions who held the two Miss America board seats, thanked Hopper and Adams for providing the emails and told them Dick Clark Productions would conduct its own investigation.

A month later, Adams received a cease-and-desist letter from a law firm representing the Miss America Organization. It read, “Your deliberate actions constitute a clear violation of the Non-disclosure Agreement you knowingly and willfully entered into….the letter directed to the Chairman of the Board from Dick Clark Productions, dated September 13, 2017, noticed us of your illegal disclosure of information, which includes several internal email communications.”


The two Dick Clark executives presented the emails to the board, hoping it would lead to a change in leadership, according to two well-placed sources who are familiar with the executives’ thinking at the time.

But, the sources said, no change took place. In fact, last September, knowing full well the kind of language Friedman used in his emails about former Miss Americas, the board allowed him to continue to write for the Miss America pageant telecast.

Based on the board’s refusal to take action in response to the disturbing emails, Dick Clark Productions decided to end its agreement with the Miss America Organization, the sources said.
Several prominent Miss America supporters were stunned at the news. The agreement was a lifeline to Miss America ― the production company covered the costs of producing the telecast; paid the Miss America Organization a fee as part of the agreement; and featured, among other things, the current Miss America on the various awards telecasts it produces, like the Billboard Awards.

In a statement Thursday to HuffPost, Dick Clark Productions explained its decision: “Several months ago, dick clark productions was made aware of a portion of the emails that were referenced in the December 21 Huffington Post article. We were appalled by their unacceptable content and insisted, in the strongest possible terms, that the Miss America Organization (MAO) board of directors conduct a comprehensive investigation and take appropriate action to address the situation. Shortly thereafter, we resigned our board positions and notified MAO that we were terminating our relationship with them.”

The same prominent Miss America supporters said they found it unfathomable that the board would side with Haskell and Friedman over Dick Clark Productions.

‘These Young Women Put Their Heart And Soul Into Being the Best They Can Be’

Image
STEVE MARCUS / REUTERS
Audience members cheer contestants during the 2010 Miss America pageant.


Unsurprisingly, the email that angered the people who spoke to HuffPost for this article the most was the one referring to former Miss Americas as “cunts.” In particular, sources found it offensive that Haskell appeared to think that was funny.

Hopper recounted how she reacted to the email by sharing what she experienced at the last Miss Arkansas pageant, when the reigning Miss America Savvy Shields, who is from the state, made an appearance.

“I sat in the audience and watched her [Miss America] walk out on stage, and the young women and those in the audience all wanted to see and hear her. And that email floated into my head, and tears started running down my face,” she said. “Across this country, there are parents who are sitting in audiences who put their young daughters into this system with the trust that they’re going to walk away from participating with something good. These young women put their heart and soul into being the best they can be. That the CEO of this organization would agree that word is the perfect characterization of Miss Americas and then laugh ― it’s heartbreaking.”

This article has been updated with Haskell’s suspension Friday.

Follow Yashar — or send him a tip — on Twitter: @yashar
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Re: Harvey Weinstein: 'Beautiful Girls' Scribe Scott Rosenbe

Postby admin » Wed Jan 03, 2018 5:29 am

One Hillary Clinton supporter’s rotten political empire
by David Von Drehle
The Washington Post
January 2, 2018 at 7:34 PM

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Image
David Brock. (Danny Johnston/Associated Press)

The Clinton years, in which epistemological warfare emerged as a key part of the Republican political arsenal, show us why we should be wary of allegations that bubble up from the right-wing press. At the time, the reactionary billionaire Richard Mellon Scaife was bankrolling the Arkansas Project, which David Brock, the former right-wing journalist who played a major role in it, described as a “multimillion-dollar dirty tricks operation against the Clintons.” Various figures in conservative media accused Bill Clinton of murder, drug-running and using state troopers as pimps. Brock alleges that right-wing figures funneled money to some of Clinton’s accusers.

In this environment, it would have been absurd to take accusations of assault and harassment made against Clinton at face value.

-- I Believe Juanita, by Michelle Goldberg


I would be unfair if I said that David Brock represents everything wrong with politics. So let me say that David Brock represents almost everything wrong with politics.

The career of the silver-haired smear artist has come full circle with a report in the New York Times that Brock directed $200,000 from his political action committee empire into an effort to encourage women to go public with accusations of sexual offenses against President Trump — and that one of Brock’s most devoted donors kicked in even more. (My effort to get a response from Brock for this column was unsuccessful.)

That news comes nearly a quarter-century after Brock launched his lucrative brand by walking point on the so-called Arkansas Project. Funded through a seven-figure donation by Pittsburgh billionaire Richard Mellon Scaife to the American Spectator magazine, the project sent Brock rooting through the misdeeds — whether real or fictitious did not appear to matter — of then-President Bill Clinton during his years as governor of Arkansas.

Brock’s transformation from right-wing hit man to left-wing hit man is one of the marvels of contemporary Washington, blending the credulousness of River City rubes in “The Music Man” with the political cynicism of “The Candidate.” After Brock’s scandal-mongering (and Clinton’s lies) lit the fuse on an impeachment crisis, the effects of which linger to this day, Brock confessed that the meanies on the right had blinded him to all that was good and true. He proposed to turn his guns on his former allies and set about cultivating big donors to foot the bills.

Today, Brock stands atop an empire of donor-funded political operations. Media Matters for America seeks to mirror the right-wing Media Research Center in lobbing charges of dishonesty at the press; together the two groups have accelerated our path toward a world in which no one believes anything beyond his own biases. American Bridge performs “opposition research” against Republican candidates, a dainty phrase to describe the hostile scrutiny that has turned politics into a business that few sane humans would dare to enter. His online, um, “news” site Shareblue strives to be, in Brock’s words, a “Breitbart of the left” — as though one Breitbart were not already one too many.

There are other groups as well. In all, Brock has boasted of plans to raise $40 million to advance projects that — judging from recent Democratic failures of historic proportions in state legislatures, governor’s offices, Congress and the White House — have coincided with a low point in the fortunes of progressives, Brock himself excepted.

In her memoir of the 2016 campaign, Hillary Clinton wrote: “I didn’t think many Americans would believe that I’d sell a lifetime of principle and advocacy for any price.” But what was she doing when, shortly after leaving the White House, she feted Brock at her home in New York and encouraged her network of donors to fund the work of a confessed “hit man”?

Hacked emails from the account of Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta suggest that even her inner circle came to see Brock as trouble. But liberals who dream of an early end to the Trump presidency are likely to find that he is worse than that. He is now Trump’s best friend and wingman.

For a president who thrives on “fake news” and “alternative facts,” nothing could be more helpful than the revelation that partisan enemies are writing checks for his accusers. It certainly helped Bill Clinton. Back in the 1990s, when Brock was playing for the other team, Clinton defender James Carville dismissed the Arkansas Project thusly: “If you drag a $100 bill through a trailer park, you never know what you’ll find.”

Let alone $200,000.

And that brings us to Brock’s collateral damage. For all of his ostentatious feminism in support of Hillary Clinton, Brock, more than any other person I can name, is responsible for the climate in which women who bring charges of sexual misconduct have every reason to fear they will be savaged and dismissed. It was he, after all, who scored an early jackpot by describing law professor Anita Hill as “a little bit nutty and a little bit slutty.” His tawdry conduct in Arkansas gave ammunition for widespread attacks on Bill Clinton’s accusers. Now Trump toadies have a brush with which to tar any woman who might testify that the president’s long history of crude boasting is more than mere “locker room talk.”

Brock’s sales pitch to mega-donors such as George Soros and Susie Tompkins Buell has always been, essentially, that the right wing weaponized propaganda and that the only answer is to take a gun to the knife fight. But Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.)was on target in 2016 when he said of Brock: “I don’t think you hire scum of the Earth to be on your team just because the other side does it.”

It’s gross, it’s demoralizing, and — look around — it doesn’t work.
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Re: Harvey Weinstein: 'Beautiful Girls' Scribe Scott Rosenbe

Postby admin » Wed Jan 03, 2018 5:48 am

Partisans, Wielding Money, Begin Seeking to Exploit Harassment Claims
by Kenneth P. Vogel
December 31, 2017

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Gloria Allred, left, a high-profile women’s rights lawyer and Democratic donor, is raising money to fund a lawsuit against President Trump by Summer Zervos, right, who has said he sexually assaulted her. Credit Jeenah Moon for The New York Times

WASHINGTON — As the #MeToo movement to expose sexual harassment roils the nation’s capital, political partisans are exploiting the moment, raising hundreds of thousands of dollars to support accusers who come forward with charges against President Trump and members of Congress, even amid questions about their motivation.

As accusations take on a partisan tint, activists and lawyers fear that such an evolution could damage a movement that has shaken Hollywood, Silicon Valley, media suites in New York and the hallways of Congress — and has taken down both a Democratic fund-raiser, Harvey Weinstein, and a conservative stalwart, Bill O’Reilly.

“There is a danger in this environment that unsophisticated individuals who have been abused by powerful people could be exploited by groups seeking partisan advantage, or by lawyers seeking a moment in the limelight,” said Debra Katz, a Washington lawyer who has brought sexual harassment cases against politicians from both parties.


The lawyers and operatives behind the most politically charged cases brush off those concerns.

“I approach this with a pure heart,” said Jack Burkman, a flamboyant Republican lawyer known for right-wing conspiracy theories who is seeking to represent sexual harassment victims. “I don’t want to see it politicized, even though, in a democracy, you see the political weaponization of everything.”

Gloria Allred, a high-profile women’s rights lawyer and Democratic donor, is raising money to fund a lawsuit against Mr. Trump by a woman who says he sexually assaulted her. The woman, Summer Zervos, has filed a defamation suit against the president that could force Mr. Trump to respond to sexual misconduct accusations made in the closing weeks of the campaign by a raft of women.

And a nonprofit group founded by the Democratic activist David Brock, which people familiar with the arrangements say secretly spent $200,000 on an unsuccessful effort to bring forward accusations of sexual misconduct against Mr. Trump before Election Day, is considering creating a fund to encourage victims to bring forward similar claims against Republican politicians.

Activists on the right are also involved. In November, the Trump-backing social media agitator Mike Cernovich offered to pay $10,000 for details of any congressional sexual harassment settlements, and said on Twitter that he would cover the expenses of “any VICTIM of a Congressman who wants to come forward to tell her story.” Shortly before posting that offer, a source provided Mr. Cernovich with a copy of a sexual harassment settlement that led in December to the resignation of Representative John Conyers Jr., Democrat of Michigan, until then the longest-serving member of the House.

And Mr. Burkman, who has suggested that Russian hit men killed a young Democratic National Committee aide during the 2016 election, emerged in October to offer his services to women accusing Mr. Weinstein of sexual misconduct. He had never handled a sexual harassment matter before.



Those pushing the sexual harassment claims say they are just trying to level a playing field that has long favored powerful men, discouraging their victims from coming forward, and silencing many who do using confidential settlements.

Image
Mike Cernovich, a conservative social media agitator, has offered money to anyone with details of sexual harassment settlements with members of Congress. Credit Sam Hodgson for The New York Times

“You got to sweeten the pot a little bit,” Mr. Cernovich said. A lawyer by training, he said he was shocked that the person who gave him the Conyers documents declined his offer to pay for them.

But, he said, “if somebody had a settlement like Conyers, I would gladly, gladly pay for that.”

Money could have costs.

“If you’re getting money from someone who has an ax to grind against the person you’re accusing of unlawful activity, that most certainly opens the door to a line of questioning that very well could undermine the veracity of your client’s story,” said Douglas H. Wigdor, a leading New York employment lawyer who has brought a barrage of lawsuits against powerful men and institutions in recent years.

The partisan efforts have already sparked some backlash. Mr. Cernovich and the far-right activist Charles C. Johnson had to back away from claims that they possessed a sexual harassment settlement that would bring down a leading Democratic senator when it became apparent that the document — which targeted the Senate Democratic leader, Chuck Schumer of New York — was a forgery, lifting passages verbatim from the Conyers complaint unearthed by Mr. Cernovich. Mr. Schumer referred the matter to the Capitol Hill police for a criminal investigation.

“I like to hype things in advance, and this looked pretty good,” Mr. Cernovich said. “I definitely learned a lesson there.”

Mr. Cernovich is an unlikely champion for sexual harassment victims, given his previous career as an anti-feminist blogger who cast doubt on date-rape allegations and wrote posts with headlines like “Misogyny Gets You Laid.”

Money’s Role

It is difficult to determine how much money has been raised to fund claims related to sexual harassment, since there are no public disclosure requirements for most such donations. But the solicitations seem likely to fuel skepticism.

Supporters of Republican politicians who have been accused of sexual misconduct — including Mr. Trump and the failed Republican Senate candidate Roy S. Moore of Alabama — have fought back by suggesting, mostly without evidence, that their accusers are being paid by Democratic partisans.

Some Democrats have ascribed political motivation to sexual harassment claims against their politicians as well, including those that led to the resignation of Senator Al Franken of Minnesota. His defenders point out that Mr. Franken’s initial accuser, Leeann Tweeden, had appeared as a semiregular guest on the Fox News Channel show hosted by Sean Hannity, a confidant of Mr. Trump.


Video by Dr.Gina Loudon

Fueling Democratic suspicions was a Twitter message linked to a Trump political adviser, Roger Stone, that surfaced hours before Ms. Tweeden’s initial charges: “Roger Stone says it’s Al Franken’s ‘time in the barrel’. Franken next in long list of Democrats to be accused of ‘grabby’ behavior.”

Mr. Stone has said he “had no hand in it at all,” but was tipped off by a source “within the Fox network” that the allegation was coming.


Ms. Allred said she was not concerned about the motivations of partisans who might fund Ms. Zervos’s case against Mr. Trump.

“I have neither the time nor the interest to interview each donor and ask them why they would want to support our client,” she said, “so I have no way to know whether they have a political agenda, or they just think truth matters.”

Ms. Allred maintains an active online appeal for Ms. Zervos’s case, and has personally solicited donations from influential Democrats. She has discussed fund-raising assistance with Mr. Brock, once a self-described “right-wing hit man” who switched sides and eventually became one of Hillary Clinton’s fiercest loyalists during her campaign against Mr. Trump.

Ms. Allred said her fund-raising for the Zervos case had so far yielded “just under $30,000,” mostly in small donations.
The money is being used for expenses like depositions and has not gone to pay legal fees, which already have reached $150,000, said Ms. Allred, who added that neither she nor Ms. Zervos would personally accept any of the money raised.

“We certainly do not see any prospect of being paid by the fund based on the amounts donated to date,” she wrote in an email. “Nevertheless, we will continue to devote ourselves to Ms. Zervos’s case because we believe, as does Ms. Zervos, that truth matters and that President Trump should be held accountable for his words and his actions.”

During the presidential campaign, Ms. Zervos said Mr. Trump sexually assaulted her in 2007, after she appeared as a contestant on his reality TV show, “The Apprentice.” He dismissed her accusations and those of other accusers as “made-up nonsense” and suggested they were motivated by fame, or were being put up to it by Mrs. Clinton’s campaign — comments that formed the basis for the defamation suit Ms. Zervos filed after the election. A judge is deciding whether to allow the lawsuit to proceed.

A Long History

Questions about the financing and motivations behind sexual harassment charges targeting politicians are not new.

In 1993, Mr. Brock first revealed sexual harassment accusations against President Bill Clinton by a former Arkansas state employee, Paula Jones, in the magazine The American Spectator, which received $1.8 million for its scrutiny of the Clintons from the conservative banking heir Richard Mellon Scaife.

Ms. Jones’s harassment lawsuit came to be funded by a conservative legal nonprofit called the Rutherford Institute, which had never before handled a sexual harassment case.

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David Brock helped uncover and promote charges of sexual misconduct against President Bill Clinton before becoming a stalwart backer of Hillary Clinton in 2016. He is now considering creating a fund to encourage victims to bring forward sexual misconduct claims against Republican politicians. Credit Todd Heisler/The New York Times

Mr. Clinton eventually paid Ms. Jones $850,000 to drop her lawsuit in 1999. But by then, a deposition given by Mr. Clinton in the lawsuit — in which he denied a sexual relationship with the former White House intern Monica S. Lewinsky — had set in motion a process that ended with Mr. Clinton’s impeachment.

Ms. Allred’s daughter, the lawyer Lisa Bloom, seized on the political potency of sexual harassment charges against Mr. Trump not long after he clinched the Republican presidential nomination. She said she reached out to a pro-Clinton “super PAC” — though she declined to identify which one — for money to help her vet a sexual misconduct claim against Mr. Trump.

That case collapsed one week before Election Day, but as a result of the attention it generated, several donors reached out to Ms. Bloom “asking how they could help,” she said. She told them that she was working with “a few other women” who might “find the courage to speak out” against Mr. Trump if the donors would provide funds for security, relocation and possibly a “safe house.”

Ms. Bloom would not identify the donors. But two Democrats familiar with the arrangements said a nonprofit group founded by Mr. Brock, American Bridge 21st Century Foundation, gave $200,000, while the fashion entrepreneur Susie Tompkins Buell, a major donor to Mr. Brock’s suite of groups, gave $500,000 to Ms. Bloom’s firm for the last-ditch effort.

It was not productive. One woman requested $2 million, Ms. Bloom said, then decided not to come forward. Nor did any other women.

Ms. Bloom said she refunded most of the cash, keeping only “some funds to pay for our out-of-pocket expenses” accrued while working to vet and prepare cases. She said that she did not receive any legal fees for the work, and that she did not communicate with Mrs. Clinton or her campaign “on any of this.” She said she represented only clients whose stories she had corroborated, and disputed the premise that she offered money to coax clients to come forward.

“It doesn’t cost anything to publicly air allegations,” she said. “Security and relocation are expensive and were sorely needed in a case of this magnitude, in a country filled with so much anger, hate and violence.”

The Democrats familiar with the financial arrangements said Ms. Bloom’s firm kept the money from American Bridge, but refunded the money from Ms. Buell.

Mr. Brock declined to comment, and representatives from Mrs. Clinton’s campaign said they were unaware of his work with Ms. Bloom.


Ms. Buell, a longtime friend and financial supporter of Mrs. Clinton who helped found the clothing brand Esprit, would not comment on the financial arrangement. But she expressed frustration that Mr. Trump has escaped the repercussions that have befallen other powerful men accused of similar misconduct.

The allegations against Mr. Trump might “resonate more” with voters amid the current national conversation about sexual misconduct, she suggested.
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Re: Harvey Weinstein: 'Beautiful Girls' Scribe Scott Rosenbe

Postby admin » Wed Jan 17, 2018 2:34 am

Sex-abuse victims face gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar at sentencing
by Tracy Connor
January 16, 2018 8:21 PM ET

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Sex-abuse victims face gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar at sentencing
by TRACY CONNOR

"Little girls don't stay little forever."

Kyle Stephens stood in a Michigan courtroom on Tuesday and practically spat those words at Larry Nassar, the former gymnastics doctor who began molesting her when she was just six years old and who now faces a life in prison for his serial sexual assaults.

"They grow into strong women that return to destroy your world," Stephens said as Nassar, wearing blue jailhouse clothes, buried his forehead in his hand.

Weeping at times, she recounted how her accusation against Nassar, a family friend, tore her family apart. She said her father's belated realization she was telling the truth helped drive him to suicide.

"You convinced my parents I was a liar," she said to Nassar, who did not meet her gaze.


Stephens was the first of nearly 100 victims who will give statements at an extraordinary marathon sentencing hearing for Nassar, who has pleaded guilty to molesting 10 girls but is accused by scores more — including Olympic gold medalists Simone Biles, Aly Raisman, Gabby Douglas and McKayla Maroney.

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Kyle Stephens gives her victim impact statement. Geoff Robins / AFP - Getty Images

The famous athletes were not in the courtroom — Raisman said she couldn't bear to see Nassar — but a cavalcade of the less celebrated braved the spotlight to bare details of sleepless nights and feelings of shame.

Hour after hour, they stood at a podium with tears in their eyes and rage and sadness in their voices to tell the court how Nassar, 54, had violated them with ungloved hands under the guise of examinations and treatments.

"I often think of suicide," said Annette Hill, who saw Nassar for an injury two decades ago.

Donna Markham spoke on behalf of her daughter, Chelsey, who committed suicide in 2009, the end of a downward spiral that began with a single visit to Nassar's office when she was 10 years old.

"Every day I miss her and it all started with him," she said, racked with sobs. "It all started with him."

Some said they did not realize they had been assaulted until Nassar was unmasked in 2016 as a prolific predator or until he was arrested months later for a massive collection of child pornography.

"I knew... I knew after months of defending the mastermind, I knew I was one of them," said Alexis Moore, who began seeing Nassar when she was nine years old.

Some victims condemned USA Gymnastics, which made Nassar its team physician, and Michigan State University, where he had his sports medicine practice, for failing to acknowledge the mistakes they made before and after the scandal broke.

Olivia Cowan, tears dripping from her face at times, was outraged that MSU's president and trustees skipped the hearing, which is expected to last through Friday.

"How convenient that you decided not to attend today," she said scornfully. "You are a coward."


Through it all, Nassar sat in the witness box with his head down. At times his body shook, and he occasionally seemed to be crying. He has already been sentenced to 60 years on the federal child pornography charges, and he could get double that on the state sexual abuse charges.

Stephens asked the judge to ensure that Nassar would never be free to hurt again.

Standing tall with a prosecutor wiping away tears behind her, she described how the doctor repeatedly assaulted her in his basement for years: masturbating with lotion in front of her, rubbing her foot on his genitals and violating her with his fingers.

"Without my knowledge or consent, I had engaged in my first sexual experience when I was in kindergarten," said Stephens, the only accuser who was not molested as a patient of Nassar's medical practice.

She was 12 years old when she finally told her parents about the abuse. They confronted Nassar and he denied it.

Stephens' voice cracked as she said: "My parents chose to believe Larry Nassar over me."

Her allegation fractured her relationship with her parents, she said. Every time she and her father got into an argument, he would tell her, "You need to apologize to Larry."


When she was about to leave for college, she tried to convince her father once again that she was telling the truth. This time, he believed her — and watching that realization creep over him only deepened her pain.

She and her father tried to patch things up, but he killed himself in 2016. He was coping with serious health problems at the time, but Stephens has no doubt that wasn't the only factor.

"Had he not had to bear the shame and self-loathing that stemmed from his defense of Larry Nassar, I believe he would have had a fighting chance for his life," Stephens said.

"Larry Nassar wedged himself between myself and my family," she said. "For a long time, I told people I did not have a family."

Alexandra Raisman

@Aly_Raisman
I will not be attending the sentencing because it is too traumatic for me. My impact letter will be read in court in front of Nassar. I support the brave survivors. We are all in this together. #StopAbuse
2:11 PM - Jan 15, 2018


But Stephens couldn't get away from Larry Nassar's family. She worried about his daughters and continued to babysit for them, acting as their protector and to pay for counseling.

The situation was so surreal, she sometimes wondered if she had imagined the abuse. So she would replay the encounters over and over again to maintain her grip on reality.

Her life became a cycle of depression, anxiety, eating disorders and other compulsive conditions. She lay on the floor for hours, pulling out her hair and would take out her gun to remind herself that she had some control over her life. Many mornings, she said, she woke to the thought: "I want to die."


Stephens paused and asked the judge if she could address Nassar directly. Then she reminded him that after her parents first confronted him, he sat on their living room couch and spoke to her.

"I listened to you tell me, 'No one should ever do that and if they do, you should tell someone,'" she said.

"Well, Larry, I'm here, not to tell someone — but to tell everyone.
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Re: Harvey Weinstein: 'Beautiful Girls' Scribe Scott Rosenbe

Postby admin » Wed Jan 17, 2018 2:50 am

Selma Blair Reveals James Toback Threatened to "Gouge" Her Eyes Out
by Lexy Perez
Hollywood Reporter
8:48 AM PST 1/16/2018

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JB Lacroix/ WireImage

The actress said she thinks the director, who she's been told has been accused of "real assault" by 359 women and who sexually harassed her, "belongs in jail."


Selma Blair opened up about her decision to come forward and reveal the harassment she allegedly endured from director James Toback, as well as what she hopes will happen to the disgraced director, who once threatened to kill her and gouge her eyes out, and how she feels about the power of the #MeToo movement.

Toback’s years of allegedly engaging in sexually inappropriate behavior during auditions was first reported by an exposé in The Los Angeles Times, where 38 women detailed the harassment they endured from the director. Blair, who was one of the original Hollywood accusers to come forward about Toback, said the director threatened to kill her if she told anyone about how he allegedly harassed her.

“I’ve literally been afraid for 17 years of James Toback who threatened to murder me and, you know, put cement shoes on and gouge my eyes out with a Bic pen if I ever told anybody,” Blair said during a sitdown on Monday's episode of The Talk. “I was mortally afraid for a really long time.”

Blair added that she originally felt helpless and fearful over coming forward, refusing to go on-the-record with her Toback story. After Toback denied the allegations made against him, Blair knew she had to publicly address her personal experience with the director, sharing details to Vanity Fair. "I said, if I can be a bigger voice, I will. My prayer…was that there will be women much bigger than me that will be taken much more seriously, with pristine records that people will really pay attention to and it did. It’s really happening. And it will be better for all of us.”

Blair also finds comfort in knowing that the accuser count has risen to 359, according to the author of the original Times exposé about Toback, all with stories that Blair says constitute “real assault.”

After multiple accusers came forward against Toback, an investigation was launched into the once esteemed director. "I do believe James Toback belongs in jail,” Blair said when asked about her feelings on the investigation. Later adding, “I would hope that he was found guilty, but it is a lot of he-said she-said, but people have come to me personally that he's done much worse to, and yes, I do believe he deserves to be in jail."

Though disturbing stories have been told regarding some of Hollywood’s high-profile figures, the power of the #MeToo movement and Time’s Up are something Blair finds “incredible,” and she's relieved that they represent more than just a “moment.”

“It feels incredible and it's a long time coming for us. For all of us. It was a moment that's turned into a movement," Blair said.

Apart from Blair, actresses Rachel McAdams, Julianne Moore and Natalie Morales also came forward with their own harassment allegations against James Toback.

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Re: Harvey Weinstein: 'Beautiful Girls' Scribe Scott Rosenbe

Postby admin » Wed Jan 17, 2018 2:59 am

McKayla Maroney Faces $100K Fine if She Speaks Out Against Her Abuser — Model Offers to Pay It
by Jenni Fink
January 16, 2018 | 10:23 AM

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What began as one athlete's story of abuse at the hands of Larry Nassar has become a harrowing tale of years of widespread abuse of vulnerable young women.

One of the brave athletes to come forward and share her story was Olympic gold medalist McKayla Maroney. In October, she explained:

It started when I was 13 years old, at one of my first National Team training camps, in Texas, and it didn’t end until I left the sport. It seemed whenever and wherever this man could find the chance, I was “treated.”


Maroney filed a lawsuit against USA Gymnastics and was reportedly awarded $1.25 million in December 2016 as part of a settlement.

On Tuesday, the doctor's four-day sentencing hearing began, and according to the Lansing State Journal, 88 women and girls are expected to give victim impact statements.

It hasn't been reported if Maroney will be one of those 88, because her settlement also included a nondisclosure agreement. If the athlete speaks about Nassar, she faces a $100,000 fine.

However, if she wants to say something, model Chrissy Teigen is willing to pay the 22-year-old's fine. On Tuesday, Teigen noted that the “entire principle” of an agreement “to stay quiet about this serial monster with over 140 accusers” should be challenged.


It's unlikely changes will be made in time for the hearing, so Teigen said, “I would be absolutely honored to pay this fine for you, McKayla.”

Revealed: McKayla Maroney faces $100K fine if she speaks at Larry Nassar sentencing after USA Gymnastics made her sign an NDA ordering her to stay quiet about abuse as part of her $1.25M settlement
christine teigen

@chrissyteigen
The entire principle of this should be fought - an NDA to stay quiet about this serial monster with over 140 accusers, but I would be absolutely honored to pay this fine for you, McKayla.
9:15 AM - Jan 16, 2018


Nassar was previously sentenced to 60 years in federal prison on child pornography charges, and he currently faces an additional sentence that ranges from 25 years to life.
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Re: Harvey Weinstein: 'Beautiful Girls' Scribe Scott Rosenbe

Postby admin » Wed Jan 17, 2018 3:16 am

Steven Seagal Accused of Rape Following Multiple Allegations of Sexual Misconduct
by Brianne Tracy
People
January 11, 2018 08:30 PM

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-- Regina Simons


An extra who appeared in Steven Seagal’s 1994 film On Deadly Ground has accused the actor of rape after numerous women have come forward with accounts of his sexual misconduct.

Regina Simons told TheWrap that she was 18 at the time of the alleged rape, which she claims happened after Seagal, 65, invited her to a wrap party for the movie at his Beverly Hills home in 1993.

When she arrived, she said that he was the only one there and that there were no signs of a celebration.

“He took me into this room and then just closed the door and started kissing me,” she told the site. “He then took my clothes off and before I knew it he was on top of me, raping me… I wasn’t sexually active yet. People always talk about fight-or-flight. But no one talks about the freeze.”

Simons, who is now a 43-year-old mother of two, said that she was “completely caught off guard” and notes that Seagal was “three times” her size.


“I was crying when he was on top of me,” she said. “Even now, my 43-year-old mind knows how to process this and understand what a loving relationship is and what consensual sex is. And there was none of that.”

Simons also described her alleged first encounter with Seagal, which she said was during the open casting call for the movie in which they were looking to feature Native Americans (she’s part Navajo and part Sioux) and claims that he invited her and her brother into his trailer.

After mentioning she had a headache in the trailer, Simons claims that Seagal offered to give her a massage and rubbed her hand and neck before going to set.

Simons said that she contemplated coming forward but decided against it.

Image
-- Faviola Dadis


Dutch model Faviola Dadis told TheWrap that both she and Simons filed reports about Seagal with the LAPD in the last month, and an LAPD spokeswoman also said that the department is investigating a separate case involving Seagal from 2005.

Dadis took to Instagram in November to accuse the actor of sexually assaulting her at an audition in 2002 after being inspired by Portia de Rossi coming forward with her own accusations.

“When I was 20 I was auditioning for a movie with #StevenSeagal and was sexually assaulted by him,” she wrote. “During all our initial interactions, there was a production assistant or casting director present along with Steven. We established a relationship via text, and bonded about similar interests like Buddhism. After 2 callbacks (during the day and always with others present), I was invited for a private audition at the W Hotel late in the evening. Steven said the audition was to see my figure. I was told to wear a bikini under my clothes, and that the PA and casting director would also be there. As this is quite standard in the modeling industry, I agreed to the audition.”

Dadis continued that she was escorted to the room by Seagal’s personal assistant, but when she arrived there was no one but him and his security in the room.

“Steven asked if I would take off my clothes and walk for him in my bikini,” she said. “After doing so (he was on the couch and I was at a far enough distance to do a catwalk for him), he approached me and said he wanted to act out a romantic scene. I was hesitant and expressed this, then he started fondling my breasts and grabbing my crotch. I quickly yelled ‘This audition is over!’ and tried to run out of the room but was blocked by his security. I started making a noticeable amount of noise, and his security realized I would alert someone, and let me leave.”

In light of the allegations by #PortiadeRossi, I want to speak up about something I should have years ago. When I was around 20 I was auditioning for a movie with #StevenSeagal and was sexually assaulted by him. During all our initial interactions, there was a production assistant or casting director present along with Steven. We established a relationship via text, and bonded about similar interests like Buddhism. After 2 callbacks (during the day and always with others present), I was invited for a private audition at the W Hotel late in the evening. Steven said the audition was to see my figure. I was told to wear a bikini under my clothes, and that the PA and casting director would also be there. As this is quite standard in the modeling industry, I agreed to the audition. I was escorted to the room by Steven’s personal assistant. I assumed the PA and casting director were already in the room, but when I arrived no one was there but Steven and his security who stood blocking the door. I noted this was a bit strange, but he apologized and explained they had other obligations. Steven asked if I would take off my clothes and walk for him in my bikini. After doing so (he was on the couch and I was at a far enough distance to do a catwalk for him), he approached me and said he wanted to act out a romantic scene. I was hesitant and expressed this, then he started fondling my breasts and grabbing my crotch. I quickly yelled “This audition is over!”, and tried to run out of the room but was blocked by his security. I started making a noticeable amount of noise, and his security realized I would alert someone,and let me leave. I never reported this to anyone out of fear that someone like Steven, with such a huge amount of power, influence, and money would easily win a legal battle; and furthermore that I would damage my career. However, as others are now speaking out against Steven, I would like to do the same. This was unfortunately not the last time I experienced this type of behavior from men, and it is completely unacceptable.

-- A post shared by Faviola Dadis (@neurosciencebarbie) on Nov 9, 2017 at 2:52pm PST


Dadis also wrote that she decided not to come forward out of the fear that someone with Seagal’s amount of power, influence and money would win a legal battle.

Seagal has previously been accused of harassment and other misconduct by actresses Rossi, Julianna Margulies, Jenny McCarthy and Inside Edition correspondent Lisa Guerrero.

A spokesman for Seagal previously denied McCarthy’s claims that he asked her to strip naked during an audition for the movie Under Siege 2 to The Daily Beast.

In November, an unnamed female Hollywood executive told Page Six that Seagal lured her into his trailer for a “costume change” on the set of the 1991 movie movie Out for Justice and barged in while she was changing. She claims that Seagal then called her to invite her over to his hotel. When she said she wasn’t comfortable, she alleges that he responded, “You are not comfortable sitting on my face for an hour?”

Seagal’s lawyer at the time, Marty Singer, told The Sun, “This is totally false…It is interesting this person doesn’t give her name to give her claims legitimacy.”

PEOPLE’s attempts to reach a representative for Seagal were unsuccessful.
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Re: Harvey Weinstein: 'Beautiful Girls' Scribe Scott Rosenbe

Postby admin » Fri Feb 09, 2018 10:22 pm

This Is Why Uma Thurman Is Angry: The actress is finally ready to talk about Harvey Weinstein.
by Maureen Dowd
February 3, 2018

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YOU ARE REQUIRED TO READ THE COPYRIGHT NOTICE AT THIS LINK BEFORE YOU READ THE FOLLOWING WORK, THAT IS AVAILABLE SOLELY FOR PRIVATE STUDY, SCHOLARSHIP OR RESEARCH PURSUANT TO 17 U.S.C. SECTION 107 AND 108. IN THE EVENT THAT THE LIBRARY DETERMINES THAT UNLAWFUL COPYING OF THIS WORK HAS OCCURRED, THE LIBRARY HAS THE RIGHT TO BLOCK THE I.P. ADDRESS AT WHICH THE UNLAWFUL COPYING APPEARED TO HAVE OCCURRED. THANK YOU FOR RESPECTING THE RIGHTS OF COPYRIGHT OWNERS.


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Yes, Uma Thurman is mad.

She has been raped. She has been sexually assaulted. She has been mangled in hot steel. She has been betrayed and gaslighted by those she trusted.

And we’re not talking about her role as the blood-spattered bride in “Kill Bill.” We’re talking about a world that is just as cutthroat, amoral, vindictive and misogynistic as any Quentin Tarantino hellscape.

We’re talking about Hollywood, where even an avenging angel has a hard time getting respect, much less bloody satisfaction.

Playing foxy Mia Wallace in 1994’s “Pulp Fiction” and ferocious Beatrix Kiddo in “Kill Bill,” Volumes 1 (2003) and 2 (2004), Thurman was the lissome goddess in the creation myth of Harvey Weinstein and Quentin Tarantino. The Miramax troika was the ultimate in indie cool. A spellbound Tarantino often described his auteur-muse relationship with Thurman — who helped him conceive the idea of the bloody bride — as an Alfred Hitchcock-Ingrid Bergman legend. (With a foot fetish thrown in.) But beneath the glistening Oscar gold, there was a dark undercurrent that twisted the triangle.

“Pulp Fiction” made Weinstein rich and respected, and Thurman says he introduced her to President Barack Obama at a fund-raiser as the reason he had his house.

“The complicated feeling I have about Harvey is how bad I feel about all the women that were attacked after I was,” she told me one recent night, looking anguished in her elegant apartment in River House on Manhattan’s East Side, as she vaped tobacco, sipped white wine and fed empty pizza boxes into the fireplace.

“I am one of the reasons that a young girl would walk into his room alone, the way I did. Quentin used Harvey as the executive producer of ‘Kill Bill,’ a movie that symbolizes female empowerment. And all these lambs walked into slaughter because they were convinced nobody rises to such a position who would do something illegal to you, but they do.”

Thurman stresses that Creative Artists Agency, her former agency, was connected to Weinstein’s predatory behavior. It has since issued a public apology. “I stand as both a person who was subjected to it and a person who was then also part of the cloud cover, so that’s a super weird split to have,” she says.

She talks mordantly about “the power from ‘Pulp,’” and reminds me that it’s in the Library of Congress, part of the American narrative.

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Uma Thurman as Mia Wallace in Quentin Tarantino’s 1994 film, “Pulp Fiction.” Harvey Weinstein was an executive producer. Credit Miramax Films

When asked about the scandal on the red carpet at the October premiere for her Broadway play, “The Parisian Woman,” an intrigue about a glamorous woman in President Trump’s Washington written by “House of Cards” creator Beau Willimon, she looked steely and said she was waiting to feel less angry before she talked about it.

“I used the word ‘anger’ but I was more worried about crying, to tell you the truth,” she says now. “I was not a groundbreaker on a story I knew to be true. So what you really saw was a person buying time.”

By Thanksgiving, Thurman had begun to unsheathe her Hattori Hanzo, Instagramming a screen shot of her “roaring rampage of revenge” monologue and wishing everyone a happy holiday, “(Except you Harvey, and all your wicked conspirators — I’m glad it’s going slowly — you don’t deserve a bullet) — stay tuned.”

Stretching out her lanky frame on a brown velvet couch in front of the fire, Thurman tells her story, with occasional interruptions from her 5-year-old daughter with her ex, financier Arpad Busson. Luna is in her pj’s, munching on a raw cucumber. Her two older kids with Ethan Hawke, Maya, an actress, and Levon, a high school student, also drop by.

In interviews over the years, Thurman has offered a Zen outlook — even when talking about her painful breakup from Hawke. (She had a brief first marriage to Gary Oldman.) Her hall features a large golden Buddha from her parents in Woodstock; her father, Robert Thurman, is a Buddhist professor of Indo-Tibetan studies at Columbia who thinks Uma is a reincarnated goddess.

But beneath that reserve and golden aura, she has learned to be a street fighter.

She says when she was 16, living in a studio apartment in Manhattan and starting her movie career, she went to a club one winter night and met an actor, nearly 20 years older, who coerced her afterward when they went to his Greenwich Village brownstone for a nightcap.

“I was ultimately compliant,” she remembers. “I tried to say no, I cried, I did everything I could do. He told me the door was locked but I never ran over and tried the knob. When I got home, I remember I stood in front of the mirror and I looked at my hands and I was so mad at them for not being bloody or bruised. Something like that tunes the dial one way or another, right? You become more compliant or less compliant, and I think I became less compliant.”

Thurman got to know Weinstein and his first wife, Eve, in the afterglow of “Pulp Fiction.” “I knew him pretty well before he attacked me,” she said. “He used to spend hours talking to me about material and complimenting my mind and validating me. It possibly made me overlook warning signs. This was my champion. I was never any kind of studio darling. He had a chokehold on the type of films and directors that were right for me.”

Things soon went off-kilter in a meeting in his Paris hotel room. “It went right over my head,” she says. They were arguing about a script when the bathrobe came out.

“I didn’t feel threatened,” she recalls. “I thought he was being super idiosyncratic, like this was your kooky, eccentric uncle.”

He told her to follow him down a hall — there were always, she says, “vestibules within corridors within chambers” — so they could keep talking. “Then I followed him through a door and it was a steam room. And I was standing there in my full black leather outfit — boots, pants, jacket. And it was so hot and I said, ‘This is ridiculous, what are you doing?’ And he was getting very flustered and mad and he jumped up and ran out.”

The first “attack,” she says, came not long after in Weinstein’s suite at the Savoy Hotel in London. “It was such a bat to the head. He pushed me down. He tried to shove himself on me. He tried to expose himself. He did all kinds of unpleasant things. But he didn’t actually put his back into it and force me. You’re like an animal wriggling away, like a lizard. I was doing anything I could to get the train back on the track. My track. Not his track.”


She was staying in Fulham with her friend, Ilona Herman, Robert De Niro’s longtime makeup artist, who later worked with Thurman on “Kill Bill.”

“The next day to her house arrived a 26-inch-wide vulgar bunch of roses,” Thurman says. “They were yellow. And I opened the note like it was a soiled diaper and it just said, ‘You have great instincts.’” Then, she says, Weinstein’s assistants started calling again to talk about projects.

She thought she could confront him and clear it up, but she took Herman with her and asked Weinstein to meet her in the Savoy bar. The assistants had their own special choreography to lure actresses into the spider’s web and they pressured Thurman, putting Weinstein on the phone to again say it was a misunderstanding and “we have so many projects together.” Finally she agreed to go upstairs, while Herman waited on a settee outside the elevators.

Once the assistants vanished, Thurman says, she warned Weinstein, “If you do what you did to me to other people you will lose your career, your reputation and your family, I promise you.” Her memory of the incident abruptly stops there.


Through a representative, Weinstein, who is in therapy in Arizona, agreed that “she very well could have said this.”

Downstairs, Herman was getting nervous. “It seemed to take forever,” the friend told me. Finally, the elevator doors opened and Thurman walked out. “She was very disheveled and so upset and had this blank look,” Herman recalled. “Her eyes were crazy and she was totally out of control. I shoveled her into the taxi and we went home to my house. She was really shaking.” Herman said that when the actress was able to talk again, she revealed that Weinstein had threatened to derail her career.

Through a spokesperson, Weinstein denied ever threatening her prospects and said that he thought she was “a brilliant actress.” He acknowledged her account of the episodes but said that up until the Paris steam room, they had had “a flirtatious and fun working relationship.”

“Mr. Weinstein acknowledges making a pass at Ms. Thurman in England after misreading her signals in Paris,” the statement said. “He immediately apologized.”

Thurman says that, even though she was in the middle of a run of Miramax projects, she privately regarded Weinstein as an enemy after that. One top Hollywood executive who knew them both said the work relationship continued but that basically, “She didn’t give him the time of day.”

Thurman says that she could tolerate the mogul in supervised environments and that she assumed she had “aged out of the window of his assault range.”


She attended the party he had in SoHo in September for Tarantino’s engagement to Daniella Pick, an Israeli singer. In response to queries about Thurman’s revelations, Weinstein sent along six pictures of chummy photos of the two of them at premieres and parties over the years.

And that brings us to “the Quentin of it all,” as Thurman calls it. The animosity between Weinstein and Thurman infected her creative partnership with Tarantino.

Married to Hawke and with a baby daughter and a son on the way, Thurman went to the Cannes Film Festival in 2001. She says Tarantino noticed after a dinner that she was skittish around Weinstein, which was a problem, since they were all about to make “Kill Bill.” She says she reminded Tarantino that she had already told him about the Savoy incident, but “he probably dismissed it like ‘Oh, poor Harvey, trying to get girls he can’t have,’ whatever he told himself, who knows?” But she reminded him again and “the penny dropped for him. He confronted Harvey.”

Later, by the pool under the Cypress trees at the luxurious Hotel du Cap, Thurman recalls, Weinstein said he was hurt and surprised by her accusations. She then firmly reiterated what happened in London. “At some point, his eyes changed and he went from aggressive to ashamed,” she says, and he offered her an apology with many of the sentiments he would trot out about 16 years later when the walls caved in.

“I just walked away stunned, like ‘O.K., well there’s my half-assed apology,’” Thurman says.


Weinstein confirmed Friday that he apologized, an unusual admission from him, which spurred Thurman to wryly note, “His therapy must be working.”

Since the revelations about Weinstein became public last fall, Thurman has been reliving her encounters with him — and a gruesome episode on location for “Kill Bill” in Mexico made her feel as blindsided as the bride and as determined to get her due, no matter how long it took.

With four days left, after nine months of shooting the sadistic saga, Thurman was asked to do something that made her draw the line.

In the famous scene where she’s driving the blue convertible to kill Bill — the same one she put on Instagram on Thanksgiving — she was asked to do the driving herself.

But she had been led to believe by a teamster, she says, that the car, which had been reconfigured from a stick shift to an automatic, might not be working that well.

She says she insisted that she didn’t feel comfortable operating the car and would prefer a stunt person to do it. Producers say they do not recall her objecting.

“Quentin came in my trailer and didn’t like to hear no, like any director,” she says. “He was furious because I’d cost them a lot of time. But I was scared. He said: ‘I promise you the car is fine. It’s a straight piece of road.’” He persuaded her to do it, and instructed: “ ‘Hit 40 miles per hour or your hair won’t blow the right way and I’ll make you do it again.’ But that was a deathbox that I was in. The seat wasn’t screwed down properly. It was a sand road and it was not a straight road.” (Tarantino did not respond to requests for comment.)


Thurman then shows me the footage that she says has taken her 15 years to get. “Solving my own Nancy Drew mystery,” she says.

It’s from the point of view of a camera mounted to the back of the Karmann Ghia. It’s frightening to watch Thurman wrestle with the car, as it drifts off the road and smashes into a palm tree, her contorted torso heaving helplessly until crew members appear in the frame to pull her out of the wreckage. Tarantino leans in and Thurman flashes a relieved smile when she realizes that she can briefly stand.


A Crash on the Set of 'Kill Bill'
Uma Thurman said she didn't want to drive this car. She said she had been warned that there were issues with it. She felt she had to do it anyway. It took her some 15 years to get footage of the crash. (Note: There is no audio.) Publish Date February 2, 2018.


“The steering wheel was at my belly and my legs were jammed under me,” she says. “I felt this searing pain and thought, ‘Oh my God, I’m never going to walk again,’” she says. “When I came back from the hospital in a neck brace with my knees damaged and a large massive egg on my head and a concussion, I wanted to see the car and I was very upset. Quentin and I had an enormous fight, and I accused him of trying to kill me. And he was very angry at that, I guess understandably, because he didn’t feel he had tried to kill me.”

Even though their marriage was spiraling apart, Hawke immediately left the Abbey of Gethsemani in Kentucky to fly to his wife’s side.

“I approached Quentin in very serious terms and told him that he had let Uma down as a director and as a friend,” he told me. He said he told Tarantino, “Hey, man, she is a great actress, not a stunt driver, and you know that.” Hawke added that the director “was very upset with himself and asked for my forgiveness.”

Two weeks after the crash, after trying to see the car and footage of the incident, she had her lawyer send a letter to Miramax, summarizing the event and reserving the right to sue.

Miramax offered to show her the footage if she signed a document “releasing them of any consequences of my future pain and suffering,” she says. She didn’t.

Thurman says her mind meld with Tarantino was rattled. “We were in a terrible fight for years,” she explains. “We had to then go through promoting the movies. It was all very thin ice. We had a fateful fight at Soho House in New York in 2004 and we were shouting at each other because he wouldn’t let me see the footage and he told me that was what they had all decided.”


Now, so many years after the accident, inspired by the reckoning on violence against women, reliving her own “dehumanization to the point of death” in Mexico, and furious that there have not been more legal repercussions against Weinstein, Thurman says she handed over the result of her own excavations to the police and ramped up the pressure to cajole the crash footage out of Tarantino.

“Quentin finally atoned by giving it to me after 15 years, right?” she says. “Not that it matters now, with my permanently damaged neck and my screwed-up knees.”

(Tarantino aficionados spy an echo of Thurman’s crash in his 2007 movie, “Death Proof,” produced by Weinstein and starring Thurman’s stunt double, Zoë Bell. Young women, including a blond Rose McGowan, die in myriad ways, including by slamming into a windshield.)

As she sits by the fire on a second night when we talk until 3 a.m., tears begin to fall down her cheeks. She brushes them away.

“When they turned on me after the accident,” she says, “I went from being a creative contributor and performer to being like a broken tool.”

Thurman says that in “Kill Bill,” Tarantino had done the honors with some of the sadistic flourishes himself, spitting in her face in the scene where Michael Madsen is seen on screen doing it and choking her with a chain in the scene where a teenager named Gogo is on screen doing it.


“Harvey assaulted me but that didn’t kill me,” she says. “What really got me about the crash was that it was a cheap shot. I had been through so many rings of fire by that point. I had really always felt a connection to the greater good in my work with Quentin and most of what I allowed to happen to me and what I participated in was kind of like a horrible mud wrestle with a very angry brother. But at least I had some say, you know?” She says she didn’t feel disempowered by any of it. Until the crash.

“Personally, it has taken me 47 years to stop calling people who are mean to you ‘in love’ with you. It took a long time because I think that as little girls we are conditioned to believe that cruelty and love somehow have a connection and that is like the sort of era that we need to evolve out of.”

I invite you to follow me on Twitter (@MaureenDowd) and join me on Facebook.
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Re: Harvey Weinstein: 'Beautiful Girls' Scribe Scott Rosenbe

Postby admin » Sat Feb 10, 2018 1:13 am

Harvey Weinstein Is My Monster Too
by Salma Hayek
Dec. 12, 2017

NOTICE: THIS WORK MAY BE PROTECTED BY COPYRIGHT

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HARVEY WEINSTEIN WAS a passionate cinephile, a risk taker, a patron of talent in film, a loving father and a monster.

For years, he was my monster.

This fall, I was approached by reporters, through different sources, including my dear friend Ashley Judd, to speak about an episode in my life that, although painful, I thought I had made peace with.

I had brainwashed myself into thinking that it was over and that I had survived; I hid from the responsibility to speak out with the excuse that enough people were already involved in shining a light on my monster. I didn’t consider my voice important, nor did I think it would make a difference.

In reality, I was trying to save myself the challenge of explaining several things to my loved ones: Why, when I had casually mentioned that I had been bullied like many others by Harvey, I had excluded a couple of details. And why, for so many years, we have been cordial to a man who hurt me so deeply. I had been proud of my capacity for forgiveness, but the mere fact that I was ashamed to describe the details of what I had forgiven made me wonder if that chapter of my life had really been resolved.

When so many women came forward to describe what Harvey had done to them, I had to confront my cowardice and humbly accept that my story, as important as it was to me, was nothing but a drop in an ocean of sorrow and confusion. I felt that by now nobody would care about my pain — maybe this was an effect of the many times I was told, especially by Harvey, that I was nobody.

We are finally becoming conscious of a vice that has been socially accepted and has insulted and humiliated millions of girls like me, for in every woman there is a girl. I am inspired by those who had the courage to speak out, especially in a society that elected a president who has been accused of sexual harassment and assault by more than a dozen women and whom we have all heard make a statement about how a man in power can do anything he wants to women.

Well, not anymore.


In the 14 years that I stumbled from schoolgirl to Mexican soap star to an extra in a few American films to catching a couple of lucky breaks in “Desperado” and “Fools Rush In,” Harvey Weinstein had become the wizard of a new wave of cinema that took original content into the mainstream. At the same time, it was unimaginable for a Mexican actress to aspire to a place in Hollywood. And even though I had proven them wrong, I was still a nobody.

One of the forces that gave me the determination to pursue my career was the story of Frida Kahlo, who in the golden age of the Mexican muralists would do small intimate paintings that everybody looked down on. She had the courage to express herself while disregarding skepticism. My greatest ambition was to tell her story. It became my mission to portray the life of this extraordinary artist and to show my native Mexico in a way that combated stereotypes.


The Weinstein empire, which was then Miramax, had become synonymous with quality, sophistication and risk taking — a haven for artists who were complex and defiant. It was everything that Frida was to me and everything I aspired to be.

I had started a journey to produce the film with a different company, but I fought to get it back to take it to Harvey.

I knew him a little bit through my relationship with the director Robert Rodriguez and the producer Elizabeth Avellan, who was then his wife, with whom I had done several films and who had taken me under their wing. All I knew of Harvey at the time was that he had a remarkable intellect, he was a loyal friend and a family man.

Knowing what I know now, I wonder if it wasn’t my friendship with them — and Quentin Tarantino and George Clooney — that saved me from being raped.


The deal we made initially was that Harvey would pay for the rights of work I had already developed. As an actress, I would be paid the minimum Screen Actors Guild scale plus 10 percent. As a producer, I would receive a credit that would not yet be defined, but no payment, which was not that rare for a female producer in the ’90s. He also demanded a signed deal for me to do several other films with Miramax, which I thought would cement my status as a leading lady.

I did not care about the money; I was so excited to work with him and that company. In my naïveté, I thought my dream had come true. He had validated the last 14 years of my life. He had taken a chance on me — a nobody. He had said yes.

Little did I know it would become my turn to say no.

No to opening the door to him at all hours of the night, hotel after hotel, location after location, where he would show up unexpectedly, including one location where I was doing a movie he wasn’t even involved with.

No to me taking a shower with him.

No to letting him watch me take a shower.

No to letting him give me a massage.

No to letting a naked friend of his give me a massage.

No to letting him give me oral sex.

No to my getting naked with another woman.

No, no, no, no, no …

And with every refusal came Harvey’s Machiavellian rage.


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Salma Hayek on the set of the film “Frida.” Susana Gonzalez/Newsmakers

I don’t think he hated anything more than the word “no.” The absurdity of his demands went from getting a furious call in the middle of the night asking me to fire my agent for a fight he was having with him about a different movie with a different client to physically dragging me out of the opening gala of the Venice Film Festival, which was in honor of “Frida,” so I could hang out at his private party with him and some women I thought were models but I was told later were high-priced prostitutes.

The range of his persuasion tactics went from sweet-talking me to that one time when, in an attack of fury, he said the terrifying words, “I will kill you, don’t think I can’t.”

When he was finally convinced that I was not going to earn the movie the way he had expected, he told me he had offered my role and my script with my years of research to another actress.

In his eyes, I was not an artist. I wasn’t even a person. I was a thing: not a nobody, but a body.


At that point, I had to resort to using lawyers, not by pursuing a sexual harassment case, but by claiming “bad faith,” as I had worked so hard on a movie that he was not intending to make or sell back to me. I tried to get it out of his company.

He claimed that my name as an actress was not big enough and that I was incompetent as a producer, but to clear himself legally, as I understood it, he gave me a list of impossible tasks with a tight deadline:

1. Get a rewrite of the script, with no additional payment.

2. Raise $10 million to finance the film.

3. Attach an A-list director.

4. Cast four of the smaller roles with prominent actors.

Much to everyone’s amazement, not least my own, I delivered, thanks to a phalanx of angels who came to my rescue, including Edward Norton, who beautifully rewrote the script several times and appallingly never got credit, and my friend Margaret Perenchio, a first-time producer, who put up the money. The brilliant Julie Taymor agreed to direct, and from then on she became my rock. For the other roles, I recruited my friends Antonio Banderas, Edward Norton and my dear Ashley Judd. To this day, I don’t know how I convinced Geoffrey Rush, whom I barely knew at the time.

Now Harvey Weinstein was not only rejected but also about to do a movie he did not want to do.

Ironically, once we started filming, the sexual harassment stopped but the rage escalated. We paid the price for standing up to him nearly every day of shooting. Once, in an interview he said Julie and I were the biggest ball busters he had ever encountered, which we took as a compliment.

Halfway through shooting, Harvey turned up on set and complained about Frida’s “unibrow.” He insisted that I eliminate the limp and berated my performance. Then he asked everyone in the room to step out except for me. He told me that the only thing I had going for me was my sex appeal and that there was none of that in this movie. So he told me he was going to shut down the film because no one would want to see me in that role.

It was soul crushing because, I confess, lost in the fog of a sort of Stockholm syndrome, I wanted him to see me as an artist: not only as a capable actress but also as somebody who could identify a compelling story and had the vision to tell it in an original way.

I was hoping he would acknowledge me as a producer, who on top of delivering his list of demands shepherded the script and obtained the permits to use the paintings. I had negotiated with the Mexican government, and with whomever I had to, to get locations that had never been given to anyone in the past — including Frida Kahlo’s houses and the murals of Kahlo’s husband, Diego Rivera, among others.

But all of this seemed to have no value. The only thing he noticed was that I was not sexy in the movie. He made me doubt if I was any good as an actress, but he never succeeded in making me think that the film was not worth making.


He offered me one option to continue. He would let me finish the film if I agreed to do a sex scene with another woman. And he demanded full-frontal nudity.

He had been constantly asking for more skin, for more sex. Once before, Julie Taymor got him to settle for a tango ending in a kiss instead of the lovemaking scene he wanted us to shoot between the character Tina Modotti, played by Ashley Judd, and Frida.

But this time, it was clear to me he would never let me finish this movie without him having his fantasy one way or another. There was no room for negotiation.

I had to say yes. By now so many years of my life had gone into this film. We were about five weeks into shooting, and I had convinced so many talented people to participate. How could I let their magnificent work go to waste?

I had asked for so many favors, I felt an immense pressure to deliver and a deep sense of gratitude for all those who did believe in me and followed me into this madness. So I agreed to do the senseless scene.


I arrived on the set the day we were to shoot the scene that I believed would save the movie. And for the first and last time in my career, I had a nervous breakdown: My body began to shake uncontrollably, my breath was short and I began to cry and cry, unable to stop, as if I were throwing up tears.

Since those around me had no knowledge of my history of Harvey, they were very surprised by my struggle that morning. It was not because I would be naked with another woman. It was because I would be naked with her for Harvey Weinstein. But I could not tell them then.

My mind understood that I had to do it, but my body wouldn’t stop crying and convulsing. At that point, I started throwing up while a set frozen still waited to shoot. I had to take a tranquilizer, which eventually stopped the crying but made the vomiting worse. As you can imagine, this was not sexy, but it was the only way I could get through the scene.


By the time the filming of the movie was over, I was so emotionally distraught that I had to distance myself during the postproduction.

When Harvey saw the cut film, he said it was not good enough for a theatrical release and that he would send it straight to video.

This time Julie had to fight him without me and got him to agree to release the film in one movie theater in New York if we tested it to an audience and we scored at least an 80.

Less than 10 percent of films achieve that score on a first screening.

I didn’t go to the test. I anxiously awaited to receive the news. The film scored 85.

And again, I heard Harvey raged. In the lobby of a theater after the screening, he screamed at Julie. He balled up one of the scorecards and threw it at her. It bounced off her nose. Her partner, the film’s composer Elliot Goldenthal, stepped in, and Harvey physically threatened him.


Once he calmed down, I found the strength to call Harvey to ask him also to open the movie in a theater in Los Angeles, which made a total of two theaters. And without much ado, he gave me that. I have to say sometimes he was kind, fun and witty — and that was part of the problem: You just never knew which Harvey you were going to get.

Months later, in October 2002, this film, about my hero and inspiration — this Mexican artist who never truly got acknowledged in her time with her limp and her unibrow, this film that Harvey never wanted to do, gave him a box office success that no one could have predicted, and despite his lack of support, added six Academy Award nominations to his collection, including best actress.

Even though “Frida” eventually won him two Oscars, I still didn’t see any joy. He never offered me a starring role in a movie again. The films that I was obliged to do under my original deal with Miramax were all minor supporting roles.


Years later, when I ran into him at an event, he pulled me aside and told me he had stopped smoking and he had had a heart attack. He said he’d fallen in love and married Georgina Chapman, and that he was a changed man. Finally, he said to me: “You did well with ‘Frida’; we did a beautiful movie.”

I believed him. Harvey would never know how much those words meant to me. He also would never know how much he hurt me. I never showed Harvey how terrified I was of him. When I saw him socially, I’d smile and try to remember the good things about him, telling myself that I went to war and I won.

But why do so many of us, as female artists, have to go to war to tell our stories when we have so much to offer? Why do we have to fight tooth and nail to maintain our dignity?

I think it is because we, as women, have been devalued artistically to an indecent state, to the point where the film industry stopped making an effort to find out what female audiences wanted to see and what stories we wanted to tell.


According to a recent study, between 2007 and 2016, only 4 percent of directors were female and 80 percent of those got the chance to make only one film. In 2016, another study found, only 27 percent of words spoken in the biggest movies were spoken by women. And people wonder why you didn’t hear our voices sooner. I think the statistics are self-explanatory — our voices are not welcome.

Until there is equality in our industry, with men and women having the same value in every aspect of it, our community will continue to be a fertile ground for predators.

I am grateful for everyone who is listening to our experiences. I hope that adding my voice to the chorus of those who are finally speaking out will shed light on why it is so difficult, and why so many of us have waited so long. Men sexually harassed because they could. Women are talking today because, in this new era, we finally can.

Salma Hayek (@salmahayek) is an actor and producer
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