Harvey Weinstein: 'Beautiful Girls' Scribe Scott Rosenberg

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

Postby admin » Sat Feb 10, 2018 3:57 am

Quentin Tarantino Responds to Uma Thurman as Polanski Comments Resurface
by Jonah Engel Bromwich
February 6, 2018

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Quentin Tarantino and Uma Thurman attend the premiere of “Kill Bill: Vol. 2” at the Cannes Film Festival in 2004. Both say that a crash during filming seriously damaged their relationship. Credit Boris Horvat/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

Quentin Tarantino on Monday responded to Uma Thurman’s accusation that he had put her life at risk while making the “Kill Bill” films, calling the decision to make her perform a dangerous stunt one of the biggest regrets of his life and offering his own recollection of what had taken place.

Speaking to Deadline, Mr. Tarantino said that he had encouraged Ms. Thurman to drive a refitted car for one of the movies’ most memorable scenes, despite her trepidation about the plan. Video from the shoot shows Ms. Thurman struggling to control the car, as it swerves on the road and crashes.

The actress and the director agree that the crash undermined what had been a close relationship between them; they collaborated on the 1994 hit “Pulp Fiction” and the two “Kill Bill” films, which were released separately but created during a single production process. In an interview with The New York Times published on Saturday, Ms. Thurman said that after the crash, which came near the end of the shoot, they were “in a terrible fight for years,” while Mr. Tarantino told Deadline that “a trust was broken.”

Mr. Tarantino said he and Maureen Dowd, the author of the Times piece, had not connected for an interview, telling Deadline, “Me and Dowd never hooked up.” Ms. Dowd said on Tuesday that she had reached out to Mr. Tarantino six times, twice through his agent, twice through his personal assistant and twice through personal numbers. The office of the agent, Mike Simpson, confirmed to Ms. Dowd that the director had received the message, she said. Ms. Thurman had also encouraged Mr. Tarantino to talk to Ms. Dowd.

The director did not dispute most of Ms. Thurman’s account but characterized his interaction with her differently. Ms. Thurman had said he was “furious” when he asked her to do the scene; Mr. Tarantino admitted that he had been irritated but said: “I’m sure I wasn’t in a rage and I wasn’t livid. I didn’t go barging into Uma’s trailer, screaming at her to get into the car.”

He said that he had tested the course, a one-lane strip of road in Mexico, before encouraging Ms. Thurman to perform the stunt, but then he decided to change the direction in which she would drive.

The change of direction “was the beginning of where the crash happened,” he said.

In an Instagram post on Monday, Ms. Thurman praised Mr. Tarantino for helping her obtain the footage when he knew it could do him personal harm. She wrote that while the circumstances of the crash were “negligent to the point of criminality,” she did not believe that his intent was malicious.


But in the midst of the #MeToo movement, Mr. Tarantino’s past actions and remarks have faced the pronounced scrutiny that has unearthed complaints of sexual assault by many in his industry, including his close collaborator Harvey Weinstein. In an interview in October, Mr. Tarantino expressed regret for not having taken a stronger stand against the producer, saying, “I knew enough to do more than I did.”

Ms. Thurman told The Times that Mr. Tarantino spit in her face and choked her while filming scenes in “Kill Bill,” rather than having other actors carry out actions ascribed to their characters. Those details raised eyebrows online as many questioned why the director had felt compelled to take part in such violence himself.

“Naturally, I did it. Who else should do it?” he told Deadline of the spitting scene, adding that he did not trust the actor, Michael Madsen, to execute the take properly. “I’m the director, so I can kind of art direct this spit,” he said.

He said that he had also choked Ms. Thurman with a chain for the film, for a shot that she suggested, and that he had choked the actress Diane Kruger, with her permission, for a scene from the film “Inglourious Basterds.”


In an Instagram post on Tuesday, Ms. Kruger said that her heart went out to Ms. Thurman and “anyone who has ever been the victim of sexual assault and abuse” but that Mr. Tarantino had treated her with “utter respect” and had not abused his power over her.

Also on Monday, Jezebel republished comments that Mr. Tarantino made to Howard Stern in 2003 in a column arguing that his interview with Deadline was disingenuous. During the interview with Mr. Stern, Mr. Tarantino insistently defended the director Roman Polanski’s sexual abuse of a 13-year-old, Samantha Geimer.

Mr. Polanski pleaded guilty to unlawful sex in 1977, and fled the United States before his sentencing. He has since been accused of sexual abuse by two other women who say they were minors when he preyed on them.

In the 2003 interview, Mr. Tarantino was adamant that Mr. Polanski had not raped Ms. Geimer, arguing that she had wanted to have sex and “was down with this.”
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Re: Harvey Weinstein: 'Beautiful Girls' Scribe Scott Rosenbe

Postby admin » Sat Feb 10, 2018 4:05 am

'Kill Bill' Stunt Coordinator Breaks Silence on Uma Thurman Crash (Exclusive)
by Jonathan Handel
6:14 PM PST 2/9/2018

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Uma Thurman in 'Kill Bill: Vol. 2'

"At no point was I notified or consulted about Ms. Thurman driving a car on camera that day," says coordinator Keith Adams.

The stunt coordinator on the Kill Bill movies has broken his silence on a disturbing recent allegation made by Uma Thurman regarding a crash during production that left her injured.

Coordinator Keith Adams told The Hollywood Reporter that he and his entire department were kept off set the day Thurman was allegedly pressured by director Quentin Tarantino to drive a rattrap convertible down a curved, sandy Mexican road at 40 mph, resulting in a crash that gave her a concussion, damaged her knees and could have caused worse injuries.

"No stunts of any kind were scheduled for the day of Ms. Thurman's accident," states Adams in an email to THR. "All of the stunt department was put on hold and no one from the stunt department was called to set. At no point was I notified or consulted about Ms. Thurman driving a car on camera that day."

"Had I been involved," Adams continues, "I would have insisted not only on putting a professional driver behind the wheel but also insuring that the car itself was road-worthy and safe."


Adams — an experienced coordinator with a particular expertise in automotive work, according to veteran stunt performer and coordinator Andy Armstrong — did not say whether he thought his department was intentionally held at bay to facilitate having an actor perform driving maneuvers. It was not immediately clear who prepared the call sheet that day and who decided to idle the stunt department. Tarantino told Deadline that "none of us ever considered it a stunt. It was just driving."

"The circumstances of this event were negligent to the point of criminality," said Thurman in an Instagram post Monday. "I do not believe though with malicious intent." (After the crash came a cover-up which "did have malicious intent," she wrote, naming three production executives.)

It may have been "just driving" to Tarantino, but performers' union SAG-AFTRA said in a statement that it "sounds like a stunt and would be a likely safety violation."

The new statement from the stunt coordinator underscores Thurman's description of the 1973 Karmann Ghia as a profound hazard. "That was a deathbox," she told Maureen Dowd for a New York Times story published on Feb. 3 that kicked off a round of speculation about the incident. Thurman explained to the writer that "the seat wasn't screwed down properly" and that she'd been told the vintage convertible had been converted from stick shift to automatic.

The car's allegedly sad shape came as no surprise to Melissa Stubbs, also a veteran stunt performer and coordinator. "A picture car is usually a piece of shit," she told THR bluntly, using industry argot for vehicles that appear onscreen.

Armstrong agreed, noting that non-stunt picture cars are generally towed on flatbed "process trailers" while being filmed, making it easier to rig lights and cameras and allowing an actor to give the illusion of driving without anyone being endangered. For that reason, Armstrong indicated, production personnel focus on making a picture car look good onscreen, and not necessarily on making it safely drivable.

In addition, video of the crash indicates that the then-30-year-old ragtop was without roll bars, shoulder belts or head restraints. Thurman's head whips backward and hangs over the low seat back after the crash. It's unclear whether there was a lap belt or whether Thurman was wearing it if there was.


"That could have been a death by decapitation," veteran coordinator Armstrong said. "The car could easily have rolled over [or] the camera could have flown forward. It was irresponsibility on a mega level."

Many people share safety duties on set: the producers (lead producer Lawrence Bender apologized Wednesday but also said he "never hid anything"), the director (Thurman has described Tarantino as regretful and remorseful), the 1st assistant director (although this may be less clear in a non-DGA film like Kill Bill) — and, of course, the stunt coordinator.

"On any set, my number one priority and the priority of any stunt coordinator is the safety of the cast and crew," said Adams. "For a stunt coordinator to do their job properly, they must be involved at every step of the process and given the opportunity to intervene when changes to the shoot are made."

"Unfortunately," he added, "I did not have that opportunity in this case."



ithurman i post this clip to memorialize it’s full exposure in the nyt by Maureen Dowd. the circumstances of this event were negligent to the point of criminality. i do not believe though with malicious intent. Quentin Tarantino, was deeply regretful and remains remorseful about this sorry event, and gave me the footage years later so i could expose it and let it see the light of day, regardless of it most likely being an event for which justice will never be possible. he also did so with full knowledge it could cause him personal harm, and i am proud of him for doing the right thing and for his courage. THE COVER UP after the fact is UNFORGIVABLE. for this i hold Lawrence Bender, E. Bennett Walsh, and the notorious Harvey Weinstein solely responsible. they lied, destroyed evidence, and continue to lie about the permanent harm they caused and then chose to suppress. the cover up did have malicious intent, and shame on these three for all eternity. CAA never sent anyone to Mexico. i hope they look after other clients more respectfully if they in fact want to do the job for which they take money with any decency.
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Re: Harvey Weinstein: 'Beautiful Girls' Scribe Scott Rosenbe

Postby admin » Mon Feb 12, 2018 1:58 am

A.G. Schneiderman Files Civil Rights Lawsuit Against The Weinstein Companies, Harvey Weinstein, And Robert Weinstein
by Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman
Press Release
February 11, 2018

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Four Month Investigation Reveals New and Egregious Examples of Sexual Misconduct By Harvey Weinstein and Repeated Violations of New York Law By Company Officials That Endangered Employees

AG’s Lawsuit Alleges Company Executives and Board Repeatedly Failed to Protect Employees From Then-CEO Harvey Weinstein’s Unrelenting Sexual Harassment, Intimidation, and Discrimination

AG Files Lawsuit to Ensure Victims Will Be Compensated, Employees Will Be Protected Moving Forward, and Parties Responsible For Egregious Misconduct Will Not Be Newly Empowered As Part of Any Future Sale


NEW YORK – New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman today filed suit against The Weinstein Company (“TWC”), Harvey Weinstein, and Robert Weinstein for egregious violations of New York’s civil rights, human rights, and business laws. The suit, filed today in New York County Supreme Court, includes new and extensive allegations about longtime company CEO Harvey Weinstein’s (“HW”) vicious and exploitative mistreatment of company employees. Today’s suit includes numerous employee-victim accounts of sexual harassment, intimidation, and other misconduct.

According to the Attorney General’s (“OAG”) lawsuit, despite many complaints to TWC’s human resources department and widespread knowledge across the company’s leadership of HW’s persistent misconduct, TWC executives and the Board repeatedly failed to take meaningful steps to protect company employees or curb HW’s misconduct.


“As alleged in our complaint, The Weinstein Company repeatedly broke New York law by failing to protect its employees from pervasive sexual harassment, intimidation, and discrimination,” said Attorney General Schneiderman. “Any sale of The Weinstein Company must ensure that victims will be compensated, employees will be protected going forward, and that neither perpetrators nor enablers will be unjustly enriched. Every New Yorker has a right to a workplace free of sexual harassment, intimidation, and fear.”

Today’s lawsuit is the result of an ongoing four month investigation by the Office of the Attorney General (“OAG”). The investigation included interviews with multiple company employees, executives, and survivors of Harvey Weinstein’s sexual misconduct. The investigation also included an exhaustive review of company records and emails.

Specific examples of HW’s harassment, intimidation, assault, and a hostile work environment alleged in the complaint include, among many others:

HW told several employees throughout the relevant time period that, in substance, “I will kill you,” “I will kill your family,” and “You don’t know what I can do,” or words to that effect. HW touted his connection to powerful political figures and asserted that he had contacts within the Secret Service that could take care of problems.
At HW’s direction, “TWC employed one group of female employees whose primary job it was to accompany HW to events and to facilitate HW’s sexual conquests…These women were described by some witnesses as members of HW’s TWC “roster” or his “wing women.” One of the members of this entourage was flown from London to New York to teach HW’s assistants how to dress and smell more attractive to HW…”
• A second group of predominantly female employees served as his assistants. HW’s assistants were compelled to take various steps to further HW’s regular sexual activity, including by contacting “Friends of Harvey” and other prospective sexual partners via text message or phone at his direction and maintaining space on his calendar for sexual activity.
• A third group of predominantly female TWC employees – a group of female executives – also were forced to facilitate HW’s sexual conquests. These female employees’ job responsibilities should have been confined to using their expertise to help TWC produce films and television projects. Yet despite their skills and stated job responsibilities, HW required them to meet with prospective sexual conquests in order to facilitate HW’s sexual activity, and to follow through on HW’s promise of employment opportunities to women who met with HW’s favor. This compelled service demeaned and humiliated them, contributing to the hostile work environment.”

• As one [female] executive reported to TWC’s Human Resources department: “only female executives are put in these positions with actresses with whom HW has a ‘personal friendship,’ which to my understanding means he has either had or wants to have sexual relations with them. Female Weinstein employees are essentially used to facilitate his sexual conquests of vulnerable women who hope he will get them work.” TWC took no steps to investigate these allegations or to prevent future recurrence of such conduct.
HW made quid pro quo offers or demands of sexual favors in exchange for career advancement at TWC, or to avoid adverse employment consequences at TWC.
• On one occasion in 2015, HW asked a female TWC employee to go to his hotel room at the end of the day to set up his phone and devices for the next day or some other alleged work reason (work that TWC employees referred to as “turndown service,” and that was generally assigned to female TWC employees). Upon her arrival at HW’s hotel room, HW appeared naked under a bathrobe and asked the employee for a massage. When the employee said no, HW cajoled, badgered, and insisted until she relented and, against her wishes, submitted to massaging him out of fear of employment-based retaliation by HW. The incident was reported to Human Resources and to executives and Board members of the company in November 2015, but TWC took no action to formally investigate the complaint, to protect employees from HW, or to prevent future recurrence of such conduct.
• On other occasions in 2014 and 2015, HW exposed himself to a female employee and made her take dictation from him while he leered at her, naked on his bed. That same employee described how HW would insist that she sit next to him in the back seat of his chauffeured vehicle and would place his hand on her upper thigh and buttocks near her genitalia and rub her body without her consent. When she attempted to place bags or other barriers between them to make it harder for him to reach her, he moved the barriers or repositioned himself so that the unwelcome sexual contact could continue. This employee, and other TWC employees, believed that they would face adverse employment consequences unless they acquiesced to such demands.
• On one occasion, HW asserted that he might have to fire a female employee because his daughter (for whom the employee was providing assistance at HW’s direction) was angry with her, and he asked the employee what she was “prepared to do” to keep her job – a proposition that the female employee understood was a demand for quid pro quo sexual activity. The employee quit rather than submit to the demand for sex in exchange for continued employment.
• HW’s assistants were exposed to and required to facilitate HW’s sex life as a condition of employment.
• HW required his assistants to schedule “personals” for sexual activity both during the workday and after work. Upon arranging a “personal,” assistants were required to clear or adjust any and all other scheduled plans which potentially conflicted with the “personal.”
• Assistants possessed copies of a document known as the “Bible,” an assistant-created guide to working for HW which was passed down through Assistants. The document sat in hard copy on several Assistants’ desks, and was accessible to and known to exist by some TWC executives. The Bible included information about HW’s likes and dislikes, and a list of his “friends” with directions for assistants on how to arrange HW’s extensive and frequent “personals.”
HW’s drivers in both New York City and Los Angeles were required to keep condoms and erectile dysfunction injections in the car at all times, in order to provide them to HW as needed.

Specific allegations of misconduct by company management include, among others:

• On more than one occasion, upon forwarding a complaint or information about a complaint to the COO, the Human Resources Director was not involved in any investigation or resolution process. Based on documents obtained by the OAG to date, such matters were handled by the COO and other members of TWC senior management, as well as counsel retained to contact victims of misconduct.
• On numerous occasions during the relevant time period, victims of HW’s misconduct complained to the Human Resources Director or to other TWC management about various aspects of the conduct described herein. On no occasion was HW subject to a formal investigation, nor to restrictions on his behavior or adverse employment consequences, as a result of any complaint.
• Evidence gathered during the course of the investigation reflects that the Human Resources Director was not empowered to take any steps [to] address HW’s ongoing sexual harassment of female employees.
• On certain occasions when individuals did complain to Human Resources, those complaints were not treated confidentially and investigated. For example, on one occasion, an assistant to HW wrote an email to Human Resources complaining of certain misconduct by HW. Soon thereafter, the assistant, who had access to HW’s email account due to her role at TWC, saw that her complaint had been forwarded directly to HW via HW’s email account.
• On several occasions when TWC employees complained about serious misconduct by HW, TWC took steps to separate the employee from the company while securing an NDA that would prevent the employee from disclosing the misconduct to others or warning others about the misconduct.
• Robert Weinstein (“RW”), as co-owner, co-Chairman, and co-CEO, was responsible for maintaining a safe workplace, free of sexual harassment and other unlawful conduct. Yet instead of doing so, RW acquiesced in allowing HW to create a hostile work environment and engage in sexual misconduct that was known to him, or which he was responsible for preventing.
• RW also received by email in late 2014 and 2015, and was otherwise informed of, claims of repeated and persistent sexual harassment and misconduct, yet he took no measures to investigate further the claims of misconduct, to terminate HW’s employment, to restrict or prohibit HW from supervising women or having or seeking sexual contact with TWC employees or women seeking to do business with TWC, from having private meetings with employees or women seeking opportunities in hotel rooms or TWC office space, or any other concrete measure that may have prevented HW’s ongoing misconduct.
• In response to the information obtained from TWC management, independent Board members sought to obtain access to HW’s personnel file so that counsel representing the Board could use the personnel file and other information to evaluate whether the Board would recommend renewal of HW’s contract. HW resisted the independent directors’ efforts to obtain a copy of his personnel file and otherwise investigate misconduct, on the purported grounds that the contents of the file would be leaked to the press if disclosed to the Board. There was no basis for this claim; instead, HW sought to prevent access to his personnel file to avoid discovery of the extent of his own misconduct. A majority of the Board refused to back the independent Directors’ efforts to obtain HW’s personnel file; thus, efforts that may have resulted in discovery of at least a portion of HW’s misconduct were not undertaken by the Board.
HW’s contract extension also contained an unusual provision that effectively monetized, rather than prohibited, ongoing acts of sexual harassment and misconduct. In particular, it stated that, if TWC had to “make a payment to satisfy a claim that you [i.e., HW] have treated someone improperly in violation of the Company’s Code of Conduct,” he would face escalating financial penalties: $250,000 for the first such instance, “$500,000, for the second such instance, $750,000 for the third such instance, and $1,000,000 for each such additional instance.”
This contract contained no provision for any penalties if HW personally covered the costs of any payments necessary to satisfy claims of improper treatment, and it provided for no adverse employment consequences in the event that one, two, three, or even four or more such payments had to be made by TWC and/or HW as a result of HW’s sexual harassment or misconduct. Thus, pursuant to HW’s employment contract, HW could continue engaging in sexual harassment and misconduct with impunity, provided that he paid the costs of any settlements and that he avoided disclosure of misconduct that might risk causing “serious harm to the company.”
• Board minutes reflect that the Board ratified HW’s new employment contract unanimously. No future efforts were undertaken by the Board to investigate HW’s misconduct or TWC’s practices concerning that conduct until HW’s termination in October 2017.

As detailed above, according to OAG’s investigation, none of the voluminous complaints filed with TWC Human Resources resulted in meaningful investigation or relief for victims, or consequences for HW. Instead, TWC Human Resources variously claimed there was “nothing” that could be done to address the misconduct; immediately informed HW of the complaint, thereby facilitating retaliation by HW against the complainant; or helped facilitate swift departure of the complainant from the company in connection with a settlement that contained an NDA at the direction of the HR Director’s superiors.

TWC’s culture of harassment and intimidation remained shrouded in secrecy because of HW’s and TWC’s practice of securing silence through Non-Disclosure Agreements (“NDAs”) that prohibited individuals from speaking about their experiences at TWC.
In October 2017, Attorney General Schneiderman opened an investigation after initial reports regarding HW – using the Attorney General’s investigative authorities, including investigative subpoena power, to begin removing that shroud of secrecy.

While the Attorney General’s investigation remains ongoing, OAG is bringing suit today to seek court intervention in light of its investigative findings to date and the reported imminent sale of TWC – which OAG has a substantive basis to believe would leave victims without adequate redress, including a lack of a sufficient victims compensation fund. OAG also believes that the proposed terms of the sale would allow the perpetrators or enablers of the misconduct to see a windfall, and allow top officials at TWC who share responsibility for the misconduct to serve in executive positions of the new entity – where they would again oversee the adjudication of HR complaints, including those of sexual harassment, intimidation, and assault.

Those who believe they were victims of or witnesses to the misconduct described in the complaint should call the Civil Rights Bureau hotline at 212-416-8250 or Civil.Rights@ag.ny.gov.

The Civil Rights Bureau of the New York State Attorney General’s Office is committed to combating gender discrimination and sexual harassment faced by women across all industries. The Civil Rights Bureau encourages those who encounter such conduct to contact the office at 212-416-8250 or Civil.Rights@ag.ny.gov.

This case is being handled by Howard Master, Senior Enforcement Counsel, and by Anjana Samant, Assistant Attorney General, and Amanda Addision, volunteer Assistant Attorney General, in the Civil Rights Bureau. Lourdes Rosado is the Chief of the Civil Rights Bureau. The Civil Rights Bureau is part of the Division of Social Justice, which is led by Executive Deputy Attorney General Matthew Colangelo.
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Re: Harvey Weinstein: 'Beautiful Girls' Scribe Scott Rosenbe

Postby admin » Thu Mar 01, 2018 12:59 am

Young Harvey Weinstein: The Making of a Monster
by Scott Johnson, Stephen Galloway
Hollywood Reporter
February 28, 2018, 6:00am PST

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Long before he was a Miramax movie mogul, Weinstein was an "artsy-fartsy" student, a savvy concert promoter and, it turns out, a budding abuser and sexual predator. The Hollywood Reporter retraces his moves in Queens and Buffalo and interviews dozens of former friends and associates to examine the formative years of Hollywood's most infamous figure.

Paula Wachowiak sits in her 2009 Honda Fit as it cruises past rows of abandoned factories and a wasteland of disintegrating homes, remnants of a metropolis that once billed itself as the "city of light." Decades ago, Buffalo was an industrial hub of New York, a gateway for commerce and a magnet for nearly 600,000 residents; but on a blustery February day, much of the city seems more like a manifestation of urban blight.

None of that troubles Wachowiak, 62, as she guides a reporter through town. The flame-haired grandmother is no longer the slip of a girl who once studied communications at the University of Buffalo, but she retains sharp memories of the days when she had visions of becoming a filmmaker, until her experience on a real-life film turned sour. It was the summer of 1980, and the then-24-year-old was a divorced single mother when she landed an internship on a low-budget horror flick, The Burning, a slasher story about a summer-camp caretaker who seeks revenge for his grotesque disfigurement, featuring Jason Alexander and Holly Hunter in their first screen roles. The film's producer was almost as inexperienced as they were: Harvey Weinstein.

"I only knew of him as a music promoter," says Wachowiak.

At 28, Weinstein had begun to make a name for himself as a swashbuckling concert organizer who'd put Buffalo on the map by bringing in acts like Jethro Tull and the Rolling Stones. The Burning was his first foray into film producing, and so he spent a lot of time on set. Wachowiak, based in the production offices, didn't see him much; in fact, she saw more of his brother, Bob, 25, the quiet one whom nobody really noticed, who "seemed trustworthy, like somebody you'd talk to."

One day, a production accountant asked her to take a folder of checks to Harvey's room in a modest hotel. Wachowiak went upstairs and knocked on his door. When it opened, she says, she found him naked, except for a small towel draped around his waist. Half-hidden as he was by the door, she didn't quite realize what was going on until she was inside the room and the door had closed behind her.

"My first response was, 'Oh my God!' " she recalls. "Then I thought, 'This is fine. I'm just going to look at his face, get the checks signed and get out of here. These are sophisticated people, they do this all the time.' "

Weinstein dropped the towel, and Wachowiak struggled to keep her eyes on his face as he strolled around, until he sat down and laid the folder on his lap. "What's this for?" he asked, pointing either to a check or his private parts. Then he chuckled, as if enjoying her embarrassment. Saying he had "a kink in his neck," he asked for a massage.

"I don't think that's in my job description," she replied. ("Mr. Weinstein has a different recollection of these events and categorically denies ever engaging in any nonconsensual sexual conduct with Ms. Wachowiak," says his spokesperson.)

Wachowiak says Weinstein didn't insist, as he would be accused of doing later, aggressively and violently, with other women. Still, the incident shook the intern, and when she left the room and stepped into the hallway, she burst into tears.


"I fell apart," she says. "I was shaking."

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Barbara Alper/Archive Photos/Getty Images
Younger brother Bob in 1989. "Harvey seemed resentful that he had to bring him on," a longtime friend says of the brothers' business partnership.


It's been 38 years since then, and Weinstein, now 65, has gone from being one of the most influential men in entertainment to the industry's most reviled. In the five months since allegations about his behavior exploded in The New York Times and The New Yorker, dozens of women — including actresses Ashley Judd, Lupita Nyong'o, Rose McGowan, Salma Hayek and Uma Thurman — have accused him of everything from harassment to rape.

Forced out of The Weinstein Co., he has gone into hiding, abandoned by family and friends, as prosecutors in multiple cities weigh criminal charges. In February, the New York Attorney General stalled TWC's sale with a lawsuit alleging that Weinstein had subjected his employees to physical intimidation and emotional abuse and required them to "facilitate his sexual encounters," all with the "effective acquiescence" of his brother.

Sources tell THR that Harvey has had little or no contact with his children, and one of his daughters, Remy (from his first marriage to Eve Chilton), has stayed out of the public view, absent for weeks from the L.A. gym where she once was a constant presence. Even Bob's daughter, Sara, well-regarded for her philanthropic endeavors, has severed ties with the man she considered a second father. As for Bob, 63, he hasn't spoken to Harvey in months, except for a call that lasted "literally a minute," according to a well-placed source.

Much has been written about Weinstein's behavior at TWC and his earlier company, Miramax Films. Now, in an effort to understand what shaped this man before he moved to New York City and launched a film empire, THR has interviewed more than two dozen people who knew him from his early childhood in Queens through his first film forays in Buffalo, New York, before he became "Harvey." Nearly all of them describe a young man of extremes: charming and coarse, brilliant and belligerent, but always fiercely competitive. While he remains a paradoxical figure, this much emerges: It was not simply power that twisted his moral compass; long before he was a mogul, he was a bully and a predator.

Several of his old friends attribute this in part to a hectoring mother and ineffectual father, though both Harvey and Bob have described their parents as loving; others say it's compensation for his rough looks. "I think he has a very bad self-image because of the way he feels about his physical appearance," says Robin Robinson, 63, who worked for him in Buffalo in the early '80s, where he first arrived as a student in 1969 and remained until he moved to New York City more than a decade later. In his relationships with the opposite sex, "He always has to have another, and another — all to compensate, to say, 'Look, I really am successful with women.' "

It's tempting to look for a smoking gun. But the origins of Weinstein's behavior are as complex and opaque as the man himself.

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Signs in the Electchester Housing Complex in Flushing, Queens, where the Weinstein boys grew up.

The ship was enormous and solid as a rock. Built in 1897 and capable of traveling at a speed of 13 knots, it was nearly 600 feet long and weighed 13,000 tons. But none of that must have mattered to Joe Weinstein as he boarded the SS Pretoria in Hamburg in late 1909 and set forth on the weekslong voyage to America. At 20, Joe (whose family took its name from the "Weinsteins" they peddled, crystals of potassium bitartrate used for cooking and cleaning) was well on his way to the New World, having journeyed 600 miles from his native Galicia in Eastern Europe to this German port, joining thousands of other Jews fleeing rampant anti-Semitism.

What happened upon Joe's arrival in America is unknown, and he vanishes from the records until 1918, when he married another Galician Jew, Pauline Fischman, a petite 22-year-old who was working as a dress finisher. With Joe now employed as a fishmonger and Pauline in the laundry business, the couple hunkered down to a working-class life, producing 10 children in rapid succession (one died days after being born), including their fourth, Bob and Harvey's father, Max.

Born in New York City in 1924, Max grew up in a family that was distant and remote, according to a 2011 piece Bob wrote for Vanity Fair. Bob marveled that his father could be such a family man, given how little love he got at home. In his mid-20s, on a visit to the Catskills after serving in World War II, he met a woman named Miriam Postal and asked if she'd like to dance. She turned him down flat, only to relent. They married in 1950 and remained together until Max's death from cardiac arrest in 1976 at age 51.

Unlike the flamboyant Miriam, Max had a low-key personality, a trait inherited by Bob, though not Harvey. Peter Adler, a close childhood friend of Harvey's, remembers Max as a quiet, reserved figure who preferred to stay on the sidelines, watching TV or reading.

Finding work as a diamond-cutter in New York's jewelry district, Max moved with his wife into a two-bedroom, lower-middle-class apartment in the Electchester housing project, a series of squat brick buildings in Flushing, Queens, that had been erected during the 1950s for members of the electricians union. It wasn't luxury, but it was safe.

Growing up here, Harvey (born in 1952) and Bob (born in 1954) have said they idolized their father. It was Max who introduced them to the movies, Max who taught them the rudiments of business, Max who sat them down one day and told them they must stick together through thick and thin, and Max who occasionally gave them a "butt-whipping" when they got out of hand.

But Max was frustrated. Spending his life "literally and figuratively grinding out a living to support his family," as Bob recalled, he wanted to be one of the big boys "who controlled his own destiny, could call the shots for himself and had status." Twice, he tried to break free. First, he opened a store selling diamonds and jade that lasted two or three years, but it collapsed in the face of competition. A few years later, he opened another store, this time selling synthetic diamonds under the brand name Diamonair, an endeavor that also foundered. Modest success was followed by crushing failure, creating an uncertainty that became the boys' norm.

Max may have stressed family solidarity, but he wasn't above deviating from it at least once, as Bob discovered when he asked his father for $9,000 in back pay after months working in his shop — money he was counting on for college. Max told his son he'd spent it to buy new equipment for his business.

The betrayal devastated Bob. And, he noted later, "[Max] didn't feel one ounce of guilt."

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Catherine McGann/Getty Images
Weinstein and his mother, Miriam, at the 1996 Obie Awards in NYC. "They were terrified of their mom," says an associate.


If Max was a significant influence on the boys, their Uncle Shimmy was another.

Shimmy (Sallbarry Greenblatt) lived in the same tower at 96-50 160th St. Compact and pudgy, with a curving mustache and gray hair, he owned a shop that sold refrigerators, washing machines and electronics. A natural raconteur with a knack for exaggeration, he was also a skilled salesman. He struck Adler's father, who adored him, as a New York hustler straight out of a Damon Runyon story, Adler recalls. If a customer asked about a fridge, Shimmy would shout to his assistant: "Hey, Murray! How much we gonna sell this for?" "Four hundred bucks," Murray would yell back. Then Shimmy would turn to the customer with a conspiratorial wink. "Three hundred," he'd whisper, and the customer would leave, happy, not realizing he'd been played.

"Uncle Shimmy was a bit of a shyster," says Adler. "He had a supply store, and he ripped off black people. But Harvey really, really adored him. He would sit at Shimmy's feet and listen to these stories. Harvey didn't respect his dad that much. It wasn't Max who was his real role model, it was Shimmy Greenblatt."

Inspired by Shimmy, Harvey learned to wheel and deal, and also perhaps that honesty mattered less than success, a lesson reinforced during the summer after seventh grade. Obtaining some discarded Boy Scout uniforms, he and a friend bought hundreds of boxes of cookies wholesale and, wearing the uniforms, went door to door selling them for $1 a pop, more than twice the 39 cents they'd paid — pocketing the money themselves. "They each made 800 bucks that summer," marvels Adler. "We thought it was funny and didn't make much of it. But that was all Shimmy. That was his brain at work."

Neither Shimmy nor Max had quite the impact of the boys' mother, a polarizing figure who drew different reactions from people who knew her. Born in Brooklyn in 1926, Miriam was the daughter of a butter-and-egg merchant and worked as a secretary. Those who met her when she was a fixture at Miramax remember her being "very put-together," in the words of one executive. "As a Jewish kid from Brooklyn, I felt I was meeting a relative. I always got the feeling Bob and Max loved Miriam, but were also annoyed by her."

To their childhood friend Adler, she was a hovering, constant presence, "shrill and bossy," endlessly drilling a sense of inadequacy into the boys. "She was overbearing," he notes, "saying things like, 'You're fat. Go outside and play.' " As a teenager, he says, Harvey sometimes called her "Momma Portnoy," a reference to the domineering matriarch in Philip Roth's Portnoy's Complaint, published in Harvey's senior year of high school. One of the novel's memorable scenes depicts the mother hectoring young Portnoy while he masturbates behind a bathroom door.

Adler describes Miriam as humorless, but her brusque exterior may have concealed a more comic and subversive side. Her tombstone, in the New Montefiore Jewish cemetery in West Babylon, New York, reads: "I don't like the atmosphere or the crowd."

"Every time Bob and Harvey had a major falling out, their mother would get them together and yell at them," notes one longtime agent who had dealings with the Weinsteins. "They would comply and make up. They were terrified of their mom. When she died [in November 2016], that's when this whole thing went to shit."

Certainly, their relationship with her was more complicated than either has revealed. "On the one hand, Harvey involved his mom in the company [Miramax was named after Miriam and Max] and treated her really well," says Alan Brewer, 64, one of Harvey's closest childhood friends, now a film and TV producer. "But when he was growing up, she was the boss, not him. When Harvey became a force in the industry and extremely wealthy, that altered their power dynamics."

As to the power dynamics of her marriage, Miriam held the cards. If Max made a regular thing of taking his sons to the movies, "it was just as much an escape for him as for the boys," says a childhood friend of the brothers. "Within the family, Miriam had a very loud voice and a tremendous amount of influence about what everybody should be doing. My sense is that the way she treated him is tied to Harvey's explosive personality later on."

How much of his legendary rage can be linked to her is debatable. But for those who spent many hours in his household, "there was a tension," says Adler. "There was a tension about going into that apartment."

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Joe Postal, the father of Harvey's mother, Miriam, was a butter-and-egg merchant.

After skipping eighth grade (along with 30 students singled out for their intelligence), in 1967 Harvey entered John Bowne High School with about 1,000 classmates and immersed himself in extra-curricular life, editing the news pages of the school paper, sitting on the student council and participating in a radio club. "He wasn't particularly athletic, but he was very smart," says Brewer.

It was just after the "Summer of Love," a time of social upheaval when 100,000 hippies converged on San Francisco and a message of "flower power" rippled through the country. Harvey aligned himself with the counterculture. His friends say he was part of a tight-knit clique of young men and women that included Brewer and Adler. "We weren't in the 'popular' group," says Brewer. "We were a smaller community of artsy-fartsy smart kids."

In school, Harvey discovered he had a gift for organization: When he heard that Irish poet Padraic Colum was teaching at Columbia University, he arranged for him to speak before his class. "That was the kind of thing Harvey did," says Adler. "He could just make things happen."

There was a film component in his advanced history and social studies class, and Harvey often brought up examples from the movies he was seeing as he began to venture into the big city. Classmate Jeff Malek remembers hearing that Harvey "knew the entire cast of every movie." To test him, he pressed Harvey about The Wizard of Oz, and he "proceeded to list the cast and crew, including gaffers, wardrobe, etc., by memory," says Malek. During senior year, says Adler, Harvey surprised his friends with an announcement: "I'm going to make a movie of our lives," he said, explaining that he'd already determined which famous actors would play each friend: Adler would be portrayed by Donald Sutherland.

Overtures such as these went over well. But, pasty-skinned and overweight, Harvey got nowhere with girls. He suffered from acne and "was very awkward with women because he was really hideous," says Adler. "He used sarcasm and humor in his friendships, but I never knew him to have a girlfriend, or even to date." Still, neither Adler nor any of Harvey's other friends saw anything in his behavior that would suggest the predator to come.

(Weinstein declined to comment on his childhood, instead releasing a statement through his spokesperson: "Mr. Weinstein will do his own recollection of his childhood memories but appreciates The Hollywood Reporter doing theirs. While he understands there is so much more to say, he will do so at a more appropriate time.")

At the end of his high school years, however, Harvey wrote a jocular message in a girl's yearbook that seems eerie in hindsight. After writing, "Dear Sheila, we had a blast. Best is yet to come," he added a fictitious address: "New York State Prison 3553333369."

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Photographed by Rebecca Smeyne
Wachowiak, photographed Feb. 2 on the site of a theater where Harvey Weinstein once worked in Buffalo, New York, was one of his earliest alleged victims, though not his first. “He was comfortable,” she says. “This was not his first rodeo.”


That fall, Harvey enrolled at the University of Buffalo, as far as he could get from Queens while still paying in-state tuition.

There, he met another student, Horace "Corky" Burger, with whom he began to write a regular column for the college paper, featuring a fictional character named "Denny the Hustler," a womanizing man-about-town who detailed the local social calendar.

Harvey wouldn't see his high school friends again until he was back home the next summer, when he got together with Adler, who had also returned from university with his girlfriend Patti. After a few hours of socializing, Adler said he was taking Patti back home, and his friends decided to go along for the ride.

Eight young men and Patti bundled into two cars, a 1965 Dodge and a Ford Custom, and headed for the city. Soon, they pulled up in front of a large building at 151 Central Park West, with a doorman and elevator man. The boys had never seen anything like it. Riding the elevator to the 10th floor, they emerged in a massive space whose 70-foot-long living room was adorned with paintings. There were two huge Jackson Pollocks, four Mark Rothkos, a few Motherwells and Rauschenbergs. Pre-Columbian sculptures rested on stands. The biggest apartment in the building, its walls had been reconfigured to accommodate the artwork. Among the cognoscenti, the home was called "the Frick of Central Park West."

Patti's father was Ben Heller, an art collector and personal friend of Pollock's. His name meant nothing to Harvey, but his lifestyle did. "This was Harvey's first touching-elbows with another class, and I can remember his eyeballs just popping out," says Adler.

As the young man gazed around him, wonderstruck, he saw the future he wanted, the kind of life he longed to grasp. "Someday," he told Adler, "I'm going to live like this."

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A jocular yearbook note from Weinstein (offering a “prison” number ending in 69) takes on new meaning in light of recent allegations.

Dropping out of college, Weinstein and Burger launched Harvey and Corky Present, a concert promotion company, demonstrating the kind of entrepreneurship Max never had.

"They were able to bring stuff to town that Buffalo hadn't seen before," says Michael Healy, then a local entertainment journalist. "They were very good promoters, self-promoters, and Buffalo is a grateful town if you do something, so people liked them a lot."

There were women — lots. "Everybody knew Harvey really liked women, but there was no suspicion of anything out of line," adds Healy, who remembers attending a Halloween party in a house Harvey was renting. It was crowded, and there were "a lot of beautiful women. It was bacchanalian, without decadence."

Now Harvey began dating. Starting late in college, and continuing until his first marriage to Chilton (his secretary) in 1987, he had "several decent-length relationships," according to a friend.

An early employee remembers seeing him "with very attractive women before he was 'Harvey Weinstein.' Harvey had game. He could be really charming, really self-deprecating. This was not just some crude beast."

But he was beginning to change. As he embraced his new life, he began to leave his old friends behind. In March 1973, he invited Adler and about a dozen other John Bowne graduates to a Grateful Dead concert; when Adler arrived after a 740-mile drive, he says: "He treated us like shit. I thought, 'What happened to my friend Harvey?' He was being an asshole. He ignored us. He was the big shot. We were too little for him. It was awful. That's the first time I saw him becoming a schmuck."

For years, most music promotion in Buffalo had been handled by a family-run company, Festivals East. Harvey and Corky went after their rival with ruthless efficiency. "There was a lot of screaming," recalls Robinson, a college and club booking agent at Harvey and Corky. "They'd call us up and say this band had worked with them for 20 years, and it wasn't right." None of that mattered to Harvey, who learned his strong-arm tactics worked.

He was becoming a local celebrity whose name could be heard in radio promos. When The Police came to town, their performance was billed as "Corky and Harvey Present The Police." The Cars, Mountain, even the Rolling Stones — Harvey and Corky brought them all. (Corky Burger could not be reached for comment.)

Their second concert featured Chuck Berry, whose interaction with the promoters became the stuff of local legend. Peeking through the curtain when it was time to go on, the rocker saw he had a full house, for which he had been promised a $10,000 attendance bonus. Then, on the spot, he decided that wasn't enough, and said he wouldn't play unless Harvey and Corky immediately forked over an additional $50,000 — in cash, in a brown paper bag.

As Harvey has told the story, he asked his "heads of security," some off-duty SWAT officers, to handle the matter, and they warned Berry there might be a riot. But Robinson says a different, possibly apocryphal, version has become folkloric: Corky, she says, beckoned a relative who allegedly had mob ties. "He comes backstage, carrying a cane, and he gets in Berry's face: 'You get out on that stage right now, or first I'm going to take my cane to you, and then I'm going to have my guys come down and take care of you!' " Berry did as he was told.


In their business dealings, the partners functioned as good cop/bad cop, Robinson notes, each with a different style. "Corky always had a smile on his face and was very well-dressed, whereas Harvey, even in those years, dressed like a slob." That was telling. Weinstein's slovenliness, she believes, was either a deliberate rebellion against expectations or a masochistic declaration against his physical self. "Harvey's appearance is a sign he hung around his own neck," she reflects.

Still, whenever there was a problem, Harvey showed no lack of self-confidence. "He'd just blow the water out of the pool," adds Robinson. "He was extremely effective, especially if there was a block."

Only once did he try to bully her, as he was starting to bully others. When he began to push her around verbally, she resisted, and he backed off. "You can feel people when they're testing you," she says. "They start out small. He wasn't the big baller he became."

There were others he tested, too. One local woman, who requested anonymity, describes her interaction with him around 1975, when Harvey would have been 22 or 23. She was working as the manager of the Downtown Buffalo Answering Service, where she was responsible for collections. Harvey and Corky were notoriously late making payments. When the woman contacted Harvey, he said he'd get her tickets for an upcoming Hot Tuna show in exchange for leeway on the bill. She agreed and was told to swing by his house for the tickets. When she knocked at his door in Cheektowaga, a suburb of Buffalo, a roommate answered: "He's in the tub."

Perhaps naively, the woman made her way to the bathroom, knocked and entered. Harvey was in the bath. "Can you wash my back?" she says he asked. Flustered, she said she was late meeting friends and rushed out, grabbing her tickets from the dining-room table. When she got to the concert, she decided she should thank Harvey anyway and went to his office. There, he put his arm around her and tried to kiss her, making it clear what he expected.

"He wanted a blow job," she says.

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Mickey Osterreicher/Getty Images
Frank Sinatra was flanked by Harvey (right) and Weinstein’s business partner Burger in 1974 in Buffalo.


The partners expanded their activities, taking over a local concert venue, the 3,000-seat Century Theatre, built in the 1920s, with a chandelier and balcony that would throb when audiences pounded their feet. Soon, they were using downtime between concerts to show movies, joined by Bob, who had dropped out of school at the State University of New York at Fredonia in 1973 and followed his brother to Buffalo, where he still was very much a junior player.

"Harvey seemed resentful that he had to bring along Bob," says someone who worked with the brothers, "while Bob seemed resentful for not getting enough credit, for being overshadowed." His resentment spilled over in subtle ways. "If you ever see any project they did together, it was always 'Bob and Harvey Weinstein,' " in that order, says a former employee. "Bob insisted his name come first."

While Bob demonstrated financial savvy (and a commercial sense that later made his Dimension label a bigger earner than Miramax), he never shared Harvey's passion for film as art. Increasingly, film itself was tugging Harvey away from concerts, as Robinson saw when he became obsessed with bringing the restored silent classic Napoleon to Buffalo after it had made a splash in Los Angeles, performed with a live orchestra led by Carmine Coppola. He wanted to present the picture in Buffalo with Coppola conducting.

"This is an important thing," he kept telling Robinson. "We need to bring this to Buffalo!"

In the end, the movie came to Buffalo without Coppola. "I'm telling you, the man was distraught," says Robinson. "His heart was out there. We were ready to cry."

While she loathes what Harvey became, she says, "These things pull you back from absolutely hating this man."

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Barbara Alper/Getty Images
Harvey (left) and Bob in their Miramax offices in 1989 in NYC. “If you ever see any project they did together, it was always ‘Bob and Harvey Weinstein,’” in that order, says a former employee. “Bob insisted his name come first.”


By the early 1980s, Harvey's dreams had outgrown the Century and perhaps Buffalo, too. After serving as a facilitator, he began to think of himself as an artist in his own right, a director like so many of the men he admired.

Locking himself in a cottage he had bought just north of Buffalo, he worked with Bob on a screenplay, Playing for Keeps (see sidebar), based on a draft by Jeremy Leven.

"I did kind of write the movie," says Leven, "although by the time they finished, there wasn't much left other than an intense WGA arbitration for credit, which I won. But they had already printed the posters and other material as though they had won, so I don't think my name appears anywhere but IMDb."

The siblings set about co-directing the film. "It was a fucking disaster," says an executive who spent time on the set.

Power exacerbated the worst of Harvey's instincts. Brewer, who produced the movie with the brothers, was approached on set by a young female crewmember. She told him Harvey had invited her to his hotel to discuss work, then attempted to kiss her. After she resisted, he tried to force oral sex on her. Brewer offered to call the police; she declined but asked him to keep Harvey away from her.

As the film neared its 1986 release, Harvey directed his anger at those closest to him. Brewer had heard rumors about his violent side; now he would see it for himself. On the day of the first preview, he walked into Harvey's office at Miramax, in its fledgling days in New York City. Bob closed the door. Harvey was upset: He couldn't locate sound elements he wanted to use in promoting the film for a commercial on The Cosby Show. He began to lash out.

"He went from being seemingly happy," says Brewer, "to grabbing me by the sweater, hooking his fingers around the collar and swinging at my head." Brewer, who had known Harvey since he was 12, who had vacationed with him, double-dated and worked at his side for two years on Playing for Keeps, was in shock. He pushed Harvey off and tried to leave, "but they followed me to the elevator," says Brewer. "Harvey began to attack me again. This spilled into the street."

Then Harvey changed tactics, "going from convincing to begging to threatening," he recalls. (Years later, when Brewer heard the infamous tape recording that model Ambra Battilana Gutierrez had made of Weinstein, he recognized his Jekyll-and-Hyde mode.) Their professional relationship ended, their friendship would never be the same. "This person who had been very supportive of my career was treating me like an enemy," says Brewer.
(Weinstein denies any physical altercation.)

Playing for Keeps marked a turning point, not only for Brewer but also his friend. Having failed as a director, Harvey would focus on building an empire through Miramax, which had begun to acquire and release films. Eventually, he would become not just a moviemaker but a mogul. And yet the emotions that drove him would remain unchanged.

"This was a person who had tremendous anger issues," says Brewer, "that no friendship or sense of loyalty was going to contain."

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Photofest
Poster art for The Burning, on which Wachowiak worked as an intern in the production offices.


In 2008, Wachowiak picked up the phone and called Bob Weinstein. She wanted to show him a movie she and her husband had directed. "It was a stab in the dark," she says. By then the younger brother was no longer the awkward guy in the back office; he was half of a global machine.

Wachowiak told Bob's secretary she had worked on The Burning, and to her surprise, he took the call. After she'd offered to send him snapshots from the set of their old film, along with her movie, the conversation turned to Harvey. She mentioned his "being difficult."

"Oh, yeah," said Bob. "He's still like that."

Today, she wonders why Bob spoke to her at all. Maybe he was on the lookout for his brother's misdeeds, she ponders, aware of all the loose ends that eventually might be tied up, potentially destroying their company. "I believe he knew what was going on," says Wachowiak. "He was protecting Harvey. He knew he was a big asshole."

As she drives past an empty lot where the Buffalo Memorial Auditorium once stood, she can't quite let go of the brothers, just like so many others. She remembers one of her last face-to-face meetings with Harvey, toward the end of the Burning shoot. She was in a small office that had been set up at a campsite on the edge of town, alone, when he showed up unannounced. "I was nervous," she remembers. "He looked at me, smarmy."

"So," said Harvey, with a grin, "Was seeing me naked the high point of your internship?"

"No," she retorted. "You disgust me."

He laughed and walked away.
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Re: Harvey Weinstein: 'Beautiful Girls' Scribe Scott Rosenbe

Postby admin » Thu May 10, 2018 6:23 am

Four Women Accuse New York’s Attorney General of Physical Abuse: Eric Schneiderman has raised his profile as a voice against sexual misconduct. Now, after suing Harvey Weinstein, he faces a #MeToo reckoning of his own.
by Jane Mayer and Ronan Farrow
May 7, 2018

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As Eric Schneiderman used the authority of his office to assume a major role in the #MeToo movement, the distress of four women with whom he has had romantic relationships or encounters grew.
Illustration by Oliver Munday; Photograph: Drew Angerer/Getty (man)


Update: Three hours after the publication of this story, Schneiderman resigned from his position. “While these allegations are unrelated to my professional conduct or the operations of the office, they will effectively prevent me from leading the office’s work at this critical time,” he said in a statement. “I therefore resign my office, effective at the close of business on May 8, 2018.”

Eric Schneiderman, New York’s attorney general, has long been a liberal Democratic champion of women’s rights, and recently he has become an outspoken figure in the #MeToo movement against sexual harassment. As New York State’s highest-ranking law-enforcement officer, Schneiderman, who is sixty-three, has used his authority to take legal action against the disgraced film mogul Harvey Weinstein, and to demand greater compensation for the victims of Weinstein’s alleged sexual crimes. Last month, when the Times and this magazine were awarded a joint Pulitzer Prize for coverage of sexual harassment, Schneiderman issued a congratulatory tweet, praising “the brave women and men who spoke up about the sexual harassment they had endured at the hands of powerful men.” Without these women, he noted, “there would not be the critical national reckoning under way.”

Now Schneiderman is facing a reckoning of his own. As his prominence as a voice against sexual misconduct has risen, so, too, has the distress of four women with whom he has had romantic relationships or encounters. They accuse Schneiderman of having subjected them to nonconsensual physical violence. All have been reluctant to speak out, fearing reprisal. But two of the women, Michelle Manning Barish and Tanya Selvaratnam, have talked to The New Yorker on the record, because they feel that doing so could protect other women. They allege that he repeatedly hit them, often after drinking, frequently in bed and never with their consent. Manning Barish and Selvaratnam categorize the abuse he inflicted on them as “assault.” They did not report their allegations to the police at the time, but both say that they eventually sought medical attention after having been slapped hard across the ear and face, and also choked. Selvaratnam says that Schneiderman warned her he could have her followed and her phones tapped, and both say that he threatened to kill them if they broke up with him. (Schneiderman’s spokesperson said that he “never made any of these threats.”)

A third former romantic partner of Schneiderman’s told Manning Barish and Selvaratnam that he also repeatedly subjected her to nonconsensual physical violence, but she told them that she is too frightened of him to come forward. (The New Yorker has independently vetted the accounts that they gave of her allegations.) A fourth woman, an attorney who has held prominent positions in the New York legal community, says that Schneiderman made an advance toward her; when she rebuffed him, he slapped her across the face with such force that it left a mark that lingered the next day. She recalls screaming in surprise and pain, and beginning to cry, and says that she felt frightened. She has asked to remain unidentified, but shared a photograph of the injury with The New Yorker.

In a statement, Schneiderman said, “In the privacy of intimate relationships, I have engaged in role-playing and other consensual sexual activity. I have not assaulted anyone. I have never engaged in nonconsensual sex, which is a line I would not cross.”

Manning Barish was romantically involved with Schneiderman from the summer of 2013 until New Year’s Day in 2015. Selvaratnam was with him from the summer of 2016 until the fall of 2017. Both are articulate, progressive Democratic feminists in their forties who live in Manhattan. They work and socialize in different circles, and although they have become aware of each other’s stories, they have only a few overlapping acquaintances; to this day, they have never spoken to each other. Over the past year, both watched with admiration as other women spoke out about sexual misconduct. But, as Schneiderman used the authority of his office to assume a major role in the #MeToo movement, their anguish and anger grew.

In February, four months after the first stories about Weinstein broke, Schneiderman announced that his office was filing a civil-rights suit against him. At a press conference, he denounced Weinstein, saying, “We have never seen anything as despicable as what we’ve seen right here.” On May 2nd, at the direction of Governor Andrew Cuomo, Schneiderman launched an investigation into the past handling of criminal complaints against Weinstein by the Manhattan District Attorney, Cyrus Vance, Jr., and the New York City Police Department. (In 2015, Vance declined to bring criminal charges against Weinstein, saying that he lacked sufficient evidence—a decision criticized by activist groups.) In a speech, Cuomo explained that “sexual-assault complaints must be pursued aggressively, and to the fullest extent of the law.” The expanding investigation of the Weinstein case puts Schneiderman at the center of one of the most significant sexual-misconduct cases in recent history.

Schneiderman’s activism on behalf of feminist causes has increasingly won him praise from women’s groups. On May 1st, the New York-based National Institute for Reproductive Health honored him as one of three “Champions of Choice” at its annual fund-raising luncheon. Accepting the award, Schneiderman said, “If a woman cannot control her body, she is not truly equal.” But, as Manning Barish sees it, “you cannot be a champion of women when you are hitting them and choking them in bed, and saying to them, ‘You’re a fucking whore.’” She says of Schneiderman’s involvement in the Weinstein investigation, “How can you put a perpetrator in charge of the country’s most important sexual-assault case?” Selvaratnam describes Schneiderman as “a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde” figure, and says that seeing him lauded as a supporter of women has made her “feel sick,” adding, “This is a man who has staked his entire career, his personal narrative, on being a champion for women publicly. But he abuses them privately. He needs to be called out.”

Manning Barish notes that many of her friends attended the N.I.R.H. luncheon. “His hypocrisy is epic,” she says. “He’s fooled so many people.” Manning Barish includes herself among them. She says that she met Schneiderman in July, 2013, through mutual friends. She had become a blogger and political activist after opposing her younger brother’s deployment to Iraq and working with groups such as MoveOn.org. Amicably divorced from Chris Barish, a hospitality-industry executive, she was a single mother with a young daughter and socially prominent friends. Schneiderman, who was rising in Democratic politics after being elected attorney general, in 2010, was also divorced. His ex-wife, Jennifer Cunningham, a lobbyist and political strategist at the firm SKDKnickerbocker, currently serves as one of his political consultants. They have a grown daughter.

Manning Barish says that she fell quickly for Schneiderman and was happy to be involved with someone who seemed to share her progressive idealism and enjoy her feistiness. Page Six chronicled the romance, calling her a “ravishing redhead” and noting that, at a fund-raiser, the television producer Norman Lear had introduced her as Schneiderman’s “bride-to-be.”

But Manning Barish began to see signs of controlling and abusive behavior. Soon after she started dating Schneiderman, he told her to remove a small tattoo from her wrist; it wasn’t appropriate, he said, if she were to become the wife of a politician. The process of having it removed was painful and expensive. In retrospect, she says, it was the first step in trying to control her body. “Taking a strong woman and tearing her to pieces is his jam,” she says.

About four weeks after they became physically involved, she says, Schneiderman grew violent. One night, they were in the bedroom of his Upper West Side apartment, still clothed but getting ready for bed, and lightly baiting each other. As she recalls it, he called her “a whore,” and she talked back. They had both been drinking, and her recollection of their conversation is blurry, but what happened next remains vivid. Schneiderman, she says, backed her up to the edge of his bed. “All of a sudden, he just slapped me, open-handed and with great force, across the face, landing the blow directly onto my ear,” Manning Barish says. “It was horrendous. It just came out of nowhere. My ear was ringing. I lost my balance and fell backward onto the bed. I sprang up, but at this point there was very little room between the bed and him. I got up to try to shove him back, or take a swing, and he pushed me back down. He then used his body weight to hold me down, and he began to choke me. The choking was very hard. It was really bad. I kicked. In every fibre, I felt I was being beaten by a man.”

She finally freed herself and got back on her feet. “I was crying and in shock,” she says. She recalls shouting, “Are you crazy?” To her astonishment, Schneiderman accused her of scratching him. At one point—she can’t remember if it was at this moment or in a later conversation—he told her, “You know, hitting an officer of the law is a felony.”

After the incident, Manning Barish left the apartment, telling him that she would never come back. “I want to make it absolutely clear,” she says. “This was under no circumstances a sex game gone wrong. This did not happen while we were having sex. I was fully dressed and remained that way. It was completely unexpected and shocking. I did not consent to physical assault.”


In the following days, Manning Barish confided to three close female friends that Schneiderman had hit her. All of them have confirmed this to The New Yorker. “She was distraught,” one of the friends, a high-profile media figure, says. “She was very, very upset. This wasn’t a gentle smack. He clocked her ear. I was shocked.” She notes, “Michelle had mentioned that he drank a lot, and that he changed under the influence of alcohol, but I’d never anticipated that he would be violent.” The friend describes Manning Barish as having seemed “sad” and “torn,” because “she’d really wanted the relationship to work.”

The novelist Salman Rushdie, who dated Manning Barish before Schneiderman did, and who has been her close friend for nearly fifteen years, says that she confided in him as well. “She called me and told me he had hit her,” Rushdie recalls. “She was obviously very upset. I was horrified.” In his view, Schneiderman’s behavior does not fall into the kind of gray area that should remain private. “It was clear to me that it crossed a line,” he says. Rushdie, who describes Manning Barish as “a very truthful person, in my experience,” advised her to stay away from Schneiderman.

But Manning Barish went back to him, a decision that she regrets. After the attack, she says, Schneiderman “called and called” her. A few days later, on a weekday afternoon, his security detail drove him to her apartment, and he showed up at her door with an armload of flowers and a case of wine. She found the wine surprising, given the fact that alcohol had fuelled his violent behavior. She recalls saying over and over, “You hit me! You hurt me! You should never hit a woman!” But he didn’t want to talk about having hit her. “The hitting was not an issue for him,” she says. Before long, they reconciled.


Manning Barish says that her ear bothered her for months. It often felt painful and clogged, and she kept hearing odd gurgling sounds. Once, blood trickled out, reaching her collarbone. Eventually, Manning Barish sought medical help from Dr. Gwen Korovin, an ear, nose, and throat specialist. Manning Barish shared her medical records with The New Yorker. They confirm that, on September 13, 2014, Korovin found and removed “dried bloody crust” from Manning Barish’s ear. Manning Barish thought that the slap might have caused the injury, but when Korovin asked her what had happened she said that she might have injured herself with a Q-tip. “I was protecting Eric,” Manning Barish says. “And I was ashamed. For victims, shame plays a huge role in most of these stories. I want people to know that.” Korovin was asked by The New Yorker if the injury could have been caused by a slap. “Yes, it could be consistent with a slap,” she said. “You could perforate an eardrum in a lot of ways, with a Q-tip or with a slap.”

Manning Barish and Schneiderman were together, off and on, for nearly two years. She says that when they had sex he often slapped her across the face without her consent, and that she felt “emotionally battered” by cruel remarks that he made. She says that he criticized how she looked and dressed, and “controlled what I ate.” Manning Barish, who is five feet seven, lost thirty pounds, falling to a hundred and three. In a photograph from the period, she looks emaciated; her hair, she recalls, started to fall out. Nevertheless, he squeezed her legs and called them “chubby.”

Manning Barish says that Schneiderman pressed her to consume huge amounts of alcohol. She recalls, “I would come over for dinner. An already half-empty bottle of red wine would be on the counter. He had had a head start. ‘Very stressful day,’ he would say.” Sometimes, if she didn’t drink quickly enough, she says, he would “come to me like a baby who wouldn’t eat its food, and hold the glass to my lips while holding my face, and sweetly but forcefully, like a parent, say, ‘Come on, Mimi, drink, drink, drink,’ and essentially force me—at times actually spilling it down my chin and onto my chest.” Schneiderman, she recalls, “would almost always drink two bottles of wine in a night, then bring a bottle of Scotch into the bedroom. He would get absolutely plastered five nights out of seven.” On one occasion, she recalls, “he literally fell on his face in my kitchen, straight down, like a tree falling.” Another evening, he smashed his leg against an open drawer, cutting it so badly that “there was blood all over the place.” She bandaged it, but the next day she went to his office to change the dressing, because the bleeding hadn’t stopped.

Manning Barish says that Schneiderman also took prescription tranquillizers, and often asked her to refill a prescription that she had for Xanax, so that he could reserve “about half” the pills for himself. (Schneiderman’s spokesperson said that he has “never commandeered anyone’s medications.”) Sometimes in bed, she recalls, he would be “shaking me and grabbing my face” while demanding that she repeat such things as “I’m a little whore.” She says that he also told her, “If you ever left me, I’d kill you.”


Evan Stark, a forensic social worker and an emeritus professor at Rutgers, is the author of a landmark book, “Coercive Control,” in which he argues that domestic abuse is just as often psychological as it is physical. Abusive men, he writes, often “terrorize” and “control” their partners by demeaning them, particularly about the traits or accomplishments of which they are proudest. Manning Barish says that Schneiderman often mocked her political activism. When she told him of her plan to attend an anti-gun demonstration with various political figures and a group of parents from Sandy Hook Elementary School, he dismissed the effort, calling the demonstrators “losers.” He added, “Go ahead, if it makes you feel better to do your little political things.” When she was using her computer, he’d sometimes say, “Oh, look at little Mimi. So cute—she’s working!” He told Manning Barish that, because she had childcare, she wasn’t “a real single mother.”

Manning Barish broke up with Schneiderman a second time, and then got back together with him. He’d been talking about marrying her, she says, and she somehow convinced herself that the real problem between them was her fear of commitment. In January, 2015, she ended the relationship a third time, feeling degraded. After that, they got together romantically a few more times, but since 2016 she has been in touch with him only sporadically.


Since the #MeToo movement began, Manning Barish has been active on social-media platforms, cheering on women who have spoken out, including those whose accusations prompted the resignation of the Minnesota senator Al Franken, a widely admired Democrat. Once, she made an oblique reference to Schneiderman on social media, in connection with a political issue. He called her and, in a tone that she describes as “nasty,” said, “Don’t ever write about me. You don’t want to do that.” Manning Barish says that she took his remarks as a threat, just as she took seriously a comment that he’d once made after she objected to him “yanking” her across a street. She recalls saying to him, “Jaywalking is against the law,” and him responding, “I am the law.” Manning Barish says, “If there is a sentence that sums him up, it’s that.”

Schneiderman was elected to the New York State Senate in 1998, and served for twelve years. He wrote many laws, including one that created specific penalties for strangulation. He introduced the bill in 2010, after chairing a committee that investigated domestic-violence charges against the former state senator Hiram Monserrate, a Democrat, who was expelled from the legislature after having been convicted of assaulting his girlfriend. During the hearings, the legislators learned that New York State imposed no specific criminal penalty for choking, even though it is a common prelude to domestic-violence homicides. Not only did Schneiderman’s bill make life-threatening strangulation a grave crime; it also criminalized less serious cases involving “an intent to impede breathing” as misdemeanors punishable by up to a year in prison. “I’m just sorry it took us so long in New York State to do this,” Schneiderman declared at the time. “I think this will save a lot of lives.”

Jennifer Friedman, a legal expert on domestic violence, says that she cannot square Schneiderman’s public and private behavior. Anyone knowledgeable about intimate-partner violence, she says, knows that choking is “a known lethality indicator.” She adds, “I cannot fathom that someone who drafted the legislation on strangulation is unfamiliar with such concepts.” She also says, “A slap is not just a slap—it reverberates through the rest of the relationship, making her afraid of setting him off.” She adds, “People aren’t usually prosecuted for it, but, in the state of New York, slapping is assault when it results in pain or physical injury.”

In the summer of 2016, the attorney general may have crossed this line again. He went to a party in the Hamptons, where he drank heavily, and invited another guest—a woman he’d known for some time—to join him at an after-party. An accomplished Ivy League-educated lawyer with government experience, she had worked closely with his office in the past, and supported him politically. She says that she agreed to let a man in Schneiderman’s security detail drive them to the next destination. But, when they arrived at the house, there was no party; it was where Schneiderman was staying. The security officer left the property.

The lawyer and Schneiderman began making out, but he said things that repelled her. He told the woman, a divorced mother, that professional women with big jobs and children had so many decisions to make that, when it came to sex, they secretly wanted men to take charge. She recalls him saying, “Yeah, you act a certain way and look a certain way, but I know that at heart you are a dirty little slut. You want to be my whore.” He became more sexually aggressive, but she was repulsed by his talk, and pulled away from him. She says that “suddenly—at least, in my mind’s eye—he drew back, and there was a moment where I was, like, ‘What’s happening?’ ” Then, she recalls, “He slapped me across the face hard, twice,” adding, “I was stunned.”

Schneiderman hit her so hard, she says, that the blow left a red handprint. “What the fuck did you just do?” she screamed, and started to sob. “I couldn’t believe it,” she recalls. “For a split second, I was scared.” She notes that, in all her years of dating, she has never been in a situation like the one with Schneiderman. “He just really smacked me,” she says.

When she told him that she wanted to leave, she recalls, he started to “freak out,” saying that he’d misjudged her. “You’d really be surprised,” he claimed. “A lot of women like it. They don’t always think they like it, but then they do, and they ask for more.” She again demanded to be taken home. They got into his car, and it quickly became apparent how intoxicated he was. As he drove, weaving along back roads, she was terrified that he’d kill not just her but another driver. She says that Schneiderman “broke the law at least once that night.” (“This is untrue,” Schneiderman’s spokesperson said.)

The next day, she told two friends, and sent them a photograph of the mark on her face. (Both women corroborate this.) Another photograph of the lawyer, taken later that day at a family birthday party, shows faint raised marks splayed on her cheek. One of the friends says of Schneiderman, “He seemed not to know what the word ‘consent’ means.”


Given the woman’s prominence in the legal sphere, Schneiderman’s actions had exposed him to tremendous risk. Yet she took no official action against him. “Now that I know it’s part of a pattern, I think, God, I should have reported it,” she says. “But, back then, I believed that it was a one-time incident. And I thought, He’s a good attorney general, he’s doing good things. I didn’t want to jeopardize that.” She notes that he did not hit her again, after she protested. Nevertheless, she says of the assault, “I knew it was wrong,” adding, “Our top law officer, this guy with a platform for women’s rights, just smacked away so much of what I thought he stood for.”

Tanya Selvaratnam is the author of “The Big Lie: Motherhood, Feminism, and the Reality of the Biological Clock,” which explores infertility issues; she is also an actor and a film producer, as well as a supporter of feminist and progressive social causes. She, too, is divorced. In 2016, she attended the Democratic National Convention, in Philadelphia, where Schneiderman introduced himself to her. She says that their first encounter felt “like kismet.” They had both gone to Harvard: she as an undergraduate and a graduate student, he as a law student. She was impressed when he expressed an interest in meditation and Buddhism. They had both studied Chinese, and, when he asked, in Mandarin, if she spoke the language, she answered, “Wo shuo keshi bu tai liuli”—“Yes, but not fluently.”

They began dating, and appeared to be a happy couple. Selvaratnam all but lived in his apartment, attending political functions and dinners with his friends and donors, and brainstorming with him on speeches and projects. But, as she puts it, “it was a fairy tale that became a nightmare.” Although Schneiderman often doted on her, he demanded that she spend more and more time with him, and he began physically abusing her in bed. “The slaps started after we’d gotten to know each other,” she recalls. “It was at first as if he were testing me. Then it got stronger and harder.” Selvaratnam says, “It wasn’t consensual. This wasn’t sexual playacting. This was abusive, demeaning, threatening behavior.”

When Schneiderman was violent, he often made sexual demands. “He was obsessed with having a threesome, and said it was my job to find a woman,” she says. “He said he’d have nothing to look forward to if I didn’t, and would hit me until I agreed.” (She had no intention of having a threesome.) She recalls, “Sometimes, he’d tell me to call him Master, and he’d slap me until I did.” Selvaratnam, who was born in Sri Lanka, has dark skin, and she recalls that “he started calling me his ‘brown slave’ and demanding that I repeat that I was ‘his property.’ ”

The abuse escalated. Schneiderman not only slapped her across the face, often four or five times, back and forth, with his open hand; he also spat at her and choked her. “He was cutting off my ability to breathe,” she says. Eventually, she says, “we could rarely have sex without him beating me.” In her view, Schneiderman “is a misogynist and a sexual sadist.” She says that she often asked him to stop hurting her, and tried to push him away. At other times, she gave in, rationalizing that she could tolerate the violence if it happened only once a week or so during sex. But “the emotional and verbal abuse started increasing,” she says, and “the belittling and demeaning of me carried over into our nonsexual encounters.” He told her to get plastic surgery to remove scars on her torso that had resulted from an operation to remove cancerous tumors. He criticized her hair and said that she should get breast implants and buy different clothes. He mocked some of her friends as “ditzes,” and, when these women attended a birthday celebration for her, he demanded that she leave just as the cake was arriving. “I began to feel like I was in Hell,” she says.

Like Manning Barish, Selvaratnam says that Schneiderman routinely drank heavily—a bottle and a half of wine, or more. He also took sedatives, she says, and pushed her to drink with him, saying, “Drink your bourbon, Turnip”—his nickname for her. In the middle of the night, he staggered through the apartment, as if in a trance. “I’ve never seen anyone that messed up,” she recalls. “It was like sleeping next to a monster.” The next morning, she says, he’d seem fine, but often berated her for not having kept him away from the alcohol. His emotional state seemed to worsen after the 2016 Presidential election. He had counted on forging an ambitious partnership with a White House led by Hillary Clinton. Instead, the Presidency had gone to Donald Trump. Earlier, Schneiderman’s office had sued Trump University for civil fraud, and Trump had countersued Schneiderman personally.

On the morning of January 19, 2017, the day before Trump’s Inauguration, Schneiderman called Selvaratnam from a hospital emergency room. She recalls, “He told me that he’d been drinking the night before, and he fell down. He didn’t realize he’d cut himself, and got into bed, and when he woke up he was in a pool of blood.” Selvaratnam rushed to the hospital. Schneiderman had several stitches above his left eye; his face was puffy and bruised. He had her send his press secretary a photograph of the injury, and they agreed to cancel a public appearance. In the image, which was shared with The New Yorker, Schneiderman has a black eye and a bandage across the left side of his forehead. Schneiderman then called Cunningham, his ex-wife and political consultant, and they agreed that he and Selvaratnam should tell anyone who asked about the injury that he had fallen “while running.” (A spokesperson for Schneiderman said, “One morning, Mr. Schneiderman fell in the bathroom while completely sober, hit his head, and had to go the E.R. for stitches. Because he was embarrassed to tell his staff he fell in the bathroom, he told them he fell while running.”
Cunningham, in a statement issued shortly after this story was published online, said, “I’ve known Eric for nearly thirty-five years as a husband, father, and friend. These allegations are completely inconsistent with the man I know, who has always been someone of the highest character, outstanding values, and a loving father. I find it impossible to believe these allegations are true.”)

Selvaratnam understands how incomprehensible it may seem that she stayed in such an abusive relationship for more than a year. But, she says, “now I see how independent women get stuck in one.” The physical abuse, she notes, “happens quickly”: “He’s drunk, and you’re naked and at your most vulnerable. It’s so disorienting. You lose a little of who you are.” She kept telling herself that she could help him change, and tried to get him to see a therapist. At times, she blamed herself for his behavior. “I was scared what he might do if I left him,” she says. “He had said he would have to kill me if we broke up, on multiple occasions. He also told me he could have me followed and could tap my phone.”

It’s unclear if Schneiderman was serious when he made such remarks, but Selvaratnam says that she felt intimidated. Jacquelyn Campbell, a professor at the Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing, is the author of a danger-assessment checklist that helps authorities gauge the likelihood of homicide in domestic-violence situations. She says, “It’s often true that women don’t know whether to take threats to kill seriously. But we should always take threats seriously. It’s categorized as a violent act, and you can report someone to the police for it.”

Selvaratnam began to spend more time apart from Schneiderman, and last fall she ended the relationship. She’d been suffering from ringing in her ears, and sometimes had vertigo. After the breakup, she, like Manning Barish, sought medical help from an ear, nose, and throat specialist. The doctor could find no specific cause for her ailments. The writer Danzy Senna, a close friend of Selvaratnam’s, recalls, “She was thin, fragile, and shaky.” Selvaratnam confided to Senna about the abuse, and Senna was so shocked that she wrote down the details and e-mailed the account to her husband, so that there would be a dated copy of it should any harm come to her friend. Senna’s document, which she shared with The New Yorker, is dated September 16, 2017, and says, in part, “She told me that her boyfriend of a year, Eric Schneiderman, the Attorney General of New York, has been choking, beating, and threatening her for the entirety of their relationship, and that several times he threatened to have her killed if she ever tried to leave him. She said he knows that she has a lot of really damning information about him, his alcoholism, sexual deviance, and drug use, and she worries about her safety.”

Senna advised Selvaratnam to retrieve her belongings from his apartment. On November 3, 2017, she did so, with another friend—Jennifer Gonnerman, a staff writer at this magazine. As they carried her things outside, they talked about the fact that Selvaratnam couldn’t possibly be the only woman who had seen this side of Schneiderman. Gonnerman asked her who else he had dated. Selvaratnam knew of one former girlfriend—not Manning Barish—and described where she had worked.

The next day, Gonnerman happened to run into a male friend who had once worked with the former girlfriend. Gonnerman asked him if he’d ever known anyone who had dated Schneiderman. He said yes: a close friend of his had. Without divulging anything, Gonnerman asked, “So how did that work out?” He answered, “He used to spit on her and slap her during sex.”

Gonnerman told Selvaratnam about the other victim. “She was very traumatized,” Gonnerman recalls. “On the one hand, she was relieved to learn it had happened before, but on the other it was, like, ‘Why hasn’t anyone stopped him?’ ”

Selvaratnam says, “I wished someone had warned me. And I wondered, Who’s next?” She notes, “I was not planning to come forward, until I found out there was another woman. The silence of women before me meant that I’d suffered, too. I felt, I will not be able to live with myself if I hear of him doing this to another woman years or months from now.”

Selvaratnam reached out to the former girlfriend, and they agreed to meet. In February, Selvaratnam recalls, they sat outside on a bench for ninety minutes, and their stories came flooding forth. Selvaratnam says that she was astounded to discover how similar their experiences had been.

Selvaratnam kept notes about her exchanges with the former girlfriend, and she described them to The New Yorker. According to these notes, the former girlfriend told Selvaratnam that she had been in love with Schneiderman, but that in bed he had routinely slapped her hard across the ear and the face, as tears rolled down her cheeks. He also choked her and spat at her. Not all the abuse had taken place in a sexual context. She said that Schneiderman had once slapped her during an argument they’d had while getting dressed to go out. The blow left a handprint on her back; the next day, the spot still hurt. When the former girlfriend objected to this mistreatment, he told her that she simply wasn’t “liberated” enough. Just as Schneiderman had done with the other women, he had pushed her to drink with him and to set up a threesome, and he had belittled her work and appearance, saying in her case that she had fat legs and needed Botox.

After the former girlfriend ended the relationship, she told several friends about the abuse. A number of them advised her to keep the story to herself, arguing that Schneiderman was too valuable a politician for the Democrats to lose. She described this response as heartbreaking. And when Schneiderman heard that she had turned against him, she said, he warned her that politics was a tough and personal business, and that she’d better be careful. She told Selvaratnam that she had taken this as a threat.


The former girlfriend told Selvaratnam she found it “shameless” that Schneiderman was casting himself as a leading supporter of the #MeToo movement. She promised to support Selvaratnam if she spoke out, but she wasn’t sure that she could risk joining her. The former girlfriend told Selvaratnam she’d once been so afraid of Schneiderman that she’d written down an extensive account of the abuse, locked the document in a safe-deposit box, and given keys to two friends.

In February, the news broke that Rob Porter, a top aide in the Trump White House, was resigning, amid allegations that he’d abused his two ex-wives. One of the women, Colbie Holderness, released a photograph of herself taken after he’d allegedly given her a black eye. The image resonated deeply among the women who had dated Schneiderman. Manning Barish recalls, “After Rob Porter, I was struggling about whether to come forward. I felt guilt and shame that I was encouraging other women to speak out but wasn’t doing the same. I was a hypocrite. I was in tears.” Her friends told her that she risked becoming known mainly for being Schneiderman’s victim, and she initially agreed to let the matter go. But, after thinking it over, she told them, “If he’s done this to more than one woman, I’m going to say something.”

After Porter’s resignation, Selvaratnam felt more determined than ever to speak out about Schneiderman and the broader issue of intimate-partner violence. As this story was being reported, Manning Barish became aware that there were other victims, and decided that she had three choices: “I can lie. I can be silent, which is being complicit, and a betrayal of the other women. Or I can tell the truth.” She concluded, “I’m choosing No. 3.” Manning Barish is aware of the risks faced by women who take on powerful politicians, and isn’t relishing the prospect of taking on the attorney general. “It’s hard,” she says. “It affects your life, and not in a positive way.”

Selvaratnam says that she considered filing an ethics complaint against Schneiderman, or bringing a civil suit, but the various legal options she considered were always connected to Schneiderman in some way. Meanwhile, at least eight members of Congress had resigned, or announced plans to retire, after being accused of sexual misconduct. In Missouri, the legislature called a special session to take up the impeachment of Governor Eric Greitens, who had been accused of slapping, restraining, and belittling a woman during an affair. Greitens has denied the allegations, but he is facing a felony charge stemming from the woman’s assertion that he took compromising photographs of her, in an effort to stop her from speaking out.

Selvaratnam, by contrast, feels caught up in circumstances that have given her only one real choice: to go public. “It’s torturous for me to do this,” she says. “I like my life.” Of this article, she says, “I wish my name did not have to be in it,” and notes, of Schneiderman, “I know it’s going to be my word against his, because I don’t have photos of bruises, and I don’t have a police report.” Schneiderman’s accusers, she feels, are in an unusually difficult situation. As she puts it, “What do you do if your abuser is the top law-enforcement official in the state?”
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Re: Harvey Weinstein: 'Beautiful Girls' Scribe Scott Rosenbe

Postby admin » Wed Jul 25, 2018 4:43 am

Charlie Rose’s misconduct was widespread at CBS and three managers were warned, investigation finds
by Amy Brittain and Irin Carmon
May 3, 2018

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Sophie Gayter, left, said Charlie Rose groped her buttocks in 2013 when she was a “60 Minutes” staffer. Beth Homan-Ross, center, and Brooks Harris worked for programs that Rose worked on in the 1980s and 2017, respectively, and said the newsman made sexual comments to them. (Carolyn Van Houten/The Washington Post; Emily Berl for The Washington Post; Sasha Arutyunova for The Washington Post)

Incidents of sexual misconduct by Charlie Rose were far more numerous than pre­viously known, according to a new in­vestigation by The Washington Post, which also found three occasions over a period of 30 years in which CBS managers were warned of his conduct toward women at the network.

An additional 27 women — 14 CBS News employees and 13 who worked with him elsewhere — said Rose sexually harassed them. Concerns about Rose’s behavior were flagged to managers at the network as early as 1986 and as recently as April 2017, when Rose was co-anchor of “CBS This Morning,” according to multiple people with firsthand knowledge of the conversations.

Rose’s response to the new allegations was delivered in a one-sentence email: “Your story is unfair and inaccurate.”

The new allegations follow an earlier Post report on Rose’s behavior at his namesake PBS program, in which eight women accused the TV star of making lewd phone calls, walking around naked in their presence, or groping their breasts, buttocks or genital areas. Rose issued an apology. His PBS show was canceled and he was fired from CBS News.

The Post’s investigation is based on interviews over a five-month period with 107 current and former CBS News employees as well as two dozen others who worked with Rose at other television programs.

Many of those interviewed for this article spoke on the condition of anonymity because they feared retaliation. The Post corroborated specific accounts with witnesses or people in whom they confided.

The new allegations against Rose date to 1976, when, according to a former research assistant, he exposed his penis and touched her breasts in the NBC News Washington bureau where they worked.

“This other personality would come through, and the groping would happen,” said the former research assistant, Joana Matthias, now 63. An NBC News spokeswoman declined to comment.

At CBS News, where in addition to the morning show Rose worked as a contributing correspondent for “60 Minutes,” some women who said they were harassed said they feared reporting the violations to executives, whom they viewed as prioritizing the careers of male stars.

“I had been there long enough to know that it was just the way things went,” said Sophie Gayter, now 27, who worked at “60 Minutes” in 2013 when, she said, Rose groped her buttocks as they walked down an office hallway to a recording studio. “People said what they wanted to you, people did what they wanted to you.”


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“People said what they wanted to you, people did what they wanted to you,” Sophie Gayter said of her time at “60 Minutes.” (Carolyn Van Houten/The Washington Post)

CBS News, which has said it had no human resources complaints about Rose, issued a statement Wednesday in response to a request for comment.

“Since we terminated Charlie Rose, we’ve worked to strengthen existing systems to ensure a safe environment where everyone can do their best work,” the statement said. “Some of the actions we have taken have been reported publicly, some have not. We offer employees discretion and fairness, and we take swift action when we learn of unacceptable behavior.

“That said, we cannot corroborate or confirm many of the situations described. We continue to look for ways to improve our workplace and this period of reflection and action has been important to all of us. We are not done with this process.”

The executive who hired Rose for multiple roles at the network over the years, longtime “60 Minutes” head and former CBS News chairman Jeff Fager, said via email that he had no knowledge of any allegations against Rose until The Post’s November report.

“I was never informed that Charlie behaved badly with women,” Fager wrote. “I hired him because he was one of the best interviewers in the country. Period. If I knew there was this darker side he never would have been hired.”

The network recently announced the formation of a working group, consisting of a dozen employees, to “assess our workplace environment and hear ideas and suggestions to make CBS News an even better place to do important journalism,” according to an email sent to the staff in April. A CBS News spokeswoman said that in-person training for sexual harassment is now mandatory for all employees.

In a statement in March, CBS News President David Rhodes said, “I was not aware of harassment by Charlie Rose at CBS.”

Asked during a forum last month at George Washington University whether CBS News had protected Rose or known about his behavior, Rhodes responded, “Just to be really clear, there was not knowledge.”

The Post has partnered with “60 Minutes” over the years, including on an investigation last year of the Drug Enforcement Administration. None of the investigative reporters or their editors who collaborated directly with “60 Minutes” on that article worked on this one.

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Charlie Rose is seen in his “Nightwatch” days in the 1980s. Seven women sued CBS in 1986, claiming the workplace on the show was “offensive and hostile.” Rose was not mentioned in the suit. (Education Images/UIG/Getty Images)

‘How often do you like to have sex?’

The first instance identified by The Post in which a CBS News employee said a manager was told of Rose’s conduct was in 1986, when he was filling in as an anchor on “CBS Morning News.”

There, Annmarie Parr, a 22-year-old news clerk, delivered a script to Rose. He had made “lewd, little comments” about her appearance before, Parr said, but that day Rose took it further. “Annmarie, do you like sex?” she said he asked her. “Do you enjoy it? How often do you like to have sex?’” She said she laughed nervously and left.

Parr said she reported Rose’s comments to her boss — a senior producer whom she declined to name — and said she didn’t want to be alone with Rose. The producer laughed, Parr said, and told her, “Fine, you don’t have to be alone with him anymore.”

That same year seven women sued CBS, claiming that the workplace on the network’s overnight broadcast “Nightwatch” was “offensive and hostile” to female employees.

The women accused CBS of knowingly tolerating an environment of sexual harassment by the show’s executive producer John Huddy and unidentified other employees. Huddy, who could not be reached for comment, resigned before the suit was filed.


Rose was a co-anchor for the show in Washington, though he was not mentioned in the lawsuit.

One of the plaintiffs, Beth Homan-Ross, who worked directly with Rose as an assistant producer, told The Post that Rose frequently made sexual remarks about her breasts and buttocks. When she arrived at his house to deliver materials or prepare him for work, he would sometimes open the door naked, holding a towel. More than once, she said, Rose asked her to come into his bathroom while he was showering. She said she declined, waiting outside.

“It was a sexual land mine everywhere you stepped,” Homan-Ross, now 61, said of working in the show’s Washington office.


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“It was a sexual land mine everywhere you stepped,” Beth Homan-Ross said of her time at “Nightwatch.” (Emily Berl/For The Washington Post)

The lawsuit was settled under confidential terms in 1987.

Rose left CBS in 1990 and the next year launched his own show on PBS, which established his brand of long-form interviews with the famous and powerful.

By the end of the decade, Rose had become a household name. In 1998, he was brought back to CBS as a correspondent at “60 Minutes II,” a spinoff of the original program. The arrangement, in which Rose worked part time for the show, gave him the freedom to keep his show on PBS.

By then, some at CBS were concerned about Rose’s conduct toward women.

When Susan MacArthur was interviewing in the late 1990s for a job to be Rose’s assistant, she said, a CBS News executive told her to “steer clear” because of the host’s history of “questionable behavior.”

“She looked me dead in the eyes and said, ‘You are going to be working alone with this man and being alone with this man in his hotel, and you need to think really hard about whether you want to do this,’ ” MacArthur said, declining to name the executive. MacArthur heeded the advice and stopped returning Rose’s calls.


For some of the women who interacted professionally with Rose, it became hard to draw lines between his roles at CBS and PBS, where, as the show’s owner, he was the boss.

In 2003, he brought a 20-year-old intern from his PBS show on a CBS trip to California for a “60 Minutes II” assignment.

“You’re not just working for a show, you’re working for Charlie, period,” said the former intern, Corrina Collins, who now lives in Montana and works as a transportation planner.

On the plane, Collins said, Rose insisted she drink wine and began to “paw” her. Collins became drunk, she said, and threw up in the plane’s bathroom.

Rose squeezed her breast during the car ride from the airport, Collins said. She said he insisted that they work in his hotel room, where he told her, “I want you to ride me.” She quickly left his room. “It felt predatory,” she said. “I had already said no, but he was going to persist.”

Back in New York, Collins said she shared concerns about Rose with Yvette Vega, the executive producer of Rose’s PBS show, who she said replied that he was harmless. Vega did not respond to a request for comment.


Collins shared her account several years ago with Danna Jackson, a lawyer and family friend in Montana, who corroborated her account.

In 2008, Rose was brought aboard “60 Minutes” as a contributing correspondent by Fager, who had been his boss at “60 Minutes II” and had been named as the flagship Sunday program’s executive producer.

In 2011, Fager was promoted to be CBS News chairman. Again, he turned to Rose for a marquee assignment — tapping him to co-host the network’s struggling morning show, “CBS This Morning.”

Fager later said his decision to tap Rose was based on his “gut.”

“Charlie, to us, symbolized . . . what we are about, you know, we being this strong identity of journalism that is relatively pure,” Fager said in a podcast interview last year.

‘I was nobody, and he picked me out of a crowd’

Rose had risen to become one of the news division’s biggest stars, with prominent roles as a contributor to “60 Minutes” and as co-host of “CBS This Morning.”

And soon after he was hired at “CBS This Morning,” Rose’s inappropriate behavior was flagged to a supervisor — the second time identified by The Post in which CBS News management was alerted to his conduct.

Rose hosted a holiday gathering in late 2011 for CBS and PBS staffers at the Spotted Pig, a Manhattan restaurant, and, amid other partygoers, forcibly kissed a “CBS This Morning” employee, according to two people with firsthand knowledge of the incident.

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Rose was fired from CBS News in November. Here, he is seen in 2015 with “CBS This Morning” co-hosts Norah O’Donnell, left, and Gayle King. (Heather Wines/CBS/Getty Images)

The next day, the woman who was kissed told the “CBS This Morning” executive producer, Chris Licht, what happened, but she asked him not to share with the company’s human resources department what she reported.

Licht confirmed in an email to The Post that he was told about the kissing incident with Rose. He said he abided by the wishes of the employee and spoke with Rose about the incident.

Licht, who has since been promoted to CBS executive vice president and now heads “The Late Show With Stephen Colbert,” declined to be quoted and did not provide further details of his conversation with Rose. He said he received no other complaints about inappropriate sexual behavior by Rose.

A CBS News spokeswoman said in a statement that Licht’s actions were “within the scope of CBS policy at the time” and that the “employee in question was satisfied with the result.” The spokeswoman added that CBS revised its policy in 2016 to require supervisors to “promptly report” harassment complaints to the human resources department or a compliance officer.

The woman who was kissed declined to comment.

Weeks later, in January 2012, a “CBS This Morning” paid contributor was on the set with Rose during an off-air moment when, she said, he drew her close, groped her right buttock and whispered in her ear, “Damn, you look good on TV.”

The contributor immediately told a friend about the incident. The friend, contacted separately by The Post, corroborated the conversation.


The third and most recent example identified by The Post in which a CBS News manager was alerted to Rose’s behavior came in early 2017. By then, Licht had been replaced by Ryan Kadro, who remains the executive producer of “CBS This Morning.”

Brooks Harris, then 24, had been working the night shift when she was briefly assigned to work in the studio during the morning hours. That’s when Rose first approached her.

Rose said that he had heard that Harris was smart and had talked to Kadro about her, according to Harris. She said Rose also began taking her to lunch at expensive restaurants, where he bought her wine and floated job opportunities at “60 Minutes” and at his PBS show.

“I was nobody, and he picked me out of a crowd of employees,” Harris recalled.

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Brooks Harris worked with Rose at “CBS This Morning” and later at his namesake TV show at PBS. Rose, she said, told her he hired her because he liked tall women and once suggested she have sex with another female assistant. (Sasha Arutyunova/For The Washington Post)

Harris’s mother, Heather Harris, told The Post she expressed concern to her daughter about Rose’s attention, but “all of the indications from the newsroom were that he was a trustworthy guy.” And the younger Harris was ready for a new job.

Within a few weeks, Harris said, Rose sent her to “60 Minutes” to meet with Alison Pepper, a senior broadcast manager at the time.

“She didn’t know why I’d showed up there,” Harris said. “I said: ‘Oh, Charlie sent me over here to have a meeting with you. He said you were expecting me.’ ” According to Harris, Pepper said she wasn’t sure if the show had the budget for a new position.

Through a CBS News spokeswoman, Pepper declined to comment.

Meanwhile, Kadro’s then-executive assistant, Chelsea Wei, said she grew increasingly concerned about Rose’s one-on-one lunches with Harris outside the office.

Wei, who went on to work for Rose’s CBS team and still works at the network, said she confided in her boyfriend, who encouraged her to report her concerns to management — a conversation the boyfriend separately recalled to The Post.

Early that April, Wei said, she told Kadro that she was worried that Rose’s attention to Harris outside of the office, including the lunches, seemed unusual. She said she offered Kadro a warning: “I’m telling you in case you have a lawsuit on your hands.” Kadro, she said, did not seem alarmed.

Kadro, in an email to The Post, acknowledged that Wei came to speak to him about Rose but disputed her account. “Ms. Wei did not tell me about inappropriate behavior by Charlie Rose towards Ms. Harris at any time. . . . Regarding your question about a ‘lawsuit’ — I don’t believe she used that word.”


Days later, Harris said, Rose offered her a position at his PBS show that paid roughly $20,000 more than she had been making.

“It is the best job in the world,” he wrote her in an April 11, 2017, email reviewed by The Post. “I want you to be at the center of my professional world as I navigate between CHARLIE ROSE, CTM, AND SIXTY MINUTES.”

Kadro, Harris said, encouraged her to take the job. He denied doing so. “I did not ‘encourage’ Ms. Harris to work for Mr. Rose,” he said in the email.

Once she started working at “Charlie Rose,” Harris said, his behavior increasingly made her uncomfortable. She said Rose told her he hired her because he liked tall women and once suggested she have sex with another female assistant, Sydney McNeal.

McNeal confirmed the remarks in an interview with The Post, adding that working for Rose was “toxic” and that it “made me question my intelligence, dignity and worth as a human being almost every day.”


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An additional 27 women have told The Post that Rose sexually harassed them. Rose, seen in 2014, calls the new allegations “unfair and inaccurate.” (Scott Olson/Getty Images)

When the two assistants went on an errand to Rose’s Bellport, N.Y., house, Harris said that their boss remarked jokingly that he didn’t want to hear reports of “two young women swimming naked together” in his pool.

Late one July night last year, after a “Charlie Rose” staff gathering, Harris said, Rose asked her to leave alone with him. She said he took her for drinks at the upscale restaurant Harry Cipriani and demanded she come up to his apartment. She said Rose was drunk and insisted they sit together at his desk to watch footage of his “60 Minutes” interviews with former U.S. presidents.

The situation made her uncomfortable, she said, so she made up an excuse to leave quickly.

Four months later, PBS canceled the program, citing The Post’s reporting on sexual harassment there — leaving the entire staff, including Harris, unemployed. CBS News suspended and fired Rose, and issued a statement saying it had “no records of any complaint of sexual harassment by Charlie Rose.”
The network’s reporters vowed to follow the story.

In February, Ken Goldberg, an attorney for Harris, Wei and McNeal, sent Rose and CBS a letter containing their allegations. Among the claims: Rose subjected the women to “repeated physical and verbal sexual harassment,” including sexual touching, comments and advances.

“Management, numerous broadcasters and studio staff witnessed Mr. Rose’s unlawful conduct, and complaints were made,” Goldberg wrote. But, he added, CBS and Rose’s separate company “failed and refused to take any remedial action and that conduct continued unabated.”

Goldberg said that his clients plan to file a lawsuit in the coming days.

Irin Carmon is a contributing writer.
Julie Tate contributed to this report.
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Re: Harvey Weinstein: 'Beautiful Girls' Scribe Scott Rosenbe

Postby admin » Mon Jul 30, 2018 5:02 am

Les Moonves and CBS Face Allegations of Sexual Misconduct: Six women accuse the C.E.O. of harassment and intimidation, and dozens more describe abuse at his company.
by Ronan Farrow
August 6 & 13, 2018 Issue

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In the tumultuous field of network television, Moonves has enjoyed rare longevity as a leader. Illustration by Oliver Munday

For more than twenty years, Leslie Moonves has been one of the most powerful media executives in America. As the chairman and C.E.O. of CBS Corporation, he oversees shows ranging from “60 Minutes” to “The Big Bang Theory.” His portfolio includes the premium cable channel Showtime, the publishing house Simon & Schuster, and a streaming service, CBS All Access. Moonves, who is sixty-eight, has a reputation for canny hiring and project selection. The Wall Street Journal recently called him a “TV programming wizard”; the Hollywood Reporter dubbed him a “Wall Street Hero.” In the tumultuous field of network television, he has enjoyed rare longevity as a leader. Last year, according to filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, he earned nearly seventy million dollars, making him one of the highest-paid corporate executives in the world.

In recent months, Moonves has become a prominent voice in Hollywood’s #MeToo movement. In December, he helped found the Commission on Eliminating Sexual Harassment and Advancing Equality in the Workplace, which is chaired by Anita Hill. “It’s a watershed moment,” Moonves said at a conference in November. “I think it’s important that a company’s culture will not allow for this. And that’s the thing that’s far-reaching. There’s a lot we’re learning. There’s a lot we didn’t know.”

But Moonves’s private actions belie his public statements. Six women who had professional dealings with him told me that, between the nineteen-eighties and the late aughts, Moonves sexually harassed them. Four described forcible touching or kissing during business meetings, in what they said appeared to be a practiced routine. Two told me that Moonves physically intimidated them or threatened to derail their careers. All said that he became cold or hostile after they rejected his advances, and that they believed their careers suffered as a result. “What happened to me was a sexual assault, and then I was fired for not participating,” the actress and writer Illeana Douglas told me. All the women said they still feared that speaking out would lead to retaliation from Moonves, who is known in the industry for his ability to make or break careers. “He has gotten away with it for decades,” the writer Janet Jones, who alleges that she had to shove Moonves off her after he forcibly kissed her at a work meeting, told me. “And it’s just not O.K.”

Thirty current and former employees of CBS told me that such behavior extended from Moonves to important parts of the corporation, including CBS News and “60 Minutes,” one of the network’s most esteemed programs. During Moonves’s tenure, men at CBS News who were accused of sexual misconduct were promoted, even as the company paid settlements to women with complaints.
It isn’t clear whether Moonves himself knew of the allegations, but he has a reputation for being closely involved in management decisions across the network. Some of the allegations, such as those against the former anchor Charlie Rose, as reported by the Washington Post, have already become public. Other claims are being reported here for the first time. Nineteen current and former employees told me that Jeff Fager, the former chairman of CBS News and the current executive producer of “60 Minutes,” allowed harassment in the division. “It’s top down, this culture of older men who have all this power and you are nothing,” one veteran producer told me. “The company is shielding lots of bad behavior.”

In a statement, Moonves said, “Throughout my time at CBS, we have promoted a culture of respect and opportunity for all employees, and have consistently found success elevating women to top executive positions across our company. I recognize that there were times decades ago when I may have made some women uncomfortable by making advances. Those were mistakes, and I regret them immensely. But I always understood and respected—and abided by the principle—that ‘no’ means ‘no,’ and I have never misused my position to harm or hinder anyone’s career. This is a time when we all are appropriately focused on how we help improve our society, and we at CBS are committed to being part of the solution.” According to CBS, there have been no misconduct claims and no settlements against Moonves during his twenty-four years at the network. A statement from the company said, “CBS is very mindful of all workplace issues and takes each report of misconduct very seriously. We do not believe, however, that the picture of our company created in The New Yorker represents a larger organization that does its best to treat its tens of thousands of employees with dignity and respect. We are seeing vigorous discourse in our country about equality, inclusion, and safety in the workplace, and CBS is committed to being part of the solution to those important issues.”

The allegations are surfacing at a time when CBS is engaged in an increasingly acrimonious fight with its former parent company, Viacom, which acquired CBS in 1999 and spun it off as a separate entity seven years later. A holding company founded by the mogul Sumner Redstone still owns a majority stake in both Viacom and CBS, and Redstone’s daughter and heir, Shari Redstone, has sought to reunite the businesses. Moonves has resisted the move, and in May Redstone’s holding company and CBS filed lawsuits against each other. All of the women making allegations against Moonves began speaking to me before the current lawsuits, in independent interviews carried out during the past eight months. All said that they were not motivated by any allegiance in the corporate battle. But several felt that this was an opportunity to examine a workplace culture that many of the women in this story described as toxic.

Illeana Douglas, who later received an Emmy nomination for her role in HBO’s “Six Feet Under,” was introduced to Moonves in 1996. At the time, she was meeting with networks, looking for a deal to write and perform for television. Moonves, who was then the president of CBS Entertainment, seemed to take a personal interest in her. He told Douglas that he was a fan of her performances in the Martin Scorsese films “Cape Fear” and “Goodfellas,” and urged her to work with CBS. “There was the big sell—he was telling me, ‘You’re gonna get a house with a pool, you’re gonna love it, it’s a great life,’ ” Douglas recalled. She agreed to sign a holding deal with CBS, which promised to pay her three hundred thousand dollars to appear exclusively in the network’s programs.

CBS ultimately didn’t proceed with a pilot that Douglas wrote, but the network cast her in a comedy called “Queens,” as an eccentric native of the New York borough. In March, 1997, shortly before production of the pilot episode began, Moonves called Douglas’s manager, Melissa Prophet, and told her that he was concerned about Douglas’s attitude during a reading with her co-star, Penelope Ann Miller. Prophet relayed the concern to Douglas, who was surprised and confused: the reading, in front of a group of CBS executives, had elicited uproarious laughter. Moonves, she said, had taken her by the shoulders and congratulated her. Moonves had told Prophet that he wanted to meet with Douglas, alone, to insure that they were creatively aligned. (Prophet told me that she did not recall the conversation or setting up the meeting.) By then, Douglas had worked closely with Moonves for months. “He seemed more than just my boss,” she told me. “He was very much like a father figure.”

When Douglas met with Moonves at his office, she began to raise concerns about the “Queens” script, but Moonves, she recalled, cut her off. “He interrupts me to ask me am I single,” she said. Douglas, whose nearly decade-long relationship with Scorsese was coming to an end, was caught off guard. “I didn’t know what to say at that point,” she told me. “I was, like, ‘I’m single, yes, no, maybe.’” She began talking about the script, but Moonves interjected, asking to kiss her. According to Douglas, he said that they didn’t have to tell her manager: “It’ll just be between you and me. Come on, you’re not some nubile virgin.”

As Douglas attempted to turn the focus back to work, Moonves, she said, grabbed her. “In a millisecond, he’s got one arm over me, pinning me,” she said. Moonves was “violently kissing” her, holding her down on the couch with her arms above her head. “What it feels like to have someone hold you down—you can’t breathe, you can’t move,” she said. “The physicality of it was horrendous.” She recalled lying limp and unresponsive beneath him. “You sort of black out,” she told me. “You think, How long is this going to go on? I was just looking at this nice picture of his family and his kids. I couldn’t get him off me.” She said it was only when Moonves, aroused, pulled up her skirt and began to thrust against her that her fear overcame her paralysis. She told herself that she had to do something to stop him. “At that point, you’re a trapped animal,” she told me. “Your life is flashing before your eyes.” Moonves, in what Douglas assumed was an effort to be seductive, paused and asked, “So, what do you think?” Douglas told me, “My decision was to get out of it by joking my way out, so he feels flattered.” Thinking that reminding Moonves that he was her boss might discourage him, she told him, “Yes, for the head of a network you’re some good kisser.” Moonves frowned and got up. She scrambled to find her briefcase. “Well, this has been great. Thanks,” she recalled saying, moving toward the door. “I’ve got to go now.”


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Illeana Douglas at the Streamy Awards, 2009


Moonves, she said, followed her to the door and blocked her path. He backed her up to the wall, pressing against her, with his face close to hers. “It was physically scary,” Douglas told me. “He says, ‘We’re going to keep this between you and me, right?’ ” Attempting to put him off with a joke, she replied, “No, sir, we won’t tell anyone that you’re a good kisser.” Moonves released her and, without looking at her, walked away. “It was so invasive,” she said of the threatening encounter. “It has stayed with me the rest of my life, that terror.”

Outside Moonves’s office, she began to cry. “My skirt is all twisted,” she recalled. “I’m standing in the hall and I thought of his family.” Moonves’s assistant, sitting nearby, asked whether her parking needed to be validated. Douglas told me, “I remember thinking, Does she know? Does this happen all the time?”

In her car, Douglas said, “I lost it. I felt sick.” Prophet, her manager, called and, as Douglas worked up the nerve to tell her what had happened, Prophet said that she had just got off the phone with Moonves. He’d said that he and Douglas had a great meeting and “had a lot of fun.” Douglas told me, “I thought, Oh, my God, he’s covered his tracks.” In that moment, she said, “I decided, just bury it.” Later that day, Douglas returned to the house she was renting and told a friend who was staying with her, the actor Craig Chester, about the incident. “She was trying not to cry, but her voice was shaking. I’ve never seen her that emotional before,” Chester recalled. “She said that he got on top of her and held her down and she couldn’t get away. If it was any other situation outside business, I would have said, ‘Let’s go to the cops.’” But, Chester said, “there was no talk about going to the police or anything like that, because it was obvious that it would be career suicide.”

The following week, Moonves showed up at the first day of rehearsals for “Queens.” “As soon as I saw him, I thought I was going to collapse. Everything came back to me. I was shaking,” Douglas told me. She felt that Moonves’s demeanor was intended to intimidate her. “He was eying me warily,” she said. Her distress was evident to her co-stars. “There was obviously something going on with her emotionally,” Penelope Ann Miller told me. “When she came in to test, everything was on. And then, after, on set, it was like she wasn’t there.” Last year, before the rise of #MeToo, Douglas told Miller what had happened. “Hearing her story, it all made sense,” Miller recalled.

After the second rehearsal, Moonves took Douglas aside. “‘What the fuck do you think you’re doing out there? You’re not even trying,’” Douglas recalled Moonves saying. She took it as a reference to her failure to comply with his advances and to maintain her composure afterward. Douglas told me that she had “played by all the rules, I didn’t say anything, and now he was berating me.” On set, she struggled to keep her comedic timing, and cried in front of other cast members.

Several days into rehearsals, Moonves called Douglas at home. “It was, you know, ‘You make me fucking sick. You are not funny,’” she recalled. Moonves told her that she wouldn’t “get a fucking dime” of the money she was owed, and that she would “never work at this network again.” (In a statement, CBS said that Moonves acknowledges trying to kiss Douglas, but that “he denies any characterization of ‘sexual assault,’ intimidation, or retaliatory action,” including berating her on set and personally firing her from “Queens.”)

Prophet told me that Moonves and CBS Business Affairs called her to say that Douglas would be replaced on the show and that her deal would be cancelled. According to Douglas, Prophet called her and “said I’d burned all my bridges at CBS, that she was firing me.” (Prophet recalled firing Douglas and said that the two had a heated exchange. She said that she didn’t know about Douglas’s allegation, and denied the comment about burning bridges. “There are no bridges at CBS,” she said. “There is just Les Moonves.”) Douglas said that her agent, Patrick Whitesell, who was then at Creative Artists Agency, later called to say that the agency wished her well in future endeavors of her own. “I love the way C.A.A. fired me,” Douglas said. “They never told me I was fired. They just kept wishing me the best of luck.” (Whitesell told me that he had not been aware of Douglas’s allegation and did not recall that her departure from C.A.A. was related to the dissolution of her CBS deal.)

Distraught, Douglas called Scorsese and told him the story, saying that she wanted to hire a lawyer and sue Moonves. Scorsese said that he remembers Douglas calling him about the allegation and being shocked by it. Scorsese urged her to be cautious about taking legal action against such a powerful person, but agreed to refer her to his law firm; there, Douglas began working with an attorney named Bill Sobel. Sobel confirmed that Douglas had described the encounter with Moonves at the time, and his contemporaneous notes back up her account. “I believed Illeana,” he told me. “What happened to her was reprehensible.”

Douglas told me that Sobel warned her that it was a matter of her word against Moonves’s. Sobel, who said that he had a frank conversation with Douglas about the risks of suing, ultimately called CBS to attempt to recoup some of her lost wages. (She had received a fifty-thousand-dollar advance payment for her appearance in the “Queens” pilot, but felt that she was owed the remaining two hundred and fifty thousand.) After a junior staff member at CBS Business Affairs told Sobel that Douglas had been fired because of her poor performance in rehearsals, and that the network intended to withhold her pay, Sobel suggested that he ask Moonves about the meeting he had had alone with Douglas. “My conversation was simply ‘Hey, ask Les what happened in the room, and he’ll probably want you to do the right thing here,’” Sobel told me. “I felt he knew what I was saying.”

According to communications and contracts reviewed by The New Yorker, the head of CBS Business Affairs, rather than the junior staffer, replied to Sobel with a new proposition. “When the head of the whole thing called me back,” Sobel said, “it was very clear to me that they took my comments about what happened in the room very seriously.” CBS proposed that the agreement be “settled out” for a hundred and twenty-five thousand dollars, and then agreed to pay Douglas an additional two hundred and fifty thousand to appear in a new miniseries.

Douglas and Sobel both saw the miniseries as cover for a settlement; she didn’t even know what the show was about. “I go from being sexually assaulted, fired for not having sex with Les Moonves, fired by everyone, to ‘We are going to pay you in full and we also want you to be on this miniseries,’” Douglas recalled. “My understanding is, this is what they were going to do in exchange for not suing.”


Shortly after the offer came, Douglas received a call from Moonves. “‘So, you’re gonna do the mini?’” she remembered him asking. Although she wanted accountability, she was still frightened, and said that she would do it. She recalled Moonves, sounding upbeat, remarking, “‘Tits and guns, baby. Tits and guns.’” (Douglas later learned that the miniseries, called “Bella Mafia,” focussed on the women of an Italian crime family and emphasized sex and violence.) Moonves asked Douglas if they were “O.K.,” and Douglas replied, “Yes, sir.”

In its statement, CBS said that the agreement with Douglas about “Bella Mafia” was intended to fulfill her over-all deal with the network, and was unrelated to her meeting with Moonves. “There were no funds added for settlement purposes,” CBS said. “The amount paid was half of what she was owed, which is not what one might do if concerned about a claim such as this.”

Jo An Kincaid, an executive producer on the “Queens” pilot and Penelope Ann Miller’s manager at the time, said that she was not consulted about Douglas’s dismissal. “One day she was just not there. Gone and replaced,” Kincaid said. “It was very unusual. I was an executive producer. There should have been an explanation.” In an e-mail, Judge Reinhold, one of Douglas’s co-stars, wrote, “Illeana was hilariously unique in her comedy and fun to work with.” He added, “We were all surprised and disappointed that she left.”

Douglas told numerous people about the incident over the years, and even published a lightly fictionalized version of it in a 2006 compilation, “Fired!” She also performed the story before audiences. “I didn’t exactly keep it a secret,” Douglas said. “People used to come up to me afterward and go, ‘I know who it is,’ and just laugh about it.”

Douglas appeared in “Bella Mafia,” and, afterward, C.A.A. resumed representing her. But she believes that the incident “derailed any future career I would have had at CBS.” In two instances, years later, personal connections helped her secure acting roles on shows that aired on the network, and a Web series of hers appeared on a CBS streaming service. But otherwise, in a career that has included extensive work with every other major network, she said, “I never auditioned or ever had any kind of television-show deal at CBS.” Like the other women I spoke to, she said that people around her discouraged her from publicly naming Moonves in this story. She told me that she was doing so because she wanted to protect other women, and that she wished she had been warned before her meeting. “In retrospect, of course, you say, ‘Oh, it’s all a crazy setup,’ ” she told me. “I was, I hate to say it, the perfect victim.”

More than a decade earlier, in the spring of 1985, Janet Jones was attempting to break into the industry as a writer. The producer Mike Marvin liked an idea that Jones had for a screenplay, and helped broker a meeting between her and Moonves, who at the time was a vice-president at Twentieth Century Fox. It was Jones’s first pitch meeting in Hollywood. Moonves’s assistant scheduled a late-afternoon appointment at his office.

When Jones arrived, many employees were leaving for the day, but Moonves’s assistant was there. “I had my briefcase and my pants suit,” Jones recalled. “I was really prepared.” Moonves surprised her by asking if she wanted a glass of wine. She declined, sat down on the couch, and began pitching her screenplay. Suddenly, Jones told me, “he came around the corner of the table and threw himself on top of me. It was very fast.” Moonves, she said, began trying to kiss her. Jones said that she struggled, and then shoved Moonves away hard, yelling, “What do you think you’re doing?” Moonves, appearing startled, got up. “‘Well, I was hitting on you. I wanted a kiss,’” she recalled him saying. Jones began to leave. “He said, ‘Oh, come on, it’s nothing,’” she said. “‘Calm down, don’t be so excited.’”

When Jones got to the door, it was locked. She was terrified. “If you don’t open this door,” she told him, “I am going to scream so loud and so long that everyone on the lot is going to come over.” She remembered Moonves walking to his desk or to a nearby bureau to unlock the door, rather than doing so directly. She fled, noticing on her way out that the assistant had left. “That’s when I got really upset,” she told me. “I just thought, Oh, my God. This wasn’t like a little momentary boo-boo. It was this well-thought-out thing.”

Jones drove to the house of a friend, the artist Linda Salzman Sagan. There, Jones told me, “I just completely melted down, just crying and shaking.” Sagan told me that she remembers the visit clearly, and that Jones described the incident in detail at the time. “She was very, very upset,” Sagan recalled. “I had never seen her like that. I was really astounded by what she told me. I knew how powerful he was in terms of a career.” Jones also told her boyfriend at the time, Larry Jackson, who said, “She came home one day scared and in tears because she said Les had jumped her at a business meeting.”

Mike Marvin told me that he remembers introducing Jones to Moonves, and that she was troubled by the meeting. He said that he confronted Moonves about it at a gathering, saying, “Whatever happened, that girl was upset.” Moonves, Marvin said, became furious. “We definitely had a screaming match over this,” Marvin told me.

Not long afterward, Jones received a call from Moonves’s assistant, who said that she had Moonves on the line. “My heart went into my feet,” Jones recalled. Moonves began shouting at her. “‘People’s reputations are important. Do you understand?’” she remembered him saying. “‘I’m warning you. I will ruin your career. You will never get a writing job. No one will hire you. Do you understand what I’m saying to you?’” Jones hung up the phone, then threw up. “I was just absolutely mortified. Does this mean he’ll be putting me on a list somewhere and I’ll never get a job?” she recalled thinking. “This person could stop me from doing this passion, this career I had spent my whole life putting together. It’s kind of hard to fathom that one person could do that, but he could.” (CBS said that Moonves has no recollection of the interactions with Jones.)

Jones told me that she found the threats more scarring than the original incident. She said, “The revenge behavior, the ‘I’ll get you for not kissing me, I’ll get you for not doing what the hell I want you to do’—it never quite leaves you.” Years later, she saw him at an industry event and, she said, “I almost fainted. I was still terrified.”


Two other women described Moonves forcibly touching or kissing them during business meetings. The producer Christine Peters was an industry veteran when she first encountered Moonves, in the early aughts. She had worked as a story analyst for the company behind “Rain Man” and “Gorillas in the Mist” before becoming a production head for Robert Evans, who had produced “The Godfather” and “Chinatown.” She became a close friend and confidante of Sumner Redstone, the owner of Viacom, to whom she was at times romantically linked in the press. (Peters, like the other women in this story, said that she had no interest in the battle over the future of Redstone’s empire.) After Viacom acquired CBS, Redstone enlisted Peters to help build a rapport with Moonves, who was the president and C.E.O. of CBS Television at the time. They had a series of dinners with Moonves and his wife in 2003 and 2004.

Peters produced the 2003 romantic comedy “How to Lose a Guy in Ten Days,” which was based on a book she had acquired, and which ultimately grossed more than a hundred and seventy-seven million dollars. “I was proud to be bringing females into the seats and really addressing them,” she told me. In 2006, Moonves, who had become the chairman of CBS, had dinner with Peters and Redstone to discuss his plans to launch a film studio, CBS Films, which was founded the next year. Moonves was considering executives to oversee the endeavor, and Redstone suggested Peters. Moonves seemed excited about the idea.

When Moonves and Peters met at his office to discuss the prospect, Peters told me, she came with a detailed presentation on her business model, which focussed on female audiences. “It was: this is the demographic, here are the underutilized release dates, here’s why female buyers predominate,” she said. “I remember him being very enthusiastic, saying it made a lot of sense.” She was sitting on a couch and, as she continued her pitch, he sat down uncomfortably close. “He said, ‘This is really great,’” she recalled. “Then he just put a hand up my skirt.” Moonves, she said, slid his hand up her thigh and touched her underwear.

“I was in a state of shock,” Peters recalled. Immediately, she worried about how Moonves would react to a rejection. She tried to get out of the situation by gathering her documents and saying, “Oh, wow, oh, my God, it’s late, I have to be at another meeting. Can we finish this tomorrow? I’m so excited! So excited!” Moonves, she recalled, suggested that he walk her to her car. Fearing further advances, Peters said that she had a driver outside. She had come to the meeting with a colleague, who was waiting in the lobby. The colleague told me that Peters emerged earlier than anticipated, appearing shaken, and said that they had to leave quickly. An acquaintance of Peters’s told me that she recounted the story to him several years ago, describing an advance from a top executive and a job that she didn’t get afterward, without naming Moonves. Last year, Peters told him that the executive was Moonves. (CBS said that Moonves categorically denies any alleged touching or inappropriate conduct during the meeting.)

Peters told me, “I remember sitting in the car and just crying. I worked my whole life to be here and I just lost my opportunity.” Because of her long tenure in the industry, Peters said, “I expected to be taken seriously. I never in a million years saw that coming.” She said that she was surprised in part because she thought her relationship with Redstone would have put Moonves on guard. “I couldn’t understand why he would do that in light of the situation with Sumner,” she told me. In the end, she decided not to tell Redstone, because she worried about what the fallout might be. Like Jones, Peters told me that Moonves “was smart enough to not have anyone there. It was a setup.”
(Twice in later years, Peters participated in group meetings that involved Moonves.)

A prominent actress who played a police officer on a long-running CBS program, who was too frightened of reprisals to use her name, said that she also attended a business meeting with Moonves that ended in unwanted advances. The actress had known Moonves for years. In the late eighties, at the height of her show’s popularity, Moonves, who was then at a production company called Lorimar, requested a lunch meeting at a restaurant. There, Moonves told the actress that he had long had a crush on her but had not said anything to her because she had been in a relationship with a mutual friend. She declined his advance but thanked him for lunch. “It wasn’t offensive,” she recalled. In 1995, when Moonves became president of CBS Entertainment, the actress called to congratulate him. “He said, ‘You should have fucked me when I asked you to,’ and I said, ‘No shit!’” the actress told me. They laughed.

Soon afterward, CBS Business Affairs informed the actress that her series deal with CBS was being terminated. She called Moonves and expressed shock. He requested a lunch meeting in his private dining room at the office. She told me, “I went in, I thought, to make a deal.” At the lunch, Moonves told her that he intended to focus on younger talent, and that she was too old. “Then he again said, ‘I’ve always been so attracted to you,’” she told me. “I was so upset. I said, ‘Jesus, Leslie, I’m gonna go.’” Moonves asked her to sit down. She did so, pushing food around her plate until she had to leave. Then, she told me, “I walked over and leaned to give him a kiss on the cheek.” Moonves, she said, grabbed her and forcibly kissed her: “He shoved his tongue down my throat. I mean shoved.”

Appalled, she pushed him away. “He had approached me to go to bed with him twice, but he did it politely,” she said. “But this time he just stuck his tongue down my throat.” As she left, she began to cry. “No one had ever done that to me before,” she said. “I found it sickening.”

Like Douglas, the actress said that she never worked for CBS again. Almost two decades later, an executive at CBS contacted her about coming back to the network. It turned out that the executive wanted her to sign a book deal with Simon & Schuster, which is owned by CBS. (CBS said that Moonves has no recollection of making unwelcome advances toward the actress, and that he made no efforts to block future business between her and CBS.)

The actress thought that the consequences would be too great if she told CBS about the incident. “I never reported it,” she told me. “I just thought, Gee, there goes my career.”
At an event not long afterward, she encountered a showrunner who has overseen multiple programs at CBS, and told her the story. The showrunner, who had also worked with Moonves, recalled that the actress was still hurt by the incident and told me that she was “not surprised” by the story. “I had already had to deal with misogynist bullying from him myself,” she told me.

Two women told me that they rebuffed unwanted advances from Moonves in professional settings, and that they believed career opportunities disappeared as a result. Dinah Kirgo, who won an Emmy as a writer for “The Tracey Ullman Show,” first encountered Moonves in the early eighties, when he was the vice-president of development at Saul Ilson Productions, a partnership with Columbia Pictures Television. She and her sister and producing partner, Julie Kirgo, met with Moonves and others about a television deal. “We left the meeting very confident we had an over-all deal with Leslie,” Kirgo told me. The sisters told their agent to expect an offer from Moonves.

Instead, shortly after Kirgo got home, Moonves called her directly. “He said, ‘That was a great meeting, now we have to go out to dinner,’” she recalled. Kirgo replied that she and Julie would be happy to have dinner with him. “He said, ‘No, just you and me.’ He said, ‘You’re very expensive, and I need to know you’re worth it,’” Kirgo told me. “I was sort of in shock and I said, ‘Well, Leslie, I don’t think your wife would appreciate us having that kind of dinner.’” Moonves coldly ended the conversation. (CBS said that Moonves has no recollection of the meeting or the phone call.)

Kirgo and her sister never heard from Moonves again. Afterward, Kirgo’s agents told her they had received reports that she had a reputation for being difficult to work with. Kirgo told me that she had never heard complaints before, and that she believed saying no to Moonves had hurt her career. “It’s very insidious, what he did,” she said.

Julie Kirgo confirmed the details of her sister’s story and said that Dinah had told her about the call at the time. “It’s just kind of awful to feel that you have energy and talent and that’s being appreciated, and then suddenly to find out that that’s not where somebody’s interests lie at all. You feel betrayed,” she said. “It pisses me off to this day.”

In 1992, a former child star who asked to be identified only by her first name, Kimberly, was introduced to Moonves by a friend, who was a member of Moonves’s staff and told her that Moonves could help her get back into television. At a dinner meeting that the three attended, Moonves began by asking questions about Kimberly’s acting career. But when the friend went to the bathroom Moonves turned to Kimberly and said, in a perfunctory way, “Let’s go. Let’s just get a hotel room. Let’s just do this.” She was shocked. “I said, ‘What are you talking about?’” When she explained that she had a husband and a child, Moonves became angry and left.
(The friend recalled making the introduction to Moonves, and said that her only motivation in doing so was to help Kimberly’s career. CBS said that Moonves has no memory or record of the meeting.)

“The power differential was so great,” Kimberly told me. “I was really scared, because I thought I was burning some sort of a bridge that was going to be great for me.” As a child star, she said, “I’d been taught that powerful people can hurt you, they can ruin you, they can ruin your career.” She said that the turn from business meeting to sexual overture seemed to be well practiced. “It was set up to be that way,” she said. “I thought, Wow, is this the way the world works and I just don’t get it?”

CBS is a multibillion-dollar corporation, with dozens of divisions, and Moonves is only indirectly involved with many of them. However, experts on sexual harassment told me that misconduct by a chief executive can reverberate across aspects of even the largest companies. “If you have a company with an abuser on the top, they typically surround themselves with people like them, who engage in similar behavior,” Debra Katz, a lawyer specializing in sexual harassment, told me. “It can put a set of enablers in place, who protect powerful people when they get challenged for misconduct, and who work to discredit and manage out women who come forward with allegations.”

Thirty current and former CBS employees described harassment, gender discrimination, or retaliation at the network. Many said that men accused of misconduct were promoted, even after the company was made aware of those allegations. Their stories match several that have already emerged in public reports. Earlier this year, Leslie Isaacs, a vice-president at Pop, the cable channel jointly operated by CBS and the film studio Lionsgate, filed a lawsuit alleging that CBS was aware of a hostile workplace at the channel. Her complaint described harassment and discrimination by male colleagues, including a vice-president who allegedly instructed female employees to “show your clients your tits.” Isaacs told me, “It wouldn’t be happening at Pop if it wasn’t covered up at CBS, and if CBS wasn’t complicit. They know, and it’s been tolerated.” (Isaacs has entered into a private mediation process with CBS. A Pop spokesperson said, “Pop engaged an independent investigator who conducted a complete investigation and found nothing to corroborate this alleged statement.” CBS said that it flatly denies any efforts to cover this up.)

In December, CBS confirmed that Brad Kern, the showrunner and executive producer of “NCIS: New Orleans,” had been the subject of sexual-harassment and gender-discrimination allegations. He had retained his position for more than a year after the company was made aware of the claims. (This season, Kern stepped down from his position as showrunner, but he remains a consulting producer. Last month, the company said that it was launching a new investigation—its third—into Kern’s behavior. CBS said that the allegations were investigated and resulted in disciplinary action but that the matter “merits further inquiry.”)

Other allegations have centered on CBS News. Last summer, Erin Gee, who worked at CBS for more than fifteen years, filed a lawsuit alleging that an executive director at “CBS Evening News” urged her to have sex with a co-worker with whom she was having difficulties in order to “break the ice,” and that she was demoted after complaining about gender discrimination. In May, a magistrate judge in New York criticized CBS for failing to save e-mails from the time of Gee’s allegation. “I find the conduct of CBS here to be shocking,” the judge, Sarah Netburn, reportedly said during a hearing. “It is hard to draw any other conclusion than that they were trying to avoid producing and saving those e-mails.” (The network has since reached a settlement with Gee, and her attorney declined to comment. CBS said that “the matter has been resolved.”) In 2015, a CBS reporter, Kenneth Lombardi, alleged in a lawsuit that a CBS News supervisor texted him links to pornography, and that a senior producer had grabbed his crotch. Lombardi claimed that when he complained to a manager she replied, “Never bring up gender discrimination again!” (An attorney for Lombardi said that he was not at liberty to discuss the suit. CBS said that the matter has been resolved.)

In November, Charlie Rose was suspended after the Washington Post reported that eight women had accused him of sexual harassment, including groping. According to the Post, Rose has now been accused of sexual harassment by at least thirty-five women, and managers at the network were made aware of the allegations on at least three occasions. (Rose apologized in response to the initial allegations, but called the paper’s subsequent reporting on additional complaints “unfair and inaccurate.”)

“60 Minutes,” the news division’s flagship program, for which Rose was a contributing correspondent, has been a focal point of allegations. Some of those allegations involve Jeff Fager, who is currently the executive producer of “60 Minutes,” and whom Moonves appointed chairman of CBS News in 2011, a position he held until 2015. Six former employees told me that Fager, while inebriated at company parties, would touch employees in ways that made them uncomfortable. One former “60 Minutes” producer told me, “It was always ‘Let’s go say hello to Jeff, ’cause you have to pay homage to him, but let’s do it early in the evening, before he starts getting really handsy.’” In one incident, at which several employees were present, Fager allegedly made drunken advances to an associate producer, commenting on her breasts and becoming belligerent when she rebuffed him. (Fager denied the allegations, saying that “they never happened.”)

Others said that Fager protected men accused of misconduct, including men who reported to him. According to several people who were told about the incident at the time, a senior producer named Vicki Gordon alleged that another senior producer, Michael Radutzky, threatened to throw furniture at her and twisted her arm behind her back, causing her to scream. (Radutzky categorically denied the allegations, saying that they were fabricated.) The sources told me that Fager said he would address the matter with Radutzky directly, and instructed Gordon not to inform the CBS office of human resources. Later, Fager asked her to apologize to Radutzky, to mitigate conflict in the office. (Fager said, “I have never discouraged anyone from going to H.R.”) Radutzky, who left the network earlier this year, remained in his job for several years after the alleged incident. “It was common knowledge at ‘60 Minutes’ that Michael Radutzky was an out-of-control guy, especially but not exclusively toward women. We all saw it, almost on a daily basis,” David Gelber, a former producer, told me. “And yet Fager not only tolerated him—he elevated him to a position of leadership, even after Fager knew perfectly well how abusive he was.” (Radutzky strongly denied Gelber’s characterization of his behavior.) Sophie Gayter, a “60 Minutes” employee who alleged to the Post that Charlie Rose had groped her, told me that Fager “enabled the other men on the floor to do whatever the heck they wanted.” Fager, one network executive said, “would let people know he communicated with Les directly,” adding that “people took that to mean Les supported him completely.”

CBS, one former associate producer said, “is an old network. Everything in there feels old: the people, the furniture, the culture, the mores.” Many of the women described the atmosphere at CBS News specifically as a “frat house.” One former employee said, “I had several producers and editors over the age of sixty who would greet me by kissing me on the mouth. I had people touch my butt a couple times.” She added, “Fager seemed to encourage that climate. It wasn’t even that he turned a blind eye toward it.” Katie Couric, who was an anchor at the network and a contributing correspondent for “60 Minutes” from 2006 to 2011, when Fager helped force her out, told me that it “felt like a boys’ club, where a number of talented women seemed to be marginalized and undervalued.”

In a statement, Fager said, “It is wrong that our culture can be falsely defined by a few people with an axe to grind who are using an important movement as a weapon to get even, and not by the hundreds of women and men that have thrived, both personally and professionally, at ‘60 Minutes.’” He added, “A majority of our senior staff are women. All of them worked their way up the ranks and are now managers of our broadcast. Half of our producers and a majority of our associate producers are women. It is a challenging place to do well and promotions are earned on merit and are not based on gender.” Lesley Stahl, who has been a “60 Minutes” correspondent since 1991, told me, “This notion that ‘60 Minutes’ is an unpleasant, unwelcoming place for women isn’t true.” She said, “In my own experience, Jeff is supportive of women and decent to women.” Anderson Cooper, who has been a correspondent for the show since 2006, told me, “I work there part time, but in all the years I’ve been there I’ve never seen Jeff engage in any inappropriate behavior.”

Gayter and another junior female employee told me that their bosses asked them to complete the company’s mandatory online sexual-harassment training programs for them. “Many assistants did it for their bosses,” Gayter said. “We’d book their travel, do their expenses, and then do their sexual-harassment training.” Former employees told me that there were few avenues for them to register confidential complaints about discrimination and misconduct. “People say, ‘You could call H.R.’ Honestly, I’ve never met a single person from H.R.,” one producer said. “There’s no oversight.” Some said that they had witnessed retaliation against those who did attempt to speak out. At CBS News, “there was no one to turn to,” one former producer told me, saying that she had reported Charlie Rose’s behavior, and that the complaint resulted in no repercussions for Rose. “If it’s just behavior from the top, tolerated at the top, and there’s no one to talk to, what do you do?” she said.

A former journalist at “60 Minutes” named Habiba Nosheen told me that she had complained to management that Ira Rosen, a producer on the program, had subjected her to numerous sexual comments and suggested that she flirt with sources. Two other women told me that they had experienced similar conduct from Rosen. (In a statement, Rosen said that “CBS extensively investigated these complaints and found them to be false, misleading, and unsubstantiated.” He said, “I have always and continue to deny these allegations.”)

When Nosheen filed a written complaint and met with Fager about the allegations against Rosen, she said, he told her not to worry about the possibility that other women might be harassed by Rosen. She told me that Fager is “an enabler of this ‘Mad Men’ culture at ‘60 Minutes.’” Afterward, there appeared to be no repercussions for Rosen, and she was frozen out of assignments. Days after she made her complaint to Fager, he and two of his deputies called Nosheen into a meeting to go over criticisms of her work performance which she found specious. One involved a tense exchange with a co-worker that had happened a year earlier. The format of the meeting, she said, was highly unusual. “It was so obvious to me that they began to implement a strategy of retaliation,” she told me.

In June, 2016, Nosheen filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. She resigned a month later. “As an investigative journalist, every day I try to hold people in power accountable. I look people in the eye and ask them why they turned their backs when they witnessed something unethical happening,” she told me. “I knew I couldn’t look myself in the mirror and hold others accountable if I wasn’t brave enough to do the same in my own place of work.” An e-mail from a CBS lawyer shows that, after Nosheen left the network, CBS threatened to enforce a non-compete clause in her contract, which would prevent her from seeking employment elsewhere, unless she withdrew her E.E.O.C. complaint and signed a nondisclosure agreement. The E.E.O.C. ultimately issued a Notice of Dismissal and Right to Sue letter, saying that it was unable to conclude whether or not a violation of federal law had occurred and that it would be up to Nosheen to pursue the matter in civil court.

Another woman told me that she had spoken to CBS’s legal department about Rosen’s and Fager’s behavior. “I was shocked by the lack of seriousness and regard that CBS legal showed my story,” she told me.
(In a statement, CBS’s chief compliance officer said, “It is the policy and practice of CBS to investigate all complaints and to promptly remediate any problems that are identified,” adding that “the policies against discrimination and harassment include anti-retaliation provisions, and anyone raising a complaint is assured that he or she will be protected from retaliation.”) The woman told me that she eventually left the network because of the atmosphere. “A lot of my memories of ‘60 Minutes’ are of other women coming into my office, closing the door, and just breaking down because of working as a woman at CBS,” she said. “Toward the end of my time there, I thought, God, I love the stories, I love the work, but this has to be easier somewhere else.”

The producer who talked about Fager’s behavior at parties told me that she, too, left the show because of “a very toxic culture toward women.” She said, “What makes me really upset was this was something I really loved doing, and I was good at, and won a lot of awards for. And I basically had to leave the business, because where else am I going to go? There were other places, but nothing of that stature.”

The New Yorker reviewed three six-figure settlements with “60 Minutes” employees who have filed complaints of sexual harassment or discrimination. The women who received those payments were required to sign nondisclosure agreements that prevented them from speaking about their experiences, with penalties for any breach. Several other women who have made allegations against CBS News declined to speak with me on the record, citing nondisclosure agreements. (The CBS chief compliance officer said, “On occasion, the resolution of allegations in the workplace has involved financial settlements,” adding that “settlements do not amount to admissions of guilt.”)

“The N.D.A.s are a silencer and a bully tactic,” Mo Cashin, who worked in several roles for CBS News, including as a broadcast manager, told me. “It’s unfortunate and hypocritical, particularly in the media, where it appears executives have more interest in protecting and oftentimes rewarding fellow senior employees who have a documented history of bad behavior than protecting their victims.”

Fager has tried to keep the allegations about the treatment of women at “60 Minutes” from surfacing publicly. According to the Times, in 2015 Fager took over the writing of a book about “60 Minutes” after the original author, Richard Zoglin, began asking people about the subject. In April, as two Washington Post reporters, Irin Carmon and Amy Brittain, were reporting an article about the allegations of harassment at CBS News, including complaints about Fager and Rosen, lawyers retained by Fager threatened to sue the Post, and presented testimonials about Fager’s good character. “There was this ham-handed effort to make women at the show say Jeff was a wonderful person,” one producer said. “It was so obvious we were doing it with a gun to our heads.” Fager’s lawyers also attacked the professionalism of the two reporters. In the end, the paper published a story that included complaints of harassment against Charlie Rose from dozens of women, but not allegations about Fager or Rosen. In a statement, the Post said, “The reporting throughout was vigorous and sustained and fully supported by Post editors. Nothing that met our longstanding standards for publication was left out. Nor did outside pressures, legal or otherwise, determine what was published.” CBS employees told me that they were alarmed by the attempts to kill the reporting. “The hypocrisy of an investigative news program shutting down an investigative print story is incredible,” one told me.

Fager said, “There’s a reason these awful allegations have not been published before—despite the efforts of a few former employees who did not succeed at ‘60 Minutes.’ It is because they are false, anonymous, and do not hold up to editorial scrutiny.”


The CBS chief compliance officer said, “CBS previously retained attorney Betsy Plevan of Proskauer Rose to conduct an independent investigation of alleged misconduct at CBS News. Ms. Plevan’s work is ongoing, and includes investigating allegations in this story. CBS has taken the allegations reported in the press seriously, and respects the role of the press in pursuing the truth, which is a role that is central to the mission of CBS News.”

In June, Carmon, in a speech accepting a Mirror Award for the Post’s reporting on Charlie Rose, warned that stories of abuse by powerful men in the news industry were still being suppressed. “The stories that we have been doing are actually about a system. The system has lawyers and a good reputation. It has publicists,” she said. “Indeed, the system is sitting in this room. Some more than others. The system is still powerful men getting stories killed that I believe will someday see the light of day.” Fager was seated in the audience, and later in the ceremony accepted an award on behalf of “60 Minutes.”

Habiba Nosheen, the employee who filed the E.E.O.C. complaint, said that she decided to report the harassment to the network after an e-mail appeared in her work in-box in March of 2016. It was a message to all CBS employees, from Moonves. “Simply put,” Moonves wrote, “CBS has a zero-tolerance policy towards discrimination or sexual harassment in our company or related businesses.” Nosheen told me, “I know it sounds ridiculous, but for a second I believed it.”

CBS is not the only network to face complaints of sexual harassment in recent years. In November, Matt Lauer, a co-host of “Today,” on NBC, was fired after being accused of sexual misconduct. Roger Ailes, the chairman and C.E.O. of Fox News, and the Fox anchor Bill O’Reilly both resigned after allegations were made against them. The actions of Ailes and O’Reilly have resulted in at least sixty-five million dollars in sexual-harassment settlements.

Experts told me that addressing patterns of harassment at a company as large as CBS generally depends on reform at the highest levels. “This sort of conduct is tied to over-all climate and oftentimes to how women are seen or valued within an entire organization,” Fatima Goss Graves, the president and C.E.O. of the National Women’s Law Center, said. “And there’s no question that the head of the organization sets the tone for the entire organization.”

For the women who have made claims against Les Moonves, his public stance as a supporter of the #MeToo movement and his role in the Commission on Eliminating Sexual Harassment and Advancing Equality in the Workplace have been unnerving. Janet Jones told me that, when she heard that he was on the commission, “I thought, Oh, for God’s sake, he has no shame.” The commission is made up of, and funded by, industry leaders, and its members are not vetted. Illeana Douglas knew people who were associated with the commission, and considered telling them her story, until she saw that Moonves was also a member. “I don’t think that the fox should be guarding the henhouse,” she said.


This article appears in the print edition of the August 6 & 13, 2018, issue, with the headline “Trouble at the Top.”

Ronan Farrow is a contributing writer to The New Yorker and a television anchor and investigative reporter whose work also appears on HBO. He is the author of the book “War on Peace: The End of Diplomacy and the Decline of American Influence.”
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Re: Harvey Weinstein: 'Beautiful Girls' Scribe Scott Rosenbe

Postby admin » Thu Sep 27, 2018 9:21 pm

The Women Who Have Accused Brett Kavanaugh
by Christine Hauser
New York Times
September 26, 2018

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There are multiple women who have accused Judge Brett Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct. Here are their allegations and his responses. Published On Sept. 26, 2018 Credit Credit Image by T.J. Kirkpatrick for The New York Times


Three women have publicly accused Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh, the Supreme Court nominee, of sexual assault or misconduct, with the latest allegation emerging on Wednesday.

The accusations against Judge Kavanaugh started to surface this month as he faced confirmation hearings before the Senate Judiciary Committee. That panel is scheduled to vote on his nomination on Friday.

Judge Kavanaugh has denied the claims. On Monday, with his wife at his side, he said on Fox News that he had always “treated women with dignity and respect.”

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Christine Blasey Ford

Christine Blasey Ford: What she said

Dr. Blasey came forward in an interview published by The Washington Post on Sept. 16, saying that Judge Kavanaugh had sexually assaulted her when she was about 15 at a party in suburban Maryland in the early 1980s.

She described a drunken Judge Kavanaugh pinning her on a bed, trying to take her clothing off and covering her mouth to keep her from screaming. “I thought he might inadvertently kill me,” the newspaper quoted her as saying. “He was trying to attack me and remove my clothing.”

Dr. Blasey said a friend of Judge Kavanaugh, Mark Judge, was in the room and participated in the assault. He has denied the allegations.


Her background

Dr. Blasey, 51, is a research psychologist at Palo Alto University in Northern California, who also goes by her married name, Ford.

At the time of the alleged assault, she was a student at Holton-Arms School, a private girls’ prep school in Bethesda, Md. He was a student at Georgetown Preparatory School, an elite Jesuit school in suburban Washington.

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The entrance to Georgetown Preparatory School in North Bethesda, Md.Credit Jim Lo Scalzo/EPA, via Shutterstock

Important details

Her account was also detailed in a confidential July 30 letter to Senator Dianne Feinstein, the top Democrat on the Judiciary Committee.

The Post interview included quotations from Dr. Blasey’s husband and her lawyer, and it described a therapist’s notes from 2012 in which she spoke of the attack.

She also took a polygraph examination in August. The retired F.B.I. agent who conducted the examination, Jerry Hanafin, said the results showed “no deception indicated” — in effect, “she was being truthful.” Her lawyers released a copy of the polygraph report on Wednesday.


Judge Kavanaugh’s response

Judge Kavanaugh has denied the accusations, and the White House has said it stands by those denials.

What happened next

The report resulted in the delay of the Judiciary Committee’s vote on Judge Kavanaugh’s nomination the week it was published.

Dr. Blasey’s lawyers, Debra Katz and Lisa Banks, have said that since she went public with her story, she has been subjected to death threats, had her email hacked and had to leave her home.

The committee’s Republican leadership has retained an Arizona prosecutor specializing in sex crimes to help question Dr. Blasey about the allegations in a hearing on Thursday.

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Deborah Ramirez
CreditSafehouse Progressive Alliance for Nonviolence, via Associated Press


Deborah Ramirez: What she said

Ms. Ramirez said in an interview published in The New Yorker on Sept. 23 that during the 1983-84 school year at Yale University, when she and Judge Kavanaugh were freshmen, he exposed himself to her during a drinking game in a dorm suite.

A small group of students sat in a circle and people selected who had to take a drink, she recalled, saying she was chosen frequently. She became drunk, she said.

Suddenly, Ms. Ramirez said, she saw a penis in front of her face. One man told her to “kiss it,” she told The New Yorker. As she moved to push it away, she said, she saw Judge Kavanaugh standing, laughing and pulling up his pants. Raised a Catholic, Ms. Ramirez was “embarrassed and ashamed and humiliated,” she said.


Her background

Ms. Ramirez, 53, was a student of sociology and psychology at the time. She arrived at Yale from Shelton, Conn., the daughter of a telephone company lineman and a medical technician. She attended a coed Catholic high school, St. Joseph, that was predominantly white but had a number of minority students, including Ms. Ramirez, whose father was Puerto Rican.

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Judge Kavanaugh attended Yale Law School after graduating from Yale University. Credit Jessica Hill for The New York Times

Ms. Ramirez is now a registered Democrat who lives in Boulder, Colo., with her husband, Vikram Shah, a technology consultant. She has worked with a domestic violence organization and joined its board in 2014. She also works for the Boulder County housing department.

Important details

Ms. Ramirez said she told few people about the episode at the time. She and Judge Kavanaugh were not close friends, but they crossed paths, including at Yale and at a wedding in 1997.

Judge Kavanaugh’s response

Judge Kavanaugh denied the allegation, saying in a statement to The New Yorker, “This is a smear, plain and simple.”

What happened next

More than 2,200 Yale women have signed a letter of support for Ms. Ramirez; a similar letter has been circulating among Yale men.

A lawyer for Ms. Ramirez has written to the Judiciary Committee saying that his client would be “willing to cooperate” and tell her story under certain terms.

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Julie Swetnick. Credit Michael Avenatti, via Associated Press

Julie Swetnick: What she said

On Wednesday, Ms. Swetnick accused Judge Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct at parties while he was a student at Georgetown Preparatory School in the 1980s. Her allegation was conveyed in a statement posted on Twitter by her lawyer, Michael Avenatti.

Ms. Swetnick said she observed Judge Kavanaugh at parties where women were verbally abused, inappropriately touched and “gang raped.”

She said she witnessed Judge Kavanaugh participating in some of the misconduct, including lining up outside a bedroom where “numerous boys” were “waiting for their ‘turn’ with a girl inside the room.” Ms. Swetnick said she was raped at one of the parties, and she believed she had been drugged.


Her background

Like Judge Kavanaugh, Ms. Swetnick, 55, is from the Washington suburbs. She grew up in Montgomery County, Md., graduating from Gaithersburg High School in 1980. She attended the University of Maryland, according to a résumé for her posted online, The Times reported.

She has held a variety of public and private sector jobs in Washington. Her résumé and her lawyer’s statement say she has held several government clearances, including with the State Department and the Justice Department.

Important details

Ms. Swetnick said in her statement that she had attended at least 10 house parties in the Washington area from 1981 to 1983 where Judge Kavanaugh and Mr. Judge, his friend, were present. (Mr. Judge has denied the allegations in her statement.)

Ms. Swetnick said she saw Judge Kavanaugh drinking “excessively” at parties and engaging in “abusive and physically aggressive behavior toward girls, including pressing girls against him without their consent, ‘grinding’ against girls, and attempting to remove or shift girls’ clothing to expose private body parts.”


Judge Kavanaugh’s response

In a statement issued by the White House, Judge Kavanaugh said there was no truth to the claim. “This is ridiculous and from the ‘Twilight Zone,’” he said. “I don’t know who this is and this never happened.”

What happened next

President Trump dismissed Ms. Swetnick’s lawyer, Mr. Avenatti, on Twitter as a “third rate lawyer who is good at making false accusations” and is seeking attention.

Judiciary Committee aides confirmed that they were examining Ms. Swetnick’s declaration. But the committee’s Republican chairman, Senator Charles E. Grassley of Iowa, told reporters that he did not expect to find anything.

Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, another Republican on the committee, said he would “not be a participant in wholesale character assassination that defies credibility.”

A fourth accusation surfaces

Judge Kavanaugh faced another accusation after an anonymous letter, dated Sept. 22, was sent to Senator Cory Gardner, Republican of Colorado.

In the letter, a woman said her daughter had witnessed Judge Kavanaugh drunkenly push her friend, a woman he was dating, up against a wall “very aggressively and sexually” after they left a bar one night in 1998.


On Tuesday, Judge Kavanaugh was questioned about the letter by staff lawyers for the Judiciary Committee about the accusation, which he denied, according to a transcript.

“It’s ridiculous,” he said. “Total ‘Twilight Zone.’ And no, I’ve never done anything like that.”

Melissa Gomez contributed reporting.
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Re: Harvey Weinstein: 'Beautiful Girls' Scribe Scott Rosenbe

Postby admin » Thu Sep 27, 2018 9:32 pm

For Christine Blasey Ford, a Drastic Turn From a Quiet Life in Academia
by Elizabeth Williamson, Rebecca R. Ruiz, Emily Steel, Grace Ashford and Steve Eder
New York Times
Sept. 19, 2018

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Christine Blasey Ford was reluctant to come forward with her allegation that Judge Brett Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her.

The text message from Christine Blasey Ford this summer worried her college best friend, Catherine Piwowarski.

Over their years of friendship — as roommates, bridesmaids and parents on opposite coasts — Dr. Blasey wanted to know, had she ever confided that she had been sexually assaulted in high school?

No, Ms. Piwowarski said she texted back, she would have remembered that, and was everything O.K.? Dr. Blasey didn’t want to speak in detail quite yet, her friend recalled her responding. “I don’t know why she was asking that or what it ultimately meant or didn’t mean,” Ms. Piwowarski said in an interview, but she remembers thinking that the question betrayed deep turmoil.

That was about a month before Dr. Blasey, a research psychologist, came forward with her allegation that Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh, President Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, sexually assaulted her more than three decades ago when they were high school students in the Washington suburbs.

Just days ago, both Dr. Blasey and Judge Kavanaugh — who has denied sexually assaulting her, or anyone — had been expected to testify on Monday before the Senate Judiciary Committee about the allegation, setting up a contest of credibility reminiscent of 1991, when Anita Hill leveled accusations of sexual harassment against Clarence Thomas, then a Supreme Court nominee. But it is increasingly uncertain whether that will happen. Dr. Blasey’s lawyers on Tuesday called for an F.B.I. investigation of her allegation before she testifies, but the Senate Republican leadership has rejected the idea and said that a vote on the Kavanaugh nomination will go forward if she does not appear.

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Former classmates of Dr. Blasey’s from the Holton-Arms private girls’ prep school in Bethesda, Md., sent a letter to Congress calling for “due consideration” of her claims. Credit Justin T. Gellerson for The New York Times

Dr. Blasey’s allegation has divided not just the Senate and the country, but also the overlapping social circles of the judge and the researcher, as former classmates, colleagues, friends and others have written warring letters of support in recent days. Dr. Blasey’s lawyers, Debra Katz and Lisa Banks, say that since she went public with her story last weekend, she has been subjected to death threats, had her email hacked and had to leave her home. Speculation has arisen in the capital that Dr. Blasey, who had already been reluctant to come forward, may ultimately decline to testify, at least publicly.

Supporters of Dr. Blasey, 51, describe her as a precise, logical scientific thinker; a community leader; a woman of integrity; and a devoted mother of two boys.

“Her life’s work is about telling the truth with science,” said Kate Beebe DeVarney, a behavioral neuroscientist who has worked with Dr. Blasey in Silicon Valley. “Christine doesn’t get stuff wrong. She’s obsessive about making sure it’s right,” she added. “If Christine says something happened, I absolutely believe her.”


Backers of Judge Kavanaugh, 53, describe him as a precise, methodical legal thinker; a strong mentor; a pillar of the community where he and Dr. Blasey grew up; and a devoted father of two girls. Mr. Trump this week praised the judge as an “outstanding intellect,” who “never had even a little blemish on his record.”

Judge Kavanaugh, a Republican, is a staunch Catholic conservative who lives in the nation’s capital. Dr. Blasey, colleagues say, is a Democrat from California who wore a pink “brain hat” when she joined fellow academics in protesting the Trump administration’s proposed cuts to scientific research funding. Their histories coalesced, in Dr. Blasey’s telling, in the early 1980s, in the insular, moneyed world of Washington private college preparatory schools.

Intersecting Social Circles

She began attending Holton-Arms School, a private girls’ prep school in Bethesda, Md., in seventh grade, joining a tight-knit group of about 65 girls. High school friends and classmates described “Chrissy,” as Dr. Blasey was known then, as a popular girl equally comfortable in math class and at social gatherings.

Samantha Semerad Guerry said Dr. Blasey fit right in. Athletic and outdoorsy, she joined the soccer, softball and cheerleading teams. “She was universally well-liked — always cheerful, affable, funny, and super smart,” Ms. Guerry said.

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Dr. Blasey pictured in her junior year of high school.

“She was self-possessed,” recalls Cheryl Aviva Amitay, who graduated in 1985, the year after Dr. Blasey.

As a student at Holton-Arms, Dr. Blasey was part of an elite, suburban Washington community, where the families of members of Congress, white-shoe lawyers and lobbyists golfed, played tennis and swam together at a hierarchy of country clubs; Dr. Blasey’s father, a business executive, formerly served as president of the Burning Tree Country Club. Students at private schools socialized with one another and participated in cross-school events.

Children from Catholic schools, like Georgetown Preparatory School, which Mr. Kavanaugh and Justice Neil Gorsuch attended, and Stone Ridge School of the Sacred Heart, a girls’ school nearby, tended to hang around together, having often come from the same parishes and grade schools, though not exclusively. Ms. Guerry said that she knew Georgetown Prep boys through participating in school performances, and that Brett Kavanaugh was an acquaintance.

Drinking was commonplace among the private school teenagers, and the laws governing alcohol and minors were more lax than now. “Back then, pretty much there were parties every Friday and Saturday night, somewhere,” said Samu Qureshi, a friend of Dr. Blasey’s who attended Landon, the brother school to Holton Arms, two years ahead of her. “Generally, parents are out and the kids are getting a keg.”


Holton-Arms’s yearbook includes pages of photographs of girls with drinks. Boys would be invited from the surrounding schools — Landon, Georgetown Prep, and St. Albans — for dances. Things could get rowdy, especially at unsupervised parties before and after school functions, students from that era recalled.

A yearbook entry for Judge Kavanaugh, a varsity football and basketball player at Georgetown Prep, described him as “Keg City Club (Treasurer) — 100 Kegs or Bust.” Mark Judge, a classmate and close friend, describes his own blackout drinking during those years in “Wasted: Tales of a Gen X Drunk,” his 1997 memoir about his experiences as a teenage alcoholic. The book mentions a person named “Bart O’Kavanaugh” who had “puked in someone’s car” and “passed out on his way back from a party.” Mr. Judge did not respond to queries this week about whether that name refers to Judge Kavanaugh.

This was the environment in which Dr. Blasey, when she was about 15 years old, encountered Judge Kavanaugh at a gathering at another teenager’s house in Montgomery County, Md., she said. She knew him before the alleged incident, she has said, countering a theory of mistaken identity advanced by Judge Kavanaugh and his supporters in the Senate.


New Attention Given to Kavanaugh’s Remarks About Drinking, Following an accusation of sexual assault, Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh’s past comments about drinking in his youth are resurfacing. Published On Sept. 19, 2018 Credit CreditImage by Doug Mills/The New York Times


She had met him a couple of times, though they didn’t run in the same circles and weren’t friends, a person close to Dr. Blasey said, speaking on the condition of anonymity to discuss a personal matter.

According to a letter sent to Senator Dianne Feinstein in July, Dr. Blasey claimed that Mr. Kavanaugh pushed her into a bedroom as she headed upstairs to a bathroom. He and someone she described as a “very drunken” friend — identified in later news reports as Mr. Judge — locked the door and played loud music, she wrote. Mr. Kavanaugh then pushed her on a bed, began grinding his body against hers and tried to undress her, she said. To stifle her screams, she asserted, he covered her mouth with his hand.

Mr. Judge, Dr. Blasey alleged, told his friend to alternately “go for it” and “stop.”

When Mr. Judge jumped on the bed, causing the three teenagers to tumble onto the floor, Dr. Blasey said she ran from the room, locked herself in the bathroom and escaped after hearing the two inebriated boys stumbling down the stairs.

Dr. Blasey said she did not share a detailed account of the incident with anyone until 2012, when she and her husband, Russell Ford, an engineer, met with a couples therapist, according to a Washington Post interview. In her letter to Senator Feinstein, she described being traumatized from the high school episode, saying “I have received medical treatment regarding the assault.”
She declined to be interviewed for this article.

Mr. Judge, now an author, filmmaker and writer for conservative publications, wrote in a letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee that he had no memory of the incident, adding that he “never saw Brett act in the manner Dr. Ford described.”

Dr. Blasey’s allegation has ignited heated controversy in Washington’s private school circles, reflecting the same social divisions — by gender, alma mater, class and religion — that had riven alumni as teenagers more than three decades ago. Some Georgetown Prep classmates have cast aspersions on Dr. Blasey on social media, while her allies charge hypocrisy in their overlooking a pervasive culture of misogyny that existed then.

Twenty-three members of Dr. Blasey’s class at Holton-Arms signed a joint letter sent to Congress this week, calling for “due consideration” of her claims. Another letter is signed by more than 1,000 alumnae, dating back to the class of 1948.

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Students at Georgetown Preparatory School, which Brett Kavanaugh attended, often socialized with students from other nearby schools. Credit Justin T. Gellerson for The New York Times

When Ms. Guerry circulated the letter from the class of 1984, she found that Dr. Blasey’s story resonated deeply. “I was very much surprised by how many of my classmates wrote back to say to say they had traumatic experiences in high school,” she said. “When they heard Christine’s story, it struck a chord for them.”

Among them was Cheryl Amitay, a chief regulator at the Department of Veteran’s Affairs living in Washington. Ms. Amitay said she was leaving a house party during her sophomore year when two male teenagers who had been drinking pushed her up against a car and groped her. One reached under her skirt, she said, and tore off her underwear.

“I will never forget that,” she said. “When my mom picked me up she knew something was wrong, but I didn’t say anything.”

“You never say a thing,” she went on. “You feel like a jerk.”

After the alleged attack on Dr. Blasey, a male friend said, she “fell off the face of the earth socially,” failing to appear at parties and events she’d previously attended. “All I remember is after my junior year thinking, ‘Where’s Chrissy Blasey?’” he recalled.

“She was the sort of person a lot of people paid attention to — she was a leader, she was great. I was like, where did she go?”


A Researcher in Demand

Dr. Blasey said the experience “derailed” her for four or five years, and that she struggled academically and socially, according to The Washington Post. She went on to attend the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she studied psychology. The school’s alumni directory and yearbook list her as having belonged to the Kappa Delta sorority, which had a reputation as the “cheerleading sorority” in the 1980s, though she was not a cheerleader at the school. She seems to have kept a low profile.

“I don’t remember her very well,” said Leigh Goodwyn, who was a member of the sorority at the time. “There are not many people in the house I can say that about.” Two other sorority sisters also had trouble remembering her.

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Judge Kavanaugh graduated in 1983 from Georgetown Prep.

But she became close with Ms. Piwowarski. They would watch new bands perform in bars on the town’s Franklin Street, hanging out with friends, and roomed together in an off-campus apartment their senior year.

After graduating from U.N.C. in 1988, Dr. Blasey moved to California, where she earned graduate degrees from Pepperdine, Stanford and the University of Southern California. When she married Mr. Ford in 2002 in Half Moon Bay, Calif., against a backdrop of redwood trees, Ms. Piwowarski was a bridesmaid.

Dr. Blasey developed a passion for surfing, which she shares with her husband and two sons. “She’s been chasing waves,” said Beth Stannard, a friend and former co-worker, who said Dr. Blasey’s decisions to teach at Pepperdine, in Malibu, Calif., and to complete an internship at the University of Hawaii were at least partly informed by the campuses’ seaside locations. She and her family live in Palo Alto — where she has volunteered for her sons’ schools and junior lifeguard training, has restored her midcentury modern home with an eye toward historical preservation, and has attended Stanford football and basketball games with her family. The family also has a house in Santa Cruz, famed for its beaches and breaks.

“She can be quite the academic — someone taken very seriously at a place like Stanford — and then go out and surf with the people of Santa Cruz,” Ms. Stannard said, recalling that Dr. Blasey had taken her and several colleagues surfing, followed by a lunch of fish and chips.

Fellow scientists described her as a collaborative researcher and statistician, in demand among graduate students and fellow researchers who sought her more refined writing skills for reports and papers. At the University of Southern California School of Education, she worked for several years in the laboratory, where she developed a test to assess how young children cope with trauma.

“She was very meticulous with data, looked carefully at developing children,” Dr. Gayla Margolin, who led the lab, said in an interview. “In doing good science, people have to take in information and reflect it and portray it in a very honest, straightforward way.”

Dr. Blasey was hired in 2012 by Palo Alto University to teach as part of its doctoral psychology program, a consortium with Stanford that emphasizes clinical training. She is a co-author of a guide to statistical power analysis called “How Many Subjects?” used by researchers to determine how large a sample size is required to accurately test a hypothesis.

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Dr. Blasey sent a letter in July to Dianne Feinstein, the ranking Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee, describing the assault. Credit Erin Schaff for The New York Times

Dr. Barr Taylor, a professor emeritus of psychiatry at Stanford who for a decade chaired dissertation committees in which Dr. Blasey was involved, described her as somewhat reserved. “The statistics fit her personality more than the statistics shaped her personality,” Dr. Taylor said.

Dr. DeVarney, the Silicon Valley neuroscientist, calls Dr. Blasey “a friendly but kind of geeky scientist,” who is “obsessive about making sure it’s right.” The two worked together at three companies over 10 years.

Dr. DeVarney said Dr. Blasey called her in August to say that she had sent a letter to Senator Feinstein about having been sexually assaulted in high school, “something that had haunted her for her entire adult life.” Dr. Blasey did not name the alleged attacker.

“She was clearly upset about it,” Dr. DeVarney recalled. “It was creating a lot of stress for her, and now it’s taken over her life.”

Preparing to Speak Out

After Dr. Blasey decided to come forward with her allegation and notify Senator Feinstein, she, and later her lawyers, took steps to prepare for the fight of her life. She submitted to a polygraph, gathered notes from her therapist and searched her memory.

“I’ve been trying to forget this all my life, and now I’m supposed to remember every little detail,” Dr. Blasey told a friend, Jim Gensheimer, in July, according to an account in The San Jose Mercury News.

Later in the summer, she texted Ms. Piwowarski, her college friend. The query was worrisome, and Ms. Piwowarski told Dr. Blasey that she was there for her. It wasn’t until Sunday night that Ms. Piwowarski learned the details of her friend’s account from news reports.

A resident of New Bern, N.C., which was devastated by Hurricane Florence, Ms. Piwowarski said she read the story when the power came back on at her house. She felt sickened by it, she said.

“Seeing what people say, I really, really understand why somebody wouldn’t want to be a part of this discussion,” she said. “I think it is brave. But it is a lot to take on.”


Kate Conger and Jennifer Medina contributed reporting. Kitty Bennett contributed research.
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Re: Harvey Weinstein: 'Beautiful Girls' Scribe Scott Rosenbe

Postby admin » Thu Sep 27, 2018 9:40 pm

The Yale Secret Society Brett Kavanaugh Joined Was Mostly About Drinking, Yale Alumni Say
No Skull and Bones.
by Molly Hensley-Clancy
Molly Hensley-Clancy
BuzzFeed News Reporter
July 11, 2018

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Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images

Brett Kavanaugh, President Donald Trump's pick for Supreme Court justice, was in a secret society at Yale called Truth and Courage — a lofty name for what was, in reality, an all-male club that one former member said more closely resembled a fraternity.

The name was widely known to be a jab at Yale’s older, more formal secret societies, like the Bushes’ Skull and Bones, said Kristin Sherry, who attended in the early 1980s, a few years before Kavanaugh, and knew several members of Truth and Courage — all “nice party guys,” Sherry said. “It was a bit of a joke.”

The former Truth and Courage member, who graduated several years after Kavanaugh, said the group was young and loosely organized. It had no ancient tomb, and in his time, he said, it met mostly in members’ apartments or fraternity basements.

Yale’s network of secret societies, particularly in Kavanaugh’s time, was mostly decades-old, monied establishments that met in imposing stone buildings known as “tombs.” In Skull and Bones, for instance, members meet frequently to debate political and academic topics, dine on elaborate meals, and listen to distinguished speakers. The club is famously alcohol-free.

Not Truth and Courage, which was also known simply as TNC.

“It was nothing like Scroll and Key, nothing like Wolf’s Head,” said one woman who graduated a year after Kavanaugh and said she knew members of Truth and Courage. “They just drank a ton. They got drunk.” She paused. “All I remember is them drinking.”

Kavanaugh was a member of the fraternity Delta Kappa Epsilon, according to his Yale yearbook entry, where he also listed Truth and Courage — a rarity at Yale, where fraternity life is relatively subdued. He wrote about sports for the Yale Daily News.

In a private Facebook group composed of more than 20,000 Yale alumni this week, some members have noted Kavanaugh's stated membership of TNC; most people commenting on the group have described it as “informal” and “minor.”

“Other societies were looking for a prestigious family background, or your GPA. Each had their own personalities,” said Sherry. TNC, Sherry said, was unique: It was “organized around having sex with coeds.”

Several years before Kavanaugh was initiated into TNC, Sherry said, the people on campus called the group by an “alternate nickname”: “Tit and Clit.”

That was a name that wasn’t familiar to the woman who had graduated in 1988. The former member said he hadn’t heard of the “Tit and Clit” nickname in his time there, either, and that the group didn’t have get-togethers with women’s societies.

But, of the nickname Sherry described, he said, “I can see how people would say that. When it really comes down to it, it was basically a fraternity extension.”

Kavanaugh is a steady conservative and a devout Catholic who attended Georgetown Prep, a Jesuit school in North Bethesda, Maryland. He’s spent much of his career inside the Beltway, forging tight connections to the Washington Republican establishment. His confirmation has ignited ire on the left, who fear he will tilt the Supreme Court to the right and could help roll back abortion rights, among other issues.

Sherry took issue not with Kavanaugh’s membership in TNC — “Yale in the ’80s was very sexually liberal,” she said — but with the idea that someone who had “partied” so liberally might take part in overturning Roe v. Wade. “It’s the height of hypocrisy,” Sherry said.

TNC did follow some secret society traditions, the former member said. It sent masked members running around campus, often while singing, on the night known as “Tap Night,” and initiated new members with elaborate drinking games.

In one way, though, TNC distinguished itself from other Yale societies. In the 1980s and 1990s, most Yale societies became gender neutral; Skull and Bones famously began to admit women in 1991. In a 2012 list of all of Yale’s societies, TNC’s members were, still, all men — making it, by then, one of only a tiny fraction of all-male societies left on campus.
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