Harvey Weinstein went from power player to pariah in less than a week. Here's how it happened
By Los Angeles Times staff
Oct 19, 2017 | 5:35 PM
Has there ever been a faster fall than that of independent film kingpin Harvey Weinstein? For years, rumors of sexual impropriety and harassment dogged him but his power in Hollywood appeared to render him unassailable. Through Miramax Films and Weinstein Co. he won countless awards while turning actors like Gwyneth Paltrow and Ben Affleck and filmmakers such as Michael Moore and Quentin Tarantino into household names. At the Oscars, he was thanked more often than God.
A sexual assault complaint is filed against Weinstein in New York City. The alleged victim is a 22-year-old Italian model, whose name was not given at the time but was later revealed to be Ambra Battilana Gutierrez. The claim alleges that Weinstein groped her at the Tribeca Film Center after they had been in a meeting.
Oct. 6, 2015
Ashley Judd accuses an unnamed mogul of sexual harassment
The actress reveals that at the time she was making the 1997 film “Kiss the Girls” she was sexually harassed by someone she calls one of the industry’s “most famous, admired-slash-reviled bosses.” Judd alleges that he pressured her to join him in his hotel room and ultimately asked her to watch him take a shower. Two years later, Judd names the mogul.
Oct. 13, 2016
Rose McGowan refers to an unnamed film distributor as a ‘rapist’
Responding to a trending hashtag #WhyWomenDontReport, the actress — who appeared in Weinstein projects including “Scream” and “Grindhouse” — makes the accusation without using any names, although it later comes to light that it was intended for Weinstein.
Oct. 4, 2017
Weinstein lawyers up in anticipation of stories
Word leaks out that the New Yorker and the New York Times are preparing stories about Weinstein’s alleged misconduct when it becomes public that he has hired a virtual army of lawyers and crisis managers to fight the reports. The team includes attorney David Boies, the controversial Lisa Bloom (also the daughter of Gloria Allred), and Charles Harder, who famously won Hulk Hogan’s invasion of privacy trial case against the Gawker website. Weinstein preemptively denies any accusations, telling the Hollywood Reporter, "The story sounds so good, I want to buy the movie rights."
Oct. 5, 2017
The New York Times publishes its report
Hollywood is shaken when the New York Times report is published, stating that Weinstein has had a long history of sexual misconduct over the last two decades and has settled eight separate alleged sexual harassment cases. Among the numerous actresses and employees involved in the allegations are Judd, who names Weinstein as her attacker, and McGowan.
Weinstein announces a leave of absence
After issuing a statement reading, in part, “I so respect all women and regret what happened,” Weinstein announced he’d be taking a leave of absence from Weinstein Co. effective immediately.
Hollywood begins to respond
Performers, news anchors and creative types, including Lena Dunham, Gretchen Carlson, Jenni Konner, Jake Tapper and others, begin to take to social media to condemn Weinstein, although his most famous collaborators and political allies largely remain silent. McGowan tweets without using his name.
Oct. 6, 2017
Weinstein Co. orders investigation of allegations
The Weinstein Co. board retains attorney John Kiernan of Debevoise & Plimpton LLP to investigate the allegations, but, for the moment, refrains from firing Weinstein.
Oct. 7, 2017
Legal advisor Lisa Bloom quits
After being criticized for representing Weinstein, two key members of Weinstein’s crisis team part ways with their client, including Los Angeles attorney Lisa Bloom. “I have resigned as an advisor to Harvey Weinstein,” Bloom wrote on Twitter. “My understanding is that Mr. Weinstein and his board are moving toward an agreement.”
After a review, the board of Weinstein Co. ousts Weinstein from the company he co-founded alongside his brother, Bob. “In light of new information about misconduct by Harvey Weinstein that has emerged in the past few days, the directors of The Weinstein Company ... have determined, and have informed Harvey Weinstein, that his employment with The Weinstein Company is terminated, effective immediately,” the company said in a statement.
Julianne Moore, Meryl Streep, Emmy Rossum, Michael Keaton, Mark Ruffalo, Seth Rogen, Jessica Chastain and other stars begin tweeting their outrage at Weinstein and their support for the women who have come forward. Director Kevin Smith, a longtime Weinstein associate, says he feels “ashamed’ for working with him.
Oct. 10, 2017
New Yorker report alleges that Weinstein assaulted multiple women
Just five days after the New York Times published the initial allegations, the New Yorker publishes a lengthy investigation by Ronan Farrow that accuses Weinstein of further incidents, some involving actresses such as Rosanna Arquette, Mira Sorvino and Asia Argento. The report also includes an audio recording of Weinstein verbally pressuring Gutierrez to enter his hotel room in 2015.
In a follow-up piece in the New York Times, Oscar winners Gwyneth Paltrow and Angelina Jolie also accuse Weinstein of sexual misconduct. The latter says, “this behavior towards women in any field, any country is unacceptable.”
In a statement, Weinstein’s third wife reveals she is leaving him following the allegations, saying, "My heart breaks for all the women who have suffered tremendous pain because of these unforgivable actions. I have chosen to leave my husband.” The two have been married since December 2007 and have two children together, India Pearl and Dashiell Max Robert.
USC rejects Weinstein’s $5-million pledge to fund foundation for women filmmakers
The floodgates open and condemnations from Hollywood’s biggest names — including some longtime Weinstein collaborators — come pouring in over social media. Jennifer Lawrence, George Clooney, Ben Affleck and others address the scandal with variations on the themes of shock, disgust and outrage. Benedict Cumberbatch, starring in the upcoming Weinstein Co. film “The Current War,” says he is “utterly disgusted.” Jeffrey Katzenberg reveals a scathing email he sent to Weinstein.
Hillary Clinton say she’s 'shocked and appalled' by allegations
After countless reactions from Hollywood players, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton releases a statement on Twitter via communications manager Nick Merrill condemning Weinstein, a former campaign contributor.
Academy sets meeting to discuss Weinstein's membership
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announces that it will hold an emergency meeting Saturday, Oct. 14, to discuss the future of Weinstein's membership. As the producer or executive producer of dozens of Oscar-winning films, Weinstein’s career was practically synonymous with award season beginning in the early 1990s.
LAPD responds to family disturbance call involving Weinstein
When the “Family Guy” creator co-hosted the Oscar nominations announcement in 2013 along with Emma Stone, he peppered his introductions with risque humor and Hollywood insider jokes. When it came time to announce the five supporting actress nominees, MacFarlane added, “Congratulations, you five ladies no longer have to pretend to be attracted to Harvey Weinstein.” MacFarlane recalled the jab on Twitter while addressing the Weinstein controversy.
Oct. 12, 2017
Numerous film festival officials condemn Harvey Weinstein
Several of the very film festivals that helped elevate the Weinstein brand release official statements condemning his alleged actions. Cannes Film Festival President Pierre Lescure and general delegate Thierry Frémaux say they were "dismayed" to learn of the accusations, while the Venice Film Festival’s statement calls Weinstein's alleged behavior "unacceptable and shameful." A tweet from the official account of the Toronto Film Festival stands by the women who have spoken out against Weinstein.
In an exclusive to The Times, several entertainment industry executives reveal that multiple studios, networks and other investors are assessing whether to bid for pieces of the quickly fracturing Weinstein Co., as well as existing film and TV projects. The Weinstein Co. board is reportedly coming under pressure to liquidate the company’s assets. Apple has dropped a planned Weinstein Co. series centering on Elvis Presley, while Amazon.com is reviewing its options on several upcoming projects involving the company.
New York City and London law enforcement open investigations
Police departments in both cities reportedly begin investigations into Weinstein’s past. The NYPD is said to be looking into a 2004 incident in which Weinstein allegedly sexually assaulted an actress. Meanwhile, London law enforcement officers are reportedly pursuing their own case against Weinstein over a sexual assault incident that allegedly occurred in the 1980s.
McGowan names ‘HW’ as her attacker
After being temporarily suspended from Twitter, McGowan returns to the platform with her most blunt allegations yet. Revolting against a non-disclosure agreement, McGowan posts a no-holds-barred thread tagging Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, in which she clearly states that “HW raped me,” an apparent reference to Harvey Weinstein.
Oct. 13, 2017
Bob Weinstein dispels rumors of Weinstein Co. turmoil
Weinstein Co. co-founder Bob Weinstein responds to rumors that the company is for sale, saying, "Our banks, partners and shareholders are fully supportive of our company and it is untrue that the company or board is exploring a sale or shutdown of the company...Business is continuing as usual as the company moves ahead.” The statement also contains information about the pending releases from his specialty arm, Dimension Films, including the movies “Polaroid,” “Paddington 2” and “War With Grandpa.” He makes no mention of Weinstein Co.’s main slate of upcoming films, namely “The Current War,” “The Upside” and “Mary Magdalene.”
Oliver Stone may recuse himself from Weinstein Co.-produced series ‘Guantanamo’
After news broke that the Weinstein Co.'s production credits would be removed from TV projects, including Lifetime's "Project Runway" and Netflix's "Peaky Blinders," director Oliver Stone posted a message to Facebook stating he would "recuse" himself from the Showtime drama series "Guantanamo" if Weinstein Co. remained on the project. Showtime released a statement noting: “The project is in development and has not been greenlit yet. We do not intend to move forward with the current configuration of the project and are exploring our options.”
Oct. 14, 2017
Bob Weinstein breaks silence about allegations
Harvey Weinstein’s brother and longtime collaborator Bob Weinstein talks with the Hollywood Reporter, claiming he had no knowledge of any nonconsensual sexual activity on Harvey’s part and urging the academy to expel him. He also refers to Harvey as "a living nightmare" and a “bully” who subjected him to verbal and physical abuse.
Motion picture academy expels Weinstein
As criticism of the embattled mogul mounts, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences holds an emergency meeting where the board votes “well in excess of the required two-thirds majority” to immediately eject Weinstein. As a producer, Weinstein won the best picture Oscar for 1998’s “Shakespeare in Love,” while dozens of other films released under his leadership at Miramax won Oscars throughout the years. The Academy statement reads, “We do so not simply to separate ourselves from someone who does not merit the respect of his colleagues but also to send a message that the era of willful ignorance and shameful complicity in sexually predatory behavior and workplace harassment in our industry is over.”
Oct. 16, 2017
Producers Guild moves to expel Weinstein
Following in the footsteps of the Academy, the Producers Guild of America’s board of directors — a majority of which is female — beginning proceedings to terminate Weinstein’s membership in the organization, pending review. Per the Guild’s constitution, Weinstein is allowed to respond to the decision before a final determination is made on Nov. 6. As part of the announcement, the PGA also revealed a new Anti-Sexual Harassment Task Force. The Guild’s statement says: “Sexual harassment of any type is completely unacceptable. This is a systemic and pervasive problem requiring immediate industry-wide action.”
Oct. 17, 2017
Weinstein resigns from Weinstein Co. board
With Weinstein Co.’s future still undetermined, Harvey Weinstein formally resigns from the board of directors. Five other board members — Tim Sarnoff, Paul Tudor Jones, Dirk Ziff, Marc Lasry and Richard Koenigsberg — had previously resigned in the wake of the scandal.
Bob Weinstein accused of sexual harassment
After publicly chastising his brother Harvey, Bob Weinstein comes into the spotlight when Variety reports that the Spike network is investigating a sexual harassment claim against him. Amanda Segel, a former executive producer for the Weinstein Co.-produced Spike series “The Mist,” alleges that Bob Weinstein made multiple advances toward her including several unwelcomed invitations to his home and hotel room. Bob Weinstein’s attorney Bert Fields refutes the allegations in a statement, saying the “story is riddled with false and misleading assertions by Miss Segel.”
Oct. 19, 2017
LAPD investigating Harvey Weinstein after an actress in L.A. accuses him of rape