Accounts of abuse by Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein that were published last month have sparked a cascade of allegations engulfing film, politics, finance and journalism.
The New York Times and The New Yorker published articles on allegations that Weinstein had a decades-long history of sexual harassment and rape, prompting scores more women to speak out about his behavior and that of others in the entertainment industry.
Allegations have since emerged against House of Cards star Kevin Spacey, director James Toback, comedian Louis CK among others.
The fact that the Los Angeles County district attorney on Thursday announced the establishment of a task force to investigate these allegations, is a sign of the scope of the problem.
So, let’s take a look at the depressingly long list of men in Hollywood accused of sexual harassment.
In a New York Times expose published on Thursday, five women accused comedian Louis CK of masturbating or asking to masturbate in front of them or on the telephone in separate incidents dating from the late 1990s to 2005. The comedian’s accusers told the paper that his behavior was abusive. “I think the line gets crossed when you take all your clothes off and start masturbating,” said Julia Wolov, one half of the Chicago comedy duo who both accused him of misappropriate behavior in his hotel room after their late-night show.
Mad Men creator Matthew Weiner was accused of sexual harassment by a former writer on the show. Kater Gordon told the website The Information in an article published on Thursday that Weiner said she “owed it to him to let him see me naked” when they were working together one night. Weiner denied the allegations in a statement released by his publicist, saying, “He does not remember saying this comment nor does it reflect a comment he would say to any colleague.”
Prison Break star Robert Knepper denied allegations that he forced himself on a costume designer in 1992. Designer Susan Bertram told The Hollywood Reporter that Knepper sexually assaulted her while filming Gas Food Lodging. She alleges he grabbed her and pushed her against a wall in his trailer. She says she managed to escape. Knepper responded to the allegations on Instagram, saying “I am shocked and devastated to be falsely accused of violence against a woman. That’s just not who I am.”
Director Alfonso Arau dismissed Debra Messing’s charge that he demeaned her on the set of her first film, A Walk in the Clouds. The 85-year-old filmmaker said the Will & Grace star was “following fashion” with her accusation but that it had “nothing to do with reality.” Messing said in February that Arau and producers had surprised her with a nude scene in the 1995 film that she hadn’t agreed to in advance. When she complained, she says Arau told her, “Your job is to get naked and to say the lines. That’s it.”
Portia de Rossi, the Arrested Development actress and wife of talk show host Ellen DeGeneres, accused the former martial arts expert and blues musician over an undated audition for a Seagal movie in his office. Actress Jenny McCarthy, who first accused Seagal in 1998, on Thursday revisited her encounter with the actor when auditioning for his 1995 movie Under Siege 2 when he allegedly asked her twice to lower her dress. Telling him she had been told there was no nudity, Seagal allegedly told her “there is off-camera nudity.” After she refused and ran to her car, McCarthy said he followed her outside and told her not to tell anyone “or else.” Julianna Margulies last week recounted an unpleasant encounter with the 65-year-old star, with whom she appeared in the 1991 movie Out for Justice. Margulies, who later shot to fame for her role in 1990s hit series ER and more recently in The Good Wife, said a female casting director told her Seagal wanted to go over a scene with her in his New York hotel room at night. Margulies, 23 years at the time, said that when she arrived she found the actor alone. “He made sure that I saw his gun, which I had never seen a gun in real life,” she told Sirius XM. “I got out of there unscathed,” she said.
Transparent star Jeffrey Tambor is denying allegations that he behaved inappropriately toward a former assistant. Deadline reported on Wednesday that Amazon Studios is investigating the allegations. In response, the Emmy-winning actor says in a statement that he “adamantly and vehemently” denies doing anything wrong. The claims are reportedly being made by a former assistant of Tambor’s. In his statement, Tambor calls the assistant “disgruntled” and adds: “I am appalled and distressed by this baseless allegation.”
In a Facebook post on Monday, actress Kristina Cohen said that Ed Westwick sexually assaulted her three years ago. Police in Los Angeles announced on Tuesday that they are investigating Cohen’s rape allegation. A day later, another actress Aurelie Wynn posted an allegation that the British actor sexually assaulted her in July 2014 while she was visiting the actor’s rented home.
A former Boston TV news anchor says Kevin Spacey sexually assaulted her teenage son at a Nantucket restaurant. Heather Unruh told reporters that the actor stuck his hand down her son’s pants and grabbed his genitals while the two of them were at the Club Car Restaurant in July 2016. Her son was 18 at the time. Unruh said Spacey ultimately left to use the bathroom and when he was out of sight, her son ran away. She added her son didn’t report the assault at the time because he was embarrassed. But she says he filed a report with police last week and they’re investigating. Police could not confirm or deny any such report was filed but the woman’s accusation is the latest against Spacey, who was dropped last week by Netflix and replaced by Christopher Plummer in the Ridley Scott drama All the Money in the World. Mexican actor Robert Cavazos wrote on his Facebook page that he encountered Spacey at the bar of London’s Old Vic Theatre, where Spacey was artistic director, and the actor tried to fondle him against his will. Kevin Spacey was also publicly accused of attempting to rape a 15-year-old boy in New York and of making advances on actor Anthony Rapp when he was 14 years old, more than three decades ago.
Six women including actress Olivia Munn have accused film director Brett Ratner of sexual harassment or misconduct in a Los Angeles Times report. Munn said that while visiting the set of Ratner’s After the Sunset in 2004, he masturbated in front of her in his trailer. Munn described the incident, without naming Ratner, in a 2010 collection of essays. The LA Times report describes other encounters where Ratner aggressively pursued actresses, sometimes following them into a bathroom. An extra on Rush Hour 2 named Eri Sasaki said Ratner suggested he would give her a line in the film if she slept with him.
Writer Anna Graham Hunter alleged that Dustin Hoffman groped her on the set of TV movie Death of a Salesman and “talked about sex to me and in front of me” when she was a 17-year-old intern. She was left in tears, she wrote in a column in The Hollywood Reporter. The 80-year-old actor apologised, saying “it is not reflective of who I am.”
Dozens of women, including actresses Selma Blair and Rachel McAdams, added their names to the growing list of women who have come forward to allege that writer and director James Toback sexually harassed or assaulted them following a report in The Los Angeles Times detailing the accounts of 38 accusers. The number of accusers has since ballooned to over 200 alleging inappropriate encounters with Toback. Speaking to Vanity Fair, Blair and McAdams describe encounters similar to those detailed in the LA Times report — many of which assert that Toback, now 72, would talk up his accomplishments and promise stardom, often referencing his friendship with Robert Downey Jr, before masturbating or simulating sex acts on the women.
Isa Hackett, a producer for The Man in the High Castle, told trade weekly The Hollywood Reporter Roy Price, the head of Amazon’s entertainment division, had repeatedly propositioned her in July 2015. Hackett, the daughter of author Philip K Dick, whose work is the basis for the dystopian drama, said Price, 51, made lewd suggestions in a taxi on the way to a party during the annual San Diego Comic-Con fan convention. Amazon has since suspended him in the wake of these sexual harassment accusations, the company announced.
After condemning Harvey Weinstein’s actions, Ben Affleck was forced to defend his own conduct. He apologized for groping actress Hilarie Burton on camera in 2003 when she was a host on MTV’s Total Request Live. Another video from 2004 showed Affleck pulling Montreal TV host Anne-Marie Losique onto his lap. Losique has defended Affleck, saying the actor’s behavior was done for the show only and she has described him as a gentleman.
Actress and reality star Ariane Bellamar claimed that Emmy-winning Entourage star Piven groped her on two occasions. On her Twitter account, Bellamar alleged that one encounter took place in Piven’s trailer on HBO’s Entourage set and the other occurred at the Playboy Mansion.
Last but not the least: Harvey Weinstein
Dozens of women have accused the Oscar-winning producer Weinstein of offenses ranging from sexual harassment to rape dating back to the 1980s. The New York Times published the initial allegations of sexual misconduct against Weinstein on 5 October and The New Yorker followed up with additional accounts five days later. Among the actresses who have stepped forward with accusations against Weinstein are stars such as Ashley Judd, Daryl Hannah, Gwyneth Paltrow and Angelina Jolie. No criminal prosecutions have yet been launched against Weinstein but the authorities in New York, London and Los Angeles are reportedly looking into potential actions. Weinstein was fired by Miramax and expelled from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
— With inputs from agencies