Oscar-winning Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein faces accusations that he sexually harassed many women over three decades and allegedly entered into confidential financial settlements with eight of them.
The alleged behavior by Weinstein, who is perhaps best known as one of the co-founders of Miramax, was apparently an open secret in the film industry. Ashley Judd was one of the women that the producer allegedly sexually harassed.
According to a bombshell report in the New York Times today, Weinstein's behavior followed a pattern.
"Across the years and continents, accounts of Mr. Weinstein's conduct share a common narrative: Women reported to a hotel for what they thought were work reasons, only to discover that Mr. Weinstein, who has been married for most of three decades, sometimes seemed to have different interests...In interviews, eight women described varying behavior by Mr. Weinstein: appearing nearly or fully naked in front of them, requiring them to be present while he bathed or repeatedly asking for a massage or initiating one himself...."
As a producer, Weinstein won Academy Awards for Shakespeare in Love, The King's Speech, and The Artist, and other films.
In the immediate aftermath of the revelations, Weinstein announced that he is taking a leave of absence from his production firm The Weinstein Company to deal with the issue and "conquer his demons."
"I came of age in the '60s and '70s, when all the rules about behavior and workplaces were different. That was the culture then. I have since learned it's not an excuse, in the office — or out of it. To anyone. I realized some time ago that I needed to be a better person and my interactions with the people I work with have changed. I appreciate the way I've behaved with colleagues in the past has caused a lot of pain, and I sincerely apologize for it."