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Gloria Allred Representing Harvey Weinstein Accuser
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Harvey Weinstein. Photo courtesy of AV Club.

Summary: Several high-profile women have come forward to say that Harvey Weinstein has sexually harassed them in the past 30 years. 

Last week, The New York Times published an explosive expose about the perversion of Hollywood mogul, Harvey Weinstein. Actress Ashley Judd went on the record and described how Weinstein had invited her to his hotel room under the false pretense of a business breakfast before he sexually harassed her. The Times said that at least eight women had filed similar complaints of sexual impropriety against Weinstein, who had quietly settled the cases. After the story ran, Weinstein threatened to sue the newspaper with the help of powerhouse attorney Charles Harder, and he also said that he was being advised by feminist celebrity attorney Lisa Bloom about gender and power dynamics.

  
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Weinstein’s hiring of Harder was no surprise because Harder is well known for suing publications on the behalf of celebrities such as Melania Trump and Hulk Hogan. But it was Lisa Bloom’s representation that raised eyebrows. Bloom is well-known for defending the victims of alleged sexual harassers such as Bill O’Reilly and Donald Trump, so it was an off-brand move for her to advise Weinstein. It was noted that she was working on adapting her book into a television series with the legendary producer, and she was met with ire online for taking him on as a client, with numerous people tweeting at her that she had sold her soul.

Bloom’s representation of Weinstein was also seemingly criticized by her mother, Gloria Allred, who has also made a name for herself by championing women’s rights. Allred told The New York Times last week that she would have declined to represent Harvey Weinstein but that she would be open to representing any of his alleged victims, even if that meant going against her daughter in court.

Since then, numerous celebrities such as Lauren Sivan, Asia Argento, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Angelina Jolie have come forward with their own stories of sexual harassment; and Lisa Bloom has resigned. Bloom’s mother, however, has made good on her promise to help out Weinstein’s victims, and on Tuesday, she helped one victim give a press conference to TMZ. 

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Louisette Geiss is a former actress and a screenwriter who told TMZ that in 2008 Harvey Weinstein invited her to a screening at Sundance. Afterwards, he invited her up to his hotel room to discuss a script that she was pitching. Once there, he allegedly begged her to watch him masturbate in his hot tub.

At the press conference, Allred said that the statutes of limitations had expired for the case but that they hoped they could reach a private settlement.



Geiss’s story is similar to Ashley Judd and other celebrities’ about being propositioned in a hotel room by Weinstein, who is married to fashion designer Georgia Chapman who has profited from her husband’s connections and money.

TV journalist Lauren Sivan shared a story in the Huffington Post, where she described being cornered by Weinstein at a restaurant. After he had tried to kiss her, he had shocked her by pulling out his penis and masturbating into a nearby plant.

Since The New York Times’ story broke, another expose has been printed in the New Yorker by Ronan Farrow. In the New Yorker piece, several women such as Argento went on the record to share the gruesome details of Weinstein’s impropriety. Argento described how he had raped her when she was in her early twenties and that she had felt great shame for not being able to stop the action at the time.

Weinstein created The Weinstein Company, which made indie films such as Shakespeare in Love and Saving Private Ryan. For almost three decades, he was a powerful force in Hollywood and in the Democratic party thanks to his generous donations, but since the scandal broke, he has been forced out of his company and numerous Democrats who accepted money from him have pledged to unload the money onto charities.

Several celebrities, who once were Weinstein’s friends, have said on the record that they condemn his actions and did not know what he was doing behind the scenes. Genie Harrison, an attorney who represents plaintiffs in sexual harassment cases, told Variety that this claim of ignorance seems disingenuous, as Weinstein’s reputation was a well-known “secret” in the industry.

“He was so powerful and successful in his repeated systemic abuses of power that he became completely brazen about it,” Harrison said. “I do not believe people didn’t know. That’s not the way this works.”

What do you think of Harvey Weinstein? Let us know in the comments below.



 

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