Harvey Weinstein helped make Gwyneth Paltrow a star—but at what cost?
In an interview with The New York Timespublished Tuesday, Paltrow added her name to the growing list of actresses who have accused the producer of sexual misconduct over the course of several decades. When Paltrow was 22 years old, Weinstein hired her for the lead role in the Jane Austen adaptation Emma. Before production began, she said, he invited her to his suite at the Peninsula Beverly Hills hotel for what she believed was a work meeting. She didn’t foresee any problems, because it was “on the fax” from Creative Artists Agency, which represented her.
The meeting ended with Weinstein placing his hands on Paltrow and suggesting they go to his room to get massages, she claimed. “I was a kid,” the 45-year-old said. “I was signed up. I was petrified.”
Paltrow refused his advances, she added, and later confided in Brad Pitt, her boyfriend at the time. The actor eventually approached Weinstein at a movie premiere and told him to never touch her again; Pitt confirmed the account to The New York Times through his representative. In response, she said the movie mogul warned her not to tell anyone else about their hotel meeting.
“I thought he was going to fire me,” she said.
A source confirms Paltrow and Pitt’s story to E! News, saying, “Brad strongly confronted Harvey and told him repeatedly that it had better never happen again.”
Paltrow later told her agent about the incident, as well as family members and a few friends. Doing so only made Weinstein even angrier, she claimed. “He screamed at me for a long time,” Paltrow said, adding that she once again feared losing the leading role in Emma. “It was brutal.”
The actress went on to make Shakespeare in Love with Weinstein, winning an Academy Award. At the time, she added, few knew of his advances. “I was expected to keep the secret,” she said.
As others come forward, Paltrow told The New York Times, “We’re at a point in time when women need to send a clear message that this is over. This way of treating women ends now.”