- A new book from New York Times reporters Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey reveals what happened in the process of breaking the Harvey Weinstein sexual harassment story.
- Actress and founder of lifestyle brand Goop, Gwyneth Paltrow, played a key role in the investigation when she told Kantor and Twohey that Weinstein tried to coerce her into a hotel room massage.
- The book says Paltrow was hesitant to go on the record at first, because the conversation with Kantor and Twohey first occurred in June 2017, when Goop was under fire for selling a $US66 jade egg meant to be inserted into the vagina.
- After she spoke with reporters, Paltrow was pressured by Weinstein, who arrived at her Hamptons home on July 15, 2017, in advance of a party the actress was throwing – causing Paltrow to hide in her bathroom.
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New details about Gwyneth Paltrow’s role in breaking the Harvey Weinstein sexual harassment story that fuelled the #MeToo movement have emerged in a new book from New York Times reporters Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey.
In “She Said: Breaking the Sexual Harassment Story That Helped Ignite a Movement,” Kantor and Twohey explain that Paltrow initially didn’t seem like she would be a key source, given her apparent “golden girl” status in Weinstein’s eyes. The disgraced Hollywood producer had cast Paltrow in key roles early in her career, including “Shakespeare in Love,” which she won a Best Actress Oscar for.
But Paltrow was willing to speak off the record about her previously unreported experiences with Weinstein. In June 2017, she told Kantor and Twohey that Weinstein offered her the starring role in “Emma,” and that before shooting was set to begin in the late ’90s, he asked her to meet with him at the Peninsula Hotel in Beverly Hills.
There, after a business discussion, Weinstein put his hands on Paltrow and asked if she would exchange massages with him in the hotel bedroom. Shocked and nauseated, Paltrow declined, but “not so he would feel he had done something wrong,” the book says, and left. She told her agent, friends, family members, and her then-boyfriend Brad Pitt what had happened.
Weeks later, Pitt confronted Weinstein at a premiere and told him to keep his hands to himself. When Paltrow got home after the premiere, Weinstein called her and told her “some version of ‘I’m going to ruin your career,'” Paltrow told Kantor and Twohey. The actress, terrified that she would lose her role in “Emma,” told Weinstein she wanted to put the episode behind them.
How the Goop jade egg controversy slowed Paltrow’s on the record testimony
At the time that Paltrow told the reporters her story, in June 2017, she was already dealing with a public relations crisis of a completely different variety, “She Said” recounts. Her successful lifestyle brand, Goop, was under fire for selling a $US66 jade egg meant to be inserted into the vagina to, as advertised, “help cultivate sexual energy, clear chi pathways in the body, intensify femininity, and invigorate our life force.”
Kantor and Twohey wrote that, while Paltrow remained cool publicly, she was privately concerned that she and her Goop employees wouldn’t be able to handle any more controversy.
“I can’t wreck the business,” Paltrow told the reporters, the book says, noting that “More than a hundred people were working for her, paying mortgages and raising children, and wading into more controversy could hurt them too.”
The actress was also concerned that if she went on the record about Weinstein, the story would be treated as a trashy tabloid exposé.
“I didn’t know if I was going to be dragged through the mud,” she said, according to “She Said.”
“That’s usually what happens to women if you look, historically.”
The jade egg controversy didn’t go away, either. In September 2018, Goop settled a lawsuit brought by the Santa Clara District Attorney’s office that argued the company used scientifically misleading, inaccurate information to market its product. Goop has had to reimburse unsatisfied customers who bought the egg, and pay $US145,000 in civil penalties since.
Weinstein pressured Paltrow even when she spoke off the record to reporters
Paltrow’s fears weren’t unfounded, as Kantor and Twohey reveal in “She Said.” The actress decided that, while she wasn’t ready to go on the record that summer, she would reach out to actresses in her network and see if any of Weinstein’s other accusers would speak up together.
On July 15, Kantor received a flurry of text messages and calls from Paltrow, the book says. Seemingly, word of the investigation had gotten back to Weinstein. He reached out to Paltrow to see if he could come to a party at her home in the Hamptons, where she planned to entertain potential investors for a musical she was backing.
Paltrow agreed, though she felt he was sending a message: “I’m watching you.” According to “She Said,” Weinstein arrived early to the party, making the actress think he wanted to confront her. She hid in her bathroom upstairs and contacted Kantor, asking what to do.
The reporter wrote that she told Paltrow to “stay the course,” and the party progressed without incident, as the actress kept her assistant close. Ultimately, undeterred, Paltrow went on to speak on the record with other actresses about the sexual harassment and assaults they say Weinstein subjected them to.
Weinstein has denied engaging in any non-consensual sex. He has been accused of sexual misconduct by over 50 women. He faces charges of raping a woman in 2013 and performing a forcible sex act on a different woman in 2006.
Representatives for Paltrow didn’t immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.