Note: Some of the content in this article is sexually violent and might be disturbing for readers.
In the days since The New York Times published a bombshell report filled with sexual harassment accusations against film producer Harvey Weinstein, more women are sharing their stories. On Tuesday morning, The New Yorker published a revealing article in which three women accuse Weinstein of rape.
Three women told The New Yorker that Weinstein raped them, detailing allegations that range from Weinstein performing unwanted oral sex on them, forcing them to perform oral sex on him, and forcing vaginal sex.
Sallie Hofmeister, a spokesperson for Weinstein, issued this statement in response to the allegations in the article:
“Any allegations of non-consensual sex are unequivocally denied by Mr. Weinstein. Mr. Weinstein has further confirmed that there were never any acts of retaliation against any women for refusing his advances. Mr. Weinstein obviously can’t speak to anonymous allegations, but with respect to any women who have made allegations on the record, Mr. Weinstein believes that all of these relationships were consensual. Mr. Weinstein has begun counseling, has listened to the community and is pursuing a better path. Mr. Weinstein is hoping that, if he makes enough progress, he will be given a second chance.”
But the stories these women told The New Yorker vary greatly from Weinstein’s memory of the alleged events.
Asia Argento, an Italian film actress and director, told The New Yorker that Weinstein forced oral sex on her twenty years ago. Argento said that she did not speak out until now because she was scared that Weinstein would “crush” her. “I know he has crushed a lot of people before,” Argento told the publication in an interview. “That’s why this story — in my case, it’s twenty years old, some of them are older — has never come out.
Weinstein “terrified me, and he was so big,” she said. “It wouldn’t stop. It was a nightmare.” At a certain point, Argento said that she started to pretend she enjoyed the assault, because she “thought it was the only way the assault would end.”
In 2004, aspiring actress and college student Lucia Stoller says she gave Weinstein her number, despite hearing terrible rumours about his behaviour. According to Stoller, Weinstein started calling her late and night, and she declined his advances. Stoller says she eventually met Weinstein at the Miramax office in New York City, and after demeaning her and complimenting her at the same time (he told her she should lose weight), he then forced her to perform oral sex on him.
“I said, over and over, ‘I don’t want to do this, stop, don’t,’ ” Stoller told The New Yorker. “I tried to get away, but maybe I didn’t try hard enough. I didn’t want to kick him or fight him. He’s a big guy. He overpowered me. I just sort of gave up. That’s the most horrible part of it, and that’s why he’s been able to do this for so long to so many women: people give up, and then they feel like it’s their fault.”
Another woman, who was afraid to allow her name to be published, told The New Yorker that Weinstein brought her to a hotel room under false pretenses, making it seem like it would be a professional meeting. He then allegedly changed into a bathrobe and forced himself on her sexually.
The woman told The New Yorker that she had thought about going to police at the time, but was intimidated by Weinstein’s power and mentioned that she needed to keep her job. “He drags your name through the mud,” she said, “and he’ll come after you hard with his legal team.”
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