With A-list actresses Gwyneth Paltrow and Angelina Jolie recently coming out to the New York Times accusing movie mogul Harvey Weinstein of sexual harassment, the Obamas are now weighing in.
In a statement issued on Tuesday, Former President Barack Obama said they were “disgusted” with the news about the famous Democratic donor and multiple Oscar winner.
“Michelle and I have been disgusted by the recent reports about Harvey Weinstein,” Mr. Obama wrote.
“Any man who demeans and degrades women in such fashion needs to be condemned and held accountable, regardless of wealth or status. We should celebrate the courage of women who have come forward to tell these painful stories. And we all need to build a culture — including by empowering our girls and teaching our boys decency and respect — so we can make such behavior less prevalent in the future.”
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As CBS News pointed out, the Obamas’ 19-year-old daughter, Malia, interned for Weinstein’s company and Weinstein hosted fundraisers Obama attended while he was president.
Last week, the Times broke the story about Weinstein’s alleged 30-plus year history of sexual harassment and rape of young startlets, models and even his own employees. In the initial story, actress Ashley Judd admitted that the Miramax founder tried to get her to massage him during a breakfast meeting at a Los Angeles hotel. She declined his offer and left.
Not everyone was as lucky as Judd to get away.
Both the Times and a new piece in The New Yorker describe horrific accounts of Weinstein abusing his power to rape, manipulate and even masturbate in front of terrified young women. It was also reported that many in Hollywood knew of Weinstein’s alleged ill and criminal behavior, but did very little to expose him. He even had assistants who would help procure women for him.
Apparently Weinstein also made people sign non-disclosure agreements and even paid off his accusers for their silence. Sources also have said that Scream actress Rose McGowen was paid $100K after Weinstein allegedly raped her at a Sundance event back in 1997.
On Sunday, Weinstein was fired from Miramax and on Tuesday, his wife said she is filing for divorce.
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