Harvey Weinstein Sexual Assault Allegations: A Timeline
Harvey Weinstein marched into a New York police station on Friday morning and turned himself in. He was charged with rape and sexual abuse in cases involving two women; he surrendered his passport; and he was released on $1 million bail.
The women who brought charges – one is Lucia Evans, according to The New York Times; the identity of the other has not been announced – are just two of the dozens that have accused Weinstein of sexual
harassment, misconduct or assault in the last six months. While his behavior was long “an open secret
to many in Hollywood,” according to The New Yorker – and Weinstein was even investigated by the N.Y.P.D. for groping allegations in 2015 – he did not start to face repercussions for his alleged behavior until The New York Times published a story on October 5th, 2017, that included multiple accusations of sexual harassment. The New Yorker followed that report with an article on October 10th that included the accounts of additional women and allegations of rape against Weinstein.
Weinstein was quickly fired and checked himself into rehab; more and more women – including stars like Angelina Jolie, Uma Thurman and Salma Hayek – came forward with stories alleging that he sexually harassed them. In light of Weinstein’s surrender, here is a timeline of how the investigation against him unfolded.
October 5th: The New York Times publishes an investigative report on Weinstein.
The New York Times chronicles accusations of sexual harassment and misconduct against Weinstein that reach back several decades. The film executive allegedly stuck to a pattern – he would invite women to his room to talk about a script, a role or another aspect of their career, and then he would undress and request massages or sexual favors. Weinstein’s accusers include Ashley Judd and Rose McGowan.
In addition, the investigation reveals that the executive allegedly paid off at least eight people to prevent them from making their accusations public, and that employees at his companies were often complicit in his behavior (some unwittingly).
“I appreciate the way I’ve behaved with colleagues in the past has caused a lot of pain, and I sincerely apologize for it,” Weinstein says in a statement. “Though I’m trying to do better, I know I have a long way to go.” Lisa Bloom, Weinstein’s lawyer at the time, calls the executive “an old dinosaur learning new ways.”
October 8th: The Weinstein Company cuts ties with Harvey Weinstein.
Weinstein is fired from the Weinstein company. Harvey’s brother, Bob, is among those who sign off on the termination. The New York Times reports that Weinstein was fired via email.
October 10: The New Yorker reveals that multiple actresses accuse Weinstein of rape.
Less than a week after The New York Times‘ story, The New Yorker provides the accounts of 13 women – some of whom overlap with those in Times article – alleging that Weinstein sexual harassed them. Three of those women claim that Weinstein raped them, including the actress Asia Argento.
More accounts of Weinstein’s misconduct also start to surface: The same day, Gwyneth Paltrow and Angelina Jolie accuse the executive of harassment in another New York Times story. By October 11th, at least 29 different women have accused Weinstein of sexual misconduct or assault.
The Weinstein Company’s board issues a statement denying any prior knowledge of Weinstein’s behavior. “These allegations come as an utter surprise to the Board,” the statement reads. “Any suggestion that the Board had knowledge of this conduct is false.”
October 14th: The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences drops Weinstein.
The 54-member board of governors of the Academy convenes an emergency session and expels Weinstein. “We do so not simply to separate ourselves from someone who does not merit the respect of his colleagues but also to send a message that the era of willful ignorance and shameful complicity in sexually predatory behavior and workplace harassment in our industry is over,” the Academy says in a statement. “What’s at issue here is a deeply troubling problem that has no place in our society. The board continues to work to establish ethical standards of conduct that all Academy members will be expected to exemplify.
The Academy has only ever expelled one member in its history: Carmine Caridi, who was kicked out in 2004 for sharing movie screeners.
The Television Academy and the Producers Guild of America soon follow suit and expel Weinstein from their ranks.
October 19th: The Los Angeles Police Department opens an investigation into Weinstein.
After an anonymous accuser alleges that Weinstein “bullied” his way into her hotel room and raped her in 2013, the L.A.P.D. announces that it is investigating the film executive. A spokesperson for Weinstein says, “We deny any allegations of nonconsensual sex although obviously can’t respond to anonymous allegations.”
November 3rd: The New York Police Department says it’s building a case against Weinstein.
More than 50 women are now accusing Weinstein of harassment or assault. The NYPD announces that it is investigating the claims of actress Paz de la Huerta, who alleges that Weinstein raped her twice. “I believe, based on my interviews with Paz, that from the New York Police Department standpoint we have enough to make an arrest,” says Detective Nicholas DiGaudio.
“If this person was still in New York and it was recent, we would go right away and make the arrest,” adds Chief of Detectives Robert Boyce. However, Weinstein is in Arizona at a rehab facility.
November 6th: The New Yorker reports that Weinstein used former Israeli spies in an effort to suppress allegations against him.
Ronan Farrow, the same reporter behind The New Yorker‘s first story about Weinstein, publishes a second article about the ways that the film executive prevented allegations of assault from becoming public. Farrow’s research indicates that Weinstein enlisted Kroll, a corporate-intelligence company, and Black Cube, which employs many former members of the Israeli intelligence service Mossad, to determine which women were bringing allegations against Weinstein to the press. The New Yorker reports that “[Weinstein] also enlisted former employees from his film enterprises to join in the effort, collecting names and placing calls that, according to some sources who received them, felt intimidating.”
In a statement, Weinstein’s spokesperson says, “it is a fiction to suggest that any individuals were targeted or suppressed at any time.”
December 14th: Salma Hayek accuses Weinstein of sexual harassment.
Hayek details her own alleged experiences with Weinstein in an op-ed in The New York Times. “For years, he was my monster,” she writes. She claims he repeatedly demanded that he “let him watch me take a shower,” “let him give me a massage,” “let him give me oral sex” and more; she repeatedly said no. “I don’t think he hated anything more than the word ‘no,'” Hayek adds.
“All of the sexual allegations as portrayed by [Hayek] are not accurate and others who witnessed the events have a different account of what transpired,” a spokesperson for Weinstein says.
January 1st: 300 actresses and Hollywood power-players launch Time’s Up.
In response to the accusations of misconduct and assault against Weinstein and many other men in Hollywood, Ashley Judd, Eva Longoria, Natalie Portman, Emma Stone, Kerry Washington and Reese Witherspoon are among those who help launch Time’s Up, an organization to fight against harassment and help victims of sexual assault.
“Now, unlike ever before, our access to the media and to important decision makers has the potential of leading to real accountability and consequences,” the organizers write. “We want all survivors of sexual harassment, everywhere, to be heard, to be believed, and to know that accountability is possible.”
February 3rd: Uma Thurman accuses Weinstein of sexual assault.
In an interview with The New York Times, Thurman remembers Weinstein allegedly attacking her in his London hotel suite. “He pushed me down,” she says. “He tried to shove himself on me. He tried to expose himself. He did all kinds of unpleasant things. But he didn’t actually put his back into it and force me. You’re like an animal wriggling away, like a lizard.” When Thurman later confronted Weinstein about the incident, she says he “threatened to derail her career.”
A spokesperson for Weinstein told the Times that, “he acknowledges making a pass at Ms. Thurman in England after misreading her signals in Paris. He immediately apologized.” The spokesperson denied that Weinstein threatened Thurman’s career.
February 11th: New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman sues Weinstein and The Weinstein Company.
Following a four-month investigation, Schneiderman files suit against the Weinstein company and Weinstein, alleging “vicious and exploitative mistreatment of company employees” along with “sexual harassment, intimidation, and other misconduct.”
The suit complicates the potential sale of the Weinstein Company. “As alleged in our complaint, The Weinstein Company repeatedly broke New York law by failing to protect its employees from pervasive sexual harassment, intimidation, and discrimination,” Schneiderman says. “Any sale of the Weinstein Company must ensure that victims will be compensated, employees will be protected going forward, and that neither perpetrators nor enablers will be unjustly enriched. Every New Yorker has a right to a workplace free of sexual harassment, intimidation and fear.”
March 19th: The Weinstein Company files for bankruptcy.
The Weinstein Company almost succeeds in negotiating a sale on two separate occasions, but both deals ultimately fall through. In March, the Weinstein Company files for bankruptcy. As part of the Chapter 11 filing, the Weinstein Company announces that anyone “who suffered or witnessed any form of sexual misconduct by Harvey Weinstein” is no longer subject to nondisclosure agreements. “No one should be afraid to speak out or coerced to stay quiet,” the company adds. “Your voices have inspired a movement for change across the country and around the world. The company regrets that it cannot undo the damage Harvey Weinstein caused, but hopes that today’s events will mark a new beginning.”
April 13th: The Weinstein Company rebuts suit from alleged assault victim.
The Weinstein Company denies responsibility for Weinstein’s actions in a defense filing against a civil suit brought in the U.K., according to Variety. An anonymous plaintiff alleges that she was the victim of sexual assault by Weinstein while working for the Weinstein Company; she had sought damages from both parties. “Employers have a duty of care to all staff, and if a staff member has abused their position, the employer needs to accept that they placed that member of staff into a position of potential harm,” says Jill Greenfield, whose law firm Fieldfisher represents the alleged victim, in a statement.
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May 25th: Weinstein turns himself into the police in New York.
After months in an Arizona rehab facility, Weinstein turns himself in at NYPD’s 1st Precinct. He is charged with first-degree rape and third-degree rape for an incident with one woman, and first-degree criminal sex act with another.
“Today’s charges reflect significant progress in this active, ongoing investigation,” Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance says.