, LOS ANGELES, United States, Oct 18 – Harvey Weinstein, the disgraced Hollywood mogul accused of decades of sexual abuse and harassment, resigned from the board of his production company on Tuesday, as Reese Witherspoon became the latest star to open up about her own experience of sexual assault.
Weinstein was sacked as co-chairman of The Weinstein Company on October 8 but had continued to hold a seat on the board until his resignation on Tuesday.
A source close to the film producer confirmed his departure after a meeting in Manhattan wrapped up between Weinstein’s legal team and his eponymous company.
The Weinstein Company announced Monday that Colony Capital had agreed to provide an “immediate cash infusion” to the scandal-plagued studio and that the two parties were in talks on a potential sale.
Around 40 actresses, including stars Gwyneth Paltrow, Angelina Jolie and Mira Sorvino have come forward saying they were sexually harassed by the producer.
On Tuesday, Game Of Thrones actress Lena Headey became the latest to detail alleged encounters with the mogul at the Venice Film Festival and in Los Angeles.
In a series of tweets, the English actress said after she told him she was uninterested in anything other than work, the studio boss was left “furious.”
The avalanche of accusations against the twice-married, 65-year-old father of five include rape, assault and sexual harassment. He insists any sexual encounters were consensual.
‘Silence condition of employment’
For years one of the most powerful moguls in Hollywood, his films have received more than 300 Oscar nominations and 81 statuettes. But he was expelled last week from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
Revelations about Weinstein, first revealed by The New York Times and The New Yorker magazine, have seen a growing number of women share experiences of sexual harassment — both in Hollywood and the wider world.
On Monday, Oscar-winning actress Witherspoon, 41, said she was just 16 when it happened to her for the first, but not the only time, by an unnamed director.
“I have my own experiences that have come back to me very vividly, and I found it really hard to sleep, hard to think, hard to communicate,” she told an Elle magazine’s Women in Hollywood event late Monday.
“A lot of the feelings I’ve been having about anxiety, about being honest, the guilt for not speaking up earlier or taking action,” she continued.
“True disgust at the director who assaulted me when I was 16 years old and anger that I felt at the agents and the producers who made me feel that silence was a condition of my employment.”
The mother of two said she wished she could have said it was an isolated incident.
“But after hearing all the stories these past few days… it’s made me want to speak up and speak up loudly because I felt less alone this week than I’ve ever felt in my entire career,” she said.
As the Weinstein harassment allegations reverberate around the world, thousands of women have taken to social media in response to an appeal by actress Alyssa Milano to respond “me too” if they have been sexually assaulted or harassed.
US actress America Ferrera joined the campaign on Tuesday to say she was sexually assaulted when she was nine years old, although there was no suggestion that the alleged assault was linked to her career.
At the Women in Hollywood event on Monday, Jennifer Lawrence who in 2016 was the highest paid actress in the world spoke of being humiliated by a female producer and urged to lose weight at the start of her career.
“A female producer had me do a nude lineup with about five women who were much, much thinner than me. And we all stood side-by-side with only paste-ons covering our privates,” she said.
“After that degrading and humiliating lineup, the female producer told me I should use the naked photos of myself as inspiration for my diet.”
“I let myself be treated a certain way because I felt like I had to for my career,” she said.
In reverberations beyond the Weinstein scandal, Amazon confirmed Tuesday that Roy Price was resigning as president of Amazon Studios just days after he was suspended on October 12 from the tech giant’s entertainment division on the heels of renewed sexual harassment allegations.