THE RECKONING OF THE IMPUTED: Everyone Accused Of Sexual Misconduct Since Harvey Weinstein
328 people accused in total of sexual misconduct since the news of Harvey Weinstein broke. (UPDATED 10:25 PM EST 1/4/18)
This list is an attempt to comprehensively document all of the people in various industries who have been accused of sexual misconduct since Harvey Weinstein. This is an attempted encyclopedia of public figures accused of sexual misconduct. We list accusations that have been published in credible, mainstream publications. Please note that in most cases, the allegations listed here have not been proved or disproved in court proceedings.
196 people accused in 2017, + 56 people accused of sexual misconduct pre-2017, but accusations resufaced in 2017, + 12 people who remain nameless, + 64 people previously unnamed, included in “Shitty Men In Media, published in full for the first time on TPF News.
= 328 people who stand accused of sexual misconduct/abuse/violence since Harvey Weinstein.
UPDATE (8:51 PM EST 11/12/17): The filmmaker behind the documentary that exposed Hollywood’s hidden secret: pedophilia against young boys, has re-released the 2014 documentary online. The number of people accused will be updated when I have fully watched the documentary and added the claims. Due to the video’s re-release, I will be able to add more cases that I have researched, with further confirmation of the victims. You can watch the video below at the website.
You can watch An Open Secret here.
This list is being updated multiple times a day. This list is by no means comprehensive. This list will cover all types of allegations of sexuaI misconduct against women, men, or children (including but not limited to rape, sexual assault, sexual harassment, harassment due to one’s sexual orientation/gender identity, of women, men, and children) and abuse/domestic/sexual violence against women/men/children (including but not limited to physical/emotional/verbal/sexual abuse). If you know of anyone who I have forgotten, please reply below and I will add them.
I am merely posting accusations, not questioning the veracity or accuracy of the below said claims, I’m just helping to keep track of all of the claims being put forth in news media. If said claims for any celebrity turn out to be false, which rarely happens, their occurrence on this list will be deleted, with a short description of why they were removed.
DISCLAIMER: Normally I would include the word “allegedly” next to any statement that isn’t backed by a conviction. I’m not doing that here for three reasons: One, I tend to believe the victim, not the perpetrator. These victims came forward at great personal risk. Two, false reports of sexual harassment, sexual assault, abuse, and domestic violence are exceedingly rare. They make up 2 to 8 percent of all such reports — but remember, an estimated 80 percent of them aren’t reported. Three, these are people with a great deal of social, financial and legal capital who can make just about any accusation against them look like a lie.
Now, onward with the list.
High-powered Hollywood executives. A celebrity chef. A doctor working with young Olympic athletes. A current US President, and two former US Presidents. Actors, executives, the affluent. These are among the powerful people, regardless of political affiliation or country of origin that have recently been accused of sexual misconduct as waves of women (and some men) come forward to tell their stories.
Following the New York Times’ and The New Yorker’s bombshell reports about years of sexual harassment and assault allegations against Harvey Weinstein, it seems that every public-facing industry has found skeletons in their own closets. TPF News is compiling a list of all the allegations against high-profile people who have been accused of sexual harassment, misconduct or assault throughout 2017, and we will update as new accusations surface.
To read the stories of all the 105+ women who have spoken out against Weinstein, click here.
DISCLAIMER: Please be advised that the details below include explicit and disturbing accounts of sexual assault.
Sources Used To Update This Masterpost
An encyclopedia of public figures accused of sexual assault and harassment. We list accusations that have been…www.creepsheet.com
See if the film or TV show you're interested in has connections to someone with allegations of sexual misconduct.…therottenappl.es
After dozens of women came forward with accounts of sexual harassment and assault against producer Harvey Weinstein…motto.time.com
High-powered Hollywood executives. A celebrity chef. A doctor working with young Olympic athletes. These are among the…www.nbcchicago.com
Following the New York Times ' and The New Yorker's bombshell reports about years of sexual harassment and assault…www.thecut.com
After numerous sexual assault and harassment allegations against Harvey Weinstein, similar accusations against multiple…www.businessinsider.com
Although some male victims have come forward, the alleged victims here are mostly vulnerable young women and children…www.breitbart.com
After multiple women came forward to accuse Harvey Weinstein, the Hollywood producer, of sexual misconduct, at least 20…www.nytimes.com
In the aftermath of the Harvey Weinstein allegations, hundreds of women and men have courageously shared their own…consequenceofsound.net
In early October, reports surfaced that movie mogul Harvey Weinstein allegedly sexually harassed or assaulted multiple…www.nbcnews.com
More and more people have come forward publicly in recent months with stories like these, of high-ranking men who abuse…www.vox.com
More sources will be added when necessary.
After dozens of women came forward with accounts of sexual harassment and assault against producer Harvey Weinstein (who denies some, but not all, of the claims), more women and men are speaking out about their own alleged experiences with other prominent men.
Here are the 328 people who have been accused of sexual misconduct in 2017, or allegations resurfaced in 2017, approximately in the order that the accusations were made/released.
Explanation of the phrase “sexual misconduct”: Sexual misconduct encompasses a range of behavior used to obtain sexual gratification against another’s will or at the expense of another. Sexual misconduct includes sexual harassment, sexual assault, sexual abuse, and any conduct of a sexual nature that is without consent, or has the effect of threatening or intimidating the person against whom such conduct is directed.
*NOTE: Some of the accusations predate the Weinstein accusations, but have resurfaced in 2017, so they are being mentioned in a separate list below as well.
Number of accusers: 2
After Affleck condemned Weinstein’s alleged behavior in a statement, a social media user noted that “everyone forgot” Affleck touched then-Total Request Live host Hilarie Burton’s breast during a 2003 interview. “I didn’t forget,” Burton responded in a series of tweets. “I was a kid.” She later shared a video that appears to show the incident in question.
Affleck has not commented on Tendler’s allegations. His spokesperson did not immediately respond to Motto‘s request for comment.
Number of accusers: 2
After the director condemned the allegations against Weinstein, model Carrie Stevens told the New York Daily News that Stone grabbed her breast at a party two decades ago. Academy Award-winning actor Patricia Arquette also wrote on Twitter that she had a “weird” encounter with Stone, where he sent her flowers and asked her why she brought her boyfriend to a movie screening he had invited her to.
Stone has not publicly commented on Stevens’ allegations or Arquette’s comments. Stone’s manager did not immediately respond to Motto‘s request for comment.
Number of accusers: 1
Amanda Segel, a former executive producer on The Mist, a TV series produced by the Weinstein Company, told Variety that Weinstein made a number on unwanted advances on her for a period of three months. Segel said that the alleged harassment only stopped after she told Weinstein Company executives that she’d leave the project if Weinstein did not stop his behavior. Spike TV, which aired The Mist, told the Associated Press that it would be investigating Segel’s claims.
Weinstein’s attorney, Bert Fields, denied the claims in a statement to Motto, calling them “demonstrably false and misleading.” Both parties sent emails to Motto showing conversations between the two.
In one, Segel wrote: “I would certainly like to have dinner with you again but only as a non-romantic friendship.” Weinstein responded: “Agreed that romance is something not to pursue, so if u can stand to be around my charming, funny company., I would glad to be around yours.”
In another exchange, Weinstein wrote: “If u would like to get together for dinner before the 8th or 9th, then let me know what works for you. If u can’t, then hopefully, u can make it on that weekend. If u can’t do that, then your fired!!! Oh I forgot, we are supposed to be friends. Ha! Let me know what works. We have lots of laughter ahead of us. That we know for sure.”
Segel’s attorney said in a statement to Motto: “Amanda Segel was the victim of sexual harassment by Bob Weinstein. As she eloquently put it, ‘the word ‘no’ should be enough’ for any woman. Unfortunately, it was not in her case. Ms. Segel should be applauded for coming forward with her truthful allegations. The efforts to deny the harassment are shameful.”
Number of accusers: 1
Price, the head of Amazon Studios and a frequent collaborator with the Weinstein Company, resigned after Isa Dick Hackett, a producer on the Amazon series The Man in the High Castle, told the Hollywood Reporter that he had sexually harassed her in 2015. Hackett, who said she made it clear wasn’t interested, alleges that Price propositioned her and told her “you will love my dick.” Hackett said she reported his behavior to executives and spoke to outside investigators, but wasn’t notified of any outcome. After her allegations became public, Amazon put Price on leave, and soon afterwards he resigned.
Price declined to comment on the allegations to the Hollywood Reporter. Price’s attorney did not immediately respond to Motto‘s request for comment.
Number of accusers: 1
In an interview with the Daily Beast, model Natasha Prince claimed that the magician raped her in London in 2004. Scotland Yard said it is now investigating the allegations. “There have been no arrests at this stage and enquiries continue,” the police force said in a statement to the Daily Beast.
Blaine’s spokesperson denied the claim in a statement to the Daily Beast. “My client vehemently denies that he raped or sexually assaulted any woman, ever, and he specifically denies raping a woman in 2004,” the statement said. “If, in fact, there is any police investigation, my client will fully cooperate because he has nothing to hide.” A spokesperson for Blaine did not immediately respond to Motto’s request for comment.
UPDATE (4:19 PM 11/18/17): A second woman accuses the magician of rape.
Superstar magician David Blaine faces a police probe on both sides of the Atlantic after a second British ex-model came forward to claim he sexually assaulted her.
We can reveal the woman has told officers from Scotland Yard she was attacked by Blaine in New York when she was 19.
She went to police six days ago and is now set to be interviewed this week by detectives.
The latest alleged victim came forward after talking to former Chanel and Oasis model Natasha Prince.
Natasha, 35, claims she was raped by the magician after being given a drugged drink at a party in Chelsea, London, in 2004.
Blaine, who became a household name after surviving 44 days without food in a glass box suspended over the Thames, vehemently denies the accusations. [Mirror]
Number of accusers: Up to 12
Nickelodeon said on Oct. 19 that it had fired Savino, the creator of the network’s animated series The Loud House, after a number of women came forward alleging that he had sexually harassed them. According to the Hollywood Reporter, at least a dozen women said that Savino acted inappropriately with them, including making unwanted advances and threatening women who had ended consensual relationships with him.
After the report came out, Anne Walker Farrell, a director on Netflix show “Bojack Horseman,” released a series of tweets claiming that Savino had harassed her 15 years ago. Farrell wrote that Savino offered her a “‘mentorship’ that devolved into lewd messages, etc.’”
In a statement posted on Facebook on Oct. 24, Savino said he was “deeply sorry.” “Although it was never my intention, I now understand that the impact of my actions and communications created an uncomfortable environment,” he wrote. “I have nothing but the deepest respect for the bravery of the women who have spoken out, trying to create an environment in which they can thrive and reach their fullest potential.” His manager did not immediately respond to Motto‘s request for comment.
Number of accusers: 3
Three women said that Scoble, a former Microsoft employee, “tech evangelist” and writer, acted inappropriately with them between 2009 and 2014, according to Business Insider. Journalist Quinn Norton claimed in a blog post published on Thursday that Scoble had groped her and that she had witnessed him groping and kissing a woman who was too drunk to consent. Michelle Greer, who worked with Scoble at Rackspace, told Buzzfeed that Scoble had groped her at a 2010 tech conference. Startup ProDay founder Sarah Kunst claimed on Twitter that Scoble “verbally harassed her.”
Scoble denied the allegations in a post published on his website. He did not immediately respond to Motto’s request for comment.
Number of accusers: 1
On Oct. 19, the Awl reported that Steele, the editorial director at Vox Media, had been fired for inappropriate conduct. “Lock admitted engaging in conduct that is inconsistent with our core values and is not tolerated at Vox Media,” a Vox Media spokesperson said in a statement to Motto. “Vox Media is committed to fostering a safe and welcoming community, and appreciates those who have been willing to speak up and share information during the course of this investigation.”
Eden Rohatensky, a former Vox Media employee, wrote a Medium post alleging sexual harassment by a VP at a former company that she worked for. She did not explicitly name Vox Media or Steele in her post. The Awl later reported that Vox Media CEO Jim Bankoff “effectively confirmed that the VP in Eden Rohatensky’s Medium post was about Steele” during a previously scheduled all-hands meeting on Friday. Steele did not immediately respond to Motto‘s request for comment. The Vox Media spokesperson said it could not comment beyond the statement.
Number of accusers: 310
James Toback, a 72-year-old Hollywood director and writer who has been nominated for an Oscar, was accused of sexually harassing 38 women, according to the initial Los Angeles Times report. All but seven of the women the Los Angeles Times interviewed spoke on the record. According to the report, Toback would lure them to places like hotel rooms on the premise of promising an audition for a film, only to try and engage them in sexual encounters and ask them questions about masturbation. In an update to the initial report, over 200 more women came forward with sexual misconduct allegations, putting the total amount of known victims to 238. In yet another update to the initial report, a total of 310 women have come forward with harrowing accounts of sexual misconduct, including actresses Selma Blair, Rachel McAdams and Julianne Moore.
Blair told Vanity Fair that her representatives set up a meeting with Toback in 1999, when the director asked the actress, then in her mid-20s, to read a monologue naked in his hotel room. After initially declining, Blair says, Toback insisted he was “training” her to be a better actress. So she complied.
At one point, Blair claimed, Toback began rubbing his penis through his pants before asking her, “Would you fuck me?”
“I tried to look away, but he would hold my face,” Blair told Vanity Fair. “So I was forced to look into his eyes. And I felt disgust and shame, and like nobody would ever think of me as being clean again after being this close to the devil. His energy was so sinister.”
McAdams’ story echoed Blair’s. Like the “Hellboy” actress, McAdams met Toback in his hotel room under the impression the two would be talking about a role in “Harvard Man.” She was 21 at the time.
“The Notebook” star recalled meeting Toback the day before her first TV job. When she asked if the meeting could be some other time, Toback insisted it had to be that night.
When McAdams arrived, she said Toback had books and magazines arranged on the floor, where he asked her to sit.
“Pretty quickly the conversation turned quite sexual and he said, ‘You know, I just have to tell you. I have masturbated countless times today thinking about you since we met at your audition,’” she said.
The Canadian star said Toback “started that kind of manipulative talk,” asking her questions in an attempt to “build some intimacy.”
At one point, McAdams said, Toback went to the bathroom. When he returned, he said he masturbated thinking about her and asked for the actress to show him her pubic hair.
McAdams said she eventually excused herself, adding that the incident “has been such a source of shame” for her. When she called her agent to inform her about the misconduct, she said her agent apologized and admitted another client had shared a similar story. Naturally, McAdams was upset.
“I felt like I was kind of thrown into the lion’s den and given no warning that he was a predator,” she said.
On Tuesday morning, Julianne Moore, the “Still Alice” star tweeted at journalist Glenn Whipp, who first reported the story for the Los Angeles Times.
“James Toback approached me in the ’80s on Columbus Ave with the same language ― wanted me to audition, come to his [apartment],” she wrote.
“I refused. One month later he did it again with the EXACT same language,” she added. “I said don’t u remember u did this before?” [Huffington Post]
Number of accusers: 25
According to an investigation published by NOLA.com | the Times-Picayune, 25 women say they were victims of sexual harassment by male co-workers and bosses while working at one of Besh’s restaurants. One former employee alleged in an Equal Employment Opportunity Commission complaint that Besh himself “continued to attempt to coerce (her) to submit to his sexual overtures” during their sexual relationship, and that she faced retaliation from other employees when she attempted to end the relationship.
In a statement, Besh said that the relationship was consensual but said “I…sincerely apologize to anyone past and present who has worked for me who found my behavior as unacceptable as I do.” The general counsel for the Besh Restaurant Group said in a statement that “we believe going forward that everyone at our company will be fully aware of the clear procedures that are now in place to safeguard against anyone feeling that his or her concerns will not be heard and addressed free from retaliation.” On Monday, the Advocate reported that Besh stepped down from his company “to provide his full focus on this family.”
Number of accusers: Unknown
On Oct. 23, the Telegraph reported that Conde Nast International banned photographer Terry Richardson from working for any of its titles, which include the international editions of Vogue and GQ. A spokesperson for Conde Nast International confirmed the report to Motto. Richardson has faced allegations of sexual harassment from models and others he worked with for years, which he has denied. The U.S. arm of Conde Nast, which publishes U.S. Vogue and Vanity Fair (both of which have published Richardson’s work), also has no plans to work with Richardson. In a statement to Motto, Conde Nast U.S. said: “Condé Nast has nothing planned with Terry going forward. Sexual harassment of any kind is unacceptable and should not be tolerated.”
In 2001, model Liskula Cohen said Richardson asked her to get completely naked during a Vogue photoshoot, while he was also naked, and pretend to perform a sex act on another man, according to Complex. Many other women alleged sexual abuse by Richardson to Jezebel under the condition of anonymity for fear of losing their jobs.
“Terry is disappointed to hear about this email especially because he has previously addressed these old stories,” a spokesperson for Richardson told Motto in a statement. “He is an artist who has been known for his sexually explicit work so many of his professional interactions with subjects were sexual and explicit in nature but all of the subjects of his work participated consensually.”
Number of accusers: 1
Alice Glass, Kath’s former bandmate in electronic band Crystal Castles, claimed in a post on her website published on Oct. 24 that Kath sexually assaulted her and subjected her to “almost a decade of abuse, manipulation and psychological control” beginning when she was just 15 years old. “Over a period of many months, he gave me drugs and alcohol and had sex with me in an abandoned room at an apartment he managed,” she wrote. “It wasn’t always consensual and he remained sober whenever we were together.” Glass left the band in 2014, and was replaced by Edith Frances.
Kath denied Glass’ claims in a statement from his attorney sent to Pitchfork. “I am outraged and hurt by the recent statements made by Alice about me and our prior relationship,” he said. “Her story is pure fiction and I am consulting my lawyers as to my legal options. Fortunately, there are many witnesses who can and will confirm that I was never abusive to Alice.” A manager for Crystal Castles did not immediately respond to Motto‘s request for comment.
Number of accusers: Unknown
Wieseltier, a former editor of The New Republic, apologized on Oct. 24 for “offenses against some of my colleagues in the past.” A number of women who worked with Wieseltier at The New Republic exchanged emails detailing his alleged sexual harassment, including kissing them without their consent and sharing graphic details about his sex life, according to the New York Times. In the wake of the allegations, Laurene Powell Jobs announced that her company, the Emerson Collective, would no longer publish Wieseltier’s new magazine, which was scheduled to debut next week.
“For my offenses against some of my colleagues in the past I offer a shaken apology and ask for their forgiveness,” Wieseltier said in a statement to the Times. “The women with whom I worked are smart and good people. I am ashamed to know that I made any of them feel demeaned and disrespected. I assure them I will not waste this reckoning.”
President George H. W. Bush
Number of accusers: 7
Seven women from separate incidents have come forward to accuse former President George H.W. Bush of touching them from behind while they posed beside him for photos. Some said he also told them a dirty joke.
Television actress Heather Lind was first to accuse the former president, and said in a now-deleted Instagram post that Bush inappropriately touched her during a 2014 screening of her AMC series, “TURN: Washington’s Spies,” in Houston. Lind appears alongside Bush, who’s seated in a wheelchair, while his wife, former First Lady Barbara Bush, was also present.
“At age 93, President Bush has been confined to a wheelchair for roughly five years, so his arm falls on the lower waist of people with whom he takes pictures,” Bush spokesman Jim McGrath said in a statement. “To try to put people at ease, the president routinely tells the same joke — and on occasion, he has patted women’s rears in what he intended to be a good-natured joke.”
New York actress Jordana Grolnick also accused the former president of having inappropriately touched her in 2016. Author Christina Baker Kline said the incident involving Bush occurred in 2014, while Amanda Staples, a Republican candidate for Maine’s Senate, said the touching occurred in 2006 and retired journalist Liz Allen said her incident happened in 2004.
A woman named Roslyn Corrigan told TIME that she was 16 in 2003 when Bush touched her from behind during a photo op. McGrath said in response that Bush “does not have it in his heart to knowingly cause anyone harm or distress.”
In the latest accusation, a Michigan woman told CNN that Bush grabbed her during a photo-up in April 1992, while he was in office. “We got closer together for a family photo and it was like, ‘Holy crap!’ It was like a gentle squeeze,” the unidentified woman told CNN. [NBC News]
Larry Nassar, Olympic doctor
Number of accusers: 125
Two-time Olympic medalist McKayla Maroney, 21, alleged this month that the USA Gymnastics team doctor Larry Nassar molested her for years starting when she was in her early teens.
Nasser is currently in jail in Michigan awaiting sentencing on a charge of possessing child pornography, to which he pleaded guilty. He is also on trial for separate criminal sexual conduct charges and has been sued by more than 125 women who allege abuse. Nassar has pleaded not guilty to assault charges and is in mediation on civil suits.
Nassar’s attorney responded to Moroney’s allegations with no comment, citing a gag order over outstanding proceedings. His lawyers have called the earlier allegations against him “patently false and untrue” and said “his techniques were medically accepted and appropriate.”
UPDATE (8:38 PM 11/10/17): Olympic gymnast Aly Raisman says she is among the young women sexually abused by a former USA Gymnastics team doctor.
Raisman tells “60 Minutes” she was 15 when she was first treated by Dr. Larry Nassar, who spent more than two decades working with athletes at USA Gymnastics. He’s now in jail in Michigan awaiting sentencing after pleading guilty to possession of child pornography.
Raisman, the captain of the 2012 and 2016 Olympic gold-medal winning teams, details the abuse in her book “Fierce,” which will be released Tuesday. Raisman’s interview with “60 Minutes” will air Sunday night.
USA Gymnastics launched an independent review of its policies in the wake of the allegations against Nassar and reporting by the Indianapolis Star in August 2016 that highlighted chronic mishandling of sexual abuse allegations against coaches and staff at some of its more than 3,500 clubs across the country. [San Francisco Gate]
Number of accusers: 12
Halperin is accused of using his position of power at ABC News to pressure at least five women for sex, kissing them against their will, touching them inappropriately and groping one woman’s breasts. Three women told CNN that Halperin rubbed his erect penis against them through his clothes.
The women told CNN that they were not Halperin’s direct subordinates, but that he dictated the level and tone of political coverage and could make or break women’s fortunes at the network. They all have asked not to be named.
“None of the women have said, though, that he ever promised anything in exchange for sex, or suggested that he would retaliate against anyone,” wrote CNN’s Oliver Darcy. [Raw Story]
After CNN published a story with the women’s claims, another former junior ABC News staffer came forward saying Halperin also harassed her.
“#MeToo,” conservative author and reporter Emily Miller wrote Wednesday night on Twitter, directly responding to the CNN report. She later explained: “To be clear, I was NOT one of the victims in this story about Mark Halperin. I was ANOTHER junior ABC employee he sexually assaulted.”
Without specifically describing her encounter with the pundit, Miller elaborated: “I did not report Halperin to ABC because I thought I was the only one, and I blamed myself, and I was embarrassed and I was scared of him.”
Another journalist, who currently appears as a commentator across multiple networks, joined the chorus on Thursday, telling The Daily Beast that the accusations against Halperin rang familiar to her own experience. She said he made unwanted advances at her while they worked together at ABC News more than a decade ago.
And like Miller, this accuser, who spoke on condition of anonymity in order to speak candidly, was not among the five women who spoke to CNN.
The woman had worked with Halperin on ABC’s now-defunct digital-news outlet, and, at the time, having recently come from outside the industry, recalled hoping to impress her powerful political reporter colleague.
She said Halperin initially began with flirtatious chit-chat, eventually descending into more uncomfortable territory — including the “occasional lecherous grin” or an obvious look at her breasts while passing in the hallway.
One day, she recalled, Halperin invited her to his office for what she believed to be a professional meeting. She arrived to a completely empty room. “I was about to sit down to begin the meeting, and he closed the door, and all of the sudden was standing right in front of me — so close he was basically touching me.”
According to numerous sources at NBC, MSNBC, ABC, and Bloomberg — who previously spoke to The Daily Beast on the condition of anonymity in order to speak freely — the private allegations of Halperin’s sexual misconduct were an open secret, particularly in New York City and D.C. political media, for many years. [The Daily Beast]
Dianna Goldberg was a young researcher at ABC News in 1994 when she asked a colleague, Mark Halperin, for some information about a story. He readily agreed to help her and asked her to come to his office.
Close the door, he said when she arrived. Come over here, he said, seated at his desk. Sit down and I’ll give you the information, he said. He motioned to his lap.
“What?” she remembers thinking. “I don’t want to sit on your lap.” But Halperin was the political director of the network, a rising star who was highly regarded by ABC’s management, including “World News Tonight” anchor Peter Jennings. Goldberg, who now goes by her married name, May, thought that refusing him could injure her career.
She reluctantly agreed and sat down briefly. Halperin, she recalled on Wednesday, had an erection.
The same routine happened on three or four other occasions, she said. Each instance left her confused, shaken and ashamed. [Washington Post]
Four additional women are accusing political author and reporter Mark Halperin of sexual harassment during his time at ABC News, bringing the total to at least a dozen women.
CNN on Friday reported one woman accused Halperin of masturbating in front of her in his office, after she asked to meet with him for career advice. Another accused him of throwing her against the window of a restaurant and then tried to forcibly kiss her.
Number of accusers: 3
After the Harvey Weinstein scandal exploded, at least five women posted on social media that they had experienced sexual harassment by Andy Signore, creator of fan site Screen Junkies and the “Honest Trailers” film-parody franchise.
One woman wrote on Twitter that Signore offered to masturbate in front of her. Another said he tried to sexually assault her several times and threatened to fire her boyfriend, who worked at Screen Junkies, if she told anyone, Variety reported.
After the accusations became public, Screen Junkies said in a statement on Twitter that it had fired Signore.
“There is no justification for this egregious and intolerable behavior,” read the statement.
Number of accusers: Unknown
In February, Fox News renewed the contract of host Bill O’Reilly one month after he paid $32 million to settle a sexual harassment lawsuit, The New York Times reported.
The settlement paid to Lis Wiehl, a longtime Fox News legal analyst, who accused him of forcing her into a “nonconsensual relationship,” was the latest in a succession of settlements made by O’Reilly. He was fired from Fox News in April.
O’Reilly was dropped by his talent agency, United Talent Agency, Monday night, a source told NBC News. A source familiar with the situation said “we’re parting ways” after his current contract expires at the end of 2017.
A statement from Fox News parent company 21st Century Fox said it knew that O’Reilly had settled the lawsuit with Wiehl, but didn’t know the terms.
“His new contract… added protections for the company specifically aimed at harassment,” the statement said.
21st Century Fox has said the network it has worked to change the culture at Fox News. The founder of Fox News, Roger Ailes, resigned from the network last year after several women, including Kelly, alleged sexual misconduct. He died in May at the age of 77.
O’Reilly has blamed the media for reports of his alleged sexual misconduct, writing on Twitter Monday that the Times report was an attack for political purposes.
Number of accusers: 1
The dean of USC’s medical school resigned the day after Harvey Weinstein scandal broke, as the L.A. Times was gearing up to publish a story on a 2003 incident between Varma and a young researcher, which was settled by the university for $135,000.
Number of accusers: 2 (since Weinstein)
Polanski has been a known child predator since 2003. He could not accept his Best Director Oscar because he was living in exile in Europe after pleading guilty to “unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor.” Since Harvey Weinstein, two more actresses came forward. Marianne Barnard said Polanski raped her when she was 10 years old at a photo shoot. Reneate Langer told the Times that he raped her at her home in Switzerland when she was 15.
Number of accusers: 9
Art world bigwig and publisher of ArtForum Knight Landesman has been named in a lawsuit alleging he sexually harassed nine women when they were young and just starting their careers. Landesman repeatedly harassed them over text messages and groped them.
Number of accusers: 2
Baker has been accused of sexual harassment, making inappropriate comments, and sending sexually charged text messages by two former E! News employees, one of whom was an intern, according to a report by The Wrap.
“E! has a longstanding commitment to providing a safe working environment in which everyone is treated with respect and dignity,” the company said in a statement. “We take all complaints of misconduct very seriously, and thoroughly investigate all allegations of harassment.”
E! did not elaborate beyond the statement, but Baker won’t appear on air while the probe is underway.
“I am very disturbed by these anonymous allegations, which make my heart ache. I take them very seriously,” Baker told The Wrap. “I care deeply for people’s feelings and sincerely live in a way that treats people with dignity and respect.”
Number of accusers: 1
The late Holocaust survivor and Nobel Prize winner allegedly groped a 19-year-old girl at a charity event. Jenny Listman wrote in a Medium post that he “grabbed [her] ass” while they were posing for a photo. “He mistook me for an ultra-religious underage girl who was unlikely to tell anyone about it,” she said. “In other words, he purposefully chose to molest someone who he assumed was a minor and who would be compelled into silence.”
Number of accusers: 39+
Last June, Anthony Rapp settled in at the home of his good friend and fellow actor Camryn Manheim to watch the Tony Awards. The New York natives were both in Toronto working, and Manheim had invited Rapp and his boyfriend over to partake in the beloved theater geek ritual. But for the first time, Rapp — a working actor since he was 9 years old, and most famously part of the original cast of the musical Rent — felt something he’d never experienced before with the Tonys: dread.
And that’s because the host that night was Kevin Spacey.
In an interview with BuzzFeed News, Rapp is publicly alleging for the first time that in 1986, Spacey befriended Rapp while they both performed on Broadway shows, invited Rapp over to his apartment for a party, and, at the end of the night, picked Rapp up, placed him on his bed, and climbed on top of him, making a sexual advance. According to public records, Spacey was 26. Rapp was 14. [Buzzfeed News]
UPDATE (4:24 PM EST): Additionally, a second actor has come forward to accuse Kevin Spacey of sexual misconduct.
Mexican actor Roberto Cavazos wrote on Facebook that he encountered Spacey at the Old Vic theater in London where Spacey was serving as artistic director — a tenure that lasted from 2004 until 2015 — and speculated that the number of Spacey’s accusers could be similar to that of Weinstein, which is in the dozens. [NBC News]
UPDATE 2 (5:15 PM EST): Three more men have accused Kevin Spacey of sexual misconduct. Their harrowing stories have been published by The Daily Beast.
More men have come forward with disturbing allegations of sexual assault, harassment and predatory behavior against Kevin Spacey, with one actor who worked with the Hollywood star at the Old Vic theater in London, of which Spacey was creative director for over a decade, saying Spacey ‘routinely preyed’ on young male actors there.
Another man has said he was left “uncomfortable at best, traumatized at worst” after waking up with Spacey lying on him and his arms wrapped around him. The man, who was a budding actor aged 17 at the time, told the BBC that it became clear Spacey was interested in “a way I wasn’t”.
The man, who did not give his name, says he was a teenager when the incident took place in 1985. He had been invited to stay at Spacey’s New York home and the actor asked him to share his bed. He declined and slept on the sofa, but woke up to find Spacey’s head on his stomach and his arms wrapped around him.
A third man, U.S. filmmaker Tony Montana, told Radar Online he suffered from PTSD for six months after Spacey allegedly grabbed his crotch in a Los Angeles bar in 2003.
He alleges that a drunk Spacey grabbed his groin at Los Angeles bar the Coronet in 2003.
Speaking to Radar, Montana, who was in his thirties at the time, claims: “I went up to order a drink and Kevin came up to me and put his arm around me. He was telling me to come with him, to leave the bar. He put his hand on my crotch forcefully and grabbed my whole package.”
Montana claimed a seemingly intoxicated Spacey, 58, then said to him, “This designates ownership.”
UPDATE 3 (3:28 PM EST 11/2/17): After Rapp’s public statement, a man who was friendly with a member of the New York staff approached the magazine to talk about Spacey. At the age of 14, he says, he began a sexual relationship with the actor, who was then 24, that ended with what he describes as an attempted rape. The man is now a 48-year-old artist living on the East Coast with a long-term partner, and he wishes to remain anonymous. “I have worked really hard to have a nice life and feel safe, and I’m not giving that up for him,” he told me, sitting outside on a park bench. “I don’t want them to be able to find their way back to me.”
He first met Spacey in 1981, when the actor was a guest teacher at a weekend acting class he took in Westchester County; he was then a 12-year-old student. Spacey was 22 and working in the New York theater scene. They met again by chance in line at Shakespeare in the Park in 1983, when the student was 14 years old; Spacey had made his Broadway debut in Henrik Ibsen’s Ghosts the year prior. After that meeting, he says, Spacey gave him his phone number, and the two began a sexual relationship.
The former student came forward, he says, because he was enraged at Spacey’s response to Rapp’s story. We have done our best to verify his account of his time with Spacey. We confirmed with two sources that Spacey taught at the acting school in 1981; checked the plausibility of dates and other details in his account; and spoke with people close to the former student, who said that he had spoken about his relationship with Spacey as far back as the 1990s. We also spoke with his current therapist, who confirmed that he began speaking about it in sessions in 2015. And we have confirmed the other abusive relationship the former student discusses. We reached out to Spacey to talk about the relationship. He responded through his lawyer, who wrote in an email, “Mr. Spacey absolutely denies the allegations.” [Vulture]
UPDATE 4 (11:00 PM EST 11/2/17): Kevin Spacey made the set of Netflix’s “House of Cards” into a “toxic” work environment through a pattern of sexual harassment, eight people who currently work on the show or worked on it in the past tell CNN. One former employee told CNN that Spacey sexually assaulted him.
The former production assistant, whose account has never previously been disclosed, told CNN that Spacey sexually assaulted him during one of the show’s early seasons. All eight people, each of whom spoke to CNN on the condition of anonymity for fear of professional repercussions for speaking out, described Spacey’s behavior as “predatory,” saying it included nonconsensual touching and crude comments and targeted production staffers who were typically young and male. [CNNMoney]
UPDATE 5 (9:19 PM EDT 11/3/17): Now, three more men — including one who was a minor at the time — have told BuzzFeed News that they met Spacey in professional settings but soon became targets of inappropriate sexual conduct. Their stories and others’ reveal a pattern of behavior that goes back decades, suggesting a reckless disregard for personal and professional boundaries. They also share a core characteristic with the stories of men who are alleged to have sexually harassed and assaulted women, like Harvey Weinstein, Brett Ratner, James Toback, Bill O’Reilly, Roger Ailes, and Bill Cosby — namely, a gross and persistent abuse of power.
Whether as simply an older, admired actor taking advantage of a much younger one, or a star with significant clout on a set or elsewhere, Spacey is alleged to have consistently used his sexuality in a way that was unwanted and unwarranted, and often unrelenting. In Spacey’s case, these stories also demonstrate the complex effect the closet can have for men of any sexual orientation when talking about sexual misconduct by another man.
Spacey appears to have discovered how to weaponize the closet, shielding his own behavior from scrutiny under the guise of merely protecting his privacy. [Buzzfeed News]
UPDATE 6 (1:22 AM 11/17/17): Twenty more complaints of inappropriate behavior by Kevin Spacey have been disclosed by the Old Vic, the famed London theater where the actor served as artistic director, according to a report released on Thursday. These allegations join a growing list of accounts, including actor Anthony Rapp’s initial allegation to Buzzfeed that Spacey made a sexual advance on him when Rapp was only 14, House of Cardsemployees’ descriptions of a “toxic” work environment, and previous allegations of sexual misconduct at the Old Vic. (Spacey apologized for “inappropriate drunken behavior” and came out as gay in a problematic statement following Rapp’s allegations, but has not made public comment since Nov. 2, when his publicist announced he was seeking treatment.)
Spacey was appointed the artistic director of the Old Vic in 2004, and remained in the position until 2015. According to the investigation the theater hired an outside law firm to conduct after Spacey’s pattern of harassment came to light, he allegedly used his involvement with the venue to harass 20 men (none of them minors) between 1995 and 2013. (The Old Vic’s statement was careful to note that they had not confirmed the veracity of the claims against Spacey, who did not participate in the investigation.) Per the BBC, more than half of the incidents allegedly occurred within the theater. Only one of the men came forward to the theater with his concerns at the time; the investigation pointed to Spacey’s star power and an unclear code of conduct as contributing to a culture of silence.
In a statement released on October 31, the day after Rapp’s story made headlines, the Old Vic said it was “deeply dismayed” by Spacey’s alleged behavior and opened up a confidential email address through which victims could come forward. But days later, an article published in theGuardian suggested the theater had been complicit in the actor’s misconduct. “We were all involved in keeping it quiet. I witnessed him groping men in all sorts of different situations,” said an anonymous ex-employee of the theater. Similarly, former intern Rebecca Gooden commented, “I am honestly sickened that the theater has chosen to plead ignorance.”
In today’s press statement, the theater said it “truly apologizes for not creating an environment or culture where people felt able to speak freely” and laid out new policies to prevent future harassment, including “guardians” who would “champion best practice” and serve as a first point of contact and set out more transparent cultural expectations. [Slate]
Number of accusers: 7
R. Kelly’s former girlfriend Kitti Jones alleged that the rapper physically abused her and forced her to have sex with other women from 2011 to 2013, in an interview with Rolling Stone.
Jones had also been a part of a story published by Buzzfeed in July that alleged that the rapper had formed an abusive “cult” of six women.
A representative of R. Kelly released a statement to Rolling Stone denying Jones’ claims.
“It is unfortunate that Ms. Jones, after public statements to the contrary, is now attempting to portray a relationship history with Mr. Kelly as anything other than consensual involvement between two adults,” the statement said. “As stated previously, Mr. Kelly does not control the decision-making or force the actions of any other human being, including Ms. Jones, by her own admission.”
Twiggy Ramirez (Right in picture above)
Number of accusers: 1
Marilyn Manson’s bassist Twiggy Ramirez was accused by his former girlfriend and Jack Off Jill singer Jessicka Addams of sexually and physically abusing her, in a Facebook post.
In her post, Addams alleged that Ramirez punched and raped her while they were in a relationship in the early 90s.
Marilyn Manson announced he “decided to part ways with Jeordie White” (Ramirez’s legal name) Tuesday.
Ramirez responded to Addams’ allegations in a statement Wednesday night, saying that he does not “condone non-consensual sex of any kind,” according to Rolling Stone.
“I will be taking some time to spend with my family and focus on maintaining my several years of sobriety,” Ramirez said. “If I have caused anyone pain I apologize and truly regret it.”
Number of accusers: 1
Actor Kevin Sorbo accused Gianni Versace of sexually assaulting him, during an interview on The Adam Carolla Show Tuesday.
Sorbo said that while working as a model in the 90s, Versace invited him to dinner parties, and one time when they were alone, the designer told Sorbo he was interested in using him in one of his campaigns. Sorbo then alleged that Versace put his hand up his leg.
Sorbo said he told Versace he wasn’t interested.
The actor claimed Versace responded by saying, “In life, you must f — k everything. You must do the dog, and the cat, and the boy, and the girl.”
Sorbo later told The Hollywood Reporter that he had remained friends with Versace over the years — but never ended up in any of his campaigns.
The designer passed away in 1997.
Number of accusers: 3
Rick Najera, director of CBS Diversity Sketch Comedy Showcase, left CBS amidst allegations of sexual harassment Thursday, according to Variety.
CBS’ statement to Variety said that the network first became aware of “inappropriate comments made during the production of the Diversity Comedy Showcase” in March 2017.
CBS said “remedial action was taken” after they were made aware of the inappropriate comments, which the network deemed to be “appropriate to the matter.”
However, new information emerged recently, prompting CBS to investigate Najera’s behavior once more, which resulted in Najera’s resignation.
A source told Variety that two new complaints were reported to CBS last week. One performer reportedly said Najera told them he was in an open relationship with his wife and insinuated that he was interested in having a relationship, in 2009. And another performer reportedly said Najera made inappropriate remarks to them in 2014.
Actress Rachel Bloom had heard about Najera’s alleged behavior at the Showcase and sent an email asking the Showcase participants to come forward, which Bloom confirmed to Variety.
Najera has yet to comment on his recent termination.
Number of accusers: 1
Dr. Jamie Naughright, then an athletic trainer at the university, accused Manning of “forcefully” maneuvering his naked testicles and rectum directly over her, with his penis on her head, while she examined him in 1996, according to court documents. Naughright says she was disgusted and pushed Manning away.
With sexual harassment and assault accusations against celebrities and other powerful figures, ranging from Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein to ex-Fox News host Bill O’Reilly to journalist Mark Halperin gaining attention nationwide, Naughright sat down for an interview with Inside Edition. It will air Monday night in her first TV appearance since she made the accusation 21 years ago.
The accusations last made headlines in February 2016 after a report by the New York Daily News’ Shaun King was published. King’s report focuses on court documents from a 2003 lawsuit filed against the Mannings in Florida. [Heavy]
The Bachelorette Producers
Number of accusers: 1
Becky Steenhoek, a segment producer for JoJo Fletcher’s season of The Bachelorette, has filed a lawsuit against Warner Bros. Entertainment and several Bachelor franchise producers alleging she was sexually harassed during her time on set.
The parties named in the court document obtained by BuzzFeed News are Warner Bros. Entertainment, The Bachelor creator Mike Fleiss’s production company NZK Productions, and producers Elan Gale, Peter Scalettar, Jacqueline Naz Perez, Caitlin Stapleton, and Bennett Graebner.
Steenhoek is suing for damages related to sexual harassment and a hostile work environment, sex discrimination, retaliation, failure to prevent harassment, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and wrongful termination.
Steenhoek says in the lawsuit that the producers named would ask her invasive questions like “Is your vagina shaved?”; “How often do you masturbate?”; and “Do you enjoy giving hand jobs?” She further alleges in the lawsuit that the line of questioning was meant to embarrass her because of her sexual inexperience and conservative views about sex.
When Steenhoek finally confronted Stapleton, her supervisor, about the uncomfortable questions, Stapleton allegedly said that the executive producers were three middle-aged men and that is what men talk about. “This is the way of the industry and world we work in,” he allegedly said.
After her conversation with Stapleton, which took place on April 9, 2016, Steenhoek said she was not invited to production meetings and was pushed to do menial tasks until she was finally fired on April 17, 2016 by producer Bennett Graebner for, as the complaint alleges, not being enough of a “bitch.”
In an interview with the Los Angeles Times on Monday, Steenhoek said she was told she was hired because of her morals, but ended up being fired over them.
Since her dismissal, Steenhoek has moved back to Texas.
“I think [sexual harassment is] an industry-wide problem — these executives are untouchable,” she said. “If you report it, you get retaliated against, you get fired because then you’re not a team player. If you don’t report it, then it was essentially me not being me. I would have had to sacrifice my values and my morals for something I didn’t think was right, and I’m not gonna do that.”
In response, Warner Bros. Entertainment said the allegations made by Steenhoek had been investigated and its “findings did not support” her claims.
“We take all allegations of workplace harassment very seriously,” Warner Bros. said in a statement. “These allegations were brought to our attention and were thoroughly investigated earlier this year. Our findings did not support the plaintiff’s characterization of the events claimed to have taken place, which is why we are disappointed by the filing of this lawsuit.” [Buzzfeed News]
Number of accusers: 3
Ariana Bellamar tweeted to Piven on Monday, “‘Member when you cornered me in your trailer on the #Entourage set? ‘Member grabbing my boobies on the [couch] without asking??”
She also tweeted, “‘Member when I tried to leave; you grabbed me by the ass, looked at yourself in the mirror, & said what a ‘beautiful couple’ we made?”
The actress later clarified that Piven cornered her and “forcefully fondled my breasts & bum” on two occasions.
“Once at the [Playboy] mansion & once on [the ‘Entourage’] set.”
Piven has yet to respond to Bellamar’s tweets and was interviewed by AOL’s Build Series Tuesday morning but the allegations were not addressed. He did not return Fox News’ request for comment.
Piven is the latest name added to the growing list of actors accused of sexual assault or harassment following the allegations against movie mogul Harvey Weinstein.
UPDATE 2 (6:23 PM EST 11/9/17): An advertising executive is alleging that former Entourage star Jeremy Piven sexually assaulted her.
Tiffany Bacon Scourby tells PEOPLE she decided to come forward after reality TV star and Playboy Playmate Ariane Bellamar accused Piven of sexual assault on Oct. 30, accusations that the actor was quick to “unequivocally deny.”
“I 100 percent believe she’s being honest,” Scourby tells PEOPLE of reading Bellamar’s tweets stating Piven groped her on the set of Entourage and at the Playboy Mansion. Following Bellamar’s claims, a second woman, Longmire actress Cassidy Freeman, also spoke out. On Instagram, Freeman posted, “I know what you did and attempted to do to me when I was far too young. THAT I know. And you know it too. Unless there were so many of us, that you can’t remember,” before concluding her post by writing, “I hope from now on, you keep it in your pants and you never get to do it again.”
(Recently, Piven’s pre-taped appearance on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert was canceled on Nov. 3, with CBS releasing a statement to Entertainment Weekly stating, “Jeremy Piven’s interview for Friday’s broadcast was pre-taped earlier this week on Monday, October 30. Since we were unable to address recent developments in that interview, we are replacing that segment with a new guest.”)
Over the course of multiple phone calls over several days, Scourby, who is based in Washington, D.C., shared her recollections of her interactions with Piven, whom she claims to have met in October 2003 when she was in New York City for a work event.
“He was very nice to me,” Scourby, 39, tells PEOPLE of meeting the Wisdom of the Crowd star, 52, out at a club. “He mentioned he was going to [tape an appearance on] Late Night with Conan O’Brien the next day and gave me his number and asked me to go with him as his guest.”
Scourby says “nothing happened” that night and the next morning, after her work meeting, she met him around 11 a.m. at the Trump International Hotel & Tower, where he was staying.
“I remember I was wearing this white ribbed turtle neck and brown slacks — business attire — and I was sitting right next to him on the couch,” Scourby says. “We were talking for about five minutes and he said he was waiting for his [publicist] to come with us.”
Suddenly, “he jumped on top of me. I tried to push him off and he forced me to the ground,” recalls Scourby, who says Piven exposed his genitals and began rubbing them against her body.
She says she remained clothed the entire 15 minutes of her time in his suite but “he held down my hands” and ejaculated “all over my white turtleneck.” [People]
UPDATE 3 (9:48 PM 11/24/17): Fourth woman has accused Jeremy Piven of sexual misconduct on the set of HBO’s ‘Entourage’
Another woman has come forward accusing actor Jeremy Piven of sexual misconduct on the set of HBO’s “Entourage.”
Anastasia Taneie, 30, told BuzzFeed News that when she was working as an extra on “Entourage” in April 2009, Piven, one of the show’s stars, confronted her in a dark hallway and groped her breast and genitals as he forcefully pushed her against a wall.
Taneie said Piven only stopped groping her when an assistant director walked by, and that Piven then ordered her to be removed from the set, claiming she had initiated inappropriate contact.
Taneie did not file a formal complaint at the time, she told the outlet, because “I was scared at the time nobody was going to believe me. I didn’t want to make a scene. I just wanted to go home.”
A fellow extra that day, Araceli Giacoman, told BuzzFeed that she and Taneie were among a group whom Piven had approached, and that Piven had spoken quietly to Taneie and took her with him. Giacoman said Taneie returned looking “distraught,” “scared,” and “shaken.”
Another fellow extra, Andy Lobo, told the outlet Taneie was crying after the alleged incident, and that she told him Piven had forced himself on her.
HBO gave the following statement to Business Insider regarding the allegations:
“We reviewed our records and did not receive any complaints against Jeremy Piven on ‘Entourage.’ HBO takes sexual harassment very seriously and we make it a priority to ensure that everyone experiences a safe and comfortable work environment.”
However, Jason Rupe, who cast extras on the show between 2009 and 2011, told BuzzFeed that he’d received numerous complaints from women who did not want to work on the show again after being verbally harassed by men on the set.
“I do remember being quite frustrated at one point and even maybe telling one or two of the ADs, like, ‘Look, this sh — ‘s gotta stop,’” Rupe said. “These are great actresses that fit exactly what you’re looking for, but they don’t want to come back because they’re getting hassled a lot.’”
Number of accusers: Unknown
In a memo yesterday to the staff of The New Republic, one of the country’s oldest liberal-left publications, owner Win McCormack wrote that he had commissioned an independent investigation into several complaints leveled against Fish by female employees. McCormack, a liberal activist and entrepreneur, bought the foundering magazine last year and recruited Fish as publisher.
“I have been made aware that a number of employees have come forward in the last few days to express concern about certain workplace interactions that have created an uncomfortable environment for them,” McCormack wrote. “As I understand them, these concerns relate specifically to interactions between Ham Fish and a number of women employees. I appreciate the candor our employees have displayed in coming forward with their concerns, and I take the concerns very seriously.”
In response, McCormack said he had placed Fish on a leave of absence while the investigation is underway.
Number of accusers since Weinstein: 2
History of sexual misconduct: Too numerous to list, the full list is located below.
Comedian Andy Dick has been fired from his role in the indie movie Raising Buchanan for allegedly sexually harassing…www.vox.com
The Hollywood Reporter was not able to reach any of the alleged victims, however, two sources detailed Dick’s inappropriate behavior, which included groping people’s genitals, unwanted kissing/licking and sexual propositions of at least four members of the production. It’s unclear if those involved were actors or crew.
Number of accusers: 1
Lionsgate executive Andrew Kramer’s recent exit from the independent studio followed allegations that he harassed a subordinate, The Hollywood Reporter has learned.
Kramer had served as COO of International for Lionsgate’s Motion Picture Group since 2013. Prior to that, he spent seven years at The Weinstein Co., where he was president of business and legal affairs and general counsel.
When word of Kramer’s departure from Lionsgate first broke on Thursday, insiders said it was because of a restructuring prompted by the recent hire of Joe Drake as co-president of the Motion Picture Group alongside Patrick Wachsberger. Numerous sources confirm the restructuring was a cause of his exit. However, these sources also say Kramer was recently investigated by the company for claims of an inappropriate interaction with a female assistant at the Berlin International Film Festival in February of this year. A senior Lionsgate executive who witnessed the exchange reported the incident, prompting an inquiry. The results of the investigative were inconclusive, according to the insiders. The assistant requested to be reassigned and was. [The Hollywood Reporter]
Number of accusers: 5
In 2002, a Chicago comedy duo, Dana Min Goodman and Julia Wolov, landed their big break: a chance to perform at the U.S. Comedy Arts Festival in Aspen, Colo. When Louis C.K. invited them to hang out in his hotel room for a nightcap after their late-night show, they did not think twice. The bars were closed and they wanted to celebrate. He was a comedian they admired. The women would be together. His intentions seemed collegial.
As soon as they sat down in his room, still wrapped in their winter jackets and hats, Louis C.K. asked if he could take out his penis, the women said.
They thought it was a joke and laughed it off. “And then he really did it,” Ms. Goodman said in an interview with The New York Times. “He proceeded to take all of his clothes off, and get completely naked, and started masturbating.”
In 2003, Abby Schachner called Louis C.K. to invite him to one of her shows, and during the phone conversation, she said, she could hear him masturbating as they spoke. Another comedian, Rebecca Corry, said that while she was appearing with Louis C.K. on a television pilot in 2005, he asked if he could masturbate in front of her. She declined.
Now, after years of unsubstantiated rumors about Louis C.K. masturbating in front of associates, women are coming forward to describe what they experienced. Even amid the current burst of sexual misconduct accusations against powerful men, the stories about Louis C.K. stand out because he has so few equals in comedy. In the years since the incidents the women describe, he has sold out Madison Square Garden eight times, created an Emmy-winning TV series, and accumulated the clout of a tastemaker and auteur, with the help of a manager who represents some of the biggest names in comedy. And Louis C.K. built a reputation as the unlikely conscience of the comedy scene, by making audiences laugh about hypocrisy — especially male hypocrisy.
After being contacted for an interview this week about the on-the-record accusations of sexual misconduct — encounters that took place over a decade ago — Louis C.K.’s publicist, Lewis Kay, said the comedian would not respond. “Louis is not going to answer any questions,” Mr. Kay wrote in an email Tuesday night.
Neither Louis C.K. nor Mr. Kay replied to follow-up emails in which the accusations were laid out in detail, or to voice messages or texts. On Thursday, the premiere of Louis C.K.’s new movie “I Love You, Daddy,” was abruptly canceled, and he also canceled an appearance on “The Late Show With Stephen Colbert.”
The stories told by the women raise sharp questions about the anecdotes that Louis C.K. tells in his own comedy. He rose to fame in part by appearing to be candid about his flaws and sexual hang-ups, discussing and miming masturbation extensively in his act — an exaggerated riff that some of the women feel may have served as a cover for real misconduct.
For comedians, the professional environment is informal: profanity and raunch that would be far out of line in most workplaces are common, and personal foibles — the weirder the better — are routinely mined for material. But Louis C.K.’s behavior was abusive, the women said.
“I think the line gets crossed when you take all your clothes off and start masturbating,” Ms. Wolov said. [New York Times]
There is Tig Notaro, who told the Daily Beast that she and C.K. had “an incident,” but will not add any details:
“We don’t talk since then,” she says. “So as far as what he’s doing or what he’s done…” At that point she trails off and asks me if C.K. has ever “acknowledged” the sexual-misconduct allegations against him.
There is Jen Kirkman who talked about a “perv” comedian in a podcast:
And then I had another guy who is a very famous comic. He is probably at Cosby level at this point. He is lauded as a genius. He is basically a French filmmaker at this point. You know, new material every year. He’s a known perv. And there’s a lockdown on talking about him. His guy friends are standing by him, and you cannot say a bad thing about him. And I’ve been told by people “Well then say it then. Say it if it’s true.” If I say it, my career is over. My manager and my agent have told me that. They didn’t threaten it. They just said to me “You know what Jen, it’s not worth it because you’ll be torn apart. Look at the Cosby women.” And this guy didn’t rape me, but he made a certain difficult decision to go on tour with him really hard. Because I knew if I did, I’d be getting more of the same weird treatment I’d been getting from him. And it was really fucked up, and this person was married. So it was not good, and so I hold a lot of resentment.
Apparently, after the clip went viral with C.K.’s name attached, she took it down. The Daily Beast reports that she later admitted that it was “kind of obvious” who she was referring to, but will not come out and name the name:
Various articles have identified the male comedian, who Kirkman said does “new material every year” and is “basically a French filmmaker,” as Louis C.K. Speaking to Chris Hardwick on The Nerdist podcast last summer, she admitted that it was “kind of obvious” who she was talking about and clarified that she was “never violated” and has put whatever “creepiness” occurred behind her. Kirkman also lamented the fact that it has become something that comes up in every press interview she does, saying she doesn’t want some off-hand comments she once made to define or even “ruin” her comedy career.
And then there is Roseanne Barr, who did name a name:
“I’ve been speaking up,” she said, pausing briefly before naming names. “It’s Louis C.K., locking the door and masturbating in front of women comics and writers. I can’t tell you — I’ve heard so many stories. Not just him, but a lot of them. And it’s just par for the course. It’s just shit women have to put up with.” (Louis C.K.’s rep did not respond to a request for comment.)
In a follow-up email to The Daily Beast, Barr added, “These allegations [against Louis C.K.] have been leveled and talked about for years. I do not have firsthand knowledge, though have heard women make these allegations.”
For his part, C.K. refuses to discuss the allegations, which he dismisses as rumors. In fact just yesterday, under the generic headline, “Asking Questions Louis C.K. Doesn’t Want to Answer,” the New York Times reported that he again refused:
“I’m not going to answer to that stuff, because they’re rumors,” Louis C.K. said during the Toronto interview, as he told Vulture last year. But he added on Sunday, “If you actually participate in a rumor, you make it bigger and you make it real.”
So it’s not real? “No.” he responded. “They’re rumors, that’s all that is.”
The rumors have been around for years. Sordid tales of female comics forced to watch a powerful comedian - a man who…www.breitbart.com
UPDATE (3:17 PM 11/10/17): Louis C.K. has confirmed that the allegations against him are 100% true.
Louis C.K. on Friday admitted to masturbating in front of women, a day after the New York Times published stories from five women accusing the comedian of sexual misconduct.
“These stories are true,” C.K. admitted in a statement released to BuzzFeed News and other media outlets.
“At the time, I said to myself that what I did was okay because I never showed a woman my dick without asking first, which is also true,” he said. “But what I learned later in life, too late, is that when you have power over another person, asking them to look at your dick isn’t a question. It’s a predicament for them.”
Two women told the newspaper that C.K. exposed himself to them in 2002 in an Aspen hotel room and began masturbating. A third woman said she could hear C.K. masturbating on a phone call.
In the past, C.K. has dismissed gossip similar to the allegations reported by the Times on Thursday as just “rumors.”
In his statement Friday, C.K. said he was “remorseful” for his actions.
Earlier on Friday, indie film distribution company The Orchard announced they will no longer release C.K.’s new film, I Love You, Daddy. A spokesperson for Netflix also told BuzzFeed News that the streaming company has canceled an upcoming C.K. project. [Buzzfeed News]
David O. Russell
Number of accusers: At least 4+
In an article for the Daily Beast published Tuesday, author Amy Zimmerman wrote that Russell’s history of allegedly inappropriate behavior has been “well-known and documented.”
“Anyone with access to the internet can find profiles that detail the Silver Linings Playbook director’s on-set harassment, interviews in which stars recount his cruel tactics, and even videos of Russell verbally abusing actors,” Zimmerman wrote of Russell’s alleged behavior on film sets.
The director, who scored Oscar nominations for Silver Linings Playbook and American Hustle, has indeed been recorded on set, with some of the videos available on YouTube. In one video, filmed on the set of the 2004 movie I Heart Huckabees, Russell appears to berate actress Lily Tomlin, calling her a “c*nt” and a “bitch.”
WARNING: STRONG LANGUAGE
The Daily Beast article also recalls an alleged on-set fight between Russell and George Clooney, when the two were shooting the 1999 film Three Kings.
Clooney claims that the director head-butted him, while Russell insists that the actor attacked him first. Talking to Playboy in 2000, Clooney recounted that the director “yelled and screamed at people all day, from day one.” He continued, “For me, it came to a head a couple of times. Once, he went after a camera-car driver who I knew from high school. I had nothing to do with his getting his job, but David began yelling and screaming at him and embarrassing him in front of everybody. I told him, “You can yell and scream and even fire him, but what you can’t do is humiliate him in front of people. Not on my set, if I have any say about it.”
The director has also been accused of verbally abusing actress Amy Adams on the set of American Hustle.
“He grabbed one guy by the collar, cursed out people repeatedly in front of others and so abused Amy Adams that Christian Bale got in his face and told him to stop acting like an asshole,” one journalist reportedly wrote to Sony CEO Michael Lynton in 2014. Adams later said in an interview that she was left “devastated” on set.
But perhaps the most serious allegation in the Beast report concerns a 2011 police report filed by the director’s niece, who was 19 at the time of an alleged incident. The teenager, who is transgender, reportedly accused Russell of putting his hand up her shirt and feeling both of her breasts.
The allegations against Russell come as dozens of women have spoken up about sexual harassment in the entertainment industry. The scandal exploded in early October when some women, including actress Ashley Judd, went on the record with the New York Timesto allege decades of sexual harassment and abuse claims against Harvey Weinstein, who has since been fired from The Weinstein Company and expelled from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and the Producers Guild of America.
But the scandal has continued to develop more than two weeks after the Times‘ first story. More than 200 women have accused Hollywood writer-director James Toback of sexual harassment or abuse, while other stars, including Scandal actor Tony Goldwyn and actress Anna Faris, have come forward with their own experiences with harassment in recent days.
Read the full Daily Beast article on Russell here.
Number of accusers: 5+
As numerous allegations of sexual misconduct swirl around the 45 year-old known as HeadGeek, he has announced a leave of absence. In the wake of this week’s allegations, League claims to have severed all associations with Knowles. This includes the Alamo’s Fantastic Fest, an annual film festival Knowles co-founded with League in 2005. But according to one alleged victim, League has known about at least one groping allegation for more than a decade.
As far as the specific allegations…
First there is Jasmine Baker, who claims that in 1999–2000, Knowles repeatedly rubbed up against her at the Drafthouse and even reached up her skirt.
Gloria Walker, a Drafthouse customer claims that Knowles repeatedly groped her, “on more than one occasion grabbed my ass and other parts of me.”
The alleged harassment also came digitally. An anonymous accuser claims she received the following unsolicited and unwelcome electronic messages from Knowles:
Come hither to Austin. Your eyeliner makes you look good enough to eat. Obviously I’m talking about cannibalism, baby. You can have my Vienna sausage anytime. I’ll cover it in cabbage, shut your eyes and pretend it’s all rice.
Britt Hayes, an associate editor at ScreenCrush News has also publicly accused Knowles, tweeting, “Harry sexually harassed me. he has sexually harassed other women in this community for years. this wasn’t an anomaly. he is a predator.”
Specifically, she claims Knowles texted to her, “Do you want to know the real way to get into BNAT? … Show me your tits.”
BNAT is Butt-Numb-A-Thon, an annual 24-hour film festival run by Knowles.
The problem for League is that Baker claims she reported the groping “soon after,” and that while he was sympathetic, nothing was done. In fact, League went on to enter a business relationship with Knowles through Fantastic Fest.
After Baker’s story broke, though, League appeared to confirm his own mishandling of harassment allegations with this statement:
[R]ecent perspective has made it clear we didn’t always do the right thing, despite what we thought were good intentions. To the women we have let down, Karrie [League’s wife] and I both sincerely apologize.
One of Knowles’s accusers told the Daily Beast:
That is what is most upsetting. Because the Drafthouse is somewhere where these women went as a safe space. They had a Wonder Woman screening that was only for women, and it felt like they cared about us in this community. And to know that Tim [League] did absolutely nothing when his friend was accused of sexually harassing someone, and rather lied to his supporters in order to protect his friend… that speaks volumes to me.”
For his part, League claims that he is now out on a listening tour “to all of our theaters, [to] talk with our staff and listen … to better respond to allegations of sexual assault and harassment[.]” [Breitbart]
Number of accusers: 2
Today, due to its apparent mishandling of some very serious sexual misconduct allegations, League and the Drafthouse are becoming infamous for what one former employee (who resigned after ten years over the scandal) described as an “old boys’ club.”
In just under a year, Faraci has already been dropped twice by League. The first time occurred last October after the self-proclaimed feminist was accused of shoving his hands down a woman’s pants. Faraci did not deny the literal p***y grab allegation, and within hours resigned as editor-in-chief of Birth.Movies.Death, a film site owned by League.
The publicity surrounding Faraci’s accuser and the subsequent resignation encouraged other women to come forward to tell their own Faraci horror stories, allegations that range from the boorish to outright bullying.
Nevertheless, the rumor is that League never really let Faraci go, that the writer was given secret employment as an unattributed copywriter. Just as documents and sources encouraged some media outlets to dig into the rumors, League suddenly announced that it was time to give Faraci a second chance. The pushback, however, was almost unanimous and League was once again forced to accept Faraci’s resignation. This time, one assumes, for good. [Breitbart]
Number of accusers: 4
- Tyler Grasham was fired from APA talent agency on Friday following sexual assault and harassment allegations made by multiple men this week
- He was first called out by filmmaker and ex-child star, Blaise Godbe Lipman, 28, in a #MeToo letter shared to the public on Monday
- On Thursday, film and TV editor Lucas Ozarowski, 27, said the agent once tried getting him drunk at his home so he could take advantage of him
- Orphan Black star Jordan Gavaris, 28, also accused Grasham of sexual abuse on Friday, saying the agent threatened his career if he ‘didn’t join his roster’
- Brady Lindsey, now 19, claimed on Friday Grasham contacted him on Instagram when he was 16 and asked to be his boyfriend.
A veteran agent for youth talent has been fired after multiple men came forward on social media accusing him of sexual assault and harassment.
Tyler Grasham was fired from APA talent agency on Friday following sexual assault and harassment allegations made by…www.dailymail.co.uk
Number of accusers: 9
Rozon’s resignation came after comedian Guillaume Wagner announced he would no longer appear at the Just for Laughs festival due to accusations of sexual harassment being made against Rozon. Canadian media reports suggest as many as nine women have made the allegations.
CBC News also reports that Rozon pleaded guilty to sexual assault 1998.
The news organization quotes Hélène David, Quebec’s minister for the condition of women, as attributing the Rozon situation to “an international movement” started by the #MeToo Twitter reaction to allegations made against Harvey Weinstein.
“Something is happening right now in regards to a change in the culture, and we should salute this culture change,” she said.
French television station M6 is suspending "La France a un incroyable talent" - the country's version of "America's Got…pagesix.com
Number of accusers: 1
His writing career appears to have been brought to an abrupt and grinding halt by an accusation of sexual assault on social media website Twitter, by a woman who met him in London for drinks when she first arrived in the British capital.
“Ok, here goes. I haven’t told this story because I listened to the voice that told me it ‘wasn’t that bad’ or ‘worth talking about’…” began author and journalist Kate Leaver.
“When I moved to London, I wanted to make friends. I met @RupertMyers on Twitter and agreed to go for what I thought was a friendly drink.
“I was very clear about not being romantically or sexually interested in him, once the subject was raised. I suggested we be mates.
“He said ‘I’ve got enough mates, I’d rather fuck you’ and forced himself on me outside a pub in Fitzrovia.” [Breitbart]
Shadie Elnashai & Hadrian Belove
Number of accusers: Unknown
The popular Los Angeles-based film venue Cinefamily said that it will suspend all activities following allegations of sexual harassment that led to the exit of executives Hadrian Belove and Shadie Elnashai.
In a statement released on their website and social media platforms, Cinefamily said, “Recently, claims were made alleging improper behavior by one of more members of the organization.” It continues, “The Board of Directors of The Cinefamily has no tolerance for any form of behavior that does not conform to the high standards demanded by our members and staff and that of common human decency.” By suspending activities it will “allow for the investigation and necessary restructure of management and the board.”
Number of accusers: 1
If you aren’t aware of the major points of the scandal that has stretched on for over 20 years, here’s what you need to know.
Allen and Mia Farrow begin a 12-year relationship in which they famously lived in apartments facing each other across Central Park.
Dec. 17, 1991
Allen legally adopts Farrow’s two previously adopted children, Dylan and Moses. The couple also had a biological child, Ronan Farrow, together in 1987.
Farrow discovers explicit photos of her 20-year-old adopted daughter, Soon-Yi Previn, in Allen’s possession and realizes they are having an affair.
Aug. 4, 1992
Allen visits the children in Connecticut while Farrow is out for the day with a friend.
Aug. 6, 1992
At the advice of a lawyer, Farrow takes Dylan to a pediatrician, who reports the 7-year-old’s story of sexual abuse to the police by legal requirement, launching an investigation. Allen denies the allegations.
The doctor who headed the Connecticut investigation says he found multiple inconsistencies in Dylan’s story of sexual abuse.
June 7, 1993
Farrow is awarded sole custody of Dylan, Moses and Ronan.
After months of investigation, the Connecticut state’s attorney says he has enough cause to prosecute Allen but wants to spare Dylan the trauma of a trial.
Dec. 24, 1997
Allen and Previn marry.
January 12, 2014
Allen is given the Cecil B. DeMille Lifetime Achievement award at the 71st Golden Globes. Ronan Farrow tweets, “Missed the Woody Allen tribute — did they put the part where a woman publicly confirmed he molested her at age 7 before or after Annie Hall?”
Feb. 1, 2014
Dylan speaks out about the alleged abuse on a New York Times blog.
Feb. 7, 2014
The New York Times publishes a response from Allen, again denying the allegations and suggesting that Dylan was coached by her mother.
May 11, 2016
Ronan writes a column for The Hollywood Reporter, accusing the news media of turning a blind eye to the accusations. When asked about it at the premiere of “Café Society” at the Cannes Film Festival, Allen says he has moved on.
Number of accusers: 8
- In an audio recording obtained exclusively by DailyMailTV, Steven Seagal tells a male interviewer that he’s had a ‘hard time’ with female reporters
- The action film star, who has a history of sexual allegations against him, reveals he dislikes when reporters ask about an actor’s personal relationships
- He is heard referring to a female reporter as a ‘dumb c***t that is a liar and wanted to be sensational,’ and saying: ‘I think she belongs in a zoo’
- ‘You sit down with this sweet little nice girl and she seems to adore you and you’re a perfect gentleman, and you know, unbelievable,’ Seagal says
- The startling audio has emerged just days after several actress came forward with allegations that he sexually harassed them
- TV journalist Lisa Guerrero revealed last week that Seagal had invited her to a ‘private audition’ at his home where he answered the door in a silk robe
- Actress Rae Dawn Chong alleging in a blog, The Wrap, that she was called to a private audition with Seagal at the Bel Air Hotel, where he sat in a chair and ‘manspread so I could see his junk’
- Katherine Heigl told Jimmy Kimmel about working alongside Steven Seagal when she was 16 years old
- Actress Jenny McCarthy claims actor and producer Steven Seagal sexually harassed her during a 1995 audition for Under Siege 2. The former Playboy model recounted her encounter with Seagal on her Sirius XM radio show Thursday, a day after Portia de Rossi made similar claims of harassment on Twitter. McCarthy says she was alone in the room with Seagal when he asked her to sit next to him on a couch. After she declined, McCarthy says he began talking about his mission trips to Asia in an attempt to get her to sit with him. He keeps bragging and bragging about himself, and watching out of one eye to see if I take the bait,” she says. “So he says to me then, ‘You know, this part has nudity in it, and I can’t really tell what your body looks like in that dress you’re wearing’”
- In addition to de Rossi, who alleges Seagal unzipping his pants during a private office audition, The Good Wife actress Julianna Margulies told SiriusXM’s Jenny Hutt last week that she had a similar incident with Seagal when she was 23. Seagal requested to go over a movie scene with her in his hotel room. Once she arrived, the female assistant who said she would be there was gone. “He made sure that I saw his gun, which I had never seen a gun in real life,” Margulies alleged in the interview. “And I got out of there unscathed … I sorta screamed my way out.”
CLOSE Actress Jenny McCarthy claims actor and producer Steven Seagal sexually harassed her during a 1995 audition for…www.usatoday.com
In an audio recording obtained exclusively by DailyMailTV, Steven Seagal tells a male interviewer that he's had a 'hard…www.dailymail.co.uk
Number of accusers: 60+
Cosby, now 79, has been accused of sexual misdeeds spanning five decades by at least 60 women, stripped of dozens of honorary degrees and shunned by much of the entertainment world that once fawned over him. Cosby has consistently denied that he sexually assaulted or drugged any women, but the allegations have prompted several states to extend their statutes of limitations for sex crimes, and even his “Little Bill” children’s works now appear on the list of books most often targeted for removal from libraries. [Washington Post]
Number of accusers: 12
As Ron Jeremy and the once untouchable media mogul Weinstein fall from greatness, Ashley Fires demands to know why the man she says “almost raped me” isn’t facing a harsher sentence within the adult industry. Fires tweeted: “In the wake of recent actions taken against Weinstein, Ailes, O’riley [sic], Jeremy. Why is James Deen still granted shade to abuse women?”
Fires is one of almost a dozen women who have accused porn superstar James Deen of sexual assault, including his former partners, the influential adult actresses Stoya and Joanna Angel. In an essay first published at The Daily Beast, former porn star Tori Lux claimed she was “ruthlessly attacked and degraded” by Deen, while porn star Amber Rayne described her horrifying experience shooting a scene with Deen in graphic detail. [The Daily Beast]
Number of accusers: A dozen accusers, at least
Discussing the sexual assault allegations against Ron Jeremy online in forums was eye-opening for Banks, who has recently been considering the move from webcam model to professional porn. “I started posting on industry-only forums, and producers and industry people were telling me to get used to it. That’s just what happens in porn,” says Banks. “When people are telling me I should expect to be sexually assaulted at my job that’s something I’m not going to stand for. The normalization of it is what disgusts me.”
Motivated to shed light on the allegations against Jeremy that had somehow slid under the media’s radar, Banks made a ten-minute video presentation with collected tweets, articles and commentary. Her goal, she says, was to offer evidence in one easy-to-find place and then allow people to decide for themselves.
Seeing that Ron Jeremy was hired to host the annual webcam awards for a company she’s spent the last eight years working with was the last straw for her. She messaged the company, and was public about her opinions: “I tweeted that I had a problem with a known groper presenting an award.” Banks then messaged the cam company (in a direct message to her, they agreed not to work with Jeremy in light of the allegations) as well as the convention Jeremy was set to appear at. Banks urges performers to use their collective power, saying, “We need to stop supporting people that don’t support us as performers, when you go to these shows people buy tickets based on whether or not you’ll be there.”
Banks describes some of the videos she saw online, in which fans will follow Jeremy around a convention just to catch him groping people — a behavior that Banks says “pisses me off when it gets excused.” I another, she sites the Twitter testimony of a popular cam model who goes by “Miss Lollipop,” who wrote last year, “Not my 1st, but at a my 1st adult con, posing for a photo w ron jeremy — he slips his finger under my panties and into my vagina. #notokay.” Several other models replied to her tweet with their own Jeremy horror stories. [The Daily Beast]
Number of accusers: 2
The author, Anne Graham Hunter, who slapped away the star’s butt grabs and laughed off his vulgar language on the set of 1985 TV film ‘Death of a Salesman,’ still feels conflicted: “I loved the attention. Until I didn’t.”
This is a story I’ve told so often I’m sometimes surprised when someone I know hasn’t heard it. It begins, “Dustin Hoffman sexually harassed me when I was 17.” Then I give the details: When I was a senior in high school in New York City, interning as a production assistant on the set of the Death of a Salesman TV film, he asked me to give him a foot massage my first day on set; I did. He was openly flirtatious, he grabbed my ass, he talked about sex to me and in front of me. One morning I went to his dressing room to take his breakfast order; he looked at me and grinned, taking his time. Then he said, “I’ll have a hard-boiled egg … and a soft-boiled clitoris.” His entourage burst out laughing. I left, speechless. Then I went to the bathroom and cried.
The first several times I told this story, I left out the soft-boiled clitoris. When I finally started including it, my voice sometimes broke. But it got easier. When I spoke to a reporter recently and she told me she would have to track down people from the set to verify my account, I felt queasy. What would they say? I could only imagine them shaking their heads: “She didn’t seem too bothered by it then. She sure laughed a lot.”
There was so much I loved about being on set — taking John Malkovich’s lunch orders and falling more deeply in love every time he spoke to me or said my name; bonding with the crew as we worked 16-hour days; hearing Arthur Miller say my first two names because they sounded like a word game, and that amused him; dancing the polka with Charles Durning, who made every room he entered a happier place. And yes, I loved the attention from Dustin Hoffman. Until I didn’t.
During my five weeks on set, I detailed my days and mailed dispatches to my sister in London after making copies for myself. Recently, I reread them for the first time in several years. [The Hollywood Reporter]
UPDATE (10:00 PM EST): A day after Dustin Hoffman apologized for anything he “might have done” that caused a former intern to accuse him of sexual harassment dating back to 1985, a second woman has come forward with new allegations of harassment against the actor.
Wendy Riss Gatsiounis told Variety in an interview published Wednesday that when she was a struggling playwright in her 20s in 1991, she had two meetings with Hoffman and “Tootsie” screenwriter Murray Schisgal to discuss possibly adapting her play “A Darker Purpose” into a feature film.
Riss Gatsiounis, who in recent years has worked as a writer on “Reign” and story editor on “The Killing,” said the first meeting started with Hoffman joking to Schisgal that the screenwriter couldn’t ask her whether she had a boyfriend or husband because times were changing. The meeting then turned professional, she said, and she was asked to rewrite her movie pitch.
Three weeks later, she said, Hoffman was “really different” at a second meeting and asked her whether she’d ever been intimate with anyone over 40; Riss Gatsiounis said she tried to laugh it off, but he kept going.
“I’ll never forget — he moves back, he opens his arms, and he says, ‘It would be a whole new body to explore,’ “ she told Variety. Then, Riss Gatsiounis alleged, he asked her to come with him to go clothes shopping at a local hotel. She said she repeatedly refused, the actor left and Schisgal told her they weren’t really interested in her movie pitch, which had not been discussed at the meeting.
She called the alleged incident “a source of torment” as she wondered for months whether she had damaged her career. When she talked to her agent immediately after the meeting, she said, she had been near tears. [Los Angeles Times]
Number of accusers: 9
High-profile director Brett Ratner has been accused of sexual assault or harassment by six women, including actresses Olivia Munn and Natasha Henstridge, who detailed their experiences with Ratner to the Los Angeles Times.
Henstridge claims that Ratner forced her to perform oral sex on him in his New York apartment in the 1990s. The actress, then a 19-year-old model, was hanging out with the then-music video director watching TV. Henstridge fell asleep, she told the Times, and when she woke up the others had left and she was alone with Ratner. He blocked the exit and began touching himself, she tells the Times, and then he forced her to perform oral sex on him.
“He strong-armed me in a real way. He physically forced himself on me,” she said. “At some point, I gave in and he did his thing.”
Ratner’s attorney Martin Singer dismissed the accounts of Henstridge and the five other women, who opened up to the Times in a series of interviews, saying the alleged sexual misconduct occurred in private homes, on movie sets or at industry events. None of the women the Times spoke to reported the allegations to the police, the paper says in its Nov. 1 story.
UPDATE 1 (7:36 PM EST) 11/9/17: The Beverly Hills Police Department investigated producers Brett Ratner and Russell Simmons for alleged sexual battery in 2001, according to the L.A. County District Attorney’s Office and the producers’ criminal defense attorney.
Prosecutors declined to press charges in the case, citing insufficient evidence.
The alleged victim has not been identified. According to police records, the 29-year-old woman came into the department to file a report at 4:45 a.m. on the morning of Nov. 3, 2001. She alleged that two men held her against her will and that both touched her unlawfully, according to police.
She contended that the incident occurred between 2 a.m. and 3 a.m. that morning at a home in the 1200 block of Benedict Canyon Drive. Ratner’s home, known as Hilhaven Lodge, is on the same block. [Variety]
UPDATE 2 (10:44 PM EST 11/10/17): Canadian actress Ellen Page says filmmaker Brett Ratner made her feel “violated” with alleged comments about her sexuality that outed her to peers when she was 18.
In a lengthy post to Facebook on Friday, Page alleged Ratner once suggested to a woman standing next to her that she have sex with the Halifax native “to make her realize she’s gay.”
Page said it happened when she was 18, during a pre-production meeting with the cast and crew of 2006’s “X-Men: The Last Stand,” which Ratner directed.
“I was a young adult who had not yet come out to myself,” wrote the Oscar-nominated “Juno” star, who publicly came out as gay during a speech delivered at a human rights conference in 2014.
“I knew I was gay, but did not know, so to speak. I felt violated when this happened. I looked down at my feet, didn’t say a word and watched as no one else did either.
“This man, who had cast me in the film, started our months of filming at a work event with this horrific, unchallenged plea. He ‘outed’ me with no regard for my well-being, an act we all recognize as homophobic.”
Winnipeg-born actress Anna Paquin, who was also in the film, backed up Page’s claims.
“I was there when that comment was made. I stand with you,” Paquin tweeted to Page on Friday.
Number of accusers: 3
Oreskes came under pressure to step down after The Washington Post reported that he allegedly made unwanted sexual advances toward two journalists who were seeking jobs at The New York Times two decades ago.
At least one of the accusers came forward in the wake of the Weinstein scandal.
Both accusers told the Post that Oreskes unexpectedly kissed them during career-oriented business meetings while he was working as the Times’ Washington bureau chief.
After the Post story came out, a third accuser, who currently works at NPR, said she filed a complaint about him to NPR’s human resources department in October 2015, according to NPR’s own reporting. The employee’s complaint said Oreskes “hijacked a career counseling session into a three-hour-long dinner that delved into deeply personal territory” and included mentions of sex with a former girlfriend.
The network, at the time, rebuked Oreskes and informed other executives at the company after the complaint was filed, according to NPR’s reporting.
After the Post story was published on Tuesday, NPR placed Oreskes on “administrative leave.”
In a Wednesday morning memo to staff, hours before Oreskes stepped down, NPR CEO Jarl Mohn stressed that the company was taking the allegations seriously.
“I’m writing to share that I’ve asked Vice President of News Programming and Operations Chris Turpin to take on interim leadership of the newsroom,” Mohn said. “Starting today, Chris will serve in the capacity of the Senior Vice President of News for NPR and oversee both strategic direction and day to day operations related to our journalism.”
Mohn also urged staff to contact human resources, the legal department, or his office directly “if you believe you have experienced or are aware of any incidence of harassment or other inappropriate behavior.” [CNN Money]
Number of accusers: 4
Four women have accused Masterson of raping them in the early 2000s.
Masterson is a longtime member of the Church of Scientology, an organization that has a history of covering up allegations of misconduct leveled against the organization and its members. At least three of the women who have accused him of rape were also Scientologists and reported the incidents to the Church of Scientology at the time.
Masterson, star of the sitcom “That ’70s Show,” has denied that he engaged in any sexual misconduct. In May, journalist Tony Ortega revealed that Masterson hired power lawyer Thomas Mesereau to serve as his criminal defense attorney. Bill Cosby also hired Mesereau for a retrial of sexual assault charges in Pennsylvania.
Masterson is also represented by Hollywood litigator Marty Singer, who is also representing film director Brett Ratner in responding to allegations of sexual misconduct that were originally detailed in a Los Angeles Times report.
A spokesperson for Mesereau and a spokeswoman for the district attorney’s office both declined to comment.
One of Masterson’s accusers filed a police report in 2004 saying that she was raped in 2003, but the case didn’t move forward after the Church of Scientology intervened and submitted over 50 affidavits from Scientologists who denied the woman’s account. According to a report filed with the Los Angeles Police Department, the woman said Masterson raped her while she was “passed out,” and when she awoke and realized he was raping her, she struggled with him until he choked her and she passed out again.
In Scientology, reporting another Scientologist to law enforcement is considered a “suppressive act” and can lead to immediate expulsion from the organization. The church is known for attacking accusers rather than rebutting the accusations and for efficiently organizing its members to take action against accusers. According to two sources with knowledge of the case, the woman’s case file from 2004 vanished, leaving Deputy District Attorney Reinhold Mueller to reconstruct it.
HuffPost spoke to five sources for this story inside and outside the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office. All of the sources spoke on the condition of anonymity because they weren’t authorized to speak to a reporter about an ongoing law enforcement investigation.
The LAPD in late 2016 began to interview the women accusing Masterson of rape. Ortega first reported on the LAPD investigation in March 2017.
In April 2017, police referred the case to the district attorney. Since then, the district attorney’s office has examined the evidence turned over by LAPD and conducted its own investigation. Despite compelling ― what one law enforcement source described as “overwhelming” — evidence, the charges have not been approved for filing. The evidence includes audiotapes, emails sent to and from Scientology officers at the time the alleged rapes happened, forensic computer evidence and a threatening handwritten letter Masterson sent to one of the alleged victims, according to two people with knowledge of the evidence in the district attorney’s possession.
Read the full police report of one of the victims (with name redacted) below.
Masterson has had a long, successful career in television. He starred in the comedy “That ’70s Show” for eight seasons, from 1998 to 2006, and most recently starred in the Netflix series “The Ranch” with Ashton Kutcher, who was his co-star on “That ’70s Show.”
Netflix appears not to have taken action against Masterson, despite multiple reports in publications including the Los Angeles Times that revealed the LAPD was conducting an investigation into allegations of rape. Within days of BuzzFeed’s report that actor Anthony Rapp accused “House of Cards” star Kevin Spacey of sexual misconduct, Netflix suspended filming on the drama’s sixth season.
Netflix announced that part four of “The Ranch” would premiere on its website in December. The company made the announcement on Oct. 17, seven months after news of the LAPD investigation was made public. [Huffington Post]
UPDATE (7:20 PM EST 12/5/17): Netflix has fired Danny Masterson from all productions it had with the actor.
Number of accusers: 7+
Former country singer Austin Rick (who used the stage name Austin Cody) initially posted on Facebook last week about Webster’s sexual misconduct, including claims that he was drugged and offered publicity opportunities “in exchange for sexual acts.”
On Thursday, three more men came forward to say Webster sexually harassed or abused them during instances dating from 2009–2015, The Tennessean reports. Meanwhile, Metro Nashville police told the publication that they will not pursue criminal charges against Webster because the eight-year statute of limitations has passed on Rick’s claims, which date back to 2008. [Billboard]
UPDATE (12:05 AM EST 11/5/17): Five other former Webster employees claimed to Fox News that they had also been sexually harassed. They described instances where they alleged Webster touched them inappropriately, showed them porn in the office, and made sexually-charged comments in front of clients during staff meetings.
Number of accusers: 1
Corey Feldman accused fellow actor Jon Grissom of molesting him in a sit-down interview with Dr. Oz on Nov. 2. “That is him,” the 46-year-old actor said when the TV personality showed him a picture of Grissom on his phone. Afterward, Feldman and Oz actually called the police to file a report on Grissom.
Number of accusers: Unknown
Politico reports that Mother Jones today said that very same Washington bureau chief David Corn has for some time been under internal investigation for “inappropriate workplace behavior three years ago, warning him about touching female staffers and insensitive descriptions of sexual violence, and would now probe the allegations further in light of two emails written by former staffers in 2014 and 2015 and obtained by POLITICO.”
Number of accusers: 1
Agent Adam Venit, the head of WME (William Morris Endeavor)’s motion picture group, is on leave as the agency investigates sexual harassment allegations from actor Terry Crews, who is a client of WME.
At the beginning of the Hollywood “floodgate” of victims of sexual assault and harassment speaking up, Crews was one of the early voices, describing an encounter with a Holywood exec on Twitter.
Venit represents the likes of Emma Stone, Eddie Murphy, Adam Sandler, Diane Keaton, Sylvester Stallone and more. He did not represent Crews.
We will update this developing story as we get more information. [Shadow & Act]
Number of accusers: 4
On the evening of Oct. 5 (according to Twitter timestamps) Helen Donahue, formerly a staff writer and social media editor for Vice, took to Twitter to post photos of bruises on her face and neck, under the text “sux men in media hate women yet write abt feminism n masquerade as allies but its sadder this happens. 2015 i screamed @ my own reflection”.
Just under two hours later (according to Twitter timestamps), another writer named Deirdre Coyle re-tweeted Donahue under the comment “these bruises came from the same guy who physically forced me to do cocaine during sex,” and that tweet was re-tweeted minutes later by a woman calling herself Dilara, who added “This is the same guy who choked me at the foot of his stairs until I passed out and then repeatedly punched me in the face”. (A week later, on Oct. 12, a fourth woman re-tweeted Donahue’s original photo tweet with the observation “I too was forcibly entered and choked by the same male feminist.)
Nothing indicated the man’s identity to a casual Twitter observer (though Donahue did “reply” to her original picture tweet by adding “blacked out n woke up like this. not ready 2 name an editor @ a popular mag but i can post pix. u must kno this happens. n many of u did so”), but Jezebel reported on Nov. 3 that the three women confirmed to each other over private messaging that their shared alleged attacker was Michael Hafford. Later that evening, Donahue’s friend @ka5sh posted Donahue’s tweet under the announcement “The guy that did this abused multiple women his name is @michaelhafford and We shouldn’t let him get away with this.” [Heavy]
Number of accusers: 1, an actress accusing Sheen of molesting actor Corey Haim at age 13 on the set of Lukas. Corey Haim never publicly named his rapist before his death in 2010. Actress Dominick Brascia publicly accused Sheen in the National Enquirer.
The National Enquirer, quoting actor Dominick Brascia and other sources, claims Charlie Sheen is the rapist that Corey Haim spoke of but never publicly named. Sheen was 19 at the time, Haim 13.
“Haim told me he had sex with Sheen when they filmed ‘Lucas,’” Dominick Brascia, a former actor and a close friend of the “Lost Boys” legend, exclusively told The ENQUIRER. “He told me they smoked pot and had sex. He said they had anal sex. Haim said after it happened Sheen became very cold and rejected him. When Corey wanted to fool around again, Charlie was not interested.”
But Brascia said Haim claimed he hooked up with the “Wall Street” star another time — when he was in his mid-to-late 20s. “Haim told me he had sex with Sheen again,” Brascia told The ENQUIRER. “He claimed he didn’t like it and was finally over Sheen. He said Charlie was a loser.”
From Corey Feldman’s memoirs:
At some point during the filming, [Haim] explained an adult male convinced him it was perfectly normal for older men and younger boys in the business to have sexual relations, that it was ‘what all guys do.’ So they walked off to a secluded area between two trailers during a lunch break for the cast and crew, and Haim, innocent and ambitious as he was, allowed himself to be sodomized.
Sheen’s alleged interest in adolescent boys was a little-reported issue in his divorce from Denise Richards. [The National Enquirer]
At some point during the filming, [Haim] explained an adult male convinced him it was perfectly normal for older men and younger boys in the business to have sexual relations, that it was ‘what all guys do.’ So they walked off to a secluded area between two trailers during a lunch break for the cast and crew, and Haim, innocent and ambitious as he was, allowed himself to be sodomized.
Sheen’s alleged interest in adolescent boys was a little-reported issue in his divorce from Denise Richards.
Number of accusers: 3
On Wednesday, Deadline reported that Transparent and Arrested Development actor Jeffrey Tambor has been accused of sexually harassing a mystery accuser, who made the claim within a private Facebook post.
Presumably, the accusations may be related to the production of Transparent (or one of the other two Amazon projects in which Tambor’s appeared), for Amazon Studios has announced an investigation into the claim. Deadline didn’t provide many details on the the allegations themselves, given that the accuser clearly does not want people reading the private Facebook post. However, Tambor issued a statement to Deadline while revealing that his former assistant (a trans woman named Van Barnes) brought the claim, which he “adamantly” denies and calls “baseless”:
“I am aware that a former disgruntled assistant of mine has made a private post implying that I had acted in an improper manner toward her. I adamantly and vehemently reject and deny any and all implication and allegation that I have ever engaged in any improper behavior toward this person or any other person I have ever worked with. I am appalled and distressed by this baseless allegation.”
In a statement, Transparent creator Jill Soloway stated that the show was cooperating fully with the investigation, and Amazon’s policy is to thoroughly investigate all such matters. Since the show’s not currently in production, no hiatuses or postponements have been announced for Transparent as of yet. [Uproxx]
Lysette has accused the actor of making sexually charged remarks to her during their work together on the ground-breaking Amazon comedy series, as well as acting inappropriately during one alleged incident that “got physical.” Lysette has appeared as a guest star in multiple episodes of the show’s four seasons to date.
Amazon is already investigating allegations of harassment leveled against Tambor by his former assistant on the show, Van Barnes. The allegations from Lysette will be probed as part of the ongoing investigation, Amazon said.
In a statement posted to Twitter, Lysette said that Tambor has made “many sexual advances and remarks at me, but one time it got physical.”
She goes on to describe an incident that allegedly occurred during Season 2 of “Transparent,” in which she, Alexandra Billings, and Tambor were dressed in thin pajamas.
“I stood in a corner on the set as the crew reset for a wide shot. My back was against the wall in a corner as Jeffrey approached me,” the statement reads. “He came in close, put his bare feet on top of mine so I could not move, leaned his body against me, and began quick, discreet thrusts back and forth against my body.”
“I felt his penis against my hip through his thin pajamas and I pushed him off me.”
Lysette continued that she laughed off the moment and compartmentalized it: “I had a job to do and I had to do it with Jeffrey, the lead of our show.”
Lysette ended her statement by calling on Amazon to use the alleged incident as a “teachable moment” and “re-center the other trans characters in this show with the family members.”
Tambor has denied the allegations in a statement to Variety, writing that he has “never been a predator — ever.”
“For the past four years, I’ve had the huge privilege — and huge responsibility — of playing Maura Pfefferman, a transgender woman, in a show that I know has had an enormous, positive impact on a community that has been too long dismissed and misunderstood. Now I find myself accused of behavior that any civilized person would condemn unreservedly,” the statement reads.
“I know I haven’t always been the easiest person to work with. I can be volatile and ill-tempered, and too often I express my opinions harshly and without tact. But I have never been a predator — ever,” Tambor continued. “I am deeply sorry if any action of mine was ever misinterpreted by anyone as being sexually aggressive or if I ever offended or hurt anyone. But the fact is, for all my flaws, I am not a predator and the idea that someone might see me in that way is more distressing than I can express.”
Reps for Lysette and “Transparent” creator Jill Soloway did not immediately respond to requests for comment. [Variety]
UPDATE 2 (6:53 PM 11/22/17): A third person has accused Tambor of sexual misconduct
In an exclusive interview with Refinery29, Tamara Delbridge says that Tambor forcibly kissed her in 2001 on the set of the film Never Again. As a makeup assistant, the job marked Delbridge’s first big break in the industry.
“It was really weird because I did not interact with him at all during filming,” Delbridge says. “It wasn’t like he and I had bantered back and forth or flirted. I’m very professional on set and [Never Again] was a really big deal for me. It was the first time that I’d worked with actors at that level,” she adds, noting that she was given the opportunity to do makeup for the likes of Jill Clayburgh, Bill Duke, and Sandy Duncan.
Delbridge says the incident occurred on the last day of the shoot. “I said [to Tambor], ‘It was very nice to work with you’ and he grabbed me out of nowhere and kissed me on the lips. And I was just shocked. I didn’t even know how to react, because how do you react when you’re not expecting anything like that? So I didn’t know if I was embarrassed or shocked or mortified or stunned. It was a whole bunch of emotions.”
As she walked away, Delbridge says she tried to understand why Tambor had done this and wondered if she’d accidentally come across as flirtatious. According to Delbridge, Bill Duke witnessed the incident and and assured Delbridge that she’d done nothing wrong.
“Bill Duke stopped me and he said ‘that was inappropriate.’ In my mind he just confirmed that I didn’t do anything to provoke it,” Delbridge says. “I don’t know why [Tambor] did that to me. But an older, prominent actor violated me and then another older, prominent actor let me know that it was inappropriate. So I think it’s important to add because I will appreciate Bill Duke until the day I die. I was new and he didn’t turn his back…He made it a point to let me know that what happened wasn’t acceptable.” Delbridge says she doesn’t know whether or not Duke confronted Tambor about the incident.
Tambor addressed Delbridge’s allegations via an emailed statement to Refinery29: “I have absolutely no recollection of anything like this incident ever happening. If it did, it wasn’t meant as anything more than an enthusiastic farewell and gratitude for a job well done at the end of a shoot. However, I am deeply sorry for any discomfort or offense I may have inadvertently caused her.”
Delbridge says she was compelled to speak out when she read that Tambor had described Barnes’ allegation as “baseless.” Although she’s nervous about speaking publicly for the first time, she hopes her story will “help prove that [Barnes and Lysette] aren’t lying.”
“His response made me really angry. I was like ‘it’s not baseless,’” she says. “This isn’t a man-bashing thing. It’s about a person who did something inappropriate and he’s not acknowledging that he did it. And the word ‘baseless’ is really like him just flipping it off and saying that’s nothing. And it’s not nothing, because this is a pattern.” [Refinery29]
Number of accusers: 1
Noted civil rights activist and political hack Rev. Jesse Jackson has been accused of sexual harassment by a journalist who says the Chicago community organizer once grabbed her thigh and made a crude comment.
In a post for “The Root,” writer Danielle Young accused Jackson of making “unwanted” advances and comments during a photo-op following a speech the reverend gave about the duties of black journalists.
I used to work for a very popular media company, and we had a meeting that ended with a keynote speech by the living legend, the Rev. Jesse Jackson. So, of course, the conference room was packed wall-to-wall.
After Jackson’s riveting and inspiring speech about the responsibility of black journalists, we all lined up to take a photo with him. One by one, we stepped up, shared a few words and thank-yous with Jackson, snapped photos and went back to our desks. Simple enough, right?
I walked toward Jackson, smiling, and he smiled back at me. His eyes scanned my entire body. All of a sudden, I felt naked in my sweater and jeans. As I walked within arm’s reach of him, Jackson reached out a hand and grabbed my thigh, saying, “I like all of that right there!” and gave my thigh a tight squeeze.
I was shocked, to say the least. Even though Jackson had had his hand reached out, I had no idea that he would touch me in a sexual way.
The post included several photos of the encounter in which Young writes “don’t let the smile fool you. I’m cringing on the inside.” [Zero Hedge]
US Senate Candidate Roy Moore
Number of accusers: 9 women who were molested by Moore as teenagers, and two who were underage when the molestation occurred.
The Washington Post alleged Thursday that Moore initiated a sexual encounter with a 14-year-old girl when he was 32. Three other women also told The Post that Moore pursued them when they were between the ages of 16 and 18 and he was in his early 30s.
Moore approached Leigh Corfman while she was sitting outside a wooden bench with her mother, and offered to watch Corfman while her mother went inside for a child custody hearing, the Post reported. He was an assistant district attorney at the time.
“He said, ‘Oh, you don’t want her to go in there and hear all that. I’ll stay out here with her,’ “ Corfman’s mother, Nancy Wells, told The Post. “I thought, how nice for him to want to take care of my little girl.”
Moore asked Corfman for her number, called her a few days later, and then he picked her up around the corner from her house in Gadsden. He then drove her 30 minutes away to the woods, called her pretty and kissed her, the Post reports. During a second visit, Moore took off her shirt and pants and he removed his clothes. He touched her over her bra and underpants, she told the Post, and guided her hand to touch him over his underwear.
“I wanted it over with — I wanted out,” she told The Post. “Please just get this over with. Whatever this is, just get it over.”
Corfman then asked Moore to take her home, which he did, she recounted to the paper.
In a statement, Moore campaign chair Bill Armistead blasted the Post report.
“Judge Roy Moore has endured the most outlandish attacks on any candidate in the modern political arena, but this story in today’s Washington Post alleging sexual impropriety takes the cake. National liberal organizations know their chosen candidate Doug Jones is in a death spiral, and this is their last ditch Hail Mary,” Armistead said.
Moore told The Post: “These allegations are completely false and are a desperate political attack by the National Democrat Party and the Washington Post on this campaign.” [Washington Post]
UPDATE (9:24 PM EST 11/10/17): Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore declined Friday to rule out that he may have dated girls in their late teens when he was in his 30s, though he said he did not remember any such encounters and described such behavior as inappropriate.
“If I did, I’m not going to dispute these things, but I don’t remember anything like that,” Moore said on Sean Hannity’s radio program, when asked whether he had dated 17- or 18-year-old girls at the time.
In the same interview, Moore denied outright the claim of Leigh Corfman that he had initiated sexual encounters with her when she was 14. “I don’t know Ms. Corfman from anybody,” he said. “The allegations of sexual misconduct with her are completely false.”
Moore’s comments came as GOP leaders scrambled Friday to limit the political damage from the allegations. Two Republican senators — Steve Daines (Mont.) and Mike Lee (Utah) — withdrew their endorsements of Moore after his interview with Hannity. “Having read the detailed description of the incidents, as well as the response from Judge Moore and his campaign, I can no longer endorse his candidacy for the US Senate,” Lee wrote in a tweet.
In a tweet, Daines was more succinct: “I am pulling my endorsement and support for Roy Moore for U.S. Senate.” Daines also retweeted Lee’s statement.
Earlier in the day, the National Republican Senatorial Committee pulled out of a joint committee it had set up with Moore, depriving him of a fundraising vehicle for the final weeks of the campaign. At the same time, current and former national party leaders admitted that they have little power to force Moore from the race. The special election is Dec. 12. [Washington Post]
UPDATE 2 (6:36 PM 11/13/17): A fifth victim has come forward with her own harrowing story.
An Alabama woman on Monday accused Roy Moore, the state’s Republican nominee for U.S. Senate, of sexual assault, alleging that he attacked her behind the restaurant where she worked when she was 16 and he was 30.
Beverly Young Nelson, who will be 56 on Tuesday, is the fifth woman to accuse Moore of making romantic or sexual advances toward them when they were teenagers, and the first to allege assault. The previous accusations were made in The Washington Post last week.
Joined by attorney Gloria Allred, Nelson said that Moore, then deputy district attorney of Etowah County, Alabama, began flirting with her when she was 15. He was a regular at the Gadsden restaurant where she worked, she said, and he would often pull her long red hair as she walked by.
“Mr. Moore was an adult, he was much older than I was,” Nelson said. “I did nothing to encourage his flirtatious behavior. I was accustomed to men flirting with me.”
She added that she did not respond to any of Moore’s advances, because she had a boyfriend and was not interested in dating a much-older man.
But in December 1977, when she was 16, Nelson told reporters, Moore offered her a ride home after a late shift. But instead of driving her home, Nelson alleges that Moore parked his car in a dark spot behind the restaurant, locked her in and began groping her breasts. She said he attempted to force her head toward his crotch, causing bruising around her neck.
“I was terrified. He was also trying to pull my shirt off. I thought he was going to rape me. I was twisting, I was struggling, and I was begging him to stop,” she said. “At some point, he gave up. He then looked at me and he told me, he said, ‘You’re just a child,’ and he said, ‘I am the district attorney of Etowah County, and if you tell anyone about this, no one will ever believe you.’”
A week before the alleged assault, she said he asked to sign her yearbook. Nelson read the inscription to reporters: “‘To a sweeter, more beautiful girl, I could not say Merry Christmas. Christmas 1977. Love Roy Moore, Old Hickory House’…He signed it: Roy Moore, D.A.”
One of the women in The Washington Post report last week said that Moore had initiated unwanted sexual contact with her when she was 14 and he was 32. The Post also interviewed three other women who claim Moore had “pursued” them when they were 16 to 18 and he was in his early 30s.
Moore has called the accusations false and politically motivated. At an event in Alabama over the weekend, he said of the other accusers, “To think grown women would wait 40 years before a general election to bring charges is unbelievable.”
Nelson said Monday that she had been too scared of Moore, who served as the deputy district attorney for Etowah County from 1977 to 1982 before going to be elected twice to the state’s Supreme Court, to speak publicly sooner. She was inspired, she said, by the women who told their stories to the Post.
“My husband and I supported Donald Trump for president. This has nothing whatsoever to do with the Republicans and Democrats,” Nelson said. “This has everything to do with Mr. Moore’s sexual assault.” [NBC News]
UPDATE 3 (1:10 AM 11/17/17): Two more women allege sexual misconduct, bringing the total count to seven.
Gena Richardson says she was a high school senior working in the men’s department of Sears at the Gadsden Mall when a man approached her and introduced himself as Roy Moore.
“He said, ‘You can just call me Roy,’ ” says Richardson, who says this first encounter happened in the fall of 1977, just before or after her 18th birthday, as Moore, then a 30-year-old local attorney, was gaining a reputation for pursuing young women at the mall in Gadsden, Ala. His overtures caused one store manager to tell new hires to “watch out for this guy,” another young woman to complain to her supervisor and Richardson to eventually hide from him when he came in Sears, the women say.
Richardson says Moore — now a candidate for U.S. Senate — asked her where she went to school, and then for her phone number, which she says she declined to give, telling him that her father, a Southern Baptist preacher, would never approve.
A few days later, she says, she was in trigonometry class at Gadsden High when she was summoned to the principal’s office over the intercom in her classroom. She had a phone call.
“I said ‘Hello?’” Richardson recalls. “And the male on the other line said, ‘Gena, this is Roy Moore.’ I was like, ‘What?!’ He said, ‘What are you doing?’ I said, ‘I’m in trig class.’ ”
Richardson says Moore asked her out again on the call. A few days later, after he asked her out at Sears, she relented and agreed, feeling both nervous and flattered. They met that night at a movie theater in the mall after she got off work, a date that ended with Moore driving her to her car in a dark parking lot behind Sears and giving her what she called an unwanted, “forceful” kiss that left her scared.
“I never wanted to see him again,” says Richardson, who is now 58 and a community college teacher living in Birmingham. She describes herself as a moderate Republican and says she didn’t vote in the 2016 general election or in this year’s Republican Senate primary in Alabama.
Phyllis Smith, who was 18 when she began working at Brooks, a clothing store geared toward young women, said teenage girls counseled each other to “just make yourself scarce when Roy’s in here, he’s just here to bother you, don’t pay attention to him and he’ll go away.’ ”
The encounters described by the women occurred between 1977 and 1982, when Moore was single, in his early 30s and an attorney in Etowah County in northeastern Alabama. In October 1977, he was appointed deputy district attorney.
In all, The Post spoke to a dozen people who worked at the mall or hung out there as teenagers during the late ’70s and early ’80s and recall Moore as a frequent presence — a well-dressed man walking around alone, leaning on counters, spending enough time in the stores, especially on weekend nights, that some of the young women who worked there said they became uncomfortable.
Several of the women said they decided to share their accounts after reading a Post story last week in which four women said Moore pursued them as teenagers, including one who said she was 14 and Moore was 32 when he touched her sexually.
Since that story was published, another woman, Beverly Young Nelson, appearing with lawyer Gloria Allred, accused Moore of sexually assaulting her in his car when she was 16. A lawyer for Moore’s campaign held a news conference on Wednesday to dispute Nelson’s account, suggesting that a signature in her yearbook she said was Moore’s might have been forged. [Washington Post]
Former President Bill Clinton
Number of accusers: 12
Over the course of the past 48 years, Clinton has been repeatedly accused of serious criminal misconduct against women.
And yet, as news story after news story about the way powerful men like Harvey Weinstein have been behaving this way unchecked for longer than any of us want to admit flood Google and social media news feeds daily, barely a whisper is breathed within them about Clinton’s highly problematic past. In fact, when Clinton’s troubling past has been raised by Conservatives, even Liberals as profoundly outspoken on behalf of assault survivors as Teen Vogue’s Lauren Duca are somehow able to disassociate their beloved Bill’s behavior from that of men like Mark Halperin, Harvey Weinstein, Bill O’Reilly, Roy Price, Bill Cosby and Leon Wieseltier.
And so we ignore the fact at least a dozen women have reportedly accused Clinton of violent and predatory behavior that parallels that of Harvey Weinstein. And we ignore the fact that, as has been confirmed by Snopes, “a page on Hillary Clinton’s campaign website about campus sexual assault was edited to remove wording about a victim’s ‘right to be believed’ in February 2016, following a Twitter debacle in which Hillary was called out by one of Bill’s accusers, Juanita Broaddrick.
This list also does not address that flight logs tie Clinton to financier, convicted pedophile, and alleged sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein.
- Bill Clinton flew on Epstein’s private Boeing 727 — known as the “Lolita Express” — 26 times.
- On some of these flights, Clinton was accompanied by “a woman whom federal prosecutors suspect of procuring underage sex victims for Mr. Epstein.”
- On at least five of these flights, Clinton declined to have Secret Service protection.
While it bears repeating that he has never been convicted, here is a complete listing of the 12 women reported to have accused Bill Clinton of sexual misconduct.
President Donald Trump
Number of accusers: 24+
Seventeen women have accused Trump of sexual misconduct, claiming he touched them sexually without their consent — actions that fit the legal definition of sexual assault in most states. None of these women knew each other when they came forward, but they described similar acts, revealing a pattern of behavior that spans decades.
To put Trump’s history in perspective, while Bill Clinton was seducing a White House intern in 1996, Trump was at a New York City restaurant allegedly having women walk across a table, while looking up their skirts and commenting on their genitalia with model agent John Casablancas (who had brought five or six models along for Trump’s inspection). While special prosecutor Ken Starr was investigating Clinton for having sex in the Oval Office with that intern in 1997, Cathy Heller was attending a Mother’s Day brunch at Mar-a-Lago when she met Trump. She says he immediately kissed her on the lips and struggled with her when she pulled away. The same year, teen pageant contestants recall him wandering into their dressing rooms. As Clinton’s impeachment loomed in 1998, Trump allegedly touched the breast of Karena Virginia while she waited for a car outside the U.S. Open. “Don’t you know who I am? Don’t you know who I am?” she said he told her after she recoiled.
Beauty pageant contestants have accused Trump of going into their dressing rooms unannounced and uninvited in 1997, 2000 and 2001 while the women were in various stages of undress. Trump has not denied it. On the contrary, he bragged to Stern that he could “get away with things like that.” (Stern sniggered that he was “like a doctor.”) [Newsweek]
Number of accusers: 2
A rep for Westwick did not immediately respond to a request for comment from PEOPLE.
Wynn, whose stage name was Aurelie Marie Cao, claimed Westwick sexually assaulted her in July 2014.
“I said no and he pushed me face down and was powerless under his weight,” she wrote in a post shared on Facebook Wednesday.
“I was wearing a one piece bathing suit that he ripped, I was in complete shock,” Wynn wrote of the alleged incident at Westwick’s rental home.
Wynn also said she told her then-boyfriend Glee star Mark Salling — who recently plead guilty to child pornography possession — about the alleged incident. However, he blamed her and broke up with her, the actress said in her post.
A rep for Salling did not immediately respond to a request for comment from PEOPLE.
In addition, Wynn says that when she told her friends, they advised her to not tell anyone as she would be labeled “that girl” or seen as someone “trying to get my 10 seconds of fame.” [People]
Number of accusers: 2, the first who also accused director Brett Ratner of sexual misconduct.
The Beverly Hills Police Department investigated producers Brett Ratner and Russell Simmons for alleged sexual battery in 2001, according to the L.A. County District Attorney’s Office and the producers’ criminal defense attorney.
Prosecutors declined to press charges in the case, citing insufficient evidence.
The alleged victim has not been identified. According to police records, the 29-year-old woman came into the department to file a report at 4:45 a.m. on the morning of Nov. 3, 2001. She alleged that two men held her against her will and that both touched her unlawfully, according to police.
She contended that the incident occurred between 2 a.m. and 3 a.m. that morning at a home in the 1200 block of Benedict Canyon Drive. Ratner’s home, known as Hilhaven Lodge, is on the same block. [Variety]
UPDATE (7:23 PM EST 12/5/17): The second accuser, writer Jenny Lumet, accuses Simmons of sexual assault. After this accusation, Simmons leaves all of his companies.
I met you around 1987, through Rick Rubin, who has always been kind to me. Rick knew my sister through NYU and asked me, at the upstairs bar in a nightclub called the Palladium, to be in a movie you were producing that Rick was directing, starring RUN DMC. It was, frankly, a lousy movie, and I was terrible in it.
Over the next three or four years, I would see you out and about, at a nightclub called Nell’s mostly. I don’t recall you and I ever just going out to dinner, or having a one-to-one experience; we were always in groups, and we had many, many mutual friends. You were charming and funny and charismatic and self-deprecating. Not being in the music business made it possible for me to relax around you. And you were a fan of my grandmother, respected her, and told me so. You seemed sincere.
You pursued me, lightly, on and off, over a course of years, saying you had a thing for a “little yellow girl” (me). I rebuffed. It wasn’t deep, as far as I knew. It was never a big deal. You had, I assumed, many women in your orbit.
Once you sent me 250 balloons with the note “Please baby, please baby, baby, baby, baby” after a character in a Spike Lee movie. It was light, fun and flattering. We continued to socialize in the same places. We continued to have a large group of mutual friends.
One night circa 1991, when I was around 24, I was at a restaurant called Indochine. I had worked there when I was 17, as the coat check girl, and I enjoyed returning. I still knew some of the staff at this point and felt quite comfortable there. I remember I was wearing one of the Azzedine Alaia tops that were everywhere that year. And hoop earrings. I think it was cool enough for a jacket. Because I remember being glad I had a jacket by the end of that night.
You had a car and a driver that evening. Sometime later, you offered me a ride to my home. I said, “Sure.” During the making of the RUN DMC movie, I had been in vans with you and other crew members. I don’t recall having accepted a ride home alone with you before that night.
At no time that night did I say: “Russell, I will go home with you.” Or “Come home with me.” Or “I will have sex with you.” Or “I have the desire to have sex with you.”
I believe it was an SUV, because I recall having to step up into the car. I don’t know about makes or models. I think the driver was already in the car.
I got into the car with you. The driver began to drive. I assumed you knew where I lived, because you had sent me 250 balloons, but I gave the driver my address on 19th Street and 2nd Avenue.
You said to the driver: “No.”
I didn’t understand, so I said: “Russell?”
I said, again, to the driver: “19th Street.”
Again you said to the driver: “No.”
Then the car doors locked. It was loud. The noise made me jump.
I didn’t recognize you at that moment. It was disorienting. It was disorienting. I say it twice now because you said “No” twice then.
I couldn’t open the doors. I couldn’t open the windows. The car was moving. The driver did not stop. He did not take me to 19th Street. He took me to your apartment.
I didn’t try to kick the windows out. I didn’t punch or kick. I didn’t say, “What are you doing?” My voice left me after the second “No.”
I felt dread and disorientation. I wanted to go home. I said I wanted to go home. I didn’t recognize the man next to me. I didn’t know if the situation would turn violent. I remember thinking that I must be crazy. I remember hoping that the Russell I knew would return any moment.
The car stopped at the curb. I don’t recall the street. I recall the driver opening the door from the outside, and you behind me. I was between the two of you. Not wedged, just in the space between you. I remember exchanging a look with the driver. He was unreadable. It was chilly out. It was me and these two men.
I felt dread. I was tremulous. Off my feet. I felt an intense need to keep both of you calm. Was there a time or a space to run? I have no idea. Would somebody else have run? I have no idea. There were two men. One of whom obeyed the other. It was an overwhelming feeling.
There was no well-lit lobby or doorman at the entrance we used. I would guess it was not the main entrance to the building. I believe there was a door from street level that opened into a space beneath the residential area of the building, in which there was a small back elevator. If I am wrong about the layout, then I am wrong. There were two men, and I was afraid.
You didn’t punch me, drag me or verbally threaten me. You used your size to maneuver me, quickly, into the elevator. I said, “Wait. Wait.” I felt dread. I was very, very sad. I didn’t know if the driver was a further threat, or an ally. I was both relieved and terrified when he did not get into the elevator. Alone in the elevator, you pressed me into the corner with your body, your hands and your mouth.
The elevator did not stop on the way up to your apartment. I was moved very quickly inside. I recall hearing the apartment door closing behind us.
I saw no one else. I recall you were behind me. I was still hoping the Russell I knew would reappear, as I could not recognize the man moving me deeper into the apartment — the man who had said “No” to his driver. Twice.
You moved me into a bedroom. I said, “Wait.” You said nothing.
I made the trade in my mind. I thought, “Just keep him calm, and you’ll get home.” Maybe another person would have thought differently, or not made the trade.
It was dark but not pitch-dark. You closed the door.
At that point, I simply did what I was told.
There was penetration. At one point you were only semi-erect and appeared frustrated. Angry? I remember being afraid that you would deem that my fault and become violent. I did not know if you were angry, but I was afraid that you were.
I desperately wanted to keep the situation from escalating. I wanted you to feel that I was not going to be difficult. I wanted to stay as contained as I could.
You told me to turn over on my stomach. You said something about a part of my body. You did not ejaculate inside me.
When it was over, I got my clothes and quickly went down in the elevator by myself. You didn’t try to stop me. I went home in a taxi. I was grateful to be secure in my home. I never told anyone this story until October 27 of this year (after the Harvey Weinstein story was in the news but weeks before the first public claims were made against you), when I told a girlfriend from childhood.
“Abusing women in any way, shape or form violates the very core of my being.” — Russell Simmons
We encountered each other socially many times after that night. We had a score of mutual friends. We may have been photographed proximately, or together. The dynamic between us was different, muted. I never sought you out, nor did I run from a place or event upon seeing you. I feel confident in saying we nodded at each other, said hello. I strove for an affect of normalcy. And I never said anything to you about that night. You have never said anything to me.
Specifically, we saw each other at the Vanity Fair Party after the Academy Awards in 2005, the year my father won the Lifetime Achievement Award. I saw you again at the NAACP Image Awards, briefly, in 2009. I believe you were there with your daughters. We both accepted awards that night. I encountered you at a party in Los Angeles before the 2011 Academy Awards, during which there was a planned tribute to my grandmother, who had just passed away. These were events that were supposed to be happy, and they were tainted.
I don’t recall ever meeting any of the women who have spoken out against you, Russell. But I can’t leave those women twisting in the wind. Maybe the recalling of this incident can be helpful. I don’t know if it can.
I have built a life in the past 25 years and a reputation in my industry. I need no one to have this visualization of me. I will, like the others, lose work because of this. I realize how privileged I am to be able to risk that. I have children. I’m aware that every mistake, act of thoughtlessness, hypocrisy or cruelty I’ve committed in my 50 years will be excavated, and they’ll see all of it.
There is so much guilt, and so much shame. There is an excruciating internal reckoning. As a woman of color, I cannot express how wrenching it is to write this about a successful man of color. Again, shame about who I was years ago, choices made years ago. In this very moment, I feel a pang to protect your daughters. I don’t think you are inclined to protect mine.
In response to this article, Simmons responded that he is stepping down from his various businesses to “commit myself to continuing my personal growth, spiritual learning and above all to listening.” His full statement is below. [The Hollywood Reporter]
I have been informed with great anguish of Jenny Lumet’s recollection about our night together in 1991. I know Jenny and her family and have seen her several times over the years since the evening she described. While her memory of that evening is very different from mine, it is now clear to me that her feelings of fear and intimidation are real. While I have never been violent, I have been thoughtless and insensitive in some of my relationships over many decades, and I sincerely apologize.
This is a time of great transition. The voices of the voiceless, those who have been hurt or shamed, deserve and need to be heard. As the corridors of power inevitably make way for a new generation, I don’t want to be a distraction, so I am removing myself from the businesses that I founded. The companies will now be run by a new and diverse generation of extraordinary executives who are moving the culture and consciousness forward. I will convert the studio for yogic science into a not-for-profit center of learning and healing. As for me, I will step aside and commit myself to continuing my personal growth, spiritual learning and above all to listening.
Number of accusers: 1
Matthew Weiner, creator and writer of the hit series “Mad Men,” is being accused of sexual harassment by his former assistant and writer, Kater Gordon.
Gordon told The Information on Thursday that during her time on the show, where she was Weiner’s personal assistant and later promoted to a staff writer, the show runner demanded to see her naked. Weiner often encouraged Gordon to pitch her own ideas, she said, and had offered her a chance to co-write one of the season finales when he came on to her.
“He told me that I owed it to him to let him see me naked,” Gordon told The Information.
At the time, Gordon said, she brushed the comment off and kept working, but felt threatened and demeaned. She felt that speaking out would ruin her career and her chance at a valuable credit on the season finale, she said, so she stayed silent aside from telling a colleague.
“I thought, ‘I can’t do anything to jeopardize,’” Gordon told The Information. “I need this credit. I saw no value to speaking out. So, I did what I thought women were supposed to do.”
The episode Weiner and Gordon co-wrote, “Meditations In An Emergency,” went on to win an Emmy. Weeks after, Weiner called Gordon to let her know he wouldn’t be bringing her on for another season.
Rumors began to fly online, detailed on Gawker, about whether an unprofessional relationship between the two caused the sudden departure of the Emmy-winning writer. Gordon gave a comment denying the rumors, and stopped working in television. [The Information]
Number of accusers: 1
Unfortunately, Richard Dreyfuss is back in the news, this time with allegations of sexual harassment leveled against him by L.A. writer Jessica Teich. In an interview with Vulture, Teich explains her confusion seeing Dreyfuss come forward against sexual assault when he allegedly harassed her for years.
“When I read about his support for his son, which I would never question, I remember thinking, ‘But wait a minute, this guy harassed me for months.’ He was in a position of so much power over me, and I didn’t feel I could tell anyone about it. It just seemed so hypocritical.”
Teich detailed the harassment she had to deal with while working with Dreyfuss on an ABC comedy special in the 1980s, while she was in mid-twenties, and Dreyfuss over a decade her senior. In a story that is now uncomfortably familiar, Teich alleges that Dreyfuss exposed himself to her without her consent.
“I remember walking up the steps into the trailer and turning towards my left and he was at the back of the trailer, and just — his penis was out, and he sort of tried to draw me close to it. He was hard. I remember my face being brought close to his penis. I can’t remember how my face got close to his penis, but I do remember that the idea was that I was going to give him a blow job. I didn’t, and I left.
It was like an out-of-body experience. I just tried to swiftly get out of the room. I pretended it hadn’t really happened. I kept moving because it was part of my job, and I knew he was, at the time, a very important guy, and certainly important to me. I trusted him. That’s what’s always so weird. I liked him. That’s part of why it’s so painful, because of the level of innocence one brings to these things. I felt responsible, that I must have indicated in some way that I was available for this.”
According to Teich, this was not an isolated incident, with Dreyfuss continuing to harass her, leaving “love notes,” telling her that he “wanted to f*ck her,” and trying to kiss her in business settings.
Following Teich’s interview, Dreyfuss was quick to issue a statement, saying:
I value and respect women, and I value and respect honesty. So I want to try to tell you the complicated truth. At the height of my fame in the late 1970s I became an asshole–the kind of performative masculine man my father had modeled for me to be. I lived by the motto, “If you don’t flirt, you die.” And flirt I did. I flirted with all women, be they actresses, producers, or 80-year-old grandmothers. I even flirted with those who were out of bounds, like the wives of some of my best friends, which especially revolts me. I disrespected myself, and I disrespected them, and ignored my own ethics, which I regret more deeply than I can express. During those years I was swept up in a world of celebrity and drugs — which are not excuses, just truths. Since then I have had to redefine what it means to be a man, and an ethical man. I think every man on Earth has or will have to grapple with this question. But I am not an assaulter.
I emphatically deny ever “exposing” myself to Jessica Teich, whom I have considered a friend for 30 years. I did flirt with her, and I remember trying to kiss Jessica as part of what I thought was a consensual seduction ritual that went on and on for many years. I am horrified and bewildered to discover that it wasn’t consensual. I didn’t get it. It makes me reassess every relationship I have ever thought was playful and mutual.
There is a sea-change happening right now, which we can look upon as a problem or an opportunity. We all of us are awakening to the reality that how men have behaved toward women for eons is not OK. The rules are changing invisibly underneath our feet. I am playing catch up. Maybe we all are.
I hope people can join me in honestly looking at our behavior and trying to make it right. We have to relearn every rule we thought we knew about how men and women interact, because after all getting together is the most fundamental human compulsion. And if we don’t succeed in that, what do we have? I hope this is the beginning of a larger conversation we can have as a culture.
When asked about Dreyfuss’s statement, Teich explained that “‘Flirt’ is absolutely not the right word. It suggests something mutual, and that was not the case.” You can read the entire interview here.
Number of accusers: 1
Accuser Scott R. Brunton says he was groped by the ‘Star Trek’ icon at the actor’s Los Angeles condo.
A former model and actor is accusing Star Trek icon George Takei of sexual assault in 1981. The accuser, Scott R. Brunton, who was 23 at the time of the alleged incident, claims that Takei took advantage of him when he was most vulnerable.
“This happened a long time ago, but I have never forgotten it,” Brunton tells The Hollywood Reporter in an interview. “It is one of those stories you tell with a group of people when people are recounting bizarre instances in their lives, this always comes up. I have been telling it for years, but I am suddenly very nervous telling it.”
Brunton says he was living in Hollywood in 1981, working as a waiter and beginning a career as a commercial actor and model when he met a 43- or 44-year-old Takei one evening at Greg’s Blue Dot bar. The men exchanged numbers and would call one another from time to time as well as run into each other at clubs, Brunton says. When Brunton broke up with his then-boyfriend, he spoke with Takei. “He said, ‘Let me know what your new number is’ and I did. And not long after we broke up and I moved out, George called me,” Brunton recalls.
Takei, as Brunton tells it, invited him to dinner and the theater. “He was very good at consoling me and understanding that I was upset and still in love with my boyfriend,” Brunton says. “He was a great ear. He was very good about me spilling my heart on my sleeve.”
The two men went back to the actor’s condo for a drink the same night. “We have the drink and he asks if I would like another,” Brunton recalls. “And I said sure. So, I have the second one, and then all of a sudden, I begin feeling very disoriented and dizzy, and I thought I was going to pass out. I said I need to sit down and he said sit over here and he had the giant yellow beanbag chair. So I sat down in that and leaned my head back and I must have passed out.”
“The next thing I remember I was coming to and he had my pants down around my ankles and he was groping my crotch and trying to get my underwear off and feeling me up at the same time, trying to get his hands down my underwear,” Brunton says. “I came to and said, ‘What are you doing?!’ I said, ‘I don’t want to do this.’ He goes, ‘You need to relax. I am just trying to make you comfortable. Get comfortable.’ And I said, ‘No. I don’t want to do this.’ And I pushed him off and he said, ‘OK, fine.’ And I said I am going to go and he said, ‘If you feel you must. You’re in no condition to drive.’ I said, ‘I don’t care I want to go.’ So I managed to get my pants up and compose myself and I was just shocked. I walked out and went to my car until I felt well enough to drive home, and that was that.”
THR spoke to four longtime friends of Brunton — Norah Roadman, Rob Donovan, Stephen Blackshear and Jan Steward — who said that he had confided in them about the Takei encounter years ago.
Takei’s rep, Julia Buchwald, tells THR, “George is traveling in Japan and Australia and not reachable for comment.” Takei, now 80, rose to fame playing Hikaru Sulu on the original Star Trek television series. He is also an author and activist and has been an outspoken advocate for LGBTQ rights.
Brunton claims that he met up with Takei years after the incident in Portland, Brunton’s current home, while the actor was there on a book tour. “I wanted to see him,” Brunton says. “I always wanted to ask him — I just felt really betrayed. I thought I was a friend and here I am later, just another piece of meat. So I called him up at the hotel — I figured out which hotel he was at — and he said ‘Hi, Scott. I remember you.’ I wanted to ask him why. We met for coffee, and I just couldn’t bring myself to do it. It was just too uncomfortable.”
Brunton says he considered going to the media with the story for years, but he assumed no one would take him seriously. “Who’s going to believe me? It’s my word against his,” he says.
Brunton’s reasoning changed after the Harvey Weinstein scandal, and specifically when Takei spoke out regarding allegations leveled against Kevin Spacey.
On Oct. 29, Anthony Rapp, an actor starring in the latest Star Trek series, claimed to BuzzFeed News that Spacey sexually assaulted him while he was a minor in 1986. Spacey later apologized and came out as gay in response. “When power is used in a non-consensual situation, it is a wrong,” Takei said of the Spacey claim in a statement to THR on Oct. 30. “For Anthony Rapp, he has had to live with the memory of this experience of decades ago. For Kevin Spacey, who claims not to remember the incident, he was the older, dominant one who had his way. Men who improperly harass or assault do not do so because they are gay or straight — that is a deflection. They do so because they have the power, and they chose to abuse it.”
Brunton says he found Takei’s response infuriating. “I don’t want anything from him but an apology,” he says. “I am sure he’ll disown all this, I don’t know, maybe not.” [The Hollywood Reporter]
Number of accusers: 3
Actor Anthony Edwards accused writer/producer Gary Goddard of molesting him in an essay that was published on Medium Friday.
Edwards says he first met Goddard when he was 12, at the beginning of his acting career, which included roles in films like 1982’s Fast Times at Ridgemont High and 1984’s Revenge of the Nerds. He is best known for the 1986 film Top Gun and the NBC medical drama ER, in which he played Dr. Mark Greene from 1994 to 2008.
The actor, now 55, said Goddard, 63, taught him “the value of acting,” and served as a leader for Edwards’ group of friends. Edwards says Goddard also used the void of his emotionally unavailable father to manipulate him.
“Everyone has the need to bond, and I was no exception,” said Edwards. “My vulnerability was exploited. I was molested by Goddard, my best friend was raped by him — and this went on for years. The group of us, the gang, stayed quiet.”
Goddard directed the 1987 live-action He-Man film Masters of the Universe. He later founded the Goddard Group, an entertainment design firm. It produced 2009’s Tony Award-winning revival of the musical Hair as well as several theme-park attractions for Universal Studios and Six Flags. [USA Today]
UPDATE (11:17 PM EDT 11/21/17): A second accuser comes forward with more accusations of molestation against Goddard.
In his own Medium post Friday, entitled “Anthony Edwards is Telling the Truth,” former actor Bret Douglas Nighman, 56, said that when he was 15 while on a touring theater production directed by Goddard, he was in a nearby bed when the older man molested Edwards.
“I lay in my bed with my heart pounding and listened as one of my best friends who I loved get sexually molested,” Nighman wrote.
Goddard is a longtime Hollywood director, producer and screenwriter and the founder of the Goddard Group, a company that designs attractions for theme parks and hotels. He directed 1987’s “Masters of the Universe,” and his most recent significant credit is as a director of “Broadway 4D,” a long-stalled musical film starring Hugh Jackman and Christina Aguilera.
Goddard had previously issued a statement denying Edwards’ allegation. In a statement Sunday, Goddard’s publicist Sam Singer said that Nighman’s new allegations were “equally false.”
“While it is true that Mr. Nighman appeared in two productions that were directed by Mr. Goddard, his allegations of sexual advances are false,” the statement read. “It is equally disturbing that both individuals maintained personal and professional relationships with Mr. Goddard well into adulthood, and now, out of the blue, are making false, disparaging and defamatory statements.”
“During these emotionally charged times, it is virtually impossible to rebut and properly defend oneself from allegations that are 40 years old and in which any accusation — no matter how spurious and defamatory — is reported as ‘news,’” the statement continued. “It is disheartening and wrong for people to make such claims through personal posts on the internet when the accused have no reasonable method to demonstrate the allegations are concocted and possess no manner in which to correct the fabrications and falsehoods.”
Edwards has declined to be interviewed to elaborate on his allegations against Goddard.
It’s not the first time Goddard has been accused of sexual abuse of minors. Goddard and “X-Men” director and producer Bryan Singer were among the targets of federal lawsuits in 2014 accusing them of sexually abusing underage boys. The lawsuits were voluntarily dismissed, and attorneys for Michael Egan, who was one of the plaintiffs, apologized to two other defendants for including them in the litigation.
Sam Singer called the civil allegations “completely fabricated.”
Bryan Singer has previously derided the legal claims as a “sick, twisted shakedown,” and on Sunday his attorney maintained that the lawsuits were baseless.
Bryan Singer was a producer and consultant for Goddard’s film “Broadway 4D.” His attorney, Andrew Brettler, said that the project “has been dead for four years.” He said Singer would have no comment on the latest allegations against Goddard.
In his statement on Medium and an interview with The Times, Nighman — who is now an administrator at UCLA, where he manages several academic departments — alleged encounters with sexual abuse at the hands of Goddard when he was 15 and 16 years old.
Nighman said that he became friends with Edwards as a 13-year-old in theater class at Santa Barbara Junior High School, and that two years later they were touring California together in a Goddard-directed production of “Peter Pan.”
“One night while on tour I awoke to find Goddard trying to get into my bed, under my covers and into my underwear,” Nighman wrote on Medium. He said he managed to push away Goddard, who then went to Edwards’ bed.
“I thought that Tony would fight him off too,” wrote Nighman, adding that he felt he “betrayed” his friend by allowing him to be molested by Goddard.
Nighman alleged three other sexual run-ins with Goddard. He said that after a show in San Diego, Goddard grabbed him and kissed him, “plunging his tongue” into Nighman’s mouth. Nighman said that Goddard attempted to molest him in his car following a rehearsal, and at another time groped him when he slept over at his home in Los Angeles.
He said in an interview that he was motivated to speak out publicly after Goddard denied Edwards’ allegations. “We need to not let Tony hang out there in the wind with Gary Goddard denying the abuse when we all know it’s true,” Nighman said. “Hopefully person after person will tell their story, and it’s a house of cards.” [Los Angeles Times]
Number of allegations: 19+
Andrew Kreisberg, the executive Producer, showrunner, and co-developer behind The CW’s biggest DC Comics television series, including Arrow, Supergirl, and The Flash, has been suspended after several allegations of sexual harassment were brought to light at Warner Bros. TV Group. At least fifteen women and four men, all who have all worked with Kreisberg over the years, detailed the alleged harassment to Variety, all describing similar instances that included frequently touching without permission, asking for massages, and kissing women without consent. Variety adds that their sources described a “constant stream of sexualized comments about women’s appearances, their clothes, and their perceived desirability.”
Kreisberg responded to the allegations in a statement to Variety, denying that his actions were sexualized or meant to be harassment:
“I have made comments on women’s appearances and clothes in my capacity as an executive producer, but they were not sexualized. Like many people, I have given someone a non-sexual hug or kiss on the cheek.” He denies that any inappropriate touching or massages occurred…
“I have proudly mentored both male and female colleagues for many years. But never in what I believe to be an unwanted way and certainly never in a sexual way”
Many who commented claimed that Kreisberg’s alleged behavior made work “unsafe” and that he “scared people” with his actions. And the allegations were enough to prompt Warner Bros. to suspend him while they conducted an investigation into the claims:
“We have recently been made aware of allegations of misconduct against Andrew Kreisberg,” said Warner Bros. TV Group in a statement to Variety. “We have suspended Mr. Kreisberg and are conducting an internal investigation. We take all allegations of misconduct extremely seriously, and are committed to creating a safe working environment for our employees and everyone involved in our productions.”
Berlanti Productions also released a statement on the allegations and suspension, standing by the cast and crew on the shows under Kreisberg’s guidance to guarantee their safety:
“We were recently made aware of some deeply troubling allegations regarding one of our showrunners,” said Greg Berlanti and Sarah Schechter, who head Berlanti Productions which oversee Kreisberg’s shows. “We have been encouraging and fully cooperating with the investigation into this by Warner Bros. There is nothing more important to us than the safety and well-being of our cast, crew, writers, producers and any staff. We do not tolerate harassment and are committed to doing everything we can to make an environment that’s safe to work in and safe to speak up about if it isn’t.”
The specific allegations against Kreisberg are fairly disturbing at points, with most describing an environment where they were forced to walk on egg shells, “dressing as plainly as they could,” and watching their words to avoid any unwanted innuendos. Kreisberg defends most of the allegations by saying they were “for research” and actions used to act out what was needed for production.
(Via Variety / Deadline)
Number of accusers: 1 known, others unknown.
Brand New frontman Jesse Lacey is the latest public figure that stands accused of sexual misconduct. The accusations stem from a public Facebook post that asked why people hadn’t begun to group Lacey with the wave of sexual predators that have recently been outed.
The comments on the post hold many who agree with the sentiment, leaving knowing replies without actually making concrete allegations. But one woman, Nicole Elizabeth Garey, left a series of comments that specifically accuse Lacey of soliciting nudes when she was still a minor, along with masturbating in front of her via Skype. We reached out to Garey and are reporting her comments with her consent.
Garey made the following comments on the thread:
“YES. He solicited nudes from me starting when I was 15 and he was 24. Manipulated the hell out of me, demanded specific poses/settings/clothing, demeaned me, and made it clear that my sexuality was the only thing I had to offer. He knew what he was doing was sh*tty so he wouldn’t touch me until I was 19. I should’ve known better by then, but he had screwed me up so much psychologically that all I wanted was his approval. It fucked me up to the point that I STILL have nightmares and wakeup in a sweat. I still breakdown and have panic attacks when people play Brand New in a bar. JESSE LACEY IS A PIECE OF SH*T”
OH AND YES HE MADE ME WATCH HIM MASTURBATE ON SKYPE. Apparently that’s a common thing with sexual predators. I took screen shots at some point, they’re probably on a computer in my basement if I ever really wanted to rehash my past that much (I don’t think I do).
We reached out to Jesse Lacey’s team for comment, but have not received a reply at this time. You can view the full thread on this Facebook page. [Uproxx]
Since Lacey posted his apology, additional women have come forward with similar accusations in the comments of the post. [Rolling Stone]
Number of accusers: 4
Three more women have come forward to say Hollywood manager and “Atomic Blonde” producer David Guillod raped them, including an assistant at his former management company who said he took her from her bed at a 2014 company retreat and raped her.
The other two women said he drugged and raped them at his home in 2015 — and that they woke up covered in blood.
Guillod denies all of the accusations. The new accusers, who do not wish to be identified, join “Ted” actress Jessica Barth, whose public accusation that Guillod drugged and sexually assaulted her in 2012 sparked his recent resignation from Primary Wave Entertainment, his management company.
TheWrap spoke to the two women who made the 2015 accusation, but the former assistant from 2014 did not respond to numerous requests for comment. She received a $60,000 settlement and signed a nondisclosure agreement to leave the company soon after the retreat, according to multiple individuals familiar with the situation. [The Wrap]
Number of accusers: 1
Sordid Lives star Jason Dottley, who says Anthony Rapp’s accusations against Kevin Spacey inspired him to come out, is sharing his story with The Advocate after hiding his “shameful secret” for nearly 10 years.
Dottley alleges that renowned TV and music manager Benny Medina attempted to rape him at his Los Angeles mansion after meeting Dottley and his friend, fellow actor T. Ashanti Mozelle, at a bar in West Hollywood.
Medina’s attorneys responded on Saturday, releasing a statement to The Advocate saying their client, “categorically denies the allegation of attempted rape.”
Medina is best known for managing the careers of several A-list stars like Jennifer Lopez, Mariah Carey, and Will Smith, as well as executive-producing the 1990s hit The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air (based on his life), The Fosters, and Shades of Blue. His other credits include Maid in Manhattan, The Boy Next Door, and the upcoming production of NBC’s Bye Bye Birdie Live!
According to Dottley, he met Medina on the day the alleged incident occurred, around late December 2008, when he and Mozelle were at the Abbey in West Hollywood. Medina approached them and started making conversation, ultimately inviting them to his house.
At the time, Dottley was a recognizable face in LGBT circles, as he was starring starring in Sordid Lives: The Series on Logo TV. So when Medina, who at this time was an executive consultant on The Tyra Banks Show, invited the two actors over to his house, Dottley says they jumped at the opportunity to network.
Dottley says he assumed Medina was trying to “hook up” with Mozelle, so he tagged along assuming that eventually Medina and Mozelle would get together and Dottley would be available to give Mozelle a ride home. Dottley was married to TV writer and playwright Del Shores (Queer as Folk, Sordid Lives) at the time and wore his wedding ring openly.
“We all exchange numbers in case we got lost getting to his house, and he gave us his address,” Dottley tells The Advocate. “We drive up there and he welcomes us in and he says, ‘Do you want a tour of the house…?’ And we’re like, ‘Yes, please.’ He brings us out to his beautiful swimming pool … my friend [Mozelle] says, ‘I think I’m going to take a little dip,’ so he undresses down to his underwear. And I’m thinking to myself, He’s trying to get it, he’s trying to get it…”
Still assuming that Medina was eyeing Mozelle instead of him, Dottley says Medina led him into the living room, where he showed off photos of himself with numerous celebrities. Soon after, Dottley was led to a bedroom door.
“There was no ‘Do you want to see my bedroom?’ We literally got to the door and he grabbed me by the chest of my shirt and threw me onto his bed. Now I’m 6 foot tall and was 155 pounds, and this is a stocky strong man,” he says, then adds, “We all have these things playing in our heads of what would we ever do if someone ever tried to do something, and none of my preplanned motions would work.”
After throwing him on the bed, Medina “stuck his tongue down my mouth,” Dottley alleges. “Stop. I’m married. What are you doing?” he recalls asking while pointing to his wedding ring.
Dottley says that as he resisted, Medina became more aggressive. “I’m having you,” Medina allegedly demanded before placing his forearm over Dottley’s neck, pinning him to the mattress while forcefully placing his thighs over Dottley’s legs to keep them from squirming.
At this point, Dottley remembers, he started to cry and beg Medina to stop. But the mogul allegedly wouldn’t stop and kept repeating, “I’m having you! Oh, I will have you…”
“His forearm was bearing down on my neck so hard that I don’t know how much longer I would have remained conscious,” says Dottley. Throughout the ordeal Medina kept pulling on Dottley’s pants while continuing to pin him against the mattress, according to Dottley. He says he doesn’t have a clear memory of Medina successfully opening his pants or touching his genitals.
While it’s unclear how long the struggle lasted, it was long enough for Mozelle to get worried. “When I went to the pool … Jason and Benny continued walking around the house,” Mozelle says. “It could have been intuition or whatever, but I randomly decided to get out of the pool to finish touring and I walked into [Medina’s] room, and he was on top of Jason.”
“[Mozelle] burst in the room and screamed something like, ‘Get off him!’ I don’t remember [exactly] what he said, but whatever he said worked,” Dottley tells The Advocate. “Benny Medina got off of me and grabbed me again by the chest of my shirt and threw me at — not to, but at — his bedroom door and all he said was ‘You two get the fuck out of here.’”
The two ran out of Medina’s home and hardly spoke about the incident on the way home. “[Dottley] was visibly shook,” Mozelle remembers. “I could see that he was shaken … whatever happened, it was enough to make him uncomfortable, and that was my main concern.”
A few days later, Medina reappeared, according to Dottley, when he sent a threatening text message.
“I get a text message as [Shores] and I were walking down Robertson Boulevard. … I check it and it says something like: ‘Hey, I’m at The Ivy eating. Just saw you walking across the street. Is that the husband I have to have killed to have you?’”
At the time, Shores didn’t know the attempted rape took place, so Dottley had to secretly text Medina back to tell him he was a “disgusting, horrible person and to not ever text me again.”
Even now, Dottley says he has told very few people about the incident out of fear of retaliation. He admits he never told his ex-husband because he was scared Shores “would want to do something, and we both worked in TV and I was petrified because what proof do I have that this happened besides the fact that my friend saw it? And how does that even matter? What are we going to do? So I didn’t tell him.”
When The Advocate reached Shores for a comment, it was the first time he’d heard of the incident. “This is news to me,” he says. “During our marriage and after our divorce, nothing was told to me about this incident.”
One of the few people Dottley did confide in was his manager, Renee Bailey, who says she first heard of the incident when she signed Dottley in April 2016.
“I had asked him to provide me a list of anybody you don’t want to work with and who you really want to work with,” Bailey recounts saying to Dottley. “At that time he told me Benny Medina, and he was really adamant about it. He wanted to make sure he didn’t go into any castings or meetings. He didn’t want to be associated. When I asked him why, he said ‘because he attempted to rape me.’”
Bailey confirmed with The Advocate that her agency, the Bailey Agency, has had Medina’s name on Dottley’s “no work” list since the beginning of their relationship due to safety concerns.
Other friends Dottley chose to share his story with told The Advocate that even years after the incident occurred, it’s hard for him to share details.
Jeffery Morris, an actor and close friend of Dottley’s, says, “We’ve talked about it several times, [but] not in express detail,” adding, “He [gets] very upset.”
Ben Lafleur, executive producer of Dottley’s one-man show Life on the Gay-List 2: All The Sordid Details, confirmed Dottley had shared the allegations, though he admits he still hasn’t heard explicit details.
“[Dottley] started talking about this high-level executive Benny Medina, and he said, ‘He sexually assaulted me,’” Lefleur recalls of the first time Dottley mentioned the incident to him. “He said it happened a while back and one of his friends intervened. And I could kind of tell when he was telling me [that] he was getting emotional and I didn’t want him to go into any details about it. I just kind of stopped him right there because he was getting emotional.”
“He took a part of me away that I didn’t even know I had, which is faith in humanity,” says Dottley, “because here’s a revered person that seemed so nice and at the end of the day he was using power to prey on young vulnerable looking guys and I happened to be his pick for that night. … You have to do this a lot to be confident enough that you can send a text like that, like, that’s not a first-timer,” adding, “I think because he produces a lot of television and has hands in tons of pies, that’s prevented more people from coming forward.”
“For the record, I don’t plan on suing for money,” he affirms. “What I want is the truth exposed about these people so that they cannot continue to prey on people like they do. Hopefully, if enough of us continue to speak out and name names, I would hope the next time one of these power predators will think long and hard before he attempts that on somebody else because he’ll always think, I wonder if this one’s going to talk too.”
Like the majority of sexual assault victims, Dottley says he chose not to go to the police after the incident “for the same reason I didn’t go public.” And he wouldn’t be alone. According to the National Sexual Violence Resource Center, 63 percent of sexual assaults are not reported to law enforcement.
“I was emasculated, I was humiliated, and at that time, no one was coming forward and I was afraid if I went to the police or the press that Benny Medina was powerful enough to ruin both my career and my ex-husband’s,” Dottley said. “I also had stepchildren at the time and their safety came into question as well. … All of the tactics used by power predators worked on me because the end result was extreme fear of retaliation if I came forward in any way.” He adds, “[Medina] sexually assaulted and attempted to rape me while choking me. Add in a threatening text a few days later and hopefully anyone can understand just how scared of this man I was. I always thought I would be telling my autobiography long after he was dead. I found the strength through the other [victims] who’ve come before.”
Dottley says he and Medina have had zero contact since the day of the alleged text message, which Dottley says he no longer has saved in his phone.
The Advocate has made several attempts to reach Medina for comment about Dottley’s claims, with calls to the Medina Company on November 2, 3, and 8. Three messages were left on voice mail and one was left with a receptionist who answered the phone.
The Advocate also spoke directly to attorney David B. Feldman, who represented Medina on several occasions. Feldman had no comment on the matter but said he would pass along the information.
Additional calls were made to Medina’s house and cell phone. A message was left on his voice mail, with no reply as of publication.
Medina’s most famous client remains Lopez, who at one point in 2003 tried to distance herself from Medina by firing him, then filing a complaint with California’s labor commission, alleging he illegally contracted work on her behalf and misappropriated over $100,000. The two ended up working the matter out and eventually became partners again.
An employment lawsuit against Lopez by her former personal driver, Hakob Manoukian, claimed Medina humiliated him, continually bullied him for the way he dressed, and made fun of him for not speaking English well enough. Manoukian, who is from Iraq, was met with a counter-lawsuit from Lopez for $20 million, which was later dismissed by a Los Angeles judge in 2012. The driver’s original suit ended in an out-of-court settlement in February 2013.
Since the 1980s, Medina has been a powerhouse in the TV and music industry. Medina helped to navigate the rising TV careers of Tyra Banks as well as Sean “P. Diddy” Combs’s lifestyle brand Sean John in the 2000s. At various points, Medina also managed Brandy and Usher, along with Carey, Lopez, and Smith. [The Advocate]
Number of accusers: 7
Two different women recounted similar stories in which Mondanile asked them to show him to the bathroom, where he then forced himself onto them. In one of the incidents, Mondanile ended up taking a 19-year-old woman whom he met at Brooklyn venue Baby’s All Right from NYC to his family’s house in New Jersey — despite saying he was taking her to his Brooklyn apartment and her repeated requests to be taken home — and continued to molest her there. “I was afraid, and the entire night I was trying to stay awake,” the accuser said. “It was five in the morning, and he kept trying to move closer to me, and I was moving away. The best way I could describe it was that he was like a dog, dry-humping me.”
Another allegation in the article came from a former college bandmate of Mondanile’s, who told Cush that “she awoke in the middle of the night to find that Mondanile had entered the building, walked up to her third-floor dorm room, gotten into bed with her, and begun groping her while she slept.” She continued, “He would say, ‘I just took a Viagra, I can’t help myself. He basically molested me in my sleep.” Two more women recounted similar experiences of being sexually assaulted while they slept.
The earliest allegations are from 12 years ago, 11 years before Mondanile’s dismissal from Real Estate. The article and a few of those interviewed in it described Mondanile’s behavior as an “open secret,” but the band said in its official statement that “Mondanile was fired in February 2016 when allegations of unacceptable treatment of women were brought to our attention.”
You can read the entire article here.
The Gaslight Killer
Number of accusers: 2
Producer/DJ The Gaslamp Killer, legally known as William Benjamin Bensussen, has been accused of drugging and raping two women. In a statement posted by Twitter user @chelseaelaynne on Thursday night, she accused Bensussen of drugging and then raping her and a friend while they were incapacitated.
The accuser claims the rape occurred when she and her friend RaeAn were at the Standard Hotel in Los Angeles on July 5th, 2013. In a separate tweet, Chelsea says she wanted to tag Bensussen on the initial post, but noticed he has her blocked, which she considers “the clearest admission of his guilt.” Later on, she posted a screenshot of an alleged direct message from Bensussen reaching out to one of her friends.
“I’ve been suppressing my rape for 4 years and I’m finally ready to come forward to help myself heal and to prevent it from happening to other women in the future,” Chelsea writes. “The Gaslamp Killer drugged my best friend and myself at a party at the Standard Hotel, had non-consensual sex with both of us while we were completely incapacitated, and then dumped us back in front of the Standard after it happened. I was only 20 years old at the time.”
“On July 5th, 2013, my friend RaeAn and I were at the Standard and Gaslamp Killer started chatting with us,” she continues. “He recognized RaeAn, they had met the week prior at Desert Daze Festival. We went to the bathroom together, came back, and GLK handed us two drinks. That’s the last clear memory I have, and that was our first drink of the day. After that, everything is pitch black except for a few sharp but at the same time, blurry memories.”
When contacted for comment, Bensussen issued the following statement:
“My name is William
I think it’s important that I be a part of this conversation. Firstly, I want it to be known that I would never hurt or endanger a woman. I would never drug a woman, and I would never put anyone in a situation where they were not in control, or take anything that they weren’t offering. Consent is intimate, and has left room for people who were not present to wonder what happened. In this case consent was between three people, in the form of an offer which I accepted. Allegations carry a lot of weight on social media these days, and the bravery of women who expose their stories can create necessary dialogue that leads to real change. But Chelsea’s version of this story is not true. I am thankful that I have been contacted by witnesses and my roommates at the time, in support. Please know that while I am shocked, I take this all very seriously. It is all so sensitive and needs to be treated with the utmost care and attention.
Update — Friday October 13th at 1:49 p.m. CT:
Chelsea has given a new statement to Pitchfork about her decision to come forward.
“I’m coming forward because I need to move on. I never wanted it to be real. I never wanted to be a victim. It was eating at me every day and I would push it as far back as I could. It felt like a constant weight on my shoulders. I would have to see his face on social media or at events and want to scream at the top of my lungs, ‘Do you guys know this guy raped me and my best friend?’ I finally was able to process that it wasn’t my fault, I’m not less of a person for what happened to me.
I needed to confront it for the sake of my mental health and for the sake of other women. Women need to feel safe coming forward with their stories of abuse and if this helps to normalize it and make other women feel safer, the pain from having to relive it in telling it is 100% worth it. I’m not sure what exactly sparked it, but I finally felt strong enough to see myself as a survivor and not as a victim. I truly hope this helps others confront and move on from their own experiences of sexual assault.”
Update — Friday October 13th at 4:18 p.m. CT:
Following the allegations, the LA collective Low End Theory, with whom Bensussen has performed often, and his former label, Brainfeeder, have released separate statements.
Low End Theory has cut ties with the DJ, stating:
“Low End Theory is deeply saddened to learn of the allegations against William Bensussen aka The Gaslamp Killer. Given the nature of the allegations made, we have made the decision to part ways with William.”
Meanwhile, Brainfeeder said Bensussen hasn’t been signed to the label in over 5 years, but denied any knowledge the alleged incident:
“The allegations against the Gaslamp Killer come as a complete shock. Brainfeeder has always been a safe, inclusive space for artists of all types and we do not condone assault in any shape or form. We did not have any knowledge of the alleged incidents, and condemn any such actions across the board.
Brainfeeder has not released any of the Gaslamp Killer’s music in over 5 years, and he is not currently signed to the label.” [Consequence of Sound]
Number of accusers: 1
In a statement posted to Facebook, Calder described “an incident that occurred in 2008” with an anonymous individual which he now realizes “was non consensual and constituted assault.”
“I want to further express how completely sorry I am to this person for any shame, humiliation, or social isolation that they have experienced following my actions,” Calder wrote. “I am learning how my actions and negligence have traumatized this person and I would like to express how deeply, deeply sorry I am to them once again.”
For now, Calder has decided to put all “creative pursuits” on hold in order to “start putting my energy into seeking counseling and attending consent training.” This includes all touring and his now shelved self-titled album.
“Being ignorant of consent is no excuse, and I would like to thank the people in my community and elsewhere for providing resources about this,” Calder wrote in closing. “This is necessary and overdue. I want others facing similar experiences to understand the importance of holding themselves accountable for their actions and begin educating themselves.”
Read the full statement below.
Number of accusers: 1
Robert Knepper, a veteran actor best known for his role on Prison Break, has been accused of sexual assault by costume designer Susan Bertram.
In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Bertman said she was attacked by Knepper on the set of the 1992 film Gas Food Lodging. After entering his trailer to drop off costumes, Bertman said Knepper grabbed her crotch “as hard as he could” and told her, “I’m going to fuck your brains out.”
Though she managed to escape the trailer, Bertman said Knepper ripped the crotch of her tights and gouged at her vulva, tearing out a piece of flesh and some pubic hair.
Bertman told her then-assistant about the attack, who corroborated her story in an interview with THR. However, because she was young and a newcomer to the industry, Bertman didn’t feel empowered to go public with her story. Years later, she was finally compelled to come forward after seeing the Access Hollywood tape of Donald Trump bragging about sexual assault. “I kind of buried it for a long time until Trump came out with his ‘Grab ’em by the pussy’ thing. When that happened, I started reeling,” she told THR, “People think that’s a joke, but that really happened to me.” [Consequence of Sound]
Number of accusers: Entire female One Tree Hill cast, and crew (19 accusers)
The cast members and crew of the drama series “One Tree Hill” have written a letter accusing former showrunner Mark Schwann of sexual harassment and offering support for their former colleague, Audrey Wauchope.
The cast members and crew, including stars Sophia Bush, Hilarie Burton, and Bethany Joy Lenz, wrote Monday that they “have chosen this forum to stand together in support of Audrey Wauchope and one another” following statements made by Wauchope — a former writer on the series — on Twitter Saturday accusing Schwann of harassment. In the letter, 18 women who worked on the show claimed, “Many of us were, to varying degrees, manipulated psychologically and emotionally. More than one of us is still in treatment for post-traumatic stress. Many of us were put in uncomfortable positions and had to swiftly learn to fight back, sometimes physically, because it was made clear to us that the supervisors in the room were not the protectors they were supposed to be. Many of us were spoken to in ways that ran the spectrum from deeply upsetting, to traumatizing, to downright illegal. And a few of us were put in positions where we felt physically unsafe. ”
In her Twitter comments, Wauchope described being subjected to frequent and unwanted touching by Schwahn, who she did not identify by name; seeing Schwahn show naked photos of an actress that he was having a sexual relationship with to staffers without the actress’ knowledge; and Schwahn calling Wauchope’s writing partner into his office to try to talk her out of getting married and into dating him.
Wauchope wrote Saturday, “I’m furious and sad and everything else for the women who have sat on that couch next to that man. And I’m furious and sad and everything else that years later I don’t feel safe to be able to do anything real about this and that it seems to be happening all over this town.”
A teen drama about a groups of young men and women growing up in North Carolina, “One Tree Hill” aired on the WB from 2003 to 2006, and on the CW from 2006 to 2012. Schwahn created the series, and was showrunner for the entirety of its eight-season run.
In a statement Monday, E!, Universal Cable Productions and Lionsgate Television — the companies behind Schwahn’s current show, “The Royals” — said, “We are monitoring the information carefully. E!, Universal Cable Productions and Lionsgate Television are committed to providing a safe working environment in which everyone is treated respectfully and professionally.” [Variety]
Read the letter from the “One Tree Hill” cast and crew members below:
To Whom It May Concern,
All of the female cast members of One Tree Hill have chosen this forum to stand together in support of Audrey Wauchope and one another. To use terminology that has become familiar as thesystemic reality of sexual harassment and assault has come more and more to light, Mark Schwahn’s behavior over the duration of the filming of One Tree Hill was something of an “open secret.” Many of us were, to varying degrees, manipulated psychologically and emotionally. More than one of us is still in treatment for post-traumatic stress. Many of us were put in uncomfortable positions and had to swiftly learn to fight back, sometimes physically, because it was made clear to us that the supervisors in the room were not the protectors they were supposed to be. Many of us were spoken to in ways that ran the spectrum from deeply upsetting, to traumatizing, to downright illegal. And a few of us were put in positions where we felt physically unsafe. More than one woman on our show had her career trajectory threatened.
The through line in all of this was, and still is, our unwavering support of and faith in one another. We confided in each other. We set up safe spaces to talk about his behavior and how to handle it. To warn new women who joined our ranks. We understood that a lot of it was orchestrated in ways that kept it out of sight for the studio back home. We also understood that no one was fully unaware. The lack of action that has been routine, the turning of the other cheek, is intolerable. We collectively want to echo the calls of women everywhere that vehemently demand change, in all industries.
Many of us were told, during filming, that coming forward to talk about this culture would result in our show being canceled and hundreds of lovely, qualified, hard-working, and talented people losing their jobs. This is not an appropriate amount of pressure to put on young girls. Many of us since have stayed silent publicly but had very open channels of communication in our friend group and in our industry, because we want Tree Hill to remain the place “where everything’s better and everything’s safe” for our fans; some of whom have said that the show quite literally saved their lives. But the reality is, no space is safe when it has an underlying and infectious cancer. We have worked at taking our power back, making the conventions our own, and relishing in the good memories. But there is more work to be done.
We are all deeply grateful for Audrey’s courage. For one another. And for every male cast mate and crew member who has reached out to our group of women to offer their support these last few days. They echo the greater rallying cry that must lead us to change: Believe Women. We are all in this together.
With Love and Courage,
Sophia Bush, Hilarie Burton, Bethany Joy Lenz, Danneel Harris, Michaela McManus, Kate Voegele, Daphne Zuniga, India DeBeaufort, Bevin Prince, Jana Kramer, Shantel Van Santen, and Allison Munn
And Brave Crew,
Audrey Wauchope, Rachel Specter, Jane Beck, Tarin Squillante, Cristy Koebley, JoJo Stephens
And All the rest of the Women We Worked With Who Are Finding Their Voices as We Speak
Number of accusers: 1 known, others unknown
Not long before “Sixteen Candles” and “The Breakfast Club” made Ringwald one of the most distinguished 1980s stars, a 50-year-old crew member and a married director separately made lewd advances toward her, she recounted. Later, during an audition, she said a director told an actor to place a dog collar around her neck, even though the corresponding scene required no such prop. [Huffington Post]
André Balazs, hotelier
Number of accusers: 1
Through their mutual representative, Bateman and Anka confirmed that Balazs, who owns celebrity hotspots like the Standard, the Mercer in London and Chateau Marmont in West Hollywood, Calif., groped Anka’s crotch in Nov. 2014.
The couple were allegedly celebrating the release of Bateman’s film Horrible Bosses 2 at Balazs’s hotel, the Chiltern Firehouse in London, with the hotelier and some of their costars, including Jennifer Aniston, Jason Sudeikis, and Charlie Day.
According to the Times, Balazs insisted the group visit an upstairs room only accessible by a firehouse-style ladder in order to see a better view of the city. Anka, who was wearing a leather dress, was hesitant about climbing the stairs, but Balazs allegedly insisted. Once on the ladder, he allegedly reached his hand up her dress and groped her crotch.
Day’s wife, Mary Elizabeth Ellis, told the Times, “I witnessed behavior by André Balazs that was inappropriate and offensive.” [Entertainment Weekly]
Number of accusers: 1, with a dozen cast and crewmembers confirming the 11-year-old actress’s account
Actor Tom Sizemore was told to leave a Utah film set in 2003 after an 11-year-old actress told her mother that he had touched her genitals, The Hollywood Reporter has learned. Months later, he returned for reshoots in Malibu after her parents declined to press charges. The incident has never been revealed publicly.
When contacted, the now 26-year-old former actress, whom THR is not identifying at her request, declined to address the matter except to note that she’s recently hired a lawyer to explore legal action against the actor as well as her parents. Sizemore declined to address the situation. “Our position is ‘no comment,’” says his agent Stephen Rice.
THR spoke to a dozen people involved with the production of the film, a crime thriller called Born Killers (shot as Piggy Banks). They confirmed Sizemore was sent home over the alleged incident. According to these cast- and crewmembers, rumors swirled and emotions rose on set over what had allegedly transpired.
Sizemore, notorious for his long rap sheet that includes charges of drug use and battery against women, has not previously been accused of molestation. An actor with a tough-guy image then at the height of his scandal-driven infamy, when the Utah incident occurred he’d recently been convicted of physically abusing and harassing his ex-girlfriend, the former “Hollywood Madam” Heidi Fleiss.
Sizemore is said to have denied the young actress’ claim as soon as he was confronted with it. His management firm Untitled and talent agency CAA quietly dropped him shortly afterward. He’s currently repped by the boutique firm Pantheon.
Cast- and crewmembers, inspired by the nascent movement toward industry transparency in the post-Harvey Weinstein era, explain that the incident took place near the end of production on Born Killers(not to be confused with Oliver Stone’s earlier Natural Born Killers, which Sizemore also appeared in). It was during a second-unit still portrait session, to capture photos of Sizemore’s character with his abandoned wife and daughter. The imagery would serve as a plot device in the $5 million film, which was released by Lionsgate in 2005. The film centers on two immoral brothers on a crime spree. (Sizemore played the dissolute father who raised them.)
The roughly half-hour session required the young actress, who had a small role in the production, to be seated on Sizemore’s lap in a holiday tableau. This is when Sizemore allegedly either rubbed his finger against the girl’s vagina or inserted it inside. Production manager Cassidy Lunnen recalls that “the girl was so young it was unclear to her and [later] her parents what had actually taken place and if it was intentional or not.”
During one setup, which required just the two of them, Robyn Adamson, who portrayed the wife, stood away, near the photographer. She recalls of the girl, who was wearing a flannel nightgown: “At one point her eyes got just huge, like she could’ve vomited. I was watching her. She soon reintegrated and kept going, although she had trouble taking direction. Later, when I was told about what happened, I knew exactly what it was.”
Catrine McGregor, the casting director who hired the young actress, fielded a call from the actress’ agent the next day, explaining that the girl had informed her mother that she’d been inappropriately touched. “The mother noticed that her daughter was unusually quiet and told her she was going to take her to this swimming place that was the little girl’s favorite thing,” says McGregor, a four-decade veteran in the business, who notes that she subsequently filed a complaint with SAG’s legal department and advocated for Sizemore’s immediate dismissal from the project. (SAG declined to comment.) “When the girl put on her bathing suit, she told her mother that it reminded her of the day before, in an upsetting way — that the bathing suit’s contact against her felt like what happened when the man had put his finger inside her,” as McGregor understood the events on-set.
Word spread quickly. “It filtered down to the crew,” says Roi Maufas, who worked as a production assistant. “The little girl said what she said and we all thought, ‘That fucking sleazebag.’ There was never any doubt. He was this guy who was already known for making inappropriate comments, being drunk, being high. We’re talking about consistent behavior, just being ‘Tom Sizemore’ on set every day. Then this happens. Guys reached for hammers. [Producer James R. Rosenthal, who died in 2011], who was livid himself, had to stop a group of us from going to visit Mr. Sizemore to kick the guy’s ass.”
In interviews, the film’s producers Jai Stefan, Michael Manshel and Gus Spoliansky note that they removed Sizemore from set as soon as they heard about the assertion, reviewed the photographs from the portrait session but found them to be inconclusive evidence and sought out the parents to encourage them to engage law enforcement if they felt compelled to do so. Stefan, who along with the others describes being heavily affected by the actress’ claim (“I was like, ‘Did that just happen on my watch?’ I started crying”), recalls the parents “not wanting the little girl being taken off the movie. We said we can remove her, remove him, remove both.”
“They did talk to the police but didn’t press charges,” says Manshel adding: “We also talked to Tom at the time, and told him everything that had been told to us, and he said: ‘I’ve done a lot of awful things, and I’d never do anything with kids.’ We considered whether we had some responsibility to him to not pass judgment on him.”
Eventually, in need of pick-up shots, they invited Sizemore to Spoliansky’s Malibu home a couple of months later for reshoots.
“We had a fiduciary responsibility to complete the film so we decided to go about business as usual — lacking the evidence of what happened that day,” says Spoliansky. Still, he’s quick to add, “We took the allegation extremely seriously and we were willing to do anything, including dismissing Tom. We just couldn’t be police, judge and jury.”
McGregor, the first to come forward to THR about the episode, speculates that the girl’s parents may not have wanted to compound professional harm with emotional harm, observing that they “didn’t want to possibly ruin their daughter’s film career.”
Sizemore, 55, gained renown in the 1990s for a series of tough-guy supporting roles in primarily action films and dramas, including Point Break, True Romance, Strange Days and Wyatt Earp, leading to his biggest career moments with Saving Private Ryan in 1998 and Black Hawk Down and Pearl Harbor in 2001. (In 2000 he was nominated for a Golden Globe for his acting in the HBO movie Witness Protection.)
After the Born Killers shoot, and in the midst of becoming a father (to twin boys in 2005), Sizemore continued to work steadily, although relegated to smaller roles on less prestigious projects. More recently, though, his career has picked up again, particularly on TV, with notable arcs on USA’s Shooter and Showtime’s revival of Twin Peaks. In September, he appeared opposite Liam Neeson in Felt, playing an FBI rival of the Deep Throat source in the Watergate drama. At press time, according to IMDb, he’s attached to, and frequently listed as starring in, more than three dozen often low-budget and genre independent film projects in some stage of development or production.
Sizemore has long publicly contended with a drug addiction that dates to his teens. (Among other troubles, Bakersfield police charged him with possession of methamphetamine in 2007, and three years later he appeared on Celebrity Rehab With Dr. Drew.) He also has a history of alleged aggressive behavior toward women, most recently in February, pleading no contest to two misdemeanor charges of domestic abuse for assaulting his girlfriend in July 2016 in downtown L.A. This followed two previous arrests for suspected battery of another woman in 2009 and 2011, and before that his Fleiss conviction in Los Angeles court in August 2003 — the same month that production began on Born Killers. He’d eventually be sentenced to half a year in prison for the Fleiss matter.
“I remember being excited that he went to jail,” says Jennie Latham, a second assistant director on the film, “even if it was for something else.” [The Hollywood Reporter]
Number of accusers: 2
Matt Zimmerman, a veteran of NBC News, has been fired amid allegations of inappropriate conduct with two women at the news division.
“We have recently learned that Matt Zimmerman engaged in inappropriate conduct with more than one woman at NBCU, which violated company policy. As a result he has been dismissed,” said an NBC News spokesperson in a statement.
Sources say the allegations were brought to the attention of human resources recently. At issue were multiple relationships with women who were junior to Zimmerman, and in at least one case, a direct report, said one source. NBC News policy stipulates that such relationships must be disclosed to human resources. Zimmerman, who was a senior vp at NBC News, is a veteran of the Today show and in 2014 was elevated to lead a streamlined NBC News booking department.
His dismissal follows that of NBC News and MSNBC analyst Mark Halperin, who was revealed to have made unwanted advances toward numerous women when he was a political director at ABC News. Journalist Emily Miller claimed on Twitter that Halperin “attacked” her and Halperin was dropped by his Game Change publisher as well as HBO, which had optioned his upcoming campaign 2016 book with writing partner John Heilemann.
In the six weeks since the disturbing revelations about disgraced movie mogul Harvey Weinstein, sexual harassment disclosures have swept through multiple industries and government offices. Numerous Hollywood executives, agents and showrunners have been fired amid claims of harassment and assault. And a growing list of actors, including Kevin Spacey and Louis C.K., have been brought low by revelations about their conduct over decades in the industry. Meanwhile, the TV news business, like the entertainment industry, also is bracing for more disclosures as social media has given victims a platform and companies adopt a zero-tolerance stance toward misconduct. [The Hollywood Reporter]
Number of accusers: 2
What follows is what happened in Leeann Tweeden’s own words.
In December of 2006, I embarked on my ninth USO Tour to entertain our troops, my eighth to the Middle East since the 9/11 attacks. My father served in Vietnam and my then-boyfriend (and now husband, Chris) is a pilot in the Air Force, so bringing a ‘little piece of home’ to servicemembers stationed far away from their families was both my passion and my privilege.
Also on the trip were country music artists Darryl Worley, Mark Wills, Keni Thomas, and some cheerleaders from the Dallas Cowboys. The headliner was comedian and now-senator, Al Franken.
Franken had written some skits for the show and brought props and costumes to go along with them. Like many USO shows before and since, the skits were full of sexual innuendo geared toward a young, male audience.
As a TV host and sports broadcaster, as well as a model familiar to the audience from the covers of FHM, Maxim and Playboy, I was only expecting to emcee and introduce the acts, but Franken said he had written a part for me that he thought would be funny, and I agreed to play along.
When I saw the script, Franken had written a moment when his character comes at me for a ‘kiss’. I suspected what he was after, but I figured I could turn my head at the last minute, or put my hand over his mouth, to get more laughs from the crowd.
On the day of the show Franken and I were alone backstage going over our lines one last time. He said to me, “We need to rehearse the kiss.” I laughed and ignored him. Then he said it again. I said something like, ‘Relax Al, this isn’t SNL…we don’t need to rehearse the kiss.’
He continued to insist, and I was beginning to get uncomfortable.
He repeated that actors really need to rehearse everything and that we must practice the kiss. I said ‘OK’ so he would stop badgering me. We did the line leading up to the kiss and then he came at me, put his hand on the back of my head, mashed his lips against mine and aggressively stuck his tongue in my mouth.
I immediately pushed him away with both of my hands against his chest and told him if he ever did that to me again I wouldn’t be so nice about it the next time.
I walked away. All I could think about was getting to a bathroom as fast as possible to rinse the taste of him out of my mouth.
I felt disgusted and violated.
Not long after, I performed the skit as written, carefully turning my head so he couldn’t kiss me on the lips.
No one saw what happened backstage. I didn’t tell the Sergeant Major of the Army, who was the sponsor of the tour. I didn’t tell our USO rep what happened.
At the time I didn’t want to cause trouble. We were in the middle of a war zone, it was the first show of our Holiday tour, I was a professional, and I could take care of myself. I told a few of the others on the tour what Franken had done and they knew how I felt about it.
I tried to let it go, but I was angry.
Other than our dialogue on stage, I never had a voluntary conversation with Al Franken again. I avoided him as much as possible and made sure I was never alone with him again for the rest of the tour.
Franken repaid me with petty insults, including drawing devil horns on at least one of the headshots I was autographing for the troops.
But he didn’t stop there.
The tour wrapped and on Christmas Eve we began the 36-hour trip home to L.A. After 2 weeks of grueling travel and performing I was exhausted. When our C-17 cargo plane took off from Afghanistan I immediately fell asleep, even though I was still wearing my flak vest and Kevlar helmet.
I couldn’t believe it. He groped me, without my consent, while I was asleep.
I felt violated all over again. Embarrassed. Belittled. Humiliated.
How dare anyone grab my breasts like this and think it’s funny?
I told my husband everything that happened and showed him the picture.
I wanted to shout my story to the world with a megaphone to anyone who would listen, but even as angry as I was, I was worried about the potential backlash and damage going public might have on my career as a broadcaster.
But that was then, this is now. I’m no longer afraid.
Today, I am the news anchor on McIntyre in the Morning on KABC Radio in Los Angeles. My colleagues are some of the most supportive people I’ve ever worked with in my career. Like everyone in the media, we’ve been reporting on the Harvey Weinstein sexual misconduct allegations since they broke, and the flood of similar stories that have come out about others.
A few weeks ago, we had California Congresswoman Jackie Speier on the show and she told us her story of being sexually assaulted when she was a young Congressional aide. She described how a powerful man in the office where she worked ‘held her face, kissed her and stuck his tongue in her mouth.’
At that moment, I thought to myself, Al Franken did that exact same thing to me.
I had locked up those memories of helplessness and violation for a long time, but they all came rushing back to me and my hands clinched into fists like it was yesterday.
I’m still angry at what Al Franken did to me.
Every time I hear his voice or see his face, I am angry. I am angry that I did his stupid skit for the rest of that tour. I am angry that I didn’t call him out in front of everyone when I had the microphone in my hand every night after that. I wanted to. But I didn’t want to rock the boat. I was there to entertain the troops and make sure they forgot about where they were for a few hours. Someday, I thought to myself, I would tell my story.
That day is now.
Senator Franken, you wrote the script. But there’s nothing funny about sexual assault.
You wrote the scene that would include you kissing me and then relentlessly badgered me into ‘rehearsing’ the kiss with you backstage when we were alone.
You knew exactly what you were doing. You forcibly kissed me without my consent, grabbed my breasts while I was sleeping and had someone take a photo of you doing it, knowing I would see it later, and be ashamed.
While debating whether or not to go public, I even thought to myself, so much worse has happened to so many others, maybe my story isn’t worth telling? But my story is worth telling.
Not just because 2017 is not 2006, or because I am much more secure in my career now than I was then, and not because I’m still angry.
I’m telling my story because there may be others.
I want to have the same effect on them that Congresswoman Jackie Speier had on me. I want them, and all the other victims of sexual assault, to be able to speak out immediately, and not keep their stories –and their anger– locked up inside for years, or decades.
I want the days of silence to be over forever. [KABC-AM]
UPDATE (6:58 PM 11/22/17): A second, third & fourth person accuse Franken of sexual misconduct.
On Monday, Lindsay Menz accused Franken of groping her at the Minnesota State Fair in 2010.
Two more women have told HuffPost that Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) touched their butts in separate incidents. These are the third and fourth such allegations against Franken in the past week.
The two additional women, who said they were not familiar with each others’ stories, both spoke on condition of anonymity. But their stories, which describe events during Franken’s first campaign for the Senate, are remarkably similar — and both women have been telling them privately for years. [HuffPost]
Number of accusers: 1
A then-16-year-old girl accused actor Sylvester Stallone and his bodyguard of sexually assaulting her in a Las Vegas hotel room in the mid-1980s, according to a police report obtained by the Daily Mail Thursday.
The alleged incident occurred in July of 1986 while the victim was staying at the Las Vegas Hilton with family friends. The victim said she met Stallone, then age 40, while he was filming the movie “Over The Top” at the same hotel, according to the Daily Mail.
The girl claims that Stallone’s bodyguard, 27-year-old Michael De Luca, gave her the keys to Stallone’s hotel suite on the 27th floor and invited her up. She agreed and later went up to the suite, where she says she met Stallone and De Luca.
According to a Las Vegas police report, Stallone took her into a bedroom, where they had sex, while De Luca waited in the bathroom. Stallone then asked the victim if she had ever had a threesome, the report states. De Luca then entered the bedroom and the victim was forced into giving both men oral sex, the report reads. De Luca also had vaginal sex with her, the victim told police.
FULL COVERAGE: The Harvey Weinstein Fallout
Following the alleged sexual assault, the victim said Stallone threatened her to keep quiet about the incident. He told her that if she said anything, they would have to “beat her head in,” the Daily Mail reports.
The girl eventually declined to press charges and signed a no-prosecution form. According to the report, she told police, “I’m humiliated and ashamed, but I don’t want to prosecute.”
In September of 2013, De Luca was shot and killed by police in the Ventura County town of Port Hueneme during a confrontation in which he told officers he was armed, although no weapon was later found.
In a statement to Us Weekly Thursday, a representative of Stallone wrote:
“This is a ridiculous, categorically false story. No one was ever aware of this story until it was published today, including Mr. Stallone. At no time was Mr. Stallone ever contacted by authorities or anyone else regarding this matter.”
Number of accusers: 1
The NFL is investigating an allegation that Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston groped an Uber driver last year, Buzzfeed News reports.
League investigator Lisa Friel sent a letter to the accuser confirming that the NFL is examining the matter, according to the report.
The driver, a woman identified only as Kate, says she picked up Winston in Scottsdale, Ariz., in the early morning hours of March 13. As they waited in the drive-through lane at a Mexican restaurant, Winston “reached over and he just grabbed my crotch,” the woman told Buzzfeed.
The driver lodged a formal complaint with Uber, writing that “this rider reached over and put his fingers on my crotch.”
“It wasn’t my stomach or my thigh, it was my crotch and I want to be clear about that,” she added.
Uber confirmed to Buzzfeed that Winston question was banned from using the service in the future.
While a student at Florida State, Winston was accused of raping a female student. The alleged 2012 assault was not publicized until 2013, amid controversy of a cover up by the school and Tallahassee police. The woman in that case, Erica Kinsman, sued Florida State and reached a settlement that would pay her $950,000. Winston was also suspended for one half of a game in 2014 for shouting a sexual explicit phrase in public.
Bucs coach Dirk Koetter said the team would release a statement about the allegations.
Winston will not play this week due to a shoulder injury. [Sports Illustrated]
Number of accusers: 1
Mojica is the executive producer of Vice Media’s documentary films unit. The suspension follows a report in the Daily Beast earlier this week that a manager at Vice Media sexually harassed a female employee. The story, published Wednesday, said several current and former Vice employees claimed the millennial-skewing media company operated in a culture of harassing behavior.
“We do not tolerate harassment, abusive behavior, assault or retaliation and we will discipline anyone who engages in such conduct through a range of actions, including termination, as appropriate. We have immediately begun an investigation into this matter,” a Vice spokesperson said Wednesday.
In the Daily Beast article, former Vice producer Phoebe Barghouty said Mojica made sexually inappropriate jokes, and ignored similar complaints about Vice News’ former L.A. bureau chief Kaj Larsen. [Deadline]
Number of accusers: 1
Cable channel E! is conducting an internal investigation into an allegation of misconduct against Ryan Seacrest.
The allegation stems from an alleged incident reported by a former stylist who worked at E! News when Seacrest worked there. The incident, the details of which are unknown, is alleged to have occurred roughly a decade ago.
“Recently, someone that worked as a wardrobe stylist for me nearly a decade ago at E! News, came forward with a complaint suggesting I behaved inappropriately toward her,” Seacrest said in a statement Friday. “If I made her feel anything but respected, I am truly sorry. I dispute these reckless allegations and I plan to cooperate with any corporate inquiries that may result. I treat all my colleagues with kindness, dignity, and understanding, as this is a principle that’s core to who I am. Throughout my 25 years in the entertainment industry, the majority of my co-workers have been women, and I’ve endeavored to foster a positive work environment of mutual respect and courtesy, as that’s how I believe it should be. I’m distraught that anyone or any situation would call that into question. I’m proud of my workplace reputation, and believe my track record will speak for itself. I’m an advocate for women. I will continue to support their voices.” [Variety]
Number of accusers: 8+
Eight women have told The Washington Post that longtime television host Charlie Rose made unwanted sexual advances toward them, including lewd phone calls, walking around naked in their presence, or groping their breasts, buttocks or genital areas.
The women were employees or aspired to work for Rose at the “Charlie Rose” show from the late 1990s to as recently as 2011. They ranged in age from 21 to 37 at the time of the alleged encounters. Rose, 75, whose show airs on PBS and Bloomberg TV, also co-hosts “CBS This Morning” and is a contributing correspondent for “60 Minutes.”
There are striking commonalities in the accounts of the women, each of whom described their interactions with Rose in multiple interviews with The Post. For all of the women, reporters interviewed friends, colleagues or family members who said the women had confided in them about aspects of the incidents. Three of the eight spoke on the record.
Five of the women spoke on the condition of anonymity out of fear of Rose’s stature in the industry, his power over their careers or what they described as his volatile temper. [Washington Post]
Number of accusers: Unknown
Glenn Thrush, the New York Times political reporter who is frequently parodied on SNL, has been accused of sexual misconduct against young journalists, according to a chilling new sexual-harassment exposé published on Vox.
Laura McGann, the writer of the story who says she also experienced harassment from Thrush when they both were working at Politico, interviewed multiple women who allege that Thrush acted inappropriately with them. A pattern emerged: All the women were in their 20s and just starting their careers. As was the case with other men accused of assault, the predatory behavior was apparently somewhat of an open secret: one 21-year-old woman said that, as with the case she had been warned about Thrush before she started an internship in Washington.
“The word among women just starting in Washington, they said, is to be careful if you meet him at an event with alcohol, or if he sends you a direct message on Twitter,” McGann writes.
Corroborated with text and email screenshots, many of the accusations come with documented evidence of Thrush trying to justify his actions. He blames his behavior on “shitty health news,” his unfortunate judgment, and eventually his alcoholism, among others. Below, McGann describes her experience with Thrush in detail.
On that night five years ago, I joined Thrush and a handful of other reporters for a few rounds at the Continental, a Politico hangout in Rosslyn, Virginia. At first, nothing seemed strange, until the crowd had dwindled down to Thrush, me, and one other female colleague.
Thrush tossed a $20 bill at her and told her to take a cab and leave us, “the grown-ups,” alone. He slid into my side of the booth, blocking me in. I was wearing a skirt, and he put his hand on my thigh. He started kissing me. I pulled myself together and got out of there, shoving him on my way out.
In the morning, Thrush sent me an apologetic email. I didn’t save it, but I recall it as similar to the one he would later send to Padró Ocasio’s friend in June. He said he was sorry, but he didn’t say for what, exactly.
A few hours after this incident, McGann noticed Thrush speaking to other journalists in the distance. During her reporting, she asked a colleague of hers what Thrush had said, and he confirmed her suspicions: Thrush had told him about the incident “except with the roles reversed.” He said that she had been the one to come onto Thrush, and Thrush shut it down.
McGann reached out to Thrush for a statement. “I apologize to any woman who felt uncomfortable in my presence, and for any situation where I behaved inappropriately,” he wrote, and alleged that he was taking care of his drinking problem after an incident this past June, where he presented himself as an ally to a 23-year-old journalist, and then kissed her when she was drunk and non-consenting. He wrote:
The June incident [described above] was a life-changing event [for me]. The woman involved was upset by my actions and for that I am deeply sorry.
Over the past several years, I have responded to a succession of personal and health crises by drinking heavily. During that period, I have done things that I am ashamed of, actions that have brought great hurt to my family and friends.
I have not taken a drink since June 15, 2017, have resumed counseling and will soon begin out-patient treatment for alcoholism. I am working hard to repair the damage I have done.
Following the publication of the Vox article, The Times published their own report, stating their intention to conduct an internal investigation.
“The behavior attributed to Glenn in this Vox story is very concerning and not in keeping with the standards and values of The New York Times,” The Times said in a statement on Monday. “We intend to fully investigate and while we do, Glenn will be suspended.”
The Times also said Mr. Thrush had said he planned to enter a substance abuse program and that the newspaper supported his decision.
As for the accused himself, the Times reported that “Mr. Thrush could not immediately be reached for comment” for their own article. However, his statement was tweeted out by CNN media reporter Tom Kludt this morning. [The Cut]
Ohio Rep. Wes Goodman
Number of accusers: 30–100's
Disgraced Ohio state Rep. Wes Goodman — a Republican — in the wake of the lawmaker’s recently revealed sex scandal and resignation is being accused by dozens of people of sexual misconduct. IJR has obtained testimonies from over 30 individuals who have had inappropriate and never-before-shared experiences with Goodman.
Goodman has a reputation of reaching out to those involved in politics via Facebook Messenger — but things tend to quickly turn south, as he has been known to flirt with men, solicit sex, and even send pictures of his genitals, according to dozens of sources. The majority of the people he targets are between the ages of 18 and 24 and have had very little interaction with him personally. [IJR]
UPDATE (12:09 AM EST 11/20/17): There are now close to several hundred men alleging sexual misconduct.
Number of accusers: Unknown
John Lasseter, the chief creative officer of Pixar and Walt Disney Animation, is stepping away from his role for six months after apologizing for “missteps” he made at the studios, according to the Hollywood Reporter.
He announced the decision Tuesday just before THR published an exposé on his alleged sexual misconduct in the workplace. A source at Pixar told THR Lasseter had a habit of “grabbing, kissing,” and “making comments about physical attributes” to employees and others in the entertainment industry. Variety described Lasseter as a “prolific hugger,” a habit he apologized for in a memo to his staff.
“It’s been brought to my attention that I have made some of you feel disrespected or uncomfortable. That was never my intent,” he wrote in the memo. “I deeply apologize if I have let you down. I especially want to apologize to anyone who has ever been on the receiving end of an unwanted hug or any other gesture they felt crossed the line in any way, shape, or form.”
According to THR, female employees at Pixar were allegedly forced to avoid unwanted kisses from the CCO, and had a specific gesture — coined “the Lasseter” — used to prevent him from putting his hands on their legs. He has also been accused of embracing employees at company meetings in a way that made them feel uncomfortable.
“You’d hug him and he’s whisper in your ear, a long time,” a source told THR. “He hugged and hugged and everyone’s looking at you. Just invading the space.”
Lasseter is a scion at Pixar and Disney, where he’s known as the brains behind hits like the Toy Story franchise, Frozen, and Wall-E. He was co-directing Toy Story 4 until July, when he stepped away from the project, leaving Josh Cooley in place as the sole director. Pixar tapped Rashida Jones to help write the film’s script, and — though she’s still credited — she left the project early on after allegedly being subjected to one of Lasseter’s unwanted advances, according to THR.
In a statement to Variety, Disney said it appreciated “John’s candor and sincere apology” and would “fully support his sabbatical.” According to the memo Lasseter sent employees, he plans to come back to the company in 2018. [Vice News]
US House Representative John Conyers
Number of accusers: 6
Michigan Rep. John Conyers, a Democrat and the longest-serving member of the House, said Tuesday he is resigning, following a BuzzFeed News investigation unveiling allegations of sexual harassment by multiple women and a secret settlement to keep one staffer quiet.
Conyers’ lawyer clarified on Twitter that the congressman’s resignation is effective Tuesday. The congressman made the announcement official in a letter to House Speaker Paul Ryan and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi Tuesday afternoon.
Conyers, who was hospitalized last week and has not made public appearances since then, made the announcement himself on the Mildred Gaddis Show, a talk radio program in Detroit, Tuesday morning.
Conyers said his legacy would “absolutely not” be tarnished by the sexual harassment allegations against him. “My legacy can’t be compromised or diminished in any way by what we’re going through now,” he said. “This too shall pass.”
During the interview, Conyers endorsed his son John Conyers III to replace him in Congress, saying: “I want you to know that my legacy will continue through my children. I have a great family here. And especially in my oldest boy John Conyers III, who incidentally I endorse to replace me in my seat in Congress.”
The endorsement came despite the congressman’s nephew Michigan state Sen. Ian Conyers telling BuzzFeed News last week that he would run for his great-uncle’s seat should Conyers retire or resign. The 29-year-old Democrat reiterated his plans to run for the seat in a Tuesday interview with the New York Times, before the congressman made his announcement official.
Asked whether the congressman’s decision to endorse his son would change his plans to run for the seat, Ian Conyers told BuzzFeed News: “Not one bit.”
Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder’s office told BuzzFeed News Tuesday that he would announce a special election once he had received official notice from Conyers of his intention to leave Congress.
Conyers’ decision comes amid several calls for his resignation, including from Ryan, Pelosi and Rep. Jim Clyburn, a powerful member of the Congressional Black Caucus.
Conyers settled a wrongful dismissal complaint in 2015 that alleged years of sexual harassment, including requests for sex acts from staff and inappropriate comments and touching, according to documents obtained and published by BuzzFeed News last month. The documents, which include four affidavits from former staffers, show that Conyers temporarily returned the employee at the center of the complaint to his office’s taxpayer-funded payroll for her to receive more than $27,000 in a hushed settlement.
After BuzzFeed News published its investigation, Conyers confirmed the 2015 settlement, but he repeatedly denied the sexual harassment allegations.
BuzzFeed News withheld the former staffer’s name at her request at the time, but on Thursday Marion Brown came forward publicly, telling the Today Show about her experience. Brown said she decided to speak out because Conyers had denied the allegations.
In addition to Brown, four other women have accused Conyers of sexual harassment. These include two former staffers, whose names BuzzFeed News is not publishing, alleging that Conyers made sexual advances towards them when they worked in his office, according to affidavits they wrote in support of Brown’s case. Another former staffer, Deanna Maher, told the Detroit News that the congressman made sexual advances toward her on three occasions.
BuzzFeed News uncovered a fifth woman, another former staffer who alleged sexual harassment and a hostile environment in a lawsuit she sought to file against Conyers and two of his employees. The woman abandoned the case after her request to keep it sealed was denied, according to public court documents.
Additionally, ethics lawyer Melanie Sloan told the Washington Post that Conyers verbally abused her during her time working in his office in the 1990s.
Conyers had repeatedly brushed aside calls for his resignation. He returned home to Detroit last week, missing votes in the House, and was hospitalized on Wednesday night for what a spokesman said was “a stress-related illness.”
Conyers’ lawyer insisted as recently as Thursday that the congressman would not step down, rebuffing calls by Pelosi and others to do so. “It is not up to Nancy Pelosi, Nancy Pelosi did not elect the Congressman and she sure as hell won’t tell the Congressman to leave,” he told reporters outside Conyers’ home.
Later, lawyer Arnold Reed softened his tone on the issue, saying Conyers would make the final decision about his political future, citing his health. Conyers had pushed for more time to make his decision in order to get another paycheck, a Democratic aide confirmed to BuzzFeed News.
Conyers did not mention any of the allegations against him in his resignation letter Tuesday. [Buzzfeed News]
Number of accusers: 2
Melissa Schuman, former member of pop group ‘Dream’ releases story of how Nick Carter of the Backstreet Boys raped her back in the early 2000's.
I am about to share something that I've wanted to pretend never happened since I was 18. A burden I thought I'd have to…melissaexplainsitall.wordpress.com
I am about to share something that I’ve wanted to pretend never happened since I was 18. A burden I thought I’d have to carry for the rest of my life and suffer in silence.
For those who do read this story, I know will ask, like any other victim of rape or assault, why I never came forward earlier. And the truth is, I tried.
A short amount of time passed after the incident, I confided in my then manager, Nils Larsen, that I wanted to come forward. He heard me out and said he would do some investigation and would try to find me a good attorney as I intended to press charges.
He later informed me that my abuser, who’s name I will disclose later in this article, had the most powerful litigator in the country.
He was right. I didn’t have the money, the clout or access to an attorney who was powerful enough to stand up against my abuser’s legal counsel. I was told I would likely be buried in humiliation, accused of being fame hungry, and it would ultimately hurt me professionally as well as publicly.
I was focused on building a career and name for myself at the time and I didn’t want what he did to further affect my life and future.
Let’s rewind a bit. The first time I met my abuser wasn’t the first time the abuse occurred. The first time we spoke was briefly over the phone while I was filming “This Is Me Remix” music video with my group DREAM and then boss, P. Diddy.
My abuser was and still is, in a very well known boyband. My label informed me that this person’s rep had reached out to them and he shown romantic interest in me and would like to set up a chat over the phone.
My label reps sat in on the call, anticipating a spark between the two of us. I was already dating someone steadily at the time. I was transparent with my then boyfriend about the call and assured him I had no interest but needed to at least accept his call out of respect and courtesy to my label.
I took the phone call. He was very polite and the conversation was quick.
Fast forward a few years later. He and I were casted in the same made for T.V movie.
I was no longer in a relationship and now single. My first impression of him, he was kind and charismatic so when he asked if I’d like to hang out with him and his friend at his Santa Monica apartment on our off day of shooting, I said yes. I invited my roommate to come with me.
That evening my friend and I arrived to a barely furnished apartment. No dining room furniture, No living room furniture. Just a TV and a game console which both the guys were playing on.
My abuser, 22, provided liquor for the get together and asked us what we would like to drink. We all took a shot and proceeded to the living room to play some video games. This wasn’t a crazy house party, just a casual hangout. We were laughing, talking, nothing out of the norm.
Soon after, he asked me if I would like to come into his office and listen to some new music he was working on. I agreed and was eager to hear his new music.
I could draw a diagram of the layout of this apartment. Barely there furniture throughout with the exception of the office. He took my hand and led me down the hallway to the office. He went to his computer and started to play the music he was working on, he turned off the light and we sat there in the computer light listening to his new stuff. And naturally we started to kiss. He was aware that I was a virgin and that I held to religious conservative christian values. I was vocal about this. Everyone knew about this, including those who repped me.
Now this is where things take a turn and gets graphic. I want to warn you that what I will be disclosing next describes graphic, violent sexual behavior. Please continue reading at your own discretion.
After kissing for a moment, he took my hand and brought me into the bathroom adjacent to his office. He shut the door and we continued to kiss. I asked him what we were doing in there. He didn’t respond and continued to kiss me. He then pick me up, put me on the bathroom counter and started to unbutton my pants. I told him I didn’t want to go any further.
He didn’t listen.
He didn’t care.
He told me, “don’t worry. I won’t tell anybody.”
I told him thats not why I didn’t want to do it. He took off my pants anyway and then proceeded to perform oral sex on me. I told him to stop, but he didn’t. So I turned off the bathroom light so I wouldn’t see anything. He kept turning the light back on because he told me he wanted to look at me. I remember thinking at that point that maybe after this he will just stop, but he didn’t.
Someone in the house knocked on the bathroom door. So he took me into the other bathroom to pick up where he left off. He then took off his pants. I will never forget this moment. There was a bathroom nightlight so although it was dark, it was dimly lit enough for me to see myself in the bathroom mirror. He sat himself on the bathroom counter and asked me to perform oral sex on him. I declined, he was upset. He told me,
“I did it for you and it’s only right you do it for me.”
I felt scared and trapped. He was visually and clearly growing very angry and impatient with me. I couldn’t leave. It was evident to me, that i couldn’t leave. He was stronger and much bigger than me, and there was no way I would be able to open that door or have anyone help me. My friend couldn’t help me, I didn’t even know where she was. So when he placed my hand on his penis my thought was the only way to get out was to get him to finish what he had started. That’s where I saw myself, my reflection, watching myself do something that I was sicken by. Watching myself be assaulted, forced to engage in an act against my will.
Same as before his appetite was still not satisfied and now took me to the bedroom. It was late. The apartment was now dark and all you could hear was the remaining music in the living room. He threw me on the bed and climbed on top of me. Again, I told him that I was a virgin and I didn’t want to have sex. I told him that I was saving myself for my future husband. I said it over and over again. He whispered in my ear as to entice me,
“I could be your husband.”
He was relentless, refusing to take my no’s for an answer. He was heavy, too heavy to get out from under him. Then I felt it, he put something inside of me. I asked him what it was and he whispered in my ear once more,
“it’s all me baby.”
It was done. The one thing I had held as a virtue had been ruined. I went limp, turned my head to my left and decided I would just go to sleep now. I wanted to believe it was some sort of nightmare I was dreaming up.
The sun began to come up and my roommate came into the room and woke me up. We had to get home because she had work later that morning. My abuser was nowhere to be found. He was no longer on the bed and I never went looking for him. I just wanted to get out of there as fast as I could. I grabbed my things and my friend and I proceeded to the car.
Once in the car, she turned on the ignition and exclaimed,
“That was so much fun, huh?!”
“I just want to go home. I’m tired. I just want to go to sleep.”
I didn’t tell her. I didn’t want to even admit what happened was real to myself. Over the next few weeks I withdrew further and further from my friends and family and they noticed. I still didn’t tell anyone.
Shortly after he called me. He called me over and over and over again and I wouldn’t pick up. I didn’t want to hear his voice. He jammed my phone with calls for weeks, leaving me messages demanding I speak with him. Then he finally left me one last nasty, angry message and he never called me again.
It was over, at least I thought it was. I thought I’d never have to see or hear from him ever again. Until, I later signed with his manager, Kenneth Crear. Kenneth Crear was a very powerful manager who I thought could help me make my mark as a recording artist.
I quickly learned that Kenneth was thick as thieves with my abuser. Like family. I wondered what story or narrative my abuser might have told Kenneth of our once brief encounter. Did he know anything? I certainly wasn’t going to tell him.
Kenneth set up a showcase for me for a major label. We recorded a few songs, one of them was a duet with my abuser. We never recorded together. He had pre-recorded his part and I went in and recorded mine. Again, what was I supposed to do? I could’t tell my manager that his best friend had raped me so I won’t record this song.
I tried to justify that maybe something good to come out of something very bad. Maybe this song might help me get signed as a solo artist and I could move on and put everything behind me. Kenneth asked my abuser if he would be willing to sing the duet with me live at my showcase and he agreed.
I wasn’t surprised that he did. He knew this way I couldn’t avoid him anymore. The day of the showcase, he arrived. I waited quietly and anxiously backstage bracing myself for the confrontation. We stood next to each other in awkward silence. He was irritated with my lack of warm welcome and appreciation for the favor he was doing for me.
“How have you been?”
“I have a boyfriend.”
“Good for you. I hope it works out.”
The conversation was going nowhere. I was uninterested, un-engaging, unappreciative and it upset him further to hear that I was in a relationship that I was happy in.”
I could tell he was agitated, he wasted his valuable time doing something he didn’t need to do for me. His last words to me as we walked on stage was,
“Let’s just get this over with already.”
Ladies and gentleman, please welcome Melissa Schuman and from the BackStreet Boys, Nick Carter.
We performed the song. I did my set.
I spoke with the label head after the show, in which he mentioned the duet I did with Nick sounded amazing and that he could easily attach it to a movie soundtrack.
“We’ll be in touch.”
Weeks past and I heard nothing. No word from Kenneth despite calling for weeks, he was too busy to take my call. When we finally spoke, I was surprised to hear the feedback from the same label head I had spoke to before.
Dead pan, I was told,
“He isn’t interested in signing you. He told me your vocals were weak in the duet and that he was interested in the song only. Nick will be moving forward with the song elsewhere.”
I asked my manager what the game plan was next and he reluctantly said,
“Maybe another showcase. I don’t know.”
I could tell by his tone that he was no longer interested in working for me and I couldn’t help but wonder if Nick had any influence in it.
I never did another showcase again after that and I quickly lost interest in pursuing a career as a recording artist.
I was broken.
I was tired.
I was traumatized.
I told my therapist. I told my family. I told my friends. I have a plethora of people who can attest that I eventually became open vocal about my experience, i’ve just never had the platform to come out publicly.
When the news broke about the gross accusations of Harvey Weinstein, many of my friends and family asked me if I wanted to come forward with my story.
I said no.
So many years later, the idea of reliving and re-writing the events that were traumatic, something that I have worked so diligently to heal from is painful. I did however promise that if another victim ever came forward I would then feel the responsibility to show my support by sharing my story.
And then I saw the write up from RadarOnline on 10.30.17 and the response it was getting in the comments.
Victim shaming is a core reason why victims don’t speak out. The last comment is exactly what keeps victims, like myself, from ever speaking out.
The victim in the above article remains unnamed and I can’t blame her. I can’t help but feel empathy for her as well as sicken by the lack of belief and support. There is nothing worse than being victimized and having others call you a liar. Or claim you are looking for 15 mins of fame.
Let me ask this simple question. Who the hell wants to be famous for being raped?
I certainly don’t want to be “known” for this. I never wanted anybody to know about my story. I wanted to lock it in a box in my mind and let the memories slowly suffocate as time went on.
I feel I have an obligation now to come forward with the hope and intention to inspire and encourage other victims to tell their story. We are stronger in numbers. If you are reading this and you have been assaulted, know you don’t have to be silent and you are not alone. I know it’s scary. I’m scared.
I believe you. I stand with you and together I hope we can bring light to things that have been lost in the darkness for so long.
Number of accusers: 1
Chariton was accused last week of sexual assault by a former employee at Truth Against the Machine, an organization he founded in addition to his work with the Young Turks. Chicago activist Christian Chiakulas first shared the allegations in a piece posted to HuffPost’s contributors section, a platform for self-publishing. HuffPost later took the piece down, according to Chiakulas.
The Intercept obtained an email that Young Turks management sent to staff Friday night announcing Chariton’s departure. “Although privacy concerns keep us from discussing the details surrounding this, I wanted to communicate that Jordan is no longer employed by The Young Turks,” the email read.
The announcement came a day after Chariton published a Medium post titled “Explaining My TYT Absence,” that included a detailed and explicit description of the incident at the heart of the allegations, saying he had learned in June that a “consensual sexual encounter” he had was “being portrayed in gossip as something else.” Truth Against the Machine correspondent Chelsea Lyons took to Facebook Live to support Chariton’s version of events.
On Tuesday evening, Chariton posted a second statement to Medium, writing that the Young Turks fired him and reiterating his innocence of the accusations against him. “I was informed the evening of Friday, November 17, 2017 — only hours after false accusations were published about me in HuffPost — that The Young Turks would be terminating my employment effective immediately,” he wrote.
In his initial Medium post, Chariton said he decided to inform his bosses at the Young Turks of the situation since he has “nothing to hide.” [The Intercept]
Number of accusers: 1
Number of accusers: 3
Veteran Hollywood executive and producer Adam Fields sexually harassed women while he was serving in various capacities at Relativity Media from 2010 to 2016, according to multiple people who shared their accounts with The Hollywood Reporter.
Three women — a lawyer, a prominent screenwriter and a junior executive — told similar stories that include being touched inappropriately, sexually propositioned and subjected to lewd behavior by the onetime co-president of production.
THR also has viewed several legal documents stemming from a lawsuit filed by Fields against former CEO Ryan Kavanaugh in January. The documents reference two assistants who are not among the people THR spoke with and who complained internally about being sexually harassed by Fields during his five-month stint as Relativity co-president. The conduct described in the documents ranged from unwanted touching to inappropriate sexual comments to streaming X-rated material on his phone in public areas of the company’s Beverly Hills offices. According to the documents, one major talent agency said it would no longer work with Fields at the time.
Unlike most of the other sexual harassment claims sweeping Hollywood over the past month, these allegations come at a time when the accused and his former employer are locked in ongoing litigation, which Fields’ lawyer Dale Kinsella referenced in response to the claims. However, of the three women THR talked to, only one is involved in that suit.
It was on the 2010 set of Limitless that screenwriter and producer Leslie Dixon says she endured Fields’ aggressive overtures. Fields, 62, whose film credits date back to 1981’s Endless Love and include producing Great Balls of Fire! and, more recently, The Wedding Ringer, had been hired by Relativity to run production on the Bradley Cooper starrer.
It started with Fields’ unsolicited touching, says Dixon, which she tried to deflect, followed by lascivious remarks. One day, with multiple witnesses on hand, Fields suggested that Dixon needed a sex toy. She immediately walked off the Times Square set, called her CAA agent and lawyer and complained, she says. Her agent was able to insulate Dixon from further contact with Fields on the set.
“It all happened,” Dixon says of the incident. “My agent was brave. But no one inside Relativity wanted to be the one to call Ryan Kavanaugh. So Adam wasn’t entirely banned from the set.”
Instead, Fields went on to oversee and executive produce other Relativity movies including Safe Haven and Masterminds, even as at least one other studio was trying to keep him from visiting its set (in an ironic twist, it was The Weinstein Co.).
In 2012, Miramax’s Richard Nanula — who later became engulfed in scandal after stills from a sex tape he purportedly starred in with a porn actress surfaced online — handpicked Fields to oversee production on Sin City: A Dame to Kill For, a film that was distributed by The Weinstein Co. Although Fields received an executive producing credit on Sin City 2, sources say there were concerns about him visiting the Austin, Texas, set of the film directed by Robert Rodriguez and Frank Miller because of a reputation for unprofessional behavior that stretched back to Sixteen Candles in 1984.
But that didn’t stop Fields from inviting cast and crew to friend and Girls Gone Wild creator Joe Francis’ compound in Mexico, which he used as his own, according to one member of the producing team. Another source says Miramax received complaints about Fields’ behavior and eventually severed his freelance relationship with the studio. [The Hollywood Reporter]
Number of accusers: Unknown
Andy Henry, a veteran casting employee on CSI, was fired from the show and his own firm in 2008 after it came to light that he’d urged actresses seeking co-starring roles to disrobe during private, paid auditioning sessions, The Hollywood Reporter has learned. Some of them did so, feeling compelled to please a key gatekeeper for entry-level parts.
The situation has never been publicly disclosed. Henry has gone on to work on major studio films, including as a casting associate on Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief, The Descendants, The Amazing Spider-Man and Elysium.
Five women — who recently found each other and elected to come forward after one posted online about her experience as part of the #MeToo movement that grew out of the Harvey Weinstein abuse revelations — tell THR that they felt preyed on. They say Henry always utilized the same scene from a 2006 episode of the procedural, involving a woman suffering from hypertrichosis, a rare genetic disorder that causes excess hair growth (commonly referred to as “human werewolf syndrome”), and that he manipulated their anxious desire to impress a hiring professional.
In a statement to THR, Henry admits to what he describes as “foolish and foolhardy” behavior, framing it as “a coaching technique” gone wrong, one meant “to explore the vulnerability portrayed in a scene” that was blind to “the potential damage to the human being in the room.” He adds both that “I was then, and remain to this day, profoundly sorry about these incidents,” and that “I never meant to make anyone feel pressured into doing anything, nor did I ever consciously intend to hurt anyone.”
The women describe nearly identical scenarios in which Henry would target female attendees at paid evening audition classes he taught at workshop facilities around Los Angeles, explaining that they showed special promise and he’d be willing to further coach them one-on-one immediately afterward. (The proliferation of such pay-to-play sessions has recently drawn the attention of L.A. City Attorney Mike Feuer, who has indicted more than two dozen casting professionals for illegally conducting them under a state talent scam prevention law earlier this year. The crackdown has so far resulted in a number of plea deals.)
“His line was, ‘It’s a really challenging scene and I can tell you can handle it, but it definitely requires more work than what we do here. Do you have any time to stay afterward to push a little harder with [the material]?’” says Jenny Kern, who was new to L.A. when she met him at the Sherman Oaks-based Reel Pros. “I was really flattered.”
Once alone at the facility, Henry had her repeat the scene several times before telling her he thought it needed “more vulnerability” and suggesting, as an ostensive acting exercise, to remove her bra so she could better access the self-consciousness of the hypertrichosis sufferer. Dissatisfied with the result, he “incrementally asked me to take my clothes off,” she says, and she complied, wanting “just to get done.” Soon, she found herself wearing nothing but her underwear and Doc Marten combat boots. “He started saying things, improvising as this detective character: ‘I can see your tits,’ ‘I can see you shave your pussy.’ He did it until I finally cried,” she says. Then he thanked her for her performance.
Tessa Goss says she encountered Henry at Culver City’s acting center ITA when she was pregnant with her third child, “excited to burn $45 to get in front of Andy and get called in to read before my baby bump grew and I was out of the game again.” She observes of his methodology: “He prefaced by saying, as he’d playact frustration, running his hands through his hair, ‘This is going to seem super-crazy, but don’t think it’s super-weird.’ That he works with actresses all the time. His thing was that [the performance] would feel more authentic if you can feel your nipples against your clothes.” She continues, “I thought, ‘I need to get out of here.’ But there’s also this sick actor part of me that thought, ‘I need to get out of here as friends.’”
Goss left instead of removing her bra. “Lucky for me,” she explains, “I was pregnant and didn’t want to show my bump.” (Goss later emailed ITA about her concern. In a reply she shared with THR, employee Bob Rumnock wrote, “Dear God! Just tell me that no one asked you to disrobe!!!” He didn’t respond to a request for comment.)
Already accustomed to the draining endeavor of auditioning, with its relentless exposure and rejection, the women’s interactions with Henry left them feeling coerced in the moment as well as undermined in their craft long afterward. Catherine Black rebuffed the request that she shed her attire during a private session at AIA Actor’s Studio in Burbank. “It really planted a seed in my head, that maybe I wasn’t good enough. Of, what did I do wrong?”
Henry’s actions allegedly extended to the casting office where he was employed at the time, Ulrich/Dawson/Kritzer. Then-recent L.A. transplant Jacqueline Mueller, an aspiring actress and intern in the office, explains that during a private coaching session in 2008 on the premises utilizing the CSI scene, he requested she take her bra off, which she did. “Then he asked me to unzip my sweater,” she says. “If I’d unzipped it, I would’ve been topless. I felt disgusted and bamboozled.” When she demurred, he offered her whiskey out of a drawer, to loosen her inhibitions. Mueller adds: “I don’t remember him reaching out to the men in the office to ‘help’ them” with their acting aspirations. (Henry responded, “During the time in question, many years ago, I did not have a comparable scene for male actors in which even the potential for nudity would have been relevant.”)
Evan Stephens Hall
Number of accusers: 1
Pinegrove frontman Evan Stephens Hall has addressed allegations of sexual coercion levied against him by “someone I was involved with for a short but intense period of time.”
“The time we spent together was complicated,” Hall writes of their relationship in an open letter posted to Pinegrove’s Facebook. “I believed we were mutually in love and we said it to each other often. But she also sometimes expressed reservation — she was dating someone else, and the dissolution of that relationship would have yielded intense personal and professional consequences. We talked about it thoroughly, endlessly. It was convoluted, heavy, emotional. This whole period felt like an impossible situation with no right answer, but we were working through it together.”
“Eventually she broke up with her boyfriend. We got together again shortly after that, which lasted for about two weeks, during which we spent as much time together as possible. She met my parents. We discussed eventually moving in together. While it was by no means a simple relationship, it was sustained tenderly and i believed sincerely that it was mutual. I absolutely never threatened her, I never leveraged anything against her. I believed all of our decisions to be based in love.”
Now, though, Hall says he’s “coming to terms with the fact that I monumentally misread the situation,” adding that “I should have more actively acknowledged my position of power as a public figure, and also as a man. I have always tried to approach all of my relationships under the premise of equality, but I see now more clearly that the inherent privilege of my gender and the accumulated privilege of being a recognized performer most certainly impacted this interaction.”
Hall also admits to being “flirtatious with fans and on a few occasions been intimate with people that I’ve met on tour. I’ve reached the conclusion now that that’s not ever appropriate — even if they initiate it. There will always be an unfair power dynamic at play in these situations and it’s not ok for me to ignore that.” [Consequence of Sound]
Number of accusers: 10+
Liz Gehrlein Marsham had been working at DC Comics for less than three weeks when she said a veteran editor named Eddie Berganza cornered her, stuck his tongue in her mouth, and attempted to grope her.
For Marsham, who was 29 at the time, a foot in the door of DC had been a dream come true. “I was so excited,” she told BuzzFeed News. “I ran around the office the first week taking pictures of things and sending them to my parents.”
But the six years after that 2006 encounter were a “period of slow heartbreak,” Marsham said. Berganza’s actions and DC’s response would change the course of her career — and become fodder for the rumor mill surrounding Berganza and the increasingly open secret of his misconduct. Marsham would be forced to choose between working under Berganza, who she said made her feel profoundly unsafe, or avoiding him at the cost of advancing the career she’d been so proud to start at DC.
“By the time I left,” Marsham said, “I was really demoralized. I was physically ill from being stressed all the time and trying to hide it. I just felt like I needed to get out, however I could.”
Within an industry that has created some of the most influential American fiction serving as the basis for blockbuster films, TV shows, and video games, Berganza has become notorious for the contrast between his personal conduct and professional success. Professionally, he’s moved through the ranks at DC from group editor to executive editor and back again, shepherding properties like Superman and Wonder Woman — properties that grow more valuable by the day as superhero movies dominate box offices and define pop culture. Berganza has become a quintessential company man at a big company inside an even bigger company; DC Comics is part of DC Entertainment, which is owned by Warner Bros., part of Time Warner Inc.
“I just felt like I needed to get out, however I could.”
While Berganza’s misconduct is alleged to have occurred years ago, with no fresh accusations suggesting he continues this behavior, the recent reckonings of powerful Hollywood figures like Harvey Weinstein and Kevin Spacey have emboldened more victims across more industries to tell their stories. Now, for the first time, three women who say Berganza targeted them in the past have come forward to BuzzFeed News. Five people, including two of those women, confirmed that they spoke to higher-ups at DC about Berganza’s behavior.
Credits from some of the DC comics on which Eddie Berganza was a top editor.
Among the women who reported Berganza to human resources, none still work for DC. None are even working at mainstream comics publishers anymore; they’ve largely put superheroes behind them.
“We all left, and he’s still there,” said Janelle Asselin, a former DC editor who spearheaded the multi-employee HR complaint against Berganza in 2010. “That, to me, tells me what DC Comics’ priority is.” (Three days after this story was published, DC Comics fired Berganza.) [Buzzfeed News]
UPDATE (12:25 AM 11/23/17): Five more women come forward with allegations.
More women have come forward to say that a onetime executive editor at DC Comics sexually harassed them, including two who say he inappropriately touched them even after several employees at the publishing giant had complained to company top brass about his behavior.
The new accusations against Eddie Berganza, 53, follow a BuzzFeed News story that detailed how the company failed to discipline him, and even promoted him to executive editor, after a 2010 complaint to human resources. Berganza eventually was demoted in 2012 following allegations that he had forcibly kissed a woman at a comic convention that year. DC Comics, a subsidiary of Warner Bros., fired him on Nov. 13 after the BuzzFeed News story appeared.
But now five more women have told BuzzFeed News about their own experiences with Berganza. One says he forcibly kissed her, something he’d previously been accused of doing to a different woman in the 2010 complaint, and to the other one in 2012. Others now coming forward allege inappropriate touching, and one says Berganza told her she was “too pretty” to be interesting. If DC Comics had acted earlier to rein Berganza in, the women say, they might have been spared harassment and felt more comfortable pursuing careers at major comic publishers. [Buzzfeed News]
Number of accusers: 1
The former St George fullback — one of only eight rugby league players to have attained the game’s greatest title — stands accused of historical sexual abuse of a girl on the Gold Coast in the suburb of Molendinar.
Langlands was not present in Brisbane Magistrates Court on Thursday to face the six charges of indecent dealing with a child under 16, related to one alleged event in 1982 between the March 25 and June 30. [Sydney Morning Herald]
Number of accusers: 1
Jeff Boxer resigned from his position as the executive director of the Content Creators Coalition on Wednesday (Nov. 22) following sexual harassment allegations.
Americana musician Rosy Nolan published a Medium post Tuesday that alleged that Boxer deceived her when she planned to volunteer at the 2016 Americana Fest in Nashville, Tennessee. She wrote that he told her he would find a place for her to stay, but it “turned out to be a foam mattress on the living room floor of HIS Airbnb.”
“I returned to the living room almost frozen with fear and disbelief,” Nolan continued. “It became irrefutably clear that I’d been duped and manipulated. My trip was a complete bust. Jeffrey Boxer had lied to me and I was in an extremely vulnerable position.”
Nolan left the Airbnb in the night and reported the incident to C3 the next day. She said that no action had been taken against Boxer in the 14 months following her sexual harassment report. [Billboard.biz]
Number of accusers: 1
Richard Branson has become the latest prominent figure in the industry to be accused of sexual assault. Speaking with The Sun, Antonia Jenae — a backup-singer for British songstress Joss Stone — claims the Virgin CEO sexually assaulted her during a party on his private island in the British Virgin Islands in 2010, during which he “motorboated” her in her cleavage while making engine noises. “His behaviour was disgusting. I feel like it was sexual assault,” she said. “We were by the bar and he was saying bye to everyone. He came up to me and put his face in my breasts. He went ‘brrrrrr’ and just walked away. It was surreal, totally out of the blue. Joss and I were like, ‘What the hell was that?!’ Everyone was wondering why I wasn’t angry because I’m usually a firebrand. But I was just too shocked.”
Although Jenae claims many people witnessed the sexual assault, Branson’s representatives have issued an statement that denies any wrongdoing on his part. “Everyone appeared to enjoy their time,” the statement reads, according to The Telegraph. “Richard has no recollection of this matter. Neither do his family and friends who were with him at the time. There would never have been any intention to offend or make anyone feel uncomfortable. Richard apologises if anyone felt that way.” [Vulture]
Number of accusers: 1 (since Weinstein)
In a world RadarOnline.com exclusive, film producer Ed Meyer has broken an almost ten-year silence to reveal what Haim confided to him in 2008 — just two years before the troubled actor died of pneumonia at 38.
“Corey said, ‘I have a problem with Michael Jackson and with Charlie Sheen. I was assaulted by these guys, and a few others,’ ” Meyer told Radar. “I didn’t feel it was appropriate to say, ‘Who are the other people?’”
Although Haim never described the assaults as sexual, Meyer said his meaning was all too clear.
“Oh yeah, definitely,” Meyer told Radar. “He didn’t use the word sexual in either case. [It was just], ‘I was assaulted by these guys and a few others.’ It was also clear Sheen turned him on to drugs. That was 100 percent clear … He sounded like he was calling Charlie a pimp.”
Meyer told Radar Haim made the explosive revelation about Jackson, who died in 2009 at age 50, while filming the reality show The Two Coreys. The scene was eventually deleted.
Haim co-starred in the show with fellow former child star Corey Feldman.
In the deleted scene, filmed at Sound City Studios in Los Angeles, a down-on-his-luck Haim asked Meyer and casting directors for help in reviving his career.
One of the directors happened to know Sheen, and Haim was startled to see him, Meyer said.
“You could see he was shook a little bit,” Meyer told Radar. “He didn’t expect it, and I started kicking him under the table, like, ‘Back off!’”
That’s when Haim ripped into Sheen and Jackson for assaulting him , Meyer said.
“[Corey] was basically saying it was a dark time in his life, but he felt he was over that, and he was moving on and looking for work, and that played into what we were doing on camera,” Meyer said.
Ultimately, Meyer said the scene was cut because Haim had gone “overboard” about Jackson and Sheen.
“A&E filmed the video, and they did not air our piece because Corey was going overboard, venting,” Meyer said.
“If it had aired, I think you would have had law enforcement looking into Charlie!” [RadarOnline]
Number of accusers: Multiple, up to 50
Australian TV gardening celebrity Don Burke has been accused of indecent assault, sexual harassment and bullying by multiple women.
Burke hosted the popular Channel Nine series Burke’s Backyard from the ’80s until 2004 when it was axed by the network.
The ABC and Sydney Morning Herald reported on Monday that two of his former researchers on the show had come forward to claim Burke had “groped their breasts” and one of them said Burke once showed her a video of a woman having sex with a donkey.
Louise Langdon, one of the former researchers alleged to Fairfax that Burke attempted to remove her top on one occasion.
“Dealing with Don Burke was an endurance test in terms of his persistence in commentary about anything sexual,” she told Fairfax.
Two former CEOs of Nine, David Leckie and Sam Chisholm both told Fairfax that they were not surprised to receive calls about Burke.
“Don Burke was a disgrace because of his behaviour internally and externally,” Chisholm reportedly told Fairfax.
Fairfax reported that more than 50 people they had spoken to had made serious allegations about Burke, but unlike the Harvey Weinstein scandal, none involved accusations of rape.
Another woman, freelance journalist Wendy Dent has also come forward this morning tweeting that Burke once allegedly asked her to audition topless.
In a statement provided to the ABC, Burke strenuously denied the allegations.
“I am deeply hurt and outraged at the false and defamatory claims made in your correspondence,” Burke said. “It is evident that these baseless claims concern statements from a few ex-employees of CTC (Cut The Crap) Productions who bear grudges against me.”
“The bitter irony is that I have had a life-long opposition to sexism and misogyny. Burke’s Backyard was a lone bastion of anti-misogyny from its inception in 1987.” [Buzzfeed]
Number of accusers: 24
FORMER Saints youth football coach Bob Higgins today denied sexually assaulting a teenage boy — just months after he also denied abusing 23 others.
This summer the 64-year-old denied over 60 historic child sex offences relating to when he was a coach at Southampton Football Club.
It is alleged in 1984, while working as a football coach, he ‘breached his position of trust’ and molested the teenage boy. He denies indecent assault.
Prosecutor Charles Nightingale said: “The matter relates to the defendant’s time as a football coach and during this time he came into contact with a number of boys.
“He was an older man at the time and the crown say he was in a position of trust whereby he had responsibility over them and he breached that trust.
“This case is one that should join a number of others. There are 24 agreed parties in all.
“These matters came to light from an NSPCC helpline and significant efforts from Hampshire police.”
He remains on unconditional bail and will next appear at Southampton Crown Court on January 5 next year when the matter will be moved to Salisbury Crown Court, so it can be included in his trial in May.
Higgins faces a total of 66 child sex offences which are said to refer to indecent assaults or attempted indecent assaults against boys predominantly “within the footballing community”.
He faces 64 counts of indecent assaults against 24 teenage boys, and a further two counts of attempting to indecently assault one of them between 1979 and 1983.
All the alleged offences are said to have taken place over a 26 year period between 1970 and 1996.
Number of accusers: 5
NBC has fired longtime “Today” host Matt Lauer following allegations of workplace misconduct, the network announced on Wednesday.
“We are devastated,” “Today” co-host Savannah Guthrie said in an emotional statement. “All we can say is we are heartbroken.”
Guthrie said that NBC News chairman Andy Lack informed employees early Wednesday about the decision after having received a complaint about Lauer’s behavior on Monday night. She read Lack’s note on-air, noting that while the network says it had never received a complaint about Lauer before, it has “reason to believe this may not have been an isolated incident.”
NBC didn’t elaborate on the allegations, but the New York Post’s Page Six cited anonymous sources who said that Lauer assaulted a staffer at the 2014 Sochi Olympics. An earlier version of Page Six’s story said the incident took place during the 2016 Rio Olympics, which was later amended.
Both Guthrie and co-host Hoda Kotb appeared shaken by the news.
“We are grappling with a dilemma that so many people have faced these weeks,” Guthrie said. “How do you reconcile your love for someone with the recognition that they have behaved badly? And I don’t know the answer to that.”
“This is a very tough morning for both of us,” Kotb said. “I’ve known Matt for 15 years and I’ve loved him as a friend and a colleague, and just like you were saying, Savannah, it’s hard to reconcile what we are hearing with the man who we know, who walks in this building every, single day.” [HuffPost]
UPDATE (10:34 PM 11/29/17): More information on the allegations that led to Matt Lauer’s firing.
As the co-host of NBC’s “Today,” Matt Lauer once gave a colleague a sex toy as a present. It included an explicit note about how he wanted to use it on her, which left her mortified.
On another day, he summoned a different female employee to his office, and then dropped his pants, showing her his penis. After the employee declined to do anything, visibly shaken, he reprimanded her for not engaging in a sexual act.
He would sometimes quiz female producers about who they’d slept with, offering to trade names. And he loved to engage in a crass quiz game with men and women in the office: “f — , marry, or kill,” in which he would identify the female co-hosts that he’d most like to sleep with.
These accounts of Lauer’s behavior at NBC are the result of a two-month investigation by Variety, with dozens of interviews with current and former staffers. Variety has talked to three women who identified themselves as victims of sexual harassment by Lauer, and their stories have been corroborated by friends or colleagues that they told at the time. They have asked for now to remain unnamed, fearing professional repercussions. [Variety]
UPDATE (10:44 PM 11/29/17): Two more women come forward with new allegations, bringing the known total of accusers to 5.
On Wednesday, NBC received at least two more complaints related to Mr. Lauer, according to a person briefed on the network’s handling of the matter. One complaint came from a former employee who said Mr. Lauer had summoned her to his office in 2001, locked the door and sexually assaulted her. She provided her account to The New York Times but declined to let her name be used.
She told The Times that she passed out and had to be taken to a nurse. She said that she felt helpless because she didn’t want to lose her job, and that she didn’t report the encounter at the time because she felt ashamed. [New York Times]
Number of accusers: 1
Garrison Keillor, longtime host of the syndicated public radio variety show “A Prairie Home Companion,” said Wednesday he’s been fired by Minnesota Public Radio after accusations of inappropriate behavior.
Keillor, who retired from “A Prairie Home Companion” in 2016 but continued producing “The Writer’s Almanac” for syndication, confirmed his firing to The Associated Press, saying his removal was linked to “a story that I think is more interesting and more complicated than the version MPR heard.”
He didn’t elaborate.
Minnesota Public Radio said in a statement released shortly after Keillor’s announcement that it decided to terminate his contracts and his private media companies after someone who worked with him on “A Prairie Home Companion” came forward last month. MPR said it hired lawyers to investigate the allegations.
“Garrison Keillor has been an important part of the growth and success of MPR, and all of us in the MPR community are saddened by these circumstances,” the network’s president, Jon McTaggart, said. “While we appreciate the contributions Garrison has made to MPR and to all of public radio, we believe this decision is the right thing to do and is necessary to continue to earn the trust of our audiences, employees and supporters of our public service.”
Keillor’s firing ends the distribution and broadcasting of the literary radio show “The Writer’s Almanac,” and all rebroadcasts of “The Best of A Prairie Home Companion” hosted by Keillor. [HuffPost]
Number of accusers: 3
CNN on Friday announced its firing of Teddy Davis, a senior producer of anchor Jake Tapper’s show “State of the Union,” over alleged inappropriate behavior.
The network issued a statement saying it had fired Davis after an in-house investigation of his behavior, following an initial report that Davis was dismissed after three women came forward with complaints. [The Hill]
Number of accusers: 1
Oscar-winning actor Geoffrey Rush has denied allegations of inappropriate behavior during his run starring in the Sydney Theatre Company’s (STC) production of King Lear in 2015 and 2016, in a since-deleted report by the Daily Telegraph.
The Telegraph reported on Thursday (local time in Australia) that the STC had “received a complaint alleging that Mr. Geoffrey Rush had engaged in inappropriate behavior,” quoting an STC spokeswoman. The story did not detail what the alleged inappropriate behavior was and did not say that it was sexual in nature. Hours after its publication, the report was deleted from the Telegraph’s website and deleted all tweets associated with the story. The Hollywood Reporterhas reached out to the Daily Telegraph for comment.
Rush vehemently denied the allegation in an initial statement issued by his law firm, HWL Ebsworth. “Mr. Rush has not been approached by the Sydney Theatre Company and the alleged complainant nor any representative of either of them concerning the matter you have raised,” the letter reportedly states.
Quoting the legal statement, the report claimed Rush said he had never been involved in any “inappropriate behavior” and that his “regard, actions and treatment of all the people he has worked with has been impeccable beyond reproach.”
“Further, he has not been informed by them of the nature of the complaint and what it involves,” the statement reads. “In the circumstances, if such a statement has been issued by the STC it is both irresponsible and highly damaging to say the least. Your ‘understanding’ of what has occurred is, with the greatest respect, simply fishing and unfounded. It does not warrant comment except that it is false and untrue.”
The STC said it is still working “with the complainant to minimize the risk of future instances of the alleged behavior occurring in its workplace.” The complainant in question asked for their identity to be withheld.
Rush released a second statement on Thursday, saying, “The moment I became aware of rumours of a complaint I immediately phoned and spoke to senior management at the Sydney Theatre Company asking for clarification about the details of the statement. They refused to illuminate me with the details. I also asked why this information was being withheld, and why, according to standard theatre practice the issue had not been raised with me during the production via stage management, the director, my fellow actors or anyone at management level. However, no response was forthcoming.”
Rush’s lawyer Nicholas Pullen added: “In this current environment, “inappropriate behavior” may mean abuse, bullying or other forms of reprehensible activity. These are matters that deserve forthright and objective levels of discussion. It must be made clear from the outset that Mr. Rush abhors any form of maltreatment of any person in any form.” [The Hollywood Reporter]
Number of accusers: 1 accuser
Dallas Clayton, a popular children’s author, illustrator, and motivational speaker who encourages people to “share love,” is under investigation by the Los Angeles Police Department following a rape report filed against him by a woman.
Dawn Batson, 34, filed a police report on Oct. 19 accusing Clayton of raping her in 2011. Batson then publicly accused him of assault in an Instagram post on Oct. 21, which was written in the same singsong, childlike verse that Clayton often uses in his books. The LAPD confirmed to BuzzFeed News on Tuesday it has an investigation open into a sexual assault report filed against Clayton.
Through an attorney, Clayton declined an interview but called Batson’s report an “outrageous allegation.”
“Mr. Clayton categorically denies Ms. Batson’s allegations, and while no law enforcement officials have reached out to my client about this matter, if and when that occurs, he will cooperate fully with any purported investigation to ensure that his name is cleared,” Andrew Brettler, a lawyer for Clayton, told BuzzFeed News in a statement.
Clayton, 38, has built a brand around positivity and has authored seven books since 2008, including An Awesome Book of Thanks! and Make Magic! Do Good!.
He landed his first book deal in 2011 with HarperCollins after selling “tens of thousands” of copies of An Awesome World! through his website and donating just as many to charity, according to the Hollywood Reporter. Clayton has amassed 241,000 Instagram followers, some of whom get his art tattooed on their bodies. In October, in partnership with Instagram, Clayton, who has been compared to Dr. Seuss, unveiled murals dedicated to “Kind Comments” in Washington, DC, and Chicago. (Instagram does not have an ongoing relationship with Clayton.) Amy Poehler and Pixar also recruited Clayton to design a mural at Disneyland, and a video he made with BuzzFeed in 2014 has 450,000 views. He started to expand his portfolio recently, writing a drama called Sister with recording artist Sia, a closefriend. The film stars Kate Hudson and is scheduled for release next year.
Since Batson posted her story to Instagram four weeks ago, several companies have taken steps to distance themselves from Clayton, including Vans, Rudy’s Barbershop, and Girlboss. Talent management companies Creative Artists Agency and 3 Arts Entertainment also stopped working with Clayton in the past month, BuzzFeed News has learned. Clayton, meanwhile, has remained silent on social media.
Rudy’s Barbershop, a hip salon with shops in Seattle, Portland, New York, and Los Angeles, cut ties with Clayton upon learning of the allegations and stopped selling a tote bag that Clayton had designed for Rudy’s. Upon learning of the allegations, Rudy’s said it would donate proceeds from prior sales of the bag to the “It Gets Better” campaign and make an additional donation to the Rape Abuse Incest National Network.
Sophia Amoruso, the founder of Girlboss, painted over a mural Clayton had done on a building her company occupies in Los Angeles, after she saw Batson’s Instagram post. She then placed a sign on the outside of the building that stated “Rape Culture Ends Now.”
Vans has removed all of its shoes designed by Clayton from its website since Batson posted her accusation on Instagram, though it did not respond to multiple requests asking if this was a direct result of the allegations.
The LAPD declined to release a copy of the police report to BuzzFeed News through an official records request, and it has not given a full copy of the report to Batson. (Police gave Batson a one-page document including the report number, which she provided to BuzzFeed News, which cites “rape” as the “type of crime” alleged.)
Batson told BuzzFeed News that she reported to police that Clayton raped her in November 2011 after they used a drug similar to ecstasy together. Batson said Clayton began performing oral sex on her without her consent. He refused to stop when she told him to and tried to push him off, but he began having intercourse, she said she told police.
“I turned my head and put my face in the pillow and just couldn’t believe that I didn’t have control over my body,” Batson told BuzzFeed News, echoing what she said she told police. “And that’s when he started having sex with me. I remember being creeped out by how angry he seemed.”
Three friends of Batson’s who spoke with BuzzFeed News recall her describing that evening to them in nearly identical detail at various points over the years. One said Batson told her about it days later in November 2011. Another said they first learned about it three years ago, and a third friend said Batson relayed details to them two years ago. They all also recalled Batson describing the day she went back to Clayton’s house, a few days after the night of the alleged rape, to confront him.
Brettler, Clayton’s attorney, said Batson’s claims “seemingly came out of nowhere.”
“Indeed, for the past five years, Ms. Batson and Mr. Clayton have been friends,” Brettler said. “Text messages exchanged between the two of them show that Ms. Batson enjoyed spending time with Mr. Clayton and cared about him. She invited him to tea months after the alleged incident, and in both December 2012 and September 2014, she was a gracious and eager host to Mr. Clayton at the Chateau Marmont, where she worked, assisting him with reservations and security, and even sending flowers to his hotel room when he celebrated his birthday there.”
Batson confirmed to BuzzFeed that she interacted with Clayton a few times in the intervening years, both over text messages and at her job, and said she was afraid if she treated him coldly, she’d face repercussions. But she remembered the interactions as upsetting, including on the night she arranged a good table and flowers for him at the restaurant where she worked.
“I went back to the host stand and my whole body was shaking,” Batson said. “I was thinking, I don’t know why I’m being nice to him, he raped me … I was also just so afraid. I remember being terrified that he’d know I was talking about him and he was going to sue me.” A coworker of Batson’s from the time, who was also working that night, told BuzzFeed News she remembered Batson seating Clayton at the table with flowers and then referring to him as her “rapist.”
Batson said she wanted to go public now to make people “aware of who he is if they’re going to be alone with him.” Batson said she’s angry that Clayton continues to portray himself as a messenger of love and hope: “I feel like I gave him a chance.” [Buzzfeed News]
Number of accusers: 1 accuser
Famed venture capitalist Steve Jurvetson is leaving his job at Draper Fisher Jurvetson in the wake of an investigation into sexual harassment.
Jurvetson is the highest-profile venture capitalist to be forced from his job amid an industrywide evaluation of how Silicon Valley treats women. Jurvetson sits on the board of two of tech’s flashiest companies, SpaceX and Tesla, and the news has already stripped him of those posts, at least temporarily.
DFJ announced the move in a letter to limited partners on Monday. The firm released a statement to Recode that read:
As of today and by mutual agreement, Steve Jurvetson will be leaving DFJ. DFJ’s culture has been, and will continue to be, built on the values of respect and integrity in all of our interactions. We are focused on the success of our portfolio companies, as well as the long-term vision for the firm and will continue to operate with the highest professional standards.
The firm did not specify the reason for the ouster in the letter, but sources said that the investigation uncovered behaviors by Jurvetson that were unacceptable related to a negative tone toward women entrepreneurs.
In a one-sentence statement to Recode, Jurvetson said: “I am leaving DFJ to focus on personal matters, including taking legal action against those who have defamed me.” Jurvetson has not yet provided evidence of steps he is taking to sue, but did say in a tweet that he was a subject of “false statements.”
The departure comes as Jurvetson was being investigated by his own firm for harassment. An entrepreneur had alleged predatory behavior was “rampant” at DFJ. The woman, Keri Kukral, did not name Jurvetson in her Facebook post. [Recode]
Colorado State Rep. Steve Lebsock
Number of accusers: 3 accusers
Rep. Faith Winter, D-Westminster, outlined the allegations against Lebsock in a notice to House Speaker Crisanta Duran. The complaint, which Winter confirmed had been filed, will launch a confidential investigation by the speaker’s office and legislative attorneys that may end in disciplinary action.
On Friday, Lebsock encouraged Winter and two other women who came forward in The Denver Post with complaints of harassment and unwanted sexual advances to file a formal complaint “through the normal professional process, not just through the media.” He said he would “honestly and thoughtfully” respond.
Duran is the point person in the state House for workplace harassment complaints and will spearhead the investigation. She called on Lebsock to resign Friday, even while saying she had not made any judgments about the facts of this situation. [Denver Post]
Number of accusers: 1 accuser
Longtime U.S. women’s national team goalkeeper Hope Solo says former FIFA president Sepp Blatter sexually assaulted her at a 2013 awards ceremony, according to The Guardian.
Solo told Portuguese publication Expresso that Blatter grabbed her “ass” at the January 2013 Ballon d’Or ceremony. Blatter denied the allegation to The Guardian.
“I had Sepp Blatter grab my ass,” Solo told Expresso. “It was at the Ballon d’Or, right before I went on stage.”
Solo was in attendance that night to present the FIFA women’s world player of the year award to USWNT striker Abby Wambach. She was accompanied on stage by Blatter.
“I was in shock and completely thrown off,” Solo told The Guardian, referring to the alleged assault.
Solo offered her support for the “#MeToo” campaign in an Instagram post last month, saying she and other players have had to deal with “inappropriate comments, unwanted advances and grabs of the ass” from “trainers, doctors, coaches, executives and even teammates.”
In her interview with The Guardian, Solo said “sexual harassment and inappropriate behavior are rampant” in sports.
Blatter, 81, resigned as FIFA president in June 2015 in the wake of a corruption scandal shortly after winning a fifth term. In 2004, he suggested female soccer players could wear “more feminine clothes,” including “tighter shorts.” He has also made several sexist comments in public.
Solo, who hasn’t played for the national team since a 2016 suspension, has more caps and wins than any other goalkeeper in women’s soccer history, helping the U.S. women’s national team win the World Cup in 2015 and the Olympics in 2008 and 2012.
Number of accusers: 1 accuser
Rolling Stone founder Jann Wenner offered an aspiring writer work in exchange for sex in the latest allegation of sexual harassment against a public figure.
Writer Ben Ryan said when he refused his advances, Wenner offered him a 25-story contract to stay at his townhouse during a 2005 meeting, BuzzFeed Newsreported.
Ryan, who was 27 at the time of the encounter, said Wenner purported to be interested in his story pitches.
It felt like “the beginning of the end of waiting for something to happen professionally,” Ryan told Buzzfeed. “I felt like this was the beginning of me making it. That’s how naive I was at the time,” he said.
Ryan, now 39, said the meeting for which he had such high hopes ended with an offer of career advancement in exchange for sex.
Ryan initially met Wenner about an assignment for Men’s Journal — which he received.
Wenner asked for a follow-up meeting at his Upper West Side townhouse. where the alleged harassment took place.
Ryan described the encounter as sudden.
“I had Jann Wenner’s tongue in my mouth,” he said. “I went along for a second but then said something to the effect of ‘Oh please, I’m not that kind of girl,’” he toldBuzzFeed News.
He described feeling “totally grossed out” after the incident.
Wenner also allegedly warned him not to tell anyone about what had happened.
“All of a sudden I was the bad guy and I felt like I was in the hot seat and being grilled,” Ryan told BuzzFeed News.
When Ryan tried to leave Wenner’s home, the media man offered him a writing contract, if he would stay, BuzzFeed reported.
“I think there was that moment where it’s like time stood still, and you’re imagining how this could be the answer to all my struggles. All I would have to do is this one thing,” Ryan said. “But that’s not me. I would never do that,” he said.
Ryan keeps a journal whose entry that night read, “Last night Jann Wenner asked me to come to his townhouse for a drink at 10:30 p.m. I knew this would happen sooner or later, I just didn’t think he’d take such a direct approach. It was the most pure form of sexual harassment: he pawed and groped and I insisted no but he persisted promising me a ’25 article contract’ in the most disingenuous voice,” the entry read.
He described Wenner as a “Serpent-like kisser, lashing with his tongue.”
“After 90 minutes I left dignity relatively intact,” the entry read.
Ryan’s boyfriend at the time, James Harris, said Ryan told him about the incident. Other friends corroborated the account, too, BuzzFeed reported.
Wenner acknowledged the encounter but denied offering the young writer work in exchange for sex.
“I met him twelve years ago and did flirt with him. There was no quid pro quo. He refused my advances, but still went on to have his assignment from Men’s Journal published,” Wenner said in a statement to BuzzFeed News. [Buzzfeed News]
Minnesota State Sen. Dan Schoen
Number of accusers: Multiple
Minnesota state Sen. Dan Schoen sexually harassed women involved in state politics while serving as a DFL lawmaker, according to multiple women who have spoken to MinnPost. Schoen, currently a first-term senator from St. Paul Park, previously served two terms in the House. He also works as a paramedic and police officer in Cottage Grove.
The women describe behavior by Schoen that ranges from persistent and unwanted invitations to meet to physically grabbing a woman from behind. One woman, who asked to not be identified, said he sent her a photo of male genitalia via Snapchat.
Schoen, who was presented with the allegations in a meeting with MinnPost, was aware of each incident but said in a subsequent statement that the allegations are “either completely false or have been taken far out of context. It was never my intention to leave the impression I was making an inappropriate advance on anyone. I feel terrible that someone may have a different interpretation of an encounter, but that is the absolute truth. I also unequivocally deny that I ever made inappropriate contact with anyone.”
“Despite this, if any of my actions or words have ever made another person feel uncomfortable or harassed, I deeply regret it and truly apologize,” Schoen continued. “This is not who I am nor is it the person I would want anyone to feel I am.”
But DFL Senate Minority Leader Tom Bakk, after being told about the allegations and talking with Schoen, called for him to resign from his seat in the Legislature. “These victims’ allegations are sobering and disturbing. Sen. Schoen’s actions, even with additional context, were inappropriate and do not meet the standards for behavior of a state legislator,” Bakk said in a statement. “I have discussed these allegations with my leadership team and we are united in our call for Sen. Dan Schoen to apologize, step aside, and seek care to address these actions.”
‘That’s a good door-knocking ass’
Among the women to step forward to report their experience with Schoen is Lindsey Port. In August of 2015, Port was a first-time DFL legislative candidate when she went to an event in downtown Minneapolis to mingle with fellow candidates. The Democratic National Committee was hosting three days of meetings in Minneapolis, and a year ahead of the presidential election, Hillary Clinton and former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley were expected to show up and shake hands with activists from across the country.
Port, a small-business owner, had recently announced her plans to run for a state House seat in the Burnsville area. At the DNC event, she was chatting with other candidates and state legislators about her busy summer knocking on doors — a common campaign activity — when Schoen, then a representative in the House, stepped back to look at her from behind. “‘I can tell when a candidate is doing a good job knocking on doors by checking out their ass,’” Port says Schoen told her. “He said, ‘Yep, looks like you’re doing a good job.’”
The group quickly moved on to other topics, but about 15 minutes later, Port recalled, O’Malley showed up at the event and she made her way over to meet him. Right as she was about to greet O’Malley, Schoen came up from behind her and grabbed her buttocks. According to Port, Schoen then said: “Yep, yep, that’s a good door-knocking ass.”
After the incident, Port says she was initially uncomfortable talking about what happened. “I was new in politics. This was my first time running, or being anything other than a volunteer,” she said. “I already was getting a lot of, ‘Oh, your race is going to be super targeted, you’re in one of the most targeted districts, it will be very high profile, be very careful and make sure everything looks great and you’re doing all the right things.’ I was very concerned that it would become a reason for the party not to target me if I spoke out against him. Or that it would just be, ‘She was the girl who can’t take a joke,’ and that would be the story.”
State Rep. Erin Murphy
But since she was running for a seat in the same chamber as Schoen, Port saw him as a potential colleague, even if she wasn’t in the House yet. Two weeks later, she reported the incident to DFL Rep. Erin Murphy, who was then the deputy minority leader of the Minnesota House. Murphy said she reported the incident to the executive director of the House DFL caucus. After that, it became a personnel issue and she wasn’t privy to what happened next, Murphy said. The results of that complaint are not public under state law.
“I reported it and then I went back to Lindsey,” Murphy told MinnPost. “A guiding principle to me in a situation like this is to let the person that is impacted guide how and when she wants to tell that part of her story. She has made a decision to tell this story now. I think that is brave on her part and I have said all along that when she decided — if she decided — to tell this story that I would be there to support her as a friend.”
Others report experiences with lawmaker
Port is not the only woman who has come forward with stories about Schoen.
State Rep. Erin Maye Quade
Rep. Erin Maye Quade, DFL-Apple Valley, said she also had an unsettling experience with the lawmaker. It was December of 2015, shortly after Jamar Clark was shot and killed by a Minneapolis Police officer, and protesters were occupying the street’s around North Minneapolis’ 4th Precinct police station. Maye Quade, who was working for U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison at the time, had been spending a lot of time at the occupation. On the day when several protesters were shot, Schoen started sending her text messages.
Maye Quade had just become a candidate for the state House, and had never met Schoen, she said, but he nevertheless offered up his advice about how to handle the situation at the 4th Precinct. “Be careful about posting anything about BLM and if you want a police officer’s side of this, feel free to ask,” Maye Quade said Schoen texted.
He then asked her multiple times if she wanted to meet and have a drink and talk about it. Maye Quade said she respectfully declined.
Later that same evening, Schoen texted her again, this time suggesting she should come over, telling her his children weren’t home. She thought the messages were strange but didn’t think much of the invitation until she got another text that was “clearly meant for someone else.” It said, “‘I almost got her. Working on her pretty hard, but I almost got her,’” according to Maye Quade. “My blood went cold.”
Maye Quade took a screenshot of the text and, like Port, reported it to Murphy, who asked if Maye Quade wanted her to do something about it. Maye Quade decided to not go further with it at the time, saying: “How do you report a feeling? That could be explained in any way, shape or form. After that, I’ve avoided him like the plague.”
‘We need a better process’
The allegations against Schoen come in the wake of dozens of stories about sexual harassment and assault at the hands of powerful and well-known men in various high-profile positions — an outpouring that was catalyzed with allegations against movie producer Harvey Weinstein.
Those stories led to a social media campaign, #MeToo, that has encouraged women to share their experiences with harassment, offering revelations that have upended various industries and institutions across the country. State houses throughout the U.S. have been at the center of some of the most prominent allegations, stories involving sexual harassment and assault at the hands of lawmakers, lobbyists and people who work on campaigns.
The Minnesota House and Senate have sexual harassment policies that cover both legislators and employees. Legislators go through a sexual harassment training after they are elected, and new employees are required to take harassment and discrimination training when they are hired and every five years thereafter. Temporary employees go through training every other year.
“One of the key elements of sexual harassment is that the behavior is UNWELCOME,” reads the House policy. “Sexual conduct or communications that might be welcome to you may be unwelcome to another. Sexual conduct or communications that might have been welcome between two individuals at one time may become unwelcome at a later time.”
The Legislature’s policies include procedures for reporting and working through a sexual harassment complaint. According to the policy, possible remedies for sexual harassment involving an employee include: “an apology, direction to stop the offensive behavior, counseling or training, oral warning, written warning, transfer to another department, suspension with or without pay, or termination.”
But when it comes to a member of the House or Senate, who hold election certificates, things become less clear. In that case, the House policy simply says it will be handled by “leadership.” “I think the culture is the same as it is in a lot of places, except that we don’t have a natural recourse,” Maye Quade said. “Ultimately, it’s the voter’s decision.”
Several women said there’s fear around reporting incidents of sexual harassment in St. Paul, where a sitting legislator could retaliate against another legislator by trying to block legislation they’re working on. In campaign work, women worry they won’t get hired for campaign jobs, or their own races may not be taken seriously. Shortly after she was elected last fall and as the 2017 session was ramping up, DFL Rep. Jamie Becker-Finn said she was warned by two lobbyists about Schoen. “You know about Dan Schoen, right?” Becker-Finn says she was told. “‘Just be really careful.’ This wasn’t just a one-time thing. This is clearly a pattern that people are aware of.”
When it comes to reporting incidents by lawmakers, it should be, “here are the rules and this is what will happen to you if you break those rules,” said Becker-Finn.“That isn’t how it works. It really is putting the onus back on the person who has been victimized to figure it out, which puts you on the hot seat if someone should be upset. Clearly, we need a better process. That’s clear to everybody.” [MinnPost]
Rep. Ruben Kihuen
Number of accusers: 1 accuser
A woman who worked as the finance director for a promising Nevada Democrat is alleging that he repeatedly harassed and made sexual advances toward her during his 2016 congressional campaign — and like many young people on campaigns all over the country, she did not know what to do with her complaint and didn’t feel comfortable bringing it to the campaign’s leadership.
So she quit her job. And he’s now in Congress.
Samantha, whose last name BuzzFeed News is withholding at her request, began working for Rep. Ruben Kihuen early in his campaign to unseat Republican Rep. Cresent Hardy in December 2015 and quit by April 2016. Starting in February of that year, Samantha, who was 25 at the time, said Kihuen, who was then 35 and still competing in the primary race, propositioned her for dates and sex despite her repeated rejections. On two occasions, she says he touched her thighs without consent.
While Samantha was uncertain how she could report her experience, she said she spoke with a contact at the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee to explain why she was quitting so abruptly, and told the staffer that Kihuen had done things that made her uncomfortable.
“I didn’t know what they could do, but I felt like I had to let someone know,” she said.
The person she spoke with at the DCCC, a midlevel staffer who no longer works there, confirmed a conversation took place. He said he did not recall her telling him any specifics, only that she quit because she felt uncomfortable with Kihuen, and he did not believe that she wanted the DCCC to escalate it. He spoke only with a colleague — another midlevel staffer who is also no longer there — about the call.
Because the race was, at that point, still in the primaries, the DCCC had limited involvement in Kihuen’s campaign. But the second staffer informed Kihuen’s campaign manager, Dave Chase, of Samantha’s call after she had left the campaign. Chase confirmed to BuzzFeed News that someone at the DCCC called to say that the woman had quit because she felt “uncomfortable” around Kihuen, but he was not aware of the specifics of the allegations. He says he confronted Kihuen, who denied that anything improper had occurred.
In a statement from his congressional office Friday, Kihuen said, “The staff member in question was a valued member of my team. I sincerely apologize for anything that I may have said or done that made her feel uncomfortable. I take this matter seriously as it is not indicative of who I am. I was raised in a strong family that taught me to treat women with the utmost dignity and respect. I have spent my fifteen years in public service fighting for women’s equality, and I will continue to do so.”
After this story was published, the congressman’s office sent out a new statement adding that he wanted to “make it clear that I don’t recall any of the circumstances” described by Samantha. BuzzFeed News did not receive a response earlier Friday to a follow-up question to a staffer in Kihuen’s congressional office asking if the congressman denied that the events, as described, occurred.
When presented with specific details of the allegations contained in this story, DCCC chairman Ben Ray Luján called on Kihuen to resign.
“Members and candidates must be held to the highest standard. If anyone is guilty of sexual harassment or sexual assault, they should not hold elected office. Congressman Kihuen should resign,” he said Friday.
“If anyone is guilty of sexual harassment or sexual assault, they should not hold elected office. Congressman Kihuen should resign.”
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi also called on Kihuen to resign in a statement released by her office just after midnight Saturday. “In Congress, no one should face sexual harassment in order to work in an office or in a campaign. The young woman’s documented account is convincing, and I commend her for the courage it took to come forward,” she said after this story was published. “In light of these upsetting allegations, Congressman Kihuen should resign.”
Chase, the former campaign manager, said that he was “deeply disappointed and heartbroken by Ruben’s actions.”
“I believe Samantha and wish I had known her specific allegations when I confronted Ruben after she left the campaign or in time to stop what took place,” he said.
On Feb. 6, 2016, Samantha says she accompanied Kihuen to a fundraiser — a normal function of her job as finance director. As she attempted to leave when the event wrapped up, she says Kihuen walked her to her car.
“He followed me to my car and said, ‘You look really good, I’d like to take you out if you didn’t work for me,’” she recalled.
Samantha said she quickly stated that she had a boyfriend, got in her car, and left. The advances became more frequent and more aggressive after that, asking if she had ever “cheated on her boyfriend” and repeating that he would take her out if she did not work for him.
On Feb. 19, Samantha says she accompanied Kihuen to a meeting with Rep. Tony Cárdenas at the Aria Hotel. Cárdenas was in town to support presidential candidate Hillary Clinton ahead of the Nevada caucuses. Cárdenas’ office confirmed that he and his wife stayed in the hotel that weekend. In the elevator on the way to the meeting, Samantha said Kihuen told her, “We should get a hotel room here.”
“I said ‘no’ very firmly and he just laughed at me. It was humiliating,” she told BuzzFeed News.
Kihuen drove on the way back from the meeting to their campaign office, with Samantha in the passenger seat. Samantha said Kihuen again asked if she’d ever cheated on her boyfriend, and started touching her thigh. She told him to stop, and said she said “no” and began talking about her boyfriend.
A separate time, in March, Kihuen asked for help with something on the computer during “call time” — when a candidate makes fundraising calls — and Samantha alleges he grabbed the back of her thigh while she looked at the screen.
“I asked him what he was doing and he stopped.” Samantha left the campaign soon after.
The DCCC requires all its staffers to take an “extensive and multi-hour” sexual harassment training — and did in 2016 as well — and they encourage campaigns to take any complaints very seriously. They do offer resources to help create codes of conduct and sexual harassment policies, but ultimately, every campaign makes its own rules. However, this cycle, the DCCC will require all campaigns and candidates they work with to establish a sexual harassment policy and take sexual harassment training if they want to receive financial and structural support from the committee.
Samantha’s situation underscores a stark reality on the campaign trail: there is no real HR system in place on campaigns, and people are loath to report incidents that would make the party or the candidate look bad.
BuzzFeed News spoke with nearly two dozen women — Democrats and Republicans — who have worked on multiple campaigns over the years. All of them said the temporary, high-pressure nature of political campaigns and informal work environment, where professional and personal boundaries are often blurry, makes it so that any sort of human resources operation is the last thing anyone even thinks about.
That problem is multiplied in House and Senate races, which are typically much more strapped for resources than presidential campaigns. An employee handbook that only some campaigns keep some version of, and that former staffers confessed to never actually reading, is typically the most a campaign of that level offers in the form of any official discussion on workplace conduct.
“Often on a House campaign, especially before a primary, money is so tight and you’re talking about a staff of four or five people,” said one Democratic campaign veteran. “There’s just no support to handle anything like that.” Another longtime GOP campaign staffer described working on campaigns like going to camp for the summer. “You create hopefully positive bonds, but sometimes it doesn’t happen that way,” she said, adding that if it’s the latter, there’s “no structure to deal with it.”
Some, like Samantha, have looked to the party committee for help, but how a harassment complaint is handled can depend almost entirely on how invested the official party is in the race. Typically, a committee only gets involved in the most competitive races and even then waits until the general election campaign.
Another longtime Democratic operative who has worked on multiple high-profile campaigns recalled an instance where a staffer made a serious allegation against a male in a senior role in their campaign. Because the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee was heavily invested in the race, an attorney was dispatched to investigate and the staffer in the senior role was fired. The operative declined to name the campaign and staffers involved.
“How much infrastructure there is to support workplace complaints depends entirely on the kind of campaign it is and how far along it is,” the operative said. “A well-funded incumbent Senate campaign will have resources to deal with allegations, but a smaller House race won’t — especially if the committees aren’t involved.”
Several women said verbal sexual misconduct — inappropriate jokes and comments about women’s clothing and bodies — can be fairly routine on campaigns, with most saying it’s unclear who they would file a complaint with if a problem came up, because there’s “no adult in the room,” as one former Democratic campaign staffer put it. Because the focus is ultimately on winning, several women said they’ve either ignored, laughed off, or tried to play along with comments that made them uncomfortable and focused on their work.
“Campaigns are breeding grounds for inappropriate humor. The culture is just more raunchy than the typical workplace,” another former Democratic campaign staffer said. “There are a lot of people replaying prior experiences in their heads and wondering, ‘Was there a line crossed?’”
Samantha texted a friend the details of the harassment she experienced on Kihuen’s campaign about a month before she finally quit, telling the friend on March 10, 2016, that she was upset and Kihuen was saying “creepy things to me sometimes.” The friend asked what that was and she responded that the then-candidate “put his hand on my thigh a couple of times. Asked me weird questions once like if I had ever cheated on my boyfriend. Said a couple of times he would take me out if I didnt work for him.” The friend replied that Kihuen had “crossed way over the line in to law suit teratorye [sic]” and encouraged her to look for other work.
BuzzFeed News has seen and verified screenshots of those text message conversations, and additionally spoke with four people who said they had spoken with Samantha around the time she left the campaign, confirming she had shared details of the account in this story.
Inappropriate behavior on campaigns can travel and elevate abusive relationships to Washington, as candidates become members of Congress and campaign staffers move to Hill jobs, something campaign staffers who spoke with BuzzFeed News raised as a concern. As BuzzFeed News and other news organizations have recently revealed, allegations in the Capitol are settled by a secretive office using taxpayer funds.
Besides the DCCC, other congressional campaign committees of both parties say they have little authority over campaigns in dictating workplace culture but are encouraging them to seriously consider stricter guidelines.
“We take this issue very seriously,” said Jesse Hunt, spokesman for the National Republican Campaign Committee. “We have policies in place so people feel safe and have always encouraged campaigns to adopt similar guidelines.”
The NRCC has a handbook that explains its anti-harassment policy and complaint procedure.
Lauren Passalacqua, a spokeswoman for the DSCC, said the committee works “with campaigns to ensure they have robust HR guidelines in place, including policies for sexual or other types of harassment and inappropriate conduct in the workplace.”
The National Republican Senatorial Committee did not respond for comment. [Buzzfeed News]
Number of accusers: 2 accusers
Fashion photographer and director Bruce Weber is the latest famous figure accused of sexual misconduct, by two male models who say Weber pressured them to take off their clothes and to touch their own genitals during photo shoots.
During a Los Angeles press conference with his attorney, Lisa Bloom, model Jason Boyce said that Weber violated New York employment law by sexually harassing him, discriminating against him on the basis of gender, and causing him to suffer humiliation, emotional anguish and the loss of his modeling career in New York.
Bloom, who filed a lawsuit against Weber on Boyce’s behalf, also introduced another male model, Mark Ricketson, who said Weber similarly harassed him.
The two described “casting-couch” photo shoots with Weber in which the photographer, now 71, told them to remove their clothes and touch themselves, then took his hand and guided their hands to their genitals or to his own.
“He grabbed my arm and moved it back and forth, so I was forced to rub myself,” Boyce said emotionally. “He then took my hand and put it over his genitals.”
Boyce said he froze, unable to respond. Before he left, he said, Weber grabbed him and kissed him on the mouth.
“The entire experience was terrifying and humiliating,” Boyce said. “I have suffered from depression and anxiety as a result of my photo shoot with Bruce Weber, and want this behavior to end now. I filed this lawsuit to show that this kind of abuse is wrong, and to hopefully stop it from happening to more of us.”
Ricketson recounted a similar encounter from 13 years ago when he was 18. He said Weber similarly guided his hand to touch his genitals. He said nothing about the encounter until recently. Bloom said he can’t sue under California law because it happened too long ago.
“I’ve … talked to other young men who, like me, knew that if we protested or refused then we would be blacklisted, not just from the photo shoot, but likely from our agency,” Ricketson said. “There is no safe place to go. If you wanted to work, you did what you were told.”
Boyce’s lawsuit, filed Friday in New York, also names Boyce’s agent, Jason Kanner, of Soul Artist Management, as well as Little Bear Inc., a New York-based company run by Weber’s wife, Nan Bush, that also casts models for his photography work.
Marc Lebowitz, Weber’s lawyer, did not immediately return a call from USA TODAY seeking comment on the accusations.
Bloom said the modeling industry is “long overdue for accountability for its exploitation of models” who are at the mercy of agents, agencies and photographers. She said she’s interviewed other models who are too frightened to speak out, even about sexual assaults, for fear of career damage.
“Others have told me that they left the business because they could no longer put up with the exploitation,” she said. “Some have said they thought being harassed and groped was just part of the business. But it’s not. Every worker, regardless of industry, is entitled to a workplace free of sexual harassment.”
Bloom said the case is already having an effect and that other models have reached out to her. She urged anyone with “similar experiences” to contact her firm.
Weber, a renowned photographer who has been a darling of fashion publications for five decades, has photographed countless Hollywood stars and fashion layouts over his career, in addition to helming music videos in the 1990s.
In 2013, Vanity Fair published a 40-page portfolio spread that included images of such stars as Emma Stone, Amy Adams, Tom Hanks, Bradley Cooper and Ben Affleck. In fact, the magazine was scheduled to co-host a Miami dinner party Tuesday to celebrate All-American Volume XVII, the latest volume in Weber’s annual survey of American legends.
Vanity Fair confirmed to USA TODAY the party has been canceled but did not explain why.
Bloom, a women’s rights attorney who has represented accusers of Bill Cosby, was an adviser to movie producer Harvey Weinstein earlier this year, until the first of dozens of women alleged he sexually harassed, coerced, assaulted or raped them in episodes dating back decades.
When Bloom’s connection to Weinstein was revealed, the blowback on social media was intense even though Bloom immediately dropped Weinstein as a client and apologized.
Weber is the second major fashion photographer accused of sexual misconduct this year. Terry Richardson, the American fashion shooter with a sexually-explicit aesthetic, was banned by major magazines, including Condé Nast’s titles such as Vogue, as the Weinstein scandal and other sexual misconduct scandals gained steam.
Multiple allegations have been made against Richardson since 2010, when a number of models began going public with their accounts of graphic abuse, inappropriate touching and sexual harassment they said Richardson subjected them to on his photography sets. [USA Today]
Rep. Blake Farenthold
Number of accusers: 1 accuser
North Carolina native Lauren Greene aspired to a career in politics when she arrived on Capitol Hill as an intern in 2009. She spent the next five years climbing the Capitol Hill ladder, ultimately becoming a communications director for a congressman in 2014.
But Greene’s budding career imploded, she said, the minute she accused Rep. Blake Farenthold (R-Texas) of sexually harassing her.
Since the summer of 2014, when she says Farenthold fired her for raising concerns about a hostile work environment, Greene has been unable to land a full-time job. She’s making $15 an hour working temporary gigs for a homebuilder. She baby-sits on the side to earn extra cash.
Her family has had to support her financially. And Greene, now 30, has left D.C., with no illusions that she will ever work in politics again.
“It’s definitely turned my life upside down,” Greene said in her first interview since she made the accusations against Farenthold. “It’s been a tough road. Emotionally, it was tough. Professionally, it’s been hard to figure out next steps. And it’s definitely had an impact on my career.”
She later added: “I was told right away that I would be, quote-unquote, ‘blackballed’ if I came forward. … That’s exactly what happened.”
Greene, in a December 2014 lawsuit, accused Farenthold of gender discrimination, sexual harassment and creating a hostile work environment. She said he told another aide in the office that he had “sexual fantasies” and “wet dreams” about her — and that she could wear shirts that showed her nipples anytime she wanted.
Farenthold, a 55-year-old married lawmaker, denied the accusations. The two settled the case, with Greene receiving $84,000 from a congressional fund dedicated to resolving workplace disputes — though Greene and her lawyer, Les Alderman of Alderman Devorsetz & Hora PLLC, never confirmed those details.
While the settlement included a confidentiality agreement barring Greene from talking about her accusations, she spoke with Politico for 35 minutes on Monday about how coming forward has affected her life and career.
Longtime Hill friends of Greene’s told her even before she accused Farenthold that if she came forward, she would never work in Washington again. While Greene was optimistic at first about finding a new job in D.C., she said she noticed a shift in how people treated her. She decided to move south to Charleston, South Carolina, after a few months.
But putting 500 miles between her and the Beltway didn’t erase the stigma. Over the past three years, Greene said she’s applied to dozens, if not more than a hundred, jobs in communications to no avail. One person told her that she didn’t get one job because of her harassment claims against a congressman.
Greene used to keep an Excel spreadsheet of all the places where she applied — but she said, after a while, “I stopped updating it because it was so depressing.”
While the nation has overwhelmingly embraced and supported victims of sexual harassment who’ve spoken out since Hollywood executive Harvey Weinstein’s downfall, many victims in congressional offices are loath to come forward, figuring doing so will dash their hopes of careers in politics.
Greene did, and she says she’s paid a heavy price. Her one comfort, however, is her firm belief that she did the right thing.
She moved recently to Charlotte, North Carolina, from Charleston to pursue what she described as a new beginning and promising job opportunities. She’s adamant that her future is looking up — the #MeToo anti-sexual harassment campaign has triggered what she called a “reckoning” in society with the problem she tried to bring to light, Greene said.
Asked whether she’d do it again if she could go back in time, Greene said yes.
“It was the right thing to do to stand up for myself and so that’s just something I take solace in,” she said.
Greene graduated from the College of Charleston in 2009 with a degree in corporate and organizational communications. She began working as an intern for Oklahoma Rep. John Sullivan in September 2009 and was hired full-time in February the next year as a staff assistant.
She worked for Sullivan for about three years, eventually as a legislative correspondent, before jumping to Farenthold’s office to become new-media director in February 2013. She was promoted to communications director about a year later — right around when things started to get dicey.
According to her lawsuit, Farenthold drank excessively and talked to her about not having sex with his wife for years. He told her one time about a female lobbyist having propositioned him for a threesome. That was in addition to comments he made to another staffer about Greene, which that staffer conveyed to her.
Before Greene accused Farenthold of sexual harassment, she sought advice from a male friend in another Hill office whom she looked up to as a mentor. He warned her that she’d be effectively ending her career if she came forward.
She also confided in a woman in the private sector who had worked on the Hill. She gave her the same message.
“The feedback that was given to me was that most likely my career on the Hill was done,” she said. “And the Hill was all that I knew. I started as an intern, fresh out of college and was there for about five years.”
Despite the warning, and being “terrified” of what might happen, Greene contacted the House Ethics Committee about the matter, she said. They sent her to the Office of Compliance, an employment dispute office she’d never heard of, where Greene began the lengthy process of filing a complaint.
“It was about standing up for myself,” she said. “I knew that I would regret it for the rest of my life, not standing up for myself.”
After she came forward, Greene hoped to stay in D.C. and “held out hope that … it wasn’t career suicide,” she said. But she said it quickly became clear that continuing to work in Washington politics was unlikely at best, so she moved to Charleston to be closer to family and “lick my wounds.”
Greene began applying for jobs and picked up freelance work to pay the bills, including with a friend’s vintage store, handling her social media and publicity to pay the bills. Her parents have helped make ends meet, and she’s started baby-sitting on the side to make extra money.
“Living back in the South … the cost of living is a lot lower than D.C. which has been great, and I just have a great support system,” she said, adding: “There’s no way to live off of a temp salary, so I’ve been fortunately to … have a good support system, and I’ve been doing what I can, but it’s been difficult.”
Three years have passed since her accusation and she is still struggling to find permanent employment. At one point, Greene thought she might have been close, but a person close with her interviewer told her the firm decided not to hire her specifically because of the news coverage following her allegations against Farenthold.
Greene said she has also sought advice from HR professionals about whether to disclose her run-in with Farenthold up front because “I don’t want to seem like I’m hiding anything.” She’s received mixed advice, but most have told her “that it could be [received] as a negative.”
Greene eventually decided to relocate again and moved to Charlotte. She said she really wanted to land a job in sports communications but is worried she would have to start as an intern — and won’t have the financial means to work for free.
Asked why she thinks her experience was so different from those of other women coming forward now with sexual harassment stories, Greene pointed to the secretive culture of Capitol Hill.
“It’s a boy’s club,” she said. “I think that a lot of things are just understood and you’ve got to play by the rules and keep quiet about it. That’s just kind of the mentality, from my experience. And so, I feel like the feedback that was given to me was: If I wouldn’t stay quiet and fall in line, then my career was over.”
Greene has shied away from sharing her story with the media until now, though several reporters have contacted her over the years to discuss what happened to her since her lawsuit. But after Politico reported that she is the only person who has received taxpayer money from a sitting House member over a sexual harassment allegation, Greene agreed to speak about her experience.
“From Day One, and I’m not trying to sound like I’m a martyr or anything, but I’ve never sought the spotlight,” she said. “I’m not an attention seeker and I don’t like a lot of attention on me.”
On Sunday, a day before Greene was scheduled to do a CNN interview with Anderson Cooper, her mother called her to tell her how much she just wants to protect her from the current “feeding frenzy” over sexual harassment. Greene put her at ease.
“What’s going on right now, I think that it’s a reckoning and we’re talking about … a prevalent problem that has been going on for a really long time,” she said. “So I think now it’s a more supportive environment to tell your story. … That’s why I’m talking to you now. … I’ve been inspired by what’s going on. I’m optimistic. I’m in a good place.” [Politico]
Number of accusers: 5 accusers
Benjamin Genocchio, a prominent and influential figure in the art world, has been replaced as executive director of the Armory Show, a top international art fair, after five women who have worked with him over the years told The New York Times that they experienced unwelcome touching by him.
In interviews, a total of eight who had worked with him at the Armory Show, Artnet and Louise Blouin Media said he made sexually inappropriate comments to them, and an additional 11 people said they had observed or knew about Mr. Genocchio making these comments, often in the workplace.
“We have only recently learned of the allegations related to Mr. Genocchio’s previous employment,” the Armory Show said in a statement Wednesday after The Times had published an article about the accusations against Mr. Genocchio. “At this time, deputy director Nicole Berry has assumed the role of executive director.”
Mr. Genocchio had declined to be interviewed but on Tuesday issued a statement: “Launching start-up news websites definitely led to conflicts with a few employees, but I never intentionally acted in an inappropriate manner nor spoke to or touched a colleague in a sexually inappropriate way. To the extent my behavior was perceived as disrespectful, I deeply and sincerely apologize and will ensure it does not happen again.”
In one compelling account related by several women, more than 20 female employees gathered in August 2016 in the conference room at Artnet — the leading art-market information company — to discuss complaints about sexual harassment and the treatment of women in the office. As the director of human resources and other executives listened, women zeroed in on Mr. Genocchio, who had recently stepped down as editor of Artnet News to go to the Armory Show.
One of the women was Colleen Calvo, the marketing coordinator at the time, who began crying as she talked about encounters with Mr. Genocchio that she said had haunted her for months.
Ms. Calvo recounted those experiences in a recent interview. At Artnet’s 2014 holiday party at the Gramercy Park Hotel, as she was helping check in guests at the door, Mr. Genocchio ran his hand up her sequin pants, she said.
“Ben said, ‘Is this the only time I get to touch your ass without getting yelled at?’” Ms. Calvo recalled.
“He was predatory,” she added. “He was a bully.”
The accusations come in the wake of sexual assault allegations against the movie mogul Harvey Weinstein, as well as sexual harassment accusations against Knight Landesman, a longtime publisher of Artforum magazine. Mr. Genocchio’s ouster was first reported by ArtNews.
Mr. Genocchio is not as well known as Mr. Weinstein and the complaints against him typically involve misconduct that is described as more verbal than physical. But in the tight-knit and clubby art world, Mr. Genocchio’s contacts give him outsize power in the business. The Armory Show had connected him with art professionals from all over the world. The casual forms of sexual harassment that he was accused of rarely make headlines but can be insidious because of their pervasiveness, and often goes unchecked.
Another complaint against Mr. Genocchio is laid out in an April 17 memo to Michelle Anastassatos, vice president for human resources at Vornado Realty Trust, which owns the Armory Show. In the memo, obtained by The Times, Deborah Harris, the Armory Show’s managing director, reports being “berated and humiliated” by Mr. Genocchio after chastising him for “frisky behavior” that included, she said, making “lewd comments about the bodies and dress” of staff members. (Ms. Harris declined to be interviewed.)
Amanda Coulson, the artistic director of the Volta art fair, an affiliate of the Armory Show, confirmed that one of her female employees asked to work elsewhere because of Mr. Genocchio’s behavior. “She did not want to work in the office because she felt the environment was hostile,” Ms. Coulson recalled. “So I immediately moved her out and got her another office.”
Several people who worked at the Armory described being present when Mr. Genocchio said he couldn’t have an employee in her 50s accompany him to a sponsorship event at a fashion house because he needed instead to bring “some arm candy.”
Vornado in May acknowledged in a letter to Ms. Harris that Mr. Genocchio had “referred to another female employee as arm candy and previously referred to others as sweetie.”
“However,” the letter continued, “multiple employees indicated that as soon as they told him that his comments were objectionable, he stopped making them, he was apologetic, and that no further comments have been made.” (Vornado, in the same letter, informed Ms. Harris that her job was being eliminated and suggested that “a skeptic might even think that the timing of your complaint to human resources was a strategic attempt by you to try to prevent the termination from occurring.”)
Vornado, in a statement Tuesday, had been somewhat supportive of Mr. Genocchio, saying that its outside counsel last spring had conducted an investigation into the allegations contained in Ms. Harris’s memo and “found that while Mr. Genocchio on occasion made inappropriate comments, his conduct did not rise to the level of sexual harassment.”
The company declined on Wednesday to elaborate on the rationale for its decision to replace Mr. Genocchio or whether he will continue to work for it in another capacity. [New York Times]
Number of accusers: 1
Fox News correspondent Geraldo Rivera apologized on Friday to Bette Midler after she accused him earlier this week of drugging and groping her in the 1970s.
“Although I recall the time @BetteMidler has alluded to much differently than she, that does not change the fact that she has a right to speak out & demand an apology from me, for in the very least, publically [sic] embarrassing her all those years ago,” Rivera wrote on Twitter. “Bette, I apologize.”
Midler has not publicly responded to Rivera’s apology. A representative for her did not return a request for comment from CNN.
The incident between Rivera and Midler was thrown into the public spotlight this week after Rivera posted a string of controversial tweets about sexual harassment in the workplace. Following the firing of “Today” anchor Matt Lauer, Rivera tweeted that “news is a flirty business” and the “current epidemic” of sexual harassment allegations might be “criminalizing courtship.”
After Fox News said it was “troubled” by the tweets, Rivera apologized for his comments.
But Rivera’s tweets prompted Twitter users to dredge up an old interview of Midler speaking with Barbara Walters. In the clip, Midler said she was assaulted by Rivera during an interview in 1970s.
“This was when [Rivera] was very sort of hot,” Midler told Walters in the decades-old interview. “And he and his producer left the crew in the other room, they pushed me into my bathroom. They broke two poppers and pushed them under my nose and proceeded to grope me.”
“Grope you?” Walters asked.
“Grope me,” Midler said. “I did not offer myself up on the altar of Geraldo Rivera.”
After Twitter users resurfaced the clip, Midler herself tweeted it on Wednesday, saying she felt as if the video was “a gift from the universe.”
“Geraldo may have apologized for his tweets supporting Matt Lauer, but he has yet to apologize for this,” she added, ending the tweet with the “#MeToo” hashtag.
Rivera also apologized on Friday for “Exposing Myself,” a book he wrote decades ago that chronicled his sex life. Passages from it also resurfaced this week after his comments following Lauer’s firing. Rivera said he was “embarrassed” by the book and “deeply regretted its distasteful & disrespectful tone.” [CNN]
Number of accusers: 1
The parties agreed to mediation, and a confidential settlement was reached, the statement said.
One of the goals of the settlement was “the continued, successful employment of our client,” the law firm said.
“As is customary in such disputes, confidentiality was important to all the participants,” the statement said. “Our client was not coerced by anyone to resolve the matter and has been satisfied with the resolution. She looks forward to moving past this matter.”
Thomas Clay, one of the lawyers in the firm, has consistently declined to comment about the case, and Sunday he had no further comment beyond the statement.
The woman has not been identified by Courier Journal because she said she had experienced sexual harassment.
On Saturday, Gov. Matt Bevin, a Republican, and eight House Republicans demanded that anyone involved in the confidential settlement resign immediately.
Courier Journal reported Saturday that three other House members, Reps. Jim DeCesare of Rockfield, Brian Linder of Dry Ridge and Michael Meredith of Brownsville and Ginger Wills, Hoover’s chief of staff, also were parties to the settlement, according to sources with knowledge of the deal who asked not to be named for fear of reprisal.
They have not responded to requests for comment.
Bevin made his demand at a hastily called press conference Saturday at the Capitol.
“These alleged actions, which haven’t been denied, are reprehensible, indefensible and unacceptable,” Bevin said. “Any elected official or state employee who has settled a sexual harassment claim should resign immediately. The people of Kentucky deserve better.”
Later Saturday, the eight influential House Republicans made a similar demand in a statement and also demanded a complete investigation of any confidential settlement, including the source of any money used to settle the case or pay lawyers.
The GOP House members said they are “shocked and angered by the allegations of sexual harassment, none of which have been denied or even disputed.”
The statement was issued by House Republicans Robert J. Benvenuti of Lexington, Joe Fischer of Fort Thomas, Kim King of Harrodsburg, Stan Lee of Lexington, Tim Moore of Elizabethtown, Phil Moffett of Louisville, Russell Webber of Shepherdsville, and Addia Wuchner of Burlington.
The comments by Bevin and the eight House members came one day after Jonathan Shell, the Republican majority leader, dismissed as “rumors and allegations” Courier Journal’s report of the sexual harassment settlement.
Shell also said Hoover had the “full support” of House Republicans, a claim disputed by the eight lawmakers, who said, “Contrary to what has been reported, the representatives at issue did not have the ‘full’ support of the entire Republican caucus.”
Also Rep. C. Wesley Morgan, a Madison Republican, blasted Hoover on Twitter and tweeted, “The Speaker has made it clear that he refuses to resign. With that being said, the only option is impeachment by the full house.”
Morgan continued a flurry of tweets Saturday, saying he was “disgusted” by the allegations and told Courier Journal any lawmakers involved need to be held accountable. [Courier-Journal]
Number of accusers: 2
At least one lawmaker is calling on Rep. Josh Zepnick of Milwaukee to step down after a report that he drunkenly kissed women without warning at political events.
Citing anonymous sources, The Capital Times reported Friday that Zepnick, a Democrat, had kissed the women at political events without their consent. Zepnick didn’t respond to repeated requests for comment.
In a statement Friday, Rep. Jimmy Anderson, a fellow Democrat from Fitchburg, said Zepnick should step down.
The Capital Times newspaper reported that Zepnick kissed a Democratic Party of Wisconsin staffer at the party’s annual convention in Milwaukee in 2015 after the female staffer stepped in to help handle a disagreement between Zepnick and another lawmaker. The other woman, a legislative staffer, said Zepnick also kissed her without warning at a Senate recall election party in 2011.
The newspaper interviewed the two women along with co-workers and friends who spoke with the women at the time of the events and corroborated their accounts. None of them were named.
In an email to The Capital Times, Zepnick did not specifically deny that the incidents had occurred, but said neither legislative staff nor Democratic Party employees had confronted him with such allegations.
Since the time of the accusations, “I have had many interactions with political staff which have been professional, positive and without any suggestion of this type of activity.” [Journal Sentinel]
Number of accusers: 1
The Sun on Sunday exclusively revealed that Jones had been taken off air by the BBC after being accused of sexual harassment.
The 46-year-old faces an allegation of inappropriate behaviour from a former colleague.
It is believed to be one of 25 live cases of alleged sexual harassment recently highlighted by BBC deputy director-general Anne Bulford.
The allegation is believed to centre around messages and contact.
Jones apologised sorry for his “juvenile” behaviour but denied any inappropriate contact.
A spokesperson for the presenter said: “Although not related to any broadcast work, Aled voluntarily agreed not to go on the BBC whilst the matter is investigated.
“Whilst he accepts that his behaviour over a decade ago was occasionally juvenile, as was that of others, he never intended to harass or distress and he strongly denies any inappropriate contact.
“He is, however, deeply sorry for any upset caused and hopes this matter is resolved soon.” [The Sun]
Number of accusers: 3
New York’s Metropolitan Opera suspended its famed longtime conductor James Levine on Dec. 3 while it investigates allegations of sexual misconduct.
The opera’s announcement followed a report in the New York Post that Levine was accused in a police report of molesting a young man beginning when the man was 15 years old and that the sexual abuse continued for years.
The New York Times identified two other men who it said alleged that they’d had sexual encounters with Levine beginning in the summer of 1968, when they were teens at a music school in Michigan.
Levine’s manager at Columbia Artists Management Inc. didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment. [NBC News]
Number of accusers: 9
In 1986, Maddie Corman was a 16-year-old actress performing Off Broadway as her mother lay dying in a hospital bed, hours after having a stroke. Backstage, Ms. Corman was consoled by Israel Horovitz, the show’s 47-year-old playwright and her mentor. As she prepared to go on, he pressed her against a wall and forcefully kissed her, she said in a recent interview.
Jocelyn Meinhardt was 19 when she began a summer fellowship in 1989 with Mr. Horovitz at the Gloucester Stage Company in Massachusetts, where he was artistic director. She knew Mr. Horovitz; one of his sons, Adam Horovitz, who would go on to fame with the Beastie Boys, had been her high school boyfriend. That first night, she said, Mr. Horovitz drove her in his convertible — its license plate read AUTHOR — to the family home. He locked the door, then kissed and fondled her. She began to cry. Mr. Horovitz then led her to his bedroom, where she said he raped her.
In 1991, when Frédérique Giffard was 16 and an au pair for Mr. Horovitz, she said he groped her breasts and placed her hand on his erect penis. And last year, Maia Ermansons, then 21, said that when she met to discuss a theater project with Mr. Horovitz — whom she had known since she was a girl — he kissed her hard and cupped her breasts, remarking how “large and beautiful” they had become. Stunned, she replied, “Thank you.”
“I felt close to him like a grandfather, but also he was a somewhat famous guy whose time I felt privileged to have,” Ms. Ermansons said in an interview. “For the man who represented all that, to treat me the way he did, was the ultimate betrayal.”
Inspired by the revelations about Harvey Weinstein, Louis C.K. and others, a total of nine women have come forward publicly for the first time to describe a pattern of sexual abuse and violations of trust by a man they considered a mentor and friend. Mr. Horovitz is an award-winning author of more than 70 plays, including “The Indian Wants the Bronx” (starring Al Pacino in 1968); “Park Your Car in Harvard Yard” (on Broadway in 1991); and “Out of the Mouths of Babes,” which ran Off Broadway last year. [The New York Times]
Number of accusers: Multiple
Justin Huff, a casting director who has been involved in Broadway shows including 2013 Tony champ “Kinky Boots,” has been fired from his position at prominent casting agency Telsey + Company over internal reports of sexual misconduct.
“He was let go last week,” Bernard Telsey, the founder of Telsey + Company, told Variety. “I was given reports of inappropriate behavior which I took very seriously, and once I was able to get some information, it was very clear he had to leave this office.”
Huff, who was a senior staff member at Telsey’s company, did not respond to requests for comment. During his tenure at Telsey, he had a significant role in casting Broadway titles including “Kinky Boots,” “Newsies,” “The Color Purple,” “On Your Feet!” and “Honeymoon in Vegas.”
Although no one has yet stepped forward to speak on the record of their allegations against Huff, there had been suggestions of misconduct in the weeks leading up to his dismissal. Telsey confirmed there was sexual misconduct, but neither he nor other sources spoken to by Variety would confirm the exact nature of the inappropriate behavior.
Huff’s ouster from Telsey + Company (“Hamilton,” “Frozen,” “Rent,” “This is Us,” “One Day at a Time”) comes during a period of intense media focus on sexual misconduct in the entertainment industry, in a rolling cycle of exposes that began with Harvey Weinstein and more recently has included Matt Lauer and the playwright Israel Horovitz.
News of Huff’s exit, with no explanation of the reason behind it, was announced Nov. 30. [Variety]
Number of accusers: Multiple
Gregg Zaun, a former major league baseball player who has been a Toronto Blue Jays analyst for Sportsnet, has been fired for “inappropriate behavior and comments” toward female employees, the network announced Thursday.
“This week, we received complaints from multiple female employees at Sportsnet regarding inappropriate behavior by Gregg Zaun in the workplace,” Rick Brace, President of Rogers Media, said in a statement.
“After investigating the matter, we decided to terminate his contract, effective immediately. This type of behavior completely contradicts our standards and our core values. We believe in a professional workplace where all employees feel comfortable and respected. We are grateful to our employees who spoke with us and we will take every measure to protect their privacy.”
The 46-year-old Zaun was a catcher for nine teams in 16 major league seasons, including in Toronto from 2004–2008. He broke in with the Baltimore Orioles in 1995.
He hit .252 with 88 home runs in his career. He was a member of the 1997 Florida Marlins team that won the World Series.
He first started working for Sportsnet in 2006 while still playing, as a studio analyst during the playoffs and in the off-season. He started working games in 2011 after he retired as a player in 2010. [USA Today]
Number of accusers: Multiple
Hockenberry left his job at The Takeaway in August. Months before that, in February, former colleague Suki Kim filed a complaint against him, citing multiple inappropriate email messages. After his departure, Kim spoke to multiple other female employees at the show, many of whom described similar behavior. In a statement provided to New York, Hockenberry said: “I’ve always had a reputation for being tough, and certainly I’ve been rude, aggressive and impolite. Looking back, my behavior was not always appropriate and I’m sorry. It horrifies me that I made the talented and driven people I worked with feel uncomfortable, and that the stress around putting together a great show was made worse by my behavior. Having to deal with my own physical limitations [Hockenberry is paralyzed from the waist down] has given me an understanding of powerlessness, and I should have been more aware of how the power I wielded over others, coupled with inappropriate comments and communications, could be construed. I have no excuses.” [The Cut]
Number of Accusers: 6
Six women who came into contact with Arnold Schwarzenegger on movie sets, in studio offices and in other settings over the last three decades say he touched them in a sexual manner without their consent.
In interviews with The Times, three of the women described their surprise and discomfort when Schwarzenegger grabbed their breasts. A fourth said he reached under her skirt and gripped her buttocks.
A fifth woman said Schwarzenegger groped her and tried to remove her bathing suit in a hotel elevator. A sixth said Schwarzenegger pulled her onto his lap and asked whether a certain sexual act had ever been performed on her.
According to the women’s accounts, one of the incidents occurred in the 1970s, two in the 1980s, two in the 1990s and one in 2000.
“Did he rape me? No,” said one woman, who described a 1980 encounter in which she said Schwarzenegger touched her breast. “Did he humiliate me? You bet he did.”
Four of the six women told their stories on condition that they not be named. Three work in Hollywood and said they were worried that, if they were identified, their careers would be in jeopardy for speaking out against Schwarzenegger.
The other unnamed woman said she feared public ridicule and possible damage to her husband’s business.
In the four cases in which the women would not let their names be published, friends or relatives said that the women had told them about the incidents long before Schwarzenegger’s run for governor.
None of the six women who gave their accounts to The Times filed any legal action against him. [Los Angeles Times]
Number of accusers: 2
Langley appeared at Manchester Magistrates’ Court this morning where he pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting two women, one in her 20s and another in her 30s.
The offences took place during a night out at Band on the Wall bar in the city’s Northern Quarter on October 1.
Prosecutor Karen Saffman said that at about 1am his first victim had gone upstairs to collect her coat before intending to leave.
As she made her way back towards the stairs Langley grabbed her crotch, the court was told.
“He grabbed me properly. He grabbed me on the crotch,” the woman later told police.
She said she had thought about hitting him, but was in a state of shock.
The victim detailed how Langley had grabbed her over clothes.
Ms Saffman said a friend of Langley’s had apologised for his actions.
The second victim said Langley grabbed her “forcefully” leaving her feeling “disgusted”.
In mitigation Langley’s solicitor said he was not a “serial groper” describing his actions as an “alcohol fuelled” and “isolated” incident.
Langley has been slapped with a 12 month community to order that will see him given a curfew and electronic tag.
He will also be placed on the sex offenders’ register for five years and must may his victims £250 each.
District Judge Mark Hadfield said: “On that evening your conduct was quite disgraceful, indeed degrading.
“On a number of occasions you sexually assaulted females whilst being on licensed premises.” [The Sun]
Number of accusers: 4
The men who claimed they were groped and subjected to unwanted sexual advances by Senate President Stanley Rosenberg’s husband Bryon Hefner include a Beacon Hill aide, a lobbyist, a public policy advocate and a man who worked on Beacon Hill when Hefner allegedly put his hand up his shorts at a fundraiser.
Rosenberg, an Amherst Democrat, issued a statement Thursday afternoon, and an advisor said he was not at the State House and would have no further comment at this time.
“This is the first I have heard about these claims. Even though, based on what little I have been told, these allegations do not involve members or employees of the Senate and did not occur in the State House, I take them seriously. To the best of my recollection I was not approached by anyone with complaints during or after the alleged incidents made in this article or I would have tried to intervene,” Rosenberg said.
Rosenberg, 68, married Hefner, 30, in 2016. The two met when Hefner took a summer job in Rosenberg’s office before he became Senate president, and Rosenberg has credited Hefner will helping him to live openly as a gay man.
In a statement issued through his attorney to the Globe, Hefner said he was “shocked to learn of these anonymous and hurtful allegations.” “To my knowledge, no one has complained to me or any political or governmental authority about these allegations which are now surfacing years afterward. As one can imagine, it is incredibly difficult to respond to allegations by unnamed and unidentified individuals that involve an extended period of time, particularly in the current environment,” Hefner said.
John Kingston, a Republican running for his party’s nomination to challenge U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, issued a statement less than an hour after the Globe story published. Kingston said Warren should demand that Rosenberg “resign immediately,” along with Sen. Al Franken of Minnesota and Rep. John Conyers of Michigan, who have both been accused of sexual misconduct. [WBUR]
Number of accusers: Multiple
Early yesterday evening, a story broke on Bloomberg alleging Uber investor and Hyperloop One co-founder Shervin Pishevar had used his position of power to make unwanted sexual advances to at least five women. Pishevar, through his lawyer, now says these allegations are part of a “smear campaign” against him.
The allegations are egregious. One woman who spoke to Bloomberg alleged Pishevar had met up with her over business only to turn it into what she said was an unwanted romantic rendezvous culminating at his place. Another claimed he “forcibly kissed her” and later repeatedly harassed her. Yet another alleged the prominent Silicon Valley investor began showing her pictures of vaginas on his phone while at an after-party at a professional conference.
Several current and former Uber employees Bloomberg spoke to also alleged Pishevar had attempted to pursue and later grope Uber’s then 30-year-old head of global expansion, Austin Geidt, at a roaring 20s-themed Uber company party. Geidt, however, declined to give comment about the alleged incident.
One person in attendance of the party and whom Pishevar’s spokesman referred to Bloomberg for the story said she did not witness the incident but didn’t think Pishevar would be able to touch Geidt as he had a drink in one hand and was holding the leash of the pony he brought to the party in the other.
This report is not the first sexual misconduct allegation against Pishevar to come up. The prominent Silicon Valley investor was arrested in London over a rape allegationearlier this year. However, charges were later dropped in the case, citing “insufficient evidence.”
Pishevar went on to secure an injunction against the Sun newspaper, preventing it from reporting the arrest.
None of the five women accusing Pishevar of sexual misconduct have identified themselves. Though Bloomberg notes in the report, some of the women were scared off from doing so, fearing Pishevar’s history of lawsuits and his influence in the Valley.
Pishevar’s lawyer, Mark Fabiani, who also has represented Bill O’Reilly, the former Fox News host fired over allegations of sexual harassment, has now issued a statement about the allegations, denying them and saying they are part of a “smear campaign.”
“Shervin Pishevar is the victim of an organized smear campaign, which so far has involved the fabrication of a London ‘police report.’ Now, anonymous and untrue stories have suddenly surfaced concerning Mr. Pishevar,” the statement reads. “The assertions regarding the only person named have now been directly refuted by an eyewitness to the claimed events, and there are communications sent from the named person herself to Mr. Pishevar which directly undermine any credibility being given to the claims made. Just as the London ‘police report’ turned out to be fabricated, we are confident that these anecdotes will be shown to be untrue as well. Mr. Pishevar is confident that he will be vindicated.”
Earlier this month, Pishevar sued a GOP opposition research firm, Definers Public Affairs, accusing it of spreading a smear campaign against him; though Tim Miller, a partner of the firm, called the allegations “delusional.”
When asked if these recent allegations are part of the same smear campaign, Pishevar’s lawyer told TechCrunch, “The discovery process has just now begun in Mr. Pishevar’s lawsuit, and as a result of that process, which will of course include sworn depositions, should lead to an answer to your question.” [Techcrunch]
Number of accusers: 10
Brizzi, one of Italy’s most prolific writers and directors of the past 20 years, is accused of making unwanted sexual advances that ranged from giving unsolicited massages to stripping off naked and in some cases, using physical force.
In a statement via his lawyer, Brizzi, 48, categorically denied having any non-consensual sexual relations.
The allegations surfaced on an Italian TV show, Le Iene — The Hyenas — that aired on the Italia 1 channel on Sunday night.
According to its host, actor-turned-presenter Dino Giarrusso, ten of 30 women he interviewed about sexual harassment in the Italian film industry made claims against Brizzi.
They described a strikingly similar pattern, Giarrusso said: an invitation to a private location on the pretence of doing an audition, followed by insistent sexual advances.
Different women described Brizzi undressing in front of them, attempting to remove their clothes, forcing them to lie down next to him, trying to make them touch his penis or masturbating in front of them.
Most of the women spoke to the show anonymously, with the exception of Clarissa Marchese, a former Miss Italy, and model Alessandra Guilia Bassi.
Asked why they hadn’t made their allegations sooner, several interviewees said they felt ashamed or feared they wouldn’t be believed. Others said they didn’t have the means to fight Brizzi in court or that they had been advised by entertainment industry insiders not to take legal action.
The filmmaker did not respond to requests for comment, according to Giarrusso. In a statement issued by his lawyer on Sunday night, Brizzi said that he was disturbed to learn of the allegations but asserted “calmly and from now onwards, that never in my life have I had non-consensual or forced relations”. [The Local]
Number of accusers: 2
A few of these stories — like October’s Variety cover story on Affleck — feature an aberrant footnote. Nearly 2,000 words into the profile, there’s a brief mention of sexual harassment. Asked to comment on two sexual-harassment suits (here and here) that were brought against him by women who worked on I’m Still Here, Affleck responds, “People say whatever they want. Sometimes it doesn’t matter how you respond… I guess people think if you’re well-known, it’s perfectly fine to say anything you want. I don’t know why that is. But it shouldn’t be, because everybody has families and lives.” The Daily Beast reached out to Affleck’s representative for additional comment to no avail.
Of course, Affleck’s family-man mumbo jumbo doesn’t really do justice to the severity of his allegations.
In December 2008, Amanda White agreed to serve as a producer on an untitled documentary headed by Affleck and Flemmy Productions, which ultimately became I’m Still Here. She had a decade-long history of working with Affleck. Over the course of filming, White alleged in the complaint that she was repeatedly harassed. On one occasion, she claimed that Affleck ordered a crew member to take off his pants and show White his penis — even after she vehemently objected. She claimed that Affleck repeatedly referred to women as “cows,” and recounted his sexual exploits with reckless abandon. In her complaint, White recalled Affleck asking her “Isn’t it about time you get pregnant?” once he learned her age, and suggesting that she and a male crew member reproduce.
White’s accusations go on, ranging from incredibly unprofessional behavior to actual physical intimidation. She described an instance where she was prevented from returning to her bedroom during shooting, because Affleck and Phoenix had locked themselves in her room with two women where they had sex with them (Affleck was married with two children to Phoenix’s sister, Summer, at the time — though the couple recently split). She also alleged that Affleck attempted to manipulate her into sharing a hotel room with him. When she resisted, White claimed, he grabbed her threateningly and attempted to scare her into submission. Affleck then allegedly proceeded to send White abusive text messages, calling her “profane names” for refusing to stay with him. White filed a $2 million lawsuit against Affleck in Los Angeles Superior Court on July 23, 2010.
As part of her producer duties, White was also asked to renegotiate an agreement with Magdalena Gorka, the film’s director of photography. Gorka had previously left the project due to an alleged similar pattern of harassment. In her complaint, Gorka described her treatment at the hands of Casey Affleck as “the most traumatizing of her career.”
Almost immediately after beginning work on the project, the gross comments allegedly began. Gorka claimed Affleck and other members of the production team openly talked about engaging in sexual activities with her, and jokingly suggested that she have sex with the camera assistant, a good friend of Affleck’s.
On the assumption that Affleck’s behavior wouldn’t — or couldn’t — get worse, Gorka said she stuck with the project, and traveled with other crew members to New York for shooting in mid-December 2008. At the time, Gorka was the only woman actively working on the film. In lieu of paying for a hotel, she said Affleck and Phoenix decided to have the crew stay overnight at their apartment. After a long shoot, she claimed Phoenix offered to sleep in the living room and give Gorka his private bedroom.
According to Gorka’s complaint, she awoke in the middle of the night to find Affleck lying in bed next to her. She alleges that the actor was “curled up next to her in the bed wearing only his underwear and a T-shirt. He had his arm around her, was caressing her back, his face was within inches of hers and his breath reeked of alcohol.” Unaware of how long Affleck had been there or whether or not he had touched her while she slept, Gorka said she was “shocked and repulsed.” When she ordered Affleck out of bed, he allegedly responded, “Why?” to which she replied, “Because you are married and you are my boss.” Affleck then allegedly asked if she was “sure,” and when Gorka remained resolute, she claimed Affleck “left and slammed the door in anger.” Gorka then said that she flew back to New York, informed her agent of Affleck’s sexual advances, and quit the project.
When Amanda White contacted Gorka in January 2009, the cinematographer decided to give the film another shot. She said she had been unsuccessfully looking for work in the weeks since walking out on Affleck, and believed that having another woman on set would foster a safer working environment, and prevent further sexual harassment. If true, the presence of two women was hardly a deterrent.
Over the next few months, Gorka alleged that she was subjected to “a nearly daily barrage of sexual comments, innuendo, and unwelcome advances by crew members, within the presence and with the active encouragement of Affleck.” In addition to being berated and verbally attacked by the director, she claimed that she was constantly criticized for “refusing to be submissive” in response to his disrespectful comments and undermining rants. After months of work, Gorka once again resigned from the project due to alleged harassment and abuse. In what Gorka perceives as clear retaliation, Affleck refused to honor the terms of her employment agreement, which included a “Director of Photography” credit on the film. According to her complaint, Gorka continues to suffer from “humiliation, embarrassment, and emotional distress as a direct result of the harassment and abuse she endured during production.” Gorka filed a $2.25 million lawsuit against Affleck in L.A. Superior Court one week after White.
Amanda White also claimed that Affleck retaliated against her complaints. After White objected to Affleck’s behavior, she said he failed to pay her agreed upon producer’s fee. According to White, he also failed to pay her a “living wage” while she was working on the mockumentary. At the time of her complaint filing, White maintained that she had not been paid for any of the work she did on the film — a project she said she toiled on for over three months.
Overall, these complaints paint a decidedly different picture of Casey Affleck, leading man. In addition to allegedly harassing the women he employed, Affleck is said to have actively enjoyed putting them in uncomfortable positions, refusing to step in as the working environment on the project became increasingly hostile. In the words of White’s thorough and deeply damning complaint, “Affleck encouraged and participated in the harassment of Plaintiff and Gorka for his own twisted gratification.” Furthermore, both women insist that Affleck’s treatment only worsened when and if they objected — a campaign of retaliation and verbal abuse that ultimately culminated in his refusal to honor their contracts. [The Daily Beast]
Number of accusers: 1
Set the DeLorean time machine back to November 21, 1980.
#1 was coming to the end of his legendary run with a group. They had made tons of money, and would go on to make more and more. But the fame, money, and adoration was not enough for this rocker. Fueled by drugs and unquenchable appetites, his disgusting lifestyle (and the victims left in his wake) was horrible in its day, and would land him in prison if he did it today.
#1 had developed many nasty habits and lifestyle choices that made Roman Polanski look normal. But the Rocker was always protected. His past girlfriend #4 was always there to support him, as was her then-boyfriend #5. Both were always at the forefront of Feminist causes, and possibly the most powerful couple on the California or even national scene. It also helped to have the most powerful people in show business to protect you too. His manager #2 who had lawyers, media contacts, and investigators on speed-dial. Also #3 who, although they had a love-hate relationship that would eventually turn to all hate, was glad to protect his money machine. Even when they would later sue each other for millions, they came together for political events. Thus, the Rocker never really cared about consequences.
That November, holed up in his California mansion a week before Thanksgiving, the Rocker made his usual call to his usual madam, #6 and he requested “the usual” for dinner. The usual for him meant young girls and he had done this many times both at home and on the road. He made Jimmy Page look like a gentleman. The Madam routinely searched for new talent at bus stops and runaway shelters. She had just found a new 16 year-old girl who looked young and liked to party. She was also very desperate and very scared. When the Madam made the offer to her for a night’s work, it seemed safe enough with such a huge star. The Madam promised no sex involved, that the Rocker just liked to hang out and smoke dope and drink. Still, the Runaway asked if she could bring a friend. And yes, the Madam sent two underage girls to the Rocker’s palace that night. The “friend” accompanying the 16 year-old runaway was another homeless girl, who had just turned 15 years-old that week. She had just run away from a violently abusive home, and was still a virgin. The Madam got to double bill the Rocker for that visit.
On arrival, the girls were fed cocaine to get them excited, and Quaaludes to keep them calm. They smoked a lot of pot, and after a dip in the Jacuzzi with the rocker, they all three headed to the bedroom. The entire time the Rocker kept asking the girls to do things to each other, which neither had done before. They figured maybe if they did each other — he wouldn’t do them. They were hesitant and scared, and the Rocker got more and more violent. He kept taking Polaroid pictures of them all, doing everything, which embarrassed the girls. The 16 y.o. asked to leave. The Rocker told them they couldn’t because they’d be arrested and it was too late to call a cab. He pushed more and more drugs on them both.
After the 15 year-old passed out, he began raping her. Then he began raping the 16 year-old. When the younger girl woke up, she was scared to death, and saw her friend was having convulsions. The Rocker was ignoring her, yelling on the phone, talking to someone later revealed to be #2. Then the Paramedics arrived. They walked into a scene they described as “Sodom and Gomorrah” with drugs, vomit, and booze everywhere. Both underage girls were totally naked, although the younger of the two began trying to dress.
The Paramedics did CPR on the girl as she was unresponsive, then she went back into seizures. The 15 year-old said it was like a nightmare, and she tried to sneak away out of the room. The whole time, the Rocker was freaking out, talking to people on the phone, until guys in suits showed up. They threatened the Paramedics to stay silent. The men in suits told the younger runaway they would “take care of her” and stay with them. The older runaway was put in an ambulance, and the younger one begged Paramedics to take her too. When one of the Suits tried to interfere, a Paramedic shoved him and threatened to kick his ass. Off to the hospital they went. The rocker, his manager, and the other men in suits stayed behind.
What none of them knew at the time, was that the 15 year-old had managed to grab several of the Polaroids and stuff them into her clothes. At the time, she was petrified of the cops or her parents finding out, and the proof of her activity was all there in those Polaroids. So she grabbed them when the others were distracted, to destroy them later.
At the hospital, the older girl was given medication to save her. Uniformed cops arrived, and took statements from both girls. Hours later, one of the men in suits also showed up, with a bus ticket and envelope of cash for the 15 year-old. They told her to leave town and not testify or talk to anyone, or else she’d be arrested — or worse. She left town that day. #2 and #3 wound up spending a lot of cash that Thanksgiving. To lawyers, to pay off cops, Paramedics, and even a judge. Several reporters were paid thousands to kill the story.
Since so many people knew about it, the cops had little choice but to do something. So they handed the case over to a Detective who was a friend of theirs, an elite golden boy in LAPD. He was friends with the Madam too, and became head of the LAPD “Sexually Exploited Child Unit” in Vice. Mostly his time was spent taking bribes from executives and covering up cases.
The Detective made sure the case got downgraded and the evidence was lost. With the Judge’s help, the entire nightmare for the Rocker wound up far different than that of Roman Polanski years before. So it was then that the Rocker was convicted of “Contributing to the Delinquency of a Minor”, given a $2,500 fine, and put on probation. No mention of rape, soliciting, or abuse of the girls. No word on what happened to the 22 GRAMS of cocaine, 5 oz. of marijuana or 160 Quaaludes found in the rocker’s bedroom strewn all over the bed. It was booked into evidence, but later became worthless as evidence.
The 16 year-old runaway got out of the hospital, and was found dead near the 101 freeway a year later. Allegedly an overdose. Friends of hers and workers at a local shelter said she’d cleaned up, gone straight, and was trying to turn her life around. Her death was ruled an accidental overdose. Many never believed it.
One news anchor who didn’t believe it was the one who didn’t get bribed. She didn’t like what was happening, and didn’t like the corruption, or the rape and drugging of young girls. So she went public, running her stories. She got pushback from bosses, owners, and even fans of the Rocker. She was hounded from her job several years later. Her attempt to uncover the truth in the case gave way to the Rocker feeling like HE was the victim. Like HE was the one being maligned and unfairly punished. Yeah, like HE was the victim.
Since he split from the band, his new solo career was taking off. He turned HIS “hurt feelings” into a song, which became a global hit. Sure, he said it was about the media coverage of #7 and others, but he later admitted it was about his “unfair” abuse at the hands of a “mean” reporter A song that was spawned by his abuse, rape, and drugging of two children who nearly died due to his perversions.
The Rocker spent much of the next 20 years rehabilitating his image, becoming a big political supporter and environmental activist. Became big pals with two big politicians, #8 and #9 whom he met at events at #3’s house. He played fundraisers for them both. He never was asked again in the media about that November, and it faded away mostly. Funny enough? You can still find it online, and yet nobody compares him to Polanski or these other monsters. Meanwhile, he became filthy rich, as did his powerful manager, and the powerful record label executive. Their images all bought and paid for.
What they didn’t know, however, and still don’t know — is what became of the other girl. That 15 year-old runaway, who took the bus ticket, cash, and blew town. She too turned her life around, got straight, and found good people up in northern California to take her in. She went to college, found a nice man, had a family and settled down. That nice man she married would go on to a nice career in politics. And with his wife’s support, he’s become one of the most powerful men in California politics. Now, all the years later, that scared runaway girl has grown into a confident, fearless, brilliant woman. She’s spent the past few years (urged on by her husband and kids) putting her story and the case meticulously back together. Piece by piece. Legally.
In 2018 she’s going to drop a bomb of a “reveal” on the Rocker, the Manager, and the ex-label executive. She’s prepared a criminal charge against them for many of their misdeeds (which include racketeering and collusion and criminal conspiracy), and is also hitting them with civil charges — with any funds being set aside for childhood victims. Because, you see, those Polaroids she swiped that night? She blew town with them. Years later she found them and put them in a safe deposit box. She now has many copies, including in her attorney’s safe. They too will be revealed in her case, along with hospital records, court records, legal affidavits from old cops and Paramedics. There’s even a video deposition from the original Madam back from before her death. And the former golden boy detective? He was later caught for his many, many misdeeds and arrested. And he talked too.
So as this Rocker sits down in his palace this Thanksgiving, giving thanks to himself for being so wonderful, he better enjoy it. His next one will likely be spent eating from a cold, metal tray in jail. He and his wealthy mogul pals will be the Turkeys, and justice will be served.
The Identities Of The Numbered
#1 — Permanent A list singer from a permanent A list group — Don Henley, of The Eagles
#2 — The manager of #1 and many many many others. — Irving Azoff
#3 — Top 3 entertainment mogul. You don’t mess with him — David Geffen
#4 — A+ list singer back in the day. Probably permanent A- list singer. — Stevie Nicks
#5 — Permanent A list celebrity. — Lindsey Buckingham
#6 — Celebrity madam who has passed. — Elizabeth Adams
#7 — Permanent A list actress who was murdered. — Natalie Woods
#8 — Permanent A+ list celebrity — Bill Clinton
#9 — Permanent A+ list celebrity and spouse of #8. — Hillary Clinton
Many thanks to the source below for this detailed synopsis of macabre proportions.
Because I was an idiot yesterday, I didn't scroll down and see the full length blind. I only posted the summary. Here…www.crazydaysandnights.net
There will be more people revealed in the future. This story is likely close to a year in advance. Note the future date of 2018 in the section.
Harold Ford, Jr.
Number of accusers: 1
Morning Joe’s Mika Brzezinski got to announce that yet another contributor’s status has been change in the wake of a sexual harassment allegation. This time it’s former Tennessee Rep. Harold Ford Jr., who has agreed with the network that he will not appear on its air pending the network’s looking into the situation.
Brzezinski announced the development on Friday.
Ford was let go from Morgan Stanley this week, after the allegations were brought to its attention.
“He has been terminated for conduct inconsistent with our values and in violation of our policies,” a spokeswoman for Morgan Stanley said in a statement, as first reported by HuffPost.
The web site did not identify the woman by name or occupation. But, in his statement of denial, Ford said she is a reporter.
Mr. Lopate, 77, has been a host on WNYC, which is owned by New York Public Radio, for more than 30 years, discussing the arts, politics, food and other topics each weekday. Mr. Schwartz, 79, hosts the station’s The Jonathan Channel as well as other programming on weekends.
WNYC disclosed that it had placed the men on leave just days after John Hockenberry, another well-known WNYC host, was accused by several women of sexual harassment, unwanted touching and bullying in an articlepublished by New York magazine’s The Cut. Mr. Hockenberry was a founder of “The Takeaway” and its host for nearly a decade before retiring in August.
Laura Walker, chief executive of New York Public Radio since 1996, said in a statement that the station “takes these kinds of allegations very seriously and is reviewing these matters promptly.”
A spokeswoman for New York Public Radio, Jennifer Houlihan Roussel, declined to comment on the nature of the allegations against the hosts.
: 1 accuser
Mr. Lopate, 77, has been a host on WNYC, which is owned by New York Public Radio, for more than 30 years, discussing the arts, politics, food and other topics each weekday. Mr. Schwartz, 79, hosts the station’s The Jonathan Channel as well as other programming on weekends.
WNYC disclosed that it had placed the men on leave just days after John Hockenberry, another well-known WNYC host, was accused by several women of sexual harassment, unwanted touching and bullying in an articlepublished by New York magazine’s The Cut. Mr. Hockenberry was a founder of “The Takeaway” and its host for nearly a decade before retiring in August.
Laura Walker, chief executive of New York Public Radio since 1996, said in a statement that the station “takes these kinds of allegations very seriously and is reviewing these matters promptly.”
A spokeswoman for New York Public Radio, Jennifer Houlihan Roussel, declined to comment on the nature of the allegations against the hosts.
6 accusers (1 since Weinstein)
Last week, when Bryan Singer was fired from the Freddie Mercury biopic Bohemian Rhapsody, it was a bit like seeing a mobster go down for tax evasion. After all, Singer has been hounded by sexual assault allegations for years and in the midst of the #MeToo movement, the news that he was being removed from a studio film so close to completion seemed like an indicator that a story about sexual misconduct was about to drop.
Not that his firing wasn’t salacious enough — the reports that he’d gone missing from the film’s set for days, had fights with star Rami Malek, and had a history of vanishing from film sets like Superman Returns and X-Men: Apocalypse highlighted how Singer’s career was the epitome of Hollywood’s white male privilege problem. He’d been rewarded for years for unprofessional behavior that would get women and directors of color fired. But as it often seems in this Hollywood climate, a swift firing does indeed mean that the other shoe is about to drop.
Days after Singer was released from Bohemian Rhapsody, a new lawsuit was filed against him by Cesar Sanchez-Guzman, who alleges the director forced a then 17-year-old Sanchez-Guzman to perform oral sex on him before raping him on a yacht in 2003. Sanchez-Guzman also alleges the director threatened him should he choose to come forward with his story. Filed in the state of Washington (and available to read here), the lawsuit states Sanchez-Guzman is suing for: “emotional distress, mental anguish, physical and mental pain and suffering, a decrease in his ability to enjoy life, past and future medical expenses, attorneys’ fees and costs, and other general and special damages, all in an amount to be determined at trial.”
When it comes to Singer, no such stories have surfaced. Perhaps it’s because of accounts like Bryan Tyler Skopek’s, an ex teen lover of Singer’s who shared with Deadline that many of the young men who’ve attended Singer’s infamous Hollywood parties did so to make it ahead in Hollywood. There’s always been the “casting couch” hanging over the heads of young Hollywood hopefuls, but it takes on a different nature when it’s used to manipulate gay men. For men to admit that they’ve taken part in the so-called casting couch, many would have to admit their sexuality in an industry that still shames men for being gay, still casts straight men in gay romances like Call Me by Your Name, and allows performatively masculine alpha men to mock people for being effeminate, whether they’re gay or not, in professional settings. It was basically a running joke on Entourage; it’s why many people in Hollywood still fear coming out. Even in 2017, it could effectively end a career.
There’s also the fact that Sanchez-Guzman is being represented by Jeff Herman, a lawyer who tried to take down Singer in the past. He represented Michael Egan, who accused Singer and other men in the industry of sexual misconduct, only to withdraw his claims. Singer’s lawyer has latched onto this information to discredit Sanchez-Guzman.
Andrew Brettler, a partner at the firm representing Singer, issued a statement in defense of the director: “Bryan categorically denies these allegations and will vehemently defend this lawsuit to the very end. When Sanchez-Guzman filed for bankruptcy only a few years ago, he failed to disclose this alleged claim when he was supposed to identify all of his assets, but conveniently, now that the bankruptcy court discharged all of his debts, he is able to recall the alleged events. The attorney behind this lawsuit is the same lawyer who represented Michael Egan, the convicted felon who sued Bryan Singer in 2014. In the end, Egan was forced to dismiss that case once the facts came out and his story completely fell apart.” [The Daily Beast]
Six former clerks or externs complained to the Washington Post of sexual misconduct by Kozinski, an appointee of Reagan who sits in Pasadena.
A former clerk for Judge Alex Kozinski said the powerful and well-known jurist, who for many years served as chief judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit, called her into his office several times and pulled up pornography on his computer, asking if she thought it was photoshopped or if it aroused her sexually.
Heidi Bond, who clerked for Kozinski from 2006 to 2007, said the porn was not related to any case. One set of images she remembered was of college-age students at a party where “some people were inexplicably naked while everyone else was clothed.” Another was a sort of digital flip book that allowed users to mix and match heads, torsos and legs to create an image of a naked woman.
Bond is one of six women — all former clerks or more junior staffers known as externs in the 9th Circuit — who alleged to The Washington Post in recent weeks that Kozinski, now 67 and still serving as a judge on the court, subjected them to a range of inappropriate sexual conduct or comments. She is one of two former clerks who said Kozinski asked them to view porn in his chambers.
In a statement, Kozinski said: “I have been a judge for 35 years and during that time have had over 500 employees in my chambers. I treat all of my employees as family and work very closely with most of them. I would never intentionally do anything to offend anyone and it is regrettable that a handful have been offended by something I may have said or done.”
Kozinski provided the statement after The Post called and emailed a spokesman with a detailed list of the allegations this story would include. After the story posted online, the judge told the Los Angeles Times, “I don’t remember ever showing pornographic material to my clerks” and, “If this is all they are able to dredge up after 35 years, I am not too worried.” [Washington Post]
Heely, 58, of Santa Clarita, is accused of sexually abusing two underage girls approximately a decade ago. He allegedly victimized the first girl when she was 15. According to the charges, he began abusing the second when she was about 11 years old and continued until she was 15.
In a statement, a Disney spokesman said the company suspended Heely late on Friday, after being informed of the charges.
“Immediately upon learning of this situation tonight, he has been suspended without pay until the matter is resolved by the courts,” the spokesman said.
Heely was arrested on Nov. 16 by deputies from the Santa Clarita station of the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department. Booking records indicate he was later released on $150,000 bail. [Variety]
Eater.com reports that four women have accused Batali of sexual misconduct going back to the 1990s. The accusations include groping and inappropriate touching. At least three of the women have worked for Batali in some capacity.
Batali issued the following statement, apologizing for the alleged behavior that he says matches up with how he has acted.
“I apologize to the people I have mistreated and hurt. Although the identities of most of the individuals mentioned in these stories have not been revealed to me, much of the behavior described does, in fact, match up with ways I have acted. That behavior was wrong and there are no excuses. I take full responsibility and am deeply sorry for any pain, humiliation or discomfort I have caused to my peers, employees, customers, friends and family.
I have work to do to try to regain the trust of those I have hurt and disappointed. For this reason, I am going to step away from day-to-day operations of my businesses. We built these restaurants so that our guests could have fun and indulge, but I took that too far in my own behavior. I won’t make that mistake again. I want any place I am associated with to feel comfortable and safe for the people who work or dine there.
I know my actions have disappointed many people. The successes I have enjoyed are owned by everyone on my team. The failures are mine alone. To the people who have been at my side during this time — my family, my partners, my employees, my friends, my fans — I am grateful for your support and hopeful that I can regain your respect and trust. I will spend the next period of time trying to do that.”
Rep. Alcee Hastings
The Treasury Department paid $220,000 in a previously undisclosed agreement to settle a lawsuit alleging sexual harassment that involved Florida Democrat Alcee L. Hastings, according to documents obtained by Roll Call.
Winsome Packer, a former staff member of a congressional commission that promotes international human rights, said in documents that the congressman touched her, made unwanted sexual advances, and threatened her job. At the time, Hastings was the chairman of the Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe, where Packer worked.
Hastings has called Packer’s charges “ludicrous” and in documents said he never sexually harassed her. [Roll Call]
The New Yorker said Monday that it had fired Ryan Lizza, the magazine’s Washington correspondent, after it said he had engaged in what it called “improper sexual conduct,” a charge that Mr. Lizza denied.
“The New Yorker recently learned that Ryan Lizza engaged in what we believe was improper sexual conduct,” a spokeswoman said in a statement. “We have reviewed the matter and, as a result, have severed ties with Lizza. Due to a request for privacy, we are not commenting further.”
Mr. Lizza rejected The New Yorker’s characterization of events, but both the magazine and Douglas H. Wigdor, a lawyer representing the woman accusing him of misconduct, said it was accurate.
In a statement, Mr. Lizza said the company’s decision to fire him “was made hastily and without a full investigation of the relevant facts” and “was a terrible mistake.” [New York Times]
The investigation found credible allegations that Smiley had engaged in sexual relationships with multiple subordinates, sources said. Some witnesses interviewed expressed concern that their employment status was linked to the status of a sexual relationship with Smiley. In general, witnesses described Smiley as creating a verbally abusive and threatening environment that went beyond what could be expected in a typical high-pressure work environment. Several expressed concerns about retaliation.
In a statement posted Thursday evening on Facebook, Smiley said, “I have the utmost respect for women and celebrate the courage of those who have come forth to tell their truth. To be clear, I have never groped, coerced, or exposed myself inappropriately to any workplace colleague in my entire broadcast career, covering 6 networks over 30 years.”
Smiley has hosted “Tavis Smiley,” a half-hour interview program that airs weeknights on PBS member stations since it premiered in 2004. Produced by Smiley’s TS Media, Inc., the show is filmed in Los Angeles and airs on WNET New York, KOCE Southern California, WTTW Chicago, WHYY Philadelphia, and other public television stations nationwide. PBS distributes the series, but does not employ Smiley or any of his staff. The show, which is underwritten by sponsors such as Wal-Mart, has received four NAACP Image Awards.
Smiley’s public radio program, “The Tavis Smiley Show” was distributed by Public Radio International from 2005 to 2013. He originally came to prominence the the mid-1990s as the host of “BET Tonight,” an evening public affairs program on the African American-oriented cable channel.
In a February piece in the Observer, Jacques Hyzagi, a former producer on Smiley’s television show, wrote that Smiley’s “misogyny is always creeping around, barely camouflaged by Midwestern good manners.” Hyzagi described Smiley picking up a woman at the Orlando airport and bringing her along on a reporting trip as a “fuck buddy”; alleged that Smiley had a romantic relationship with another producer; and quoted Smiley denigrating PBS executives.
Smiley currently has a development deal with Warner Bros. Television. Among the projects in the works under that deal is an adaptation of Smiley’s book “Before You Judge Me: The Triumph and Tragedy of Michael Jackson’s Last Days,” about the pop singer, with J.J. Abrams’ Bad Robot.
The decision to halt Smiley’s program comes just weeks after the public broadcaster made a similar move to end Charlie Rose’s interview show following claims of sexual harassment levied at the host. [Variety]
Ken Friedman, the restaurateur behind New York City restaurants the Spotted Pig, the Breslin, and others, has been accused of sexual harassment by multiple women, the New York Timesreports. Ten women have come forward to say Friedman subjected them to unwanted sexual advances, including public groping, lewd text messages, and daily unwanted touching. Some of the women also say they endured catcalls and gropes from Friedman’s friends while working at the Spotted Pig, the West Village gastropub known for its V.I.P. clientele.
According to the women, Friedman and chef-partner April Bloomfield created an environment at their restaurants that was permissive of sexual misconduct. Friedman had consensual sexual relationships with employees (his wife is a former host at the Spotted Pig), in addition to subjecting employees to unwanted sexual attention at work and via text-message requests for nude photos and sex. (Some of these text messages were provided to the Times.) He was known for promoting women based on appearance. He also had a well-known temper, and female employees feared retaliation for speaking up.
Natalie Saibel, a server, says she was groped by Friedman in the Spotted Pig dining room. After filing a formal complaint, she says she and her husband, who also worked at the restaurant, were fired for minor infractions. According to another Spotted Pig server, Trish Nelson, Friedman “grabbed her head and pulled it toward his crotch in front of Amy Poehler in 2007” and, in a separate incident, pushed his tongue into her mouth. According to Nelson, Bloomfield was dismissive of complaints. “Her response was always the same,” she said to the Times. “‘That’s who he is. Get used to it. Or go work for someone else.’”
In a statement provided to the Times, Friedman says, “Some incidents were not as described, but context and content are not today’s discussion. I apologize now publicly for my actions.”
Kelly Berg, the director of human resources for the restaurant company Friedfield Breslin LLC, was hired in May, and said that no employees were fired for filing a complaint. “All employees are encouraged to report any concerns about the workplace,” she said in a statement, “and I am saddened to learn some hesitated or chose to not do so.” [Eater]
Kentucky State Rep. Dan Johnson
A Kentucky lawmaker accused of sexually assaulting a teenage girl in 2013 killed himself Wednesday, officials say, a day after he denied the allegations.
Republican state Rep. Dan Johnson was found dead of a single gunshot wound near Mount Washington, Bullitt County Coroner Dave Billings said.
Johnson drove onto a bridge in a rural area southeast of Louisville, parked and shot himself in front of his car, Sheriff Donnie Tinnell told CNN affiliate WDRB.
Billings ruled Johnson’s death a suicide on Thursday after an autopsy, Deputy Coroner Clayton Brunson said.
Shortly before his death, Johnson posted a rambling message on social media, denying the sexual assault allegations and urging his family to stay strong for his wife.
Relatives became concerned after seeing the post and reached out to law enforcement, who pinged Johnson’s phone and later discovered his body, according to Billings.
Billings said he was called to the scene around 7:30 p.m. Authorities discovered Johnson’s body in front of his truck and a 40-caliber semi-automatic handgun nearby, he said. [CNN]
ABC has pulled The Great American Baking Show off the air, following claims that one of its judges, Johnny Iuzzini, had sexually harassed and showed abusive behavior toward workers during his 2002–2011 tenure as a pastry chef at Jean-Georges in New York.
Mic published an article this week detailing four new allegations against Iuzzini, following its initial November report in which four former employees alleged that he had sexually harassed or abused them. In the wake of the latest claims, ABC made the decision to stop airing season two of The Great American Baking Show, which premiered one week ago, on Dec. 7.
“In light of allegations that recently came to our attention, ABC has ended its relationship with Johnny Iuzzini and will not be airing the remainder of ‘The Great American Baking Show’ episodes,” an ABC spokesperson said in a statement to Variety. “ABC takes matters such as those described in the allegations very seriously and has come to the conclusion that they violate our standards of conduct. This season’s winner will be announced at a later date. Episodes of ‘The Great Christmas Light Fight’ and ‘CMA Country Christmas’ will take its place this week and next.”
Iuzzini provided a statement to Mic that said the new allegations are “simply untrue,” stating “there is a difference between accepting responsibility for my immaturity and allowing false claims and accusations to be reported.”
He has also denied many of the initial claims made against him, and in an earlier statement, said they were either inaccurate or that he couldn’t recall doing them. “None were meant to hurt people. Nonetheless, I must take responsibility if any of the members of my team felt uncomfortable by my words or actions, regardless of my intent or recollection,” his statement read in part.
In Mic’s initial report, four women who reported to Iuzzini between 2009 and 2011 at New York restaurant Jean-Georges described an environment “rampant with incidents of sexual harassment.” One woman said that Iuzzini stuck his tongue in her ear “three or four times” on separate occasions, while others reported that he would use kitchen utensils to touch female staffers on the buttocks, and “stand behind you really closely and breathe on your neck.”
A spokesperson for Jean-Georges told Mic the brand cannot comment on matters involving current or former employees. “We take issues of employee welfare very seriously and have worked hard to make sure employees have a safe environment to work in,” the representative said in an email. [Delish]
Marshall Faulk, Ike Taylor, Heath Evans, Eric Weinberger, Donovan McNabb, Warren Sapp, and Marc Watts
Hall of Fame player Marshall Faulk and two other NFL Network analysts were suspended after a woman who worked as a wardrobe stylist at the network accused them of sexual misconduct in a lawsuit.
The NFL on Tuesday identified the three as Faulk, Ike Taylor and Heath Evans. They have been “suspended from their duties at NFL Network pending an investigation into these allegations,” league spokesman Brian McCarthy said.
Jami Cantor described several sexually inappropriate encounters with the three retired players and others who have worked for NFL Network, according to court documents first reported by Bloomberg.
The lawsuit and suspensions are the latest in a wave of sexual misconduct allegations against prominent men in politics, entertainment and media.
Former NFL Network executive Eric Weinberger, former NFL Network analysts Donovan McNabb, Eric Davis, and Hall of Famer Warren Sapp, and former NFL Network employee Marc Watts also are named in the lawsuit.
Weinberger is president of the Bill Simmons Media Group and was placed on leave, according to a statement given to the New York Times.
McNabb and Davis are ESPN radio contributors. “We are investigating, and McNabb and Davis will not appear on our networks as that investigation proceeds,” ESPN spokesman Josh Krulewitz said Tuesday. [Associated Press]
Rep. Gregory Meeks
The Office of House Employment Counsel brokered a settlement in 2006 over allegations that Rep. Gregory Meeks fired a staffer in retaliation for reporting that she was sexually assaulted at a business tied to a campaign contributor, The Daily Caller News Foundation has learned.
Andrea Payne, then a congressional aide in the New York Democrat’s Queens office, filed a complaint with the Office of Compliance, and Meeks fired her weeks later. He admitted that Payne’s termination did not have to do with the quality of her work, according to her lawsuit.
“This is an action to recover for damages sustained by plaintiff when Representative Meeks violated her Constitutional rights by retaliating against her, and ultimately terminating her employment, because of her sexual assault lawsuit,” Payne’s attorneys wrote.
The U.S. Congress Office of Compliance uses taxpayer money to pay out financial settlements to resolve allegations of sexual abuse, discrimination and other workplace violations by members. It also binds the victims with tight secrecy clauses, which has triggered bipartisan outcry from feminists to conservatives.
Payne’s retaliation lawsuit dealt with how the Office of Compliance was set up to offer limited protections to Capitol Hill staffers. Meeks argued that the existence of the Office of Compliance meant that he should not be financially liable in the suit, according to legal documents.
The lawsuit wound through the system from 2000 to 2006, with Meeks’ office being represented by an assistant U.S. attorney. On March 27, 2006, the Office of House Employment Counsel became his sole lawyer. That same day, the judge entered a “stipulation of dismissal” saying the parties had reached a settlement.
Payne visited Flowers Physical Therapy in 2000 for treatment after she was injured in a car accident. It is owned by Neville Flowers, whose wife Joan “is an important campaign supporter and fundraiser for Representative Meeks,” the suit says.
The physical therapist working there sexually assaulted her, she claimed in legal documents. Payne pursued criminal charges against the employee, and a lawsuit against the company.
The day an article about the incident appeared in a Queens newspaper, “Joan Flowers came to Representative Meeks’ office in an agitated state and waved a copy of the article in the reception area while complaining loudly about its contents,” the suit says.
Meeks said “when he received complaints from one of his campaign contributors he must treat the matter very seriously” and told Payne he was not going to pay her for overtime work she had performed, the lawsuit says. Meeks and top staff began allegedly retaliating in other ways, such as refusing to reimburse Payne for expenses, verbally abusing her, removing files from her computer, and requiring her to work more unpaid overtime.
Payne filed a complaint with the Congressional Office of Compliance, which is in charge of enforcing labor laws. On Oct. 10, 2000, she wrote to the House Ethics Committee to say she believed the overtime issue was retaliation for her lawsuit against the donor’s company.
Less than two weeks later, Meeks fired her, saying “I just don’t feel that this is working,” the lawsuit alleges. An employee testified that the New York office manager “admitted to her that Ms. Payne was fired because she sent the letter to the House Ethics Committee,” according to the lawsuit.
Meeks’ office then denied her unemployment insurance, saying she had quit voluntarily. Meeks’ then-chief of staff Jameel Johnson claimed “he thought he was required to state Ms. Payne had left ‘by mutual consent’ because of an agreement entered into during the Office of Compliance mediation process. However, no such agreement was ever entered into,” Payne’s lawyers wrote. [Daily Caller]
Miguel has issued a statement denying allegations of sexual misconduct which date back to last March but recently resurfaced in a Spin article. A woman named Xian Bass first publicly wrote about her alleged experience on Instagram with a picture of her with the singer. She wrote in her post that, after she took the picture with Miguel, he sexually assaulted her. “After we took this photo, you took it upon yourself to grab my breast and remove it from my shirt WITHOUT CONSENT,” Bass wrote. “You then proceeded to look at my naked breast with such a disgusting look on your face.”
The allegations did not receive much publicity at the time, though TMZ did approach Miguel about the allegations. He told TMZ, “People are really looking for attention in the wrong ways.” He added, “In this age, I guess, you just gotta be more aware of how things can be and how things can be spun.”
In Spin’s in-depth profile of Miguel, the publication spoke to Bass about her earlier claims. Bass revealed that she had reported the incident in California to the Barstow Police Department, which, in turn, confirmed to Spin that it had investigated her claims. According to Bass, since the alleged incident happened at a Los Angeles venue in a more secluded area, out of sight of witnesses, the police investigator told her that “other women have to come forward” with allegations to take action against Miguel.
Miguel responded to the allegations with a statement:
I felt I had already addressed how bizarre and twisted this accusation was when I was asked about it in March. Her story of what transpired is not accurate and the accusation is unfair and unwarranted.
Accusers: One as of yet, he admitted to sexual misconduct before being asked.
The confession, which Morgan Spurlock published to his social media accounts, details episodes that started in college but extend into his professional career.
“I’ve come to understand after months of these revelations, that I am not some innocent bystander, I am also a part of the problem,” he wrote, referencing the recent wave of sexual misconduct allegations against prominent men.
“If I’m going [to] truly represent myself as someone who has built a career on finding the truth, then it’s time for me to be truthful as well,” he said.
Spurlock’s publicist confirmed the authenticity of the post to CNN.
Spurlock is stepping down effective immediately as CEO of his production company, Warrior Poets, according to a note from his partners at the company, Jeremy Chilnick and Matthew Galkin, that was obtained by CNN.
Spurlock said in his confession that he called a former female assistant “hot pants” or “sex pants” in the office, only realizing it was degrading when she came to him asking for a “settlement.”
“I paid for peace of mind,” he wrote. “I paid for her silence and cooperation. Most of all, I paid so I could remain who I was.”
He also described a sexual encounter with a woman in college who later accused him of rape. He had considered the sex to be consensual.
Spurlock said he “didn’t know what to do” when the woman started to cry during sex. She had said earlier in the night, before they took off their clothes, that she did not want to have sex.
“We stopped having sex and I rolled beside her,” Spurlock wrote in his account of the incident. “I tried to comfort her. To make her feel better. I thought I was doing ok, I believed she was feeling better. She believed she was raped.”
“There were no charges or investigations, but she wrote about the instance in a short story writing class and called me by name. A female friend who was in the class told be [sic] about it afterwards. I was floored,” he wrote. [CNNMoney]
The Carolina Panthers have opened an investigation into allegations of workplace misconduct against owner and founder Jerry Richardson.
In a statement Friday, team spokesman Steven Drummond acknowledged accusations had been made against Richardson, 81.
“The Carolina Panthers and Mr. Richardson take these allegations very seriously and are fully committed to a full investigation and taking appropriate steps to address and remediate any misconduct,” Drummond said. “The entire organization is fully committed to ensuring a safe, comfortable and diverse work environment where all individuals, regardless of sex, race, color, religion, gender, or sexual identity or orientation, are treated fairly and equally. We have work to do to achieve this goal, but we are going to meet it.”
The NFL became aware on Friday afternoon that the Panthers had initiated an investigation, a source told ESPN.
NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said the league would decline comment at this time.
The investigation is being led by international law firm Quinn Emanuel Urquhart and Sullivan, LLP, and will be overseen by minority owner and former White House Chief of Staff Erskine Bowles, according to the Panthers. Because the matter is under legal review, the team cannot comment publicly on the specifics of the allegations.
“I have had a strong relationship with Mr. Richardson during my time with the Panthers,” coach Ron Rivera said in a statement released through the team. “I have enormous respect for the man, but will wait for the results of the investigation before making any judgment.”
Richardson became the first former NFL player since George Halas to own an NFL team when he was awarded an expansion franchise on Oct. 26, 1993.
The Panthers began play two years later in 1995.
Richardson was hospitalized in 2008, one month after receiving a pacemaker. Richardson underwent quadruple-bypass surgery in 2002 and was placed on a donor waiting list for a new heart. He received the new heart on Feb. 1, 2009, and has not had any known setbacks since.
He is one of only two owners to have owned a franchise since its inception. The other is Houston’s Bob McNair.
Richardson has worked primarily behind the scenes during his tenure with the Panthers and rarely does interviews. But he has been very active through the years with league matters.
He also has been involved in a few surprising and unexpected moves within the Panthers the past eight months. Team president Danny Morrison resigned in February after spending eight years taking over many of the duties of Richardson’s sons, Mark and Jon, who left the organization in 2009 amid in-house fighting over how the Panthers were being run.
Morrison has not been replaced.
Richardson fired general manager Dave Gettleman, who helped the Panthers reach Super Bowl 50, the day before training camp. He replaced him with Marty Hurney, who was fired as GM after a 1–5 start in 2012.
In 2014, when Richardson was under fire for initially allowing Greg Hardy to play while the Pro Bowl defensive end awaited a jury trial on domestic violence charges, the owner broke down in tears while being honored with the Echo Foundation’s Award Against Indifference.
“When it comes to domestic violence, my stance is not one of indifference,” Richardson said. “I stand firmly against domestic violence, plain and simple.”
Hardy was not activated for the next game and he spent the rest of the season on the NFL commissioner’s exempt list. He was not re-signed the following year. [ESPN]
Andrea Ramsey, a Democratic candidate for Congress, will drop out of the race after the Kansas City Star asked her about accusations in a 2005 lawsuit that she sexually harassed and retaliated against a male subordinate who said he had rejected her advances.
Multiple sources with knowledge of the case told The Star that the man reached a settlement with LabOne, the company where Ramsey was executive vice president of human resources. Court documents show that the man, Gary Funkhouser, and LabOne agreed to dismiss the case permanently after mediation in 2006.
Ramsey, a 56-year-old retired business executive from Leawood, was one of the Democratic candidates vying to challenge Republican Rep. Kevin Yoder in 2018 in Kansas’ 3rd District.
She was running with the endorsement of Emily’s List, a liberal women’s group that has raised more than a half-million dollars to help female candidates who support abortion rights.
Ramsey will drop out on Friday, her campaign said.
“In its rush to claim the high ground in our roiling national conversation about harassment, the Democratic Party has implemented a zero tolerance standard,” Ramsey said in a statement Friday. “For me, that means a vindictive, terminated employee’s false allegations are enough for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) to decide not to support our promising campaign. We are in a national moment where rough justice stands in place of careful analysis, nuance and due process.”
The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, which has not endorsed anyone in the race, said in a statement that members and candidates must all be held to the highest standard.
“If anyone is guilty of sexual harassment or sexual assault, that person should not hold public office,” said committee spokeswoman Meredith Kelly.
Emily’s List said in a statement on Friday that the group supported Ramsey’s decision to drop out of the race and wished her well.
Ramsey was not a party to the lawsuit or the settlement, although she’s referred to throughout the complaint as Andrea Thomas, her name before she married her husband in late 2006. She denied the allegations to the Star in two interviews over the last two weeks and said the lawsuit is surfacing now for political purposes.
Ramsey repeatedly said that she was not aware of any settlement in the case, but said that if she had been a party to the case she would have opposed settling.
“Had those allegations, those false allegations, been brought against me directly instead of the company I would have fought to exonerate my name. I never would’ve settled,” Ramsey said in an interview on Thursday. “And I would have sued the disgruntled, vindictive employee for defamation.”
Individual supervisors are not named as defendants in federal sexual harassment or discrimination lawsuits because they are not considered employers under Title VII, the law that protects employees from discrimination, harassment and retaliation for color, race, sex and national origin.
The lawsuit has been circulating in Kansas political circles as the first-time candidate runs for Congress amid a wave of sexual misconduct allegations that have rocked the political, entertainment and journalism industries.
The national Democratic Party is targeting Kansas’ 3rd District as part of its push to reclaim control of the House. Yoder is one of 23 GOP representatives seeking re-election in districts where Democrat Hillary Clinton won more votes than Republican Donald Trump.
The allegations against Ramsey were outlined in a lawsuit filed by Funkhouser against LabOne and in a complaint to the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
Reached by phone, Funkhouser would not discuss the case.
“All I can say is the matter has been resolved,” he said.
In the EEOC complaint, which alleged sex discrimination and retaliation by LabOne, Funkhouser accused Ramsey of subjecting him to “unwelcome and inappropriate sexual comments and innuendos” beginning in September 2004, when he was a LabOne human resources manager.
In late March 2005, Ramsey made sexual advances toward him on a business trip, Funkhouser alleged in the complaint.
“After I told her I was not interested in having a sexual relationship with her, she stopped talking to me,” he wrote. “In the office she completely ignored me and avoided having any contact with me.”
Ramsey even moved him out of his office into a cubicle far from her office, Funkhouser wrote.
Before he rejected her advances, Ramsey “repeatedly told me she heard great things from others about my performance,” Funkhouser wrote. “After I rejected her, she told me she now was hearing bad things about my performance and on June 13, 2005, terminated my employment.”
The EEOC closed its file on Funkhouser’s charges of discrimination and retaliation in October 2005, noting that an investigation was unable to conclude whether any statutes had been violated. The document did not certify that LabOne was in compliance with employment law, however, and informed Funkhouser that he had a right to sue the company.
Funkhouser then sued LabOne in federal court.
LabOne denied the allegations and said Funkhouser’s termination was “non-discriminatory and non-retaliatory.”
Ramsey told The Star she made the decision to eliminate Funkhouser’s job in conjunction with LabOne management.
“It became clear to me that he wasn’t managing his subordinates adequately,” she said. “… He didn’t have open lines of communication with his subordinates and furthermore there was this additional layer of management.”
She also said in a second interview that she has no memory of the business trip, noting that 12 years had passed.
The lawsuit was still pending in April 2006 when Ramsey retired from LabOne. At the time, LabOne was being acquired by Quest Diagnostics, a company Ramsey had worked for until 2004. She told the Star she had no interest in working for such a large company again, and she wanted to spend more time with her children, who were 8 and 10 at the time.
Later that month, Ramsey took a part-time job as senior counsel for Black & Veatch, an international engineering firm based in Overland Park.
In July 2006, LabOne and Funkhouser agreed to dismiss the case without the possibility of bringing it again.
Quest Diagnostics declined to comment on behalf of LabOne, saying its policy is not to comment on litigation.
Shirley Gaufin, who was head of HR at Black & Veatch from 2002 to 2011, described Ramsey as an exceptional colleague. “All I heard was praise,” said Gaufin, who has donated to Ramsey’s campaign.
Ramsey left Black & Veatch in October 2012 after six years as the company’s employment attorney.
She served as board chair at the nonprofit Turner House Children’s Clinic in Wyandotte County from 2015 until she stepped down in May to launch her congressional campaign. [Kansas City Star]
A woman who worked on HGTV star Carter Oosterhouse’s popular show Carter Can alleges he coerced her into performing repeated acts of oral sex during production, an experience that she says eventually led to her becoming hospitalized for depression and losing her job.
Kailey Kaminsky, who was employed as Oosterhouse’s makeup artist in 2008, tells The Hollywood Reporter that she acquiesced to his demands for oral sex when the carpenter turned reality TV star threatened her employment after months of incessant badgering. “At that point I was a nervous wreck,” says Kaminsky. “I was so worn down from his advances, so I did: that day, on that occasion. It was the first time. Then thereafter it was most every time we would shoot — 10 to 15 times he put me in this position.”
In a statement to THR, Oosterhouse, who declares the accusation “upsetting,” acknowledges “an intimate relationship” with Kaminsky but contends that “it was 100 percent mutual.” He adds that it was never “indicated to me in any way that Kailey was uncomfortable” during their time together, and “I would have never done anything that I was not sure was mutually agreeable. The reality is that I knew it was consensual because she initiated it the first time and many of the 15 or so times we had oral sex thereafter.”
In a follow-up interview, Oosterhouse asserts he’s never been intimate with any other crewmembers or executives on any production in his professional career aside from Kaminsky. He declined to comment when asked whether a sexual relationship could ever truly be consensual between the star of a TV show and a show staffer whose employment is dependent on remaining in the star’s favor.
According to Kaminsky, then 34, the persistent requests for oral sex began a year into her employment on the show when Oosterhouse, then 32 and a home improvement TV star after gaining fame on TLC’s Trading Spaces, propositioned her while the pair were running errands in a truck during a location shoot in his hometown of Traverse City, Michigan. She repeatedly rebuffed him on the trip, she says, and his advances were even more surprising because she identifies as a lesbian.
“He’s like, ‘You know what would be a good idea? If you went down on me,’” she recalls. “I was shocked — it was so random. I said, in my sarcastic way, ‘Well, that’s not sexual harassment at all.’ He said, ‘I just think it would be fun.’ I made it clear that I did not think it would be fun. Still, I thought he was just goofing around.” Kaminsky adds that her subsequent persistent refusals “didn’t register. It was as if he had tunnel vision. He was determined to get a blow job.”
After a short production hiatus, she contends the requests for oral sex continued back in Los Angeles, over time shifting from good-natured to pestering to, finally — while again in a vehicle together in early September — intimidating, at which point she describes herself as “capitulating.” On the way to a project site, “he pulled off the road and said, ‘Do you enjoy your job?’ I said I did and in fact would like to work more, handling more of his personal appearances outside the show. He said, ‘Well, I can help you with that. But you need to do something for me.’”
Kaminsky says she interpreted the conversation as imperiling her professional relationship with him, which at that point defined her career and livelihood. By her account, she thereafter dutifully submitted to his requests on between 10 and 15 occasions. They typically took the form of nonverbal cues (“It was eye contact; he would look at me and look down”) while they were alone together in Oosterhouse’s changing and makeup areas in the midst of episode shoots, often as he changed attire for the home “reveal.” She asserts that there was no reciprocal physical intimacy and that she felt further degraded because, “when he would assault me, he insisted on finishing on my face — every time — knowing that I had to go back out and work. I asked him about that. He said, ‘It’s just what I wanted to do.’”
By late October 2008, Kaminsky says her anxiety over the situation prompted a weeklong absence from Carter Can. “I developed this stomach ulcer, something I’d never had before, and was hospitalized for a week,” she says. “I kept beating myself up psychologically — that I was nothing but a prostitute. And the longer this went on, the less he would allow me to do my job. If I wanted to step in and touch up his hair and powder, he would push me away.”
Kaminsky claims Carter Can director Patrick Jager, who was unaware of the situation, cited her absence when he told her at the end of the year that she’d be replaced for the next season. (Jager, noting it’s been nearly a decade, says he doesn’t recall the reason her contract wasn’t renewed.)
Kaminsky says she confided in two female producers who worked on Carter Can during production and that they expressed concern but that, at the time, “I was trying to find a narrative to make myself feel better. I told myself that this is giving me power. I definitely went out of my way to pretend it was something that I was participating in willfully. I was like, ‘It’s fine, whatever.’ I was trying not to cry.” She adds, “It was Stockholm Syndrome-y, justifying-what-you’re-doing.”
(Reached by THR, one of the female producers, who requested anonymity, remembers Kaminsky’s confession that evening. It was framed to her as a consensual relationship. “It didn’t raise any flags, so I don’t think we suggested an intervention,” she says. “It didn’t seem like it was abusive.”)
After Carter Can, Kaminsky left Los Angeles, explaining that she descended into a depression that would eventually require in-patient treatment. “I was basically nonfunctioning, unable to hold a job,” she says. “I had no self-esteem. I just spiraled further and further down.”
Tim O’Grady, the man who Kaminsky would briefly marry, confirmed that he was told about the Oosterhouse incidents. A friend, Shelley Wunder-Smith, confirmed that Kaminsky shared her account with them in the years that followed the end of her tenure on Carter Can.
Kaminsky’s mother, Sara Levy, had flown to Los Angeles to visit her daughter in the hospital. At the time, she was left in the dark. “I was afraid to tell my mom because she had worked in the industry and she had said to me, ‘Make yourself indispensable, no matter what,’” says Kaminsky. “Still, she knew something was very, very wrong.”
Levy later learned the source of what she characterizes as “Kailey’s nightmare,” explaining, “My husband and I had to live through the repercussions of it.” Levy adds, “I saw my daughter crushed and crumbled. She was humiliated and demoralized.”
A year after she left Carter Can, Kaminsky says she contacted Sonny Hutchison, an official at its production company High Noon, about the situation. (High Noon was also behind Oosterhouse’s Red Hot & Green, airing on HGTV as well at the time.) By her account, Hutchinson told her that since she was an independent contractor and nobody he spoke to would corroborate her story, High Noon would not further address the matter. (Hutchison didn’t respond to a request for comment.)
After she informed Hutchison of her allegations, Kaminsky claims Oosterhouse called her and apologized, stating, “‘I’m so sorry. I thought it was mutual.’” She says he asked how he might make amends. Kaminsky suggested helping her get her career back on track “because I couldn’t get work. He said he would do whatever he could to help me out. But I never heard anything from him again.”
In his interview with THR, Oosterhouse, now 41, recalls the conversation differently. “I did say I thought it was mutual — because it was,” he says. “I didn’t apologize because I never did anything wrong. That’s the God’s honest truth. I felt bad that she was, in that moment, not-super-positive.”
Given Oosterhouse’s celebrity, Kaminsky would see him again, which she says prompted dark memories of 2008 to return. In 2011, she was at a grocery store and saw Oosterhouse on the cover of Us Weekly when he wed actress Amy Smart. (The pair have an 11-month-old daughter.) “I went back to the house with the woman I was dating and I broke down in a way that I never have,” she says. Last year, she turned on TV after work and saw him hosting ABC’s The Great Christmas Light Fight. “I melted down yet again,” she says. (The show returned for its fifth season on Dec. 4.)
More recently, the post-Weinstein news cycle has been painful, she says: “I read these stories and there’s PTSD: Why wasn’t I strong enough to protect myself?” Still, the #MeToo movement inspired her to come forward. “I’m not looking to be litigious or for money,” she says. “I just want to set the record straight about what happened to me.”
Since 2008, Oosterhouse has hosted several other shows (including HGTV’s Celebrity Motor Homes and FYI’s Rowhouse Showdown) while frequently making appearances as a home improvement expert on programs like Today, Rachael Ray and The View. The visibility has brought interest in modeling for major brands (Nivea, Hewlett Packard) and served as a vehicle for him to establish his charitable foundation, Carter’s Kids, which builds community playgrounds.
Kaminsky, meanwhile, is no longer a professional makeup artist. “He took away the joy that I got from doing makeup,” she says. “I just had no confidence.”
Carter Oosterhouse’s full statement [Hollywood Reporter]:
First off, let me say that I am very passionate about what is a happening right now with the #metoo movement, especially because I have so many strong woman in my life, like my wife, mother, sister and of course my little baby girl. We are in a time of change for society and I am behind it 100%.
I had an intimate relationship with Kailey 9 years ago and it was 100% mutual and consensual. In no way did I ever feel, nor was it ever indicated to me, that Kailey was uncomfortable during our intimate relationship. I would have never done anything that I was not sure was mutually agreeable.
The reality is that I knew it was consensual because she initiated it the first time and many of the 15 or so times we had relations thereafter. We were together outside of work and I considered her a friend.
I want to address a couple of the things she said. First, I didn’t have anything to do with her not being invited back to the show — that was a producer decision.
And as for the fact that she identifies as a lesbian — I didn’t know that — all I knew was that she was in a sexual relationship with another guy who worked on the show.
It’s upsetting that she now feels this way, I only wish her the best and truly hope that she can move forward.
As the ongoing wave of sexual misconduct allegations continues to take down powerful men in the worlds of media and other industries, another well-known media figure has been revealed to have faced accusations of sexual harassment: MSNBC anchor Chris Matthews.
According to a Daily Caller report that was later confirmed by MSNBC, Matthews was accused of sexually harassing a former associate producer in 1999, when the anchor’s Hardball program appeared on the channel CNBC. Following her allegations against Matthews, the woman was then paid a separation-related payment by NBC.
The woman alleged that Matthews had made inappropriate comments and jokes about her in front of others, the Daily Caller reported.
“In 1999 this matter was thoroughly reviewed and dealt with. At that time Matthews received a formal reprimand,” an MSNBC spokesperson said in reponse, according to NBC News.
According to the spokesperson, the network determined during its investigation “that the comments were inappropriate and in made in poor taste but were never meant as propositions,” NBC reported.
The network’s separation payment to the woman, the Daily Caller noted, is reported to have been $40,000, though a spokesman later contacted the publication and claimed “the company instead paid significantly less as part of a severance package.”
Matthews is now the latest high-profile media figure to face sexual harassment allegations, which have taken down fellow anchors Charlie Rose and Matthews’ former NBC colleague Matt Lauer. The network has also severed ties with journalist Mark Halperin after he was accused of sexual harassment by multiple women.
According to NBC News, the network announced Dec. 8 that it would conduct a “culture assessment” of its news division, as well as mandate harassment-prevention training for its employees. [Mic]
“He just tried a lot of things without asking me, and at no point asked me if I was all right,” the woman said. Over the course of two separate incidents, she remembers Miller choking her, punching her and penetrating her with a beer bottle. The Daily Beast corroborated parts of her story by speaking with associates and classmates from George Washington University (GW).
In a statement, Miller and his wife Kate denied the allegations. “[The accuser] began again to circulate rumors online once [my and Kate’s] relationship became public,” Miller wrote. “Sadly she is now using the current climate to bandwagon and launch these false accusations again. It is unfortunate that she is choosing this route as it undermines the important movement to make women feel safe coming forward about legitimate claims against real known predators.”
The alleged victim said the first incident with Miller took place in the fall of 2001, when he was a student at GW and she was taking classes. The two met doing comedy and started a relationship. One night while the two were having sex, Miller punched her in the face, fracturing a tooth and bloodying her lip. “I couldn’t bring myself [at the time] to believe this had happened,” she told The Daily Beast. “It was me not wanting it to be true.” [Rolling Stone]
Rasmussen, two other singers and a musician have accused Dutoit, a famed conductor with a long list of accomplishments who has worked with premier orchestras around the world, of sexual misconduct.
The Associated Press first reported the allegations from Rasmussen, soprano Sylvia McNair and two others who asked to remain anonymous.
“Based on the information available to us, these allegations were issued without reaction from Mr. Dutoit, and, to the best of our knowledge, the claimants have initiated no formal legal proceedings,” the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra — where Dutoit is an Honorary Conductor and conducts nearly 30 concerts a year — told CNN in a statement.
“Nonetheless, we take this matter very seriously and we will be monitoring the situation closely,” the statement said.
In statements sent to CNN Thursday, both the Boston Symphony Orchestra, where Dutoit has been a guest conductor, and the San Francisco Symphony said they have severed ties with Dutoit.
The New York Philharmonic said in a separate statement that Dutoit had informed the group he was withdrawing from concerts he was set to conduct in January, and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra Association said he’d withdrawn from conducting concerts next spring.
The Boston Symphony Orchestra, where Dutoit has conducted many concerts, said it was ending its relationship with the conductor following the AP’s report.
Kathy Olsen, a representative for McNair, said that “Sylvia’s interview (with the AP) accurately portrays her experience,” but she did not want to talk about the subject further. [CNN]
Don Hazen has been an executive at left-leaning media outlets since the 1980s, first helming the influential Mother Jones magazine as publisher and in 1997 starting AlterNet, an online outlet publishing and syndicating reporting on “the environment, human rights and civil liberties, social justice, media, and health care issues.”
But five women journalists have told BuzzFeed News that Hazen sexually harassed them while they worked for AlterNet touching them inappropriately, discussing their sex lives, making unwanted advances, sending explicit emails, and showing them explicit photographs — including one of his naked, erect penis. (The women have remained friends since.) A sixth journalist said she was sexually harassed by him, though she wasn’t his employee at the time.
After BuzzFeed News asked Hazen and the board of the Independent Media Institute, AlterNet’s nonprofit parent, for comment, the board returned a statement on Wednesday saying Hazen has been placed on “indefinite leave” as a result of the accusations. [Buzzfeed News]
Melanie Martinez, who appeared as a finalist on The Voice in 2012, has adamantly denied an accusation of sexual assault and rape by friend and fellow aspiring musician Timothy Heller. The shocking addition to the flood of stories regarding sexual impropriety in Hollywood, Washington and beyond began on Monday (Dec. 4) when Heller posted a lengthy tweet in which she described her alleged assault at the hands of someone she described as a close friend, later revealing it to be Martinez.
Early Tuesday morning (Dec. 5) Martinez wrote back, categorically denying Heller’s claim. “I am horrified and saddened by the statements and story told tonight by Timothy Heller, Martinez wrote. “What she and I shared was a close friendship for a period of time. We came into each other’s lives as we were both starting our careers as artists, and we tried to help each other. We both had pain in dealing with our individual demons and the new paths we were forging, but I truly felt we were trying to lift each other up.”
In her original post, Heller wrote about a difficult night in which she said she “repeatedly said no” to sexual advances from Martinez, which she claims the singer did not accept. “I have kept this secret for years, convincing myself that it wasn’t a big deal and I wasn’t hurt by it. The thought of accepting that my best friend raped me seems insane,” Heller wrote. “But I began to get responses I wasn’t expecting. Concerned ones. It’s hard to say someone you loved raped you. Someone you STILL love.”
The post goes on to claim that Martinez continued to make advances on Heller, ignoring Heller’s refusals as Martinez allegedly performed oral sex on her and used a sex toy on her without consent. “The bottom line that I need to always remind myself is that: I said no,” she wrote. “For TWO NIGHTS STRAIGHT. It doesn’t matter that I didn’t resist during the action. I had been broken down. She knew I didn’t want to, I made that clear.” [Billboard]
Girls writer Murray Miller has been accused of sexual assault by actress Aurora Perrineau, who filed a report on the alleged incident, Sgt. Salvador Rios of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department confirmed to The Hollywood Reporter.
While the actress filed the report at the West Hollywood station, Los Angeles police will handle the investigation, Rios said.
Perrineau has appeared in Passengers, the Jennifer Lawrence and Chris Pratt starrer.
Miller has also worked on King of the Hill and American Dad! No additional information was released. The writer, through his attorneys, denied the allegation.
“Mr. Miller categorically and vehemently denies Ms. Perrineau’s outrageous claims,” attorney Don Walerstein said in a statement. “After being contacted several weeks ago by lawyers who — on Ms. Perrineau’s behalf — sought substantial monetary damages from him, Mr. Miller’s legal team gathered overwhelming evidence directly contradicting these false and offensive claims.”
The statement added: “Only after her demands for money were rebuffed did Ms. Perrineau go to the police. Mr. Miller looks forward to sharing all evidence and information with any and all authorities seeking the truth in this matter.”
On Dec. 7, Walerstein issued a additional statement which read in part, “Neither Ms. Perrineau nor her lawyers have ever made a demand for money. Our previous statement above was incorrect and the result of a of good-faith misunderstanding.”
Girls co-showrunners Lena Dunham and Jenni Konner sent a statement to THR late Friday, defending Miller:
“During the windfall of deeply necessary accusations over the last few months in Hollywood, we have been thrilled to see so many women’s voices heard and dark experiences in this industry justified. It’s a hugely important time of change and, like every feminist in Hollywood and beyond, we celebrate. But during every time of change there are also incidences of the culture, in its enthusiasm and zeal, taking down the wrong targets. We believe, having worked closely with him for more than half a decade, that this is the case with Murray Miller. While our first instinct is to listen to every woman’s story, our insider knowledge of Murray’s situation makes us confident that sadly this accusation is one of the 3 percent of assault cases that are misreported every year. It is a true shame to add to that number, as outside of Hollywood women still struggle to be believed. We stand by Murray and this is all we’ll be saying about this issue.”
Girls star Allison Williams told THR Thursday night at a celebration for Get Out, “We’ve [the Get Outcast] been out all day. I don’t know enough to be able to say anything. I haven’t looked at my phone.”
A rep for Perrineau did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Peter Aalbæk Jensen
Leading Scandinavian production company Zentropa is sidelining co-founder and former CEO Peter Aalbæk Jensen following a report alleging sexual misconduct, harassment and bullying in the workplace.
Aalbæk Jensen, who founded the company with director Lars von Trier, has been accused of sexual misconduct by several women in a story published by the Danish newspaper Politiken. Nine women — including Meta Louise Foldager Sørensen, who worked at Zentropa from 2006 to 2010 and produced von Trier’s “Antichrist” and “Melancholia,” and Anna Mette Lundtofte, a writer and journalist — described a toxic and sexually charged work environment at the company. Labor inspectors are currently investigating the allegations.
In an internal memo sent out to employees Wednesday and first published in Deadline, Zentropa said Aalbæk Jensen would no longer have an “influence on the daily leadership of the company [and] will not partake in any management meetings.” Nor will he be allowed to speak on behalf of the company.
The memo, which was signed by senior Zentropa managers Anders Kjærhauge, Rikke Ennis, Sisse Graum Jørgensen and Louise Vesth, also said Aalbæk Jensen would no longer be involved in the company’s trainee program and would no longer be allowed to “have trainees under his administration.”
A prominent figure in the Nordic film industry, Aalbæk Jensen was previously CEO of Zentropa and produced more than 70 films. He retired in 2016 but has maintained ties with Zentropa and even executive-produced Von Trier’s upcoming film, “The House That Jack Built.” [Variety]
Lars Von Trier
Lars von Trier, who worked with Bjork on the 2000 film “Dancer in the Dark,” has responded to accusations the singer made over the weekend about being sexually harassed by an unnamed Danish film director.
“It was extremely clear to me when I walked into the actresses profession (sic) that my humiliation and role as a lesser sexually harassed being was the norm and set in stone with the director and a staff of dozens who enabled it and encouraged it,” she wrote in a Facebook post. “When I turned the director down repeatedly, he sulked and punished me and created for his team an impressive net of illusion where I was framed as the difficult one. Because of my strength, my great team, and because I had nothing to loose (sic) having no ambitions in the acting world, I walked away from it and recovered in a years time.”
Von Trier denied the allegations on Monday, telling the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten, (via Google Translate), “That is not the case — although we didn’t get along, that’s a fact. … On the other hand, she delivered one of the greatest-ever performances in my movies.”
Producer Peter Aalbæk Jensen added, in a comment that may have lost something in translation, “As far as I remember, we were victims. That woman was stronger than both Lars von Trier and me and our company together.”
Bjork also said “the director was fully aware of this game and I am sure of that (sic) the film he made after was based on his experiences with me. Because I was the first one that stood up to him and didn’t let him get away with it.”
Von Trier’s next film after “Dancer in the Dark” was “Dogville,” in which Nicole Kidman’s character was repeatedly raped after being accused of betraying the townspeople of a small American village.
Bjork ends her statement with a call to action — “let’s stop this” — and asserts that “there is a wave of change in the world.” [Variety]
Earlier this week, the second-degree rape charges against Nelly were dropped after the accuser reportedly “refused to cooperate” with the police. At the time, TMZ added that she didn’t want to face “the pressure of accusing a huge star like Nelly.” Now, though, the BBC is reporting that the accuser — Monique Greene — is suing Nelly for defamation after the R&B star’s lawyer dismissed her accusations as “reckless” and “a fabrication.” Nelly’s lawyer also says that intends to countersue Greene, saying she’s “motivated by greed.”
The rape allegedly happened in October when Nelly invited Greene to a party after a show and then took her to his tour bus, where she says he assaulted her. Nelly was arrested shortly after, proclaiming that he was “completely innocent” and “the victim of a false allegation.” [A.V. Club]
The top editor for the National Enquirer, Us Weekly and other major gossip publications openly described his sexual partners in the newsroom, discussed female employees’ sex lives and forced women to watch or listen to pornographic material, former employees told The Associated Press.
The behavior by Dylan Howard, currently the chief content officer of American Media Inc., occurred while he was running the company’s Los Angeles office, according to men and women who worked there. Howard’s self-proclaimed nickname was “Dildo,” a phallus-shaped sex toy, the former employees said. His conduct led to an internal inquiry in 2012 by an outside consultant, and former employees said he stopped working out of the L.A. office after the inquiry.
Howard quit soon after the report was completed, but the company rehired him one year later with a promotion that landed him in the company’s main office in New York. It was not clear whether Howard faced any discipline over the accusations. AP is not aware of any sexual harassment allegations involving Howard since he was rehired.
The AP spoke with 12 former employees who knew about the investigation into Howard’s behavior, though not all were aware of every detail. The outside investigator hired to examine complaints about Howard’s behavior also confirmed to AP that he completed a report.
In a brief phone interview with the AP, Howard characterized the ex-employees’ claims as “baseless.”
A lawyer for American Media confirmed Tuesday that an outside investigator was hired to look into two employees’ claims about Howard’s behavior.
The lawyer, Cam Stracher, said the investigation did not show serious wrongdoing. Stracher confirmed that one employee had complained that Howard said he wanted to create a Facebook account for her vagina, but Stracher said Howard said that never happened.
“It was determined that there was some what you would call as horsing around outside the office, going to bars and things that are not uncommon in the media business,” Stracher said, “but none of it rose to the level of harassment that would require termination.”
American Media publishes the National Enquirer, RadarOnline, Star and other gossip publications and websites. In March the company purchased the glossy Us Weekly magazine for a reported $100 million, significantly boosting its readership among women. [NBC News]
- Paris Review Editor Resigns Amid Inquiry Into His Conduct With Women (The New York Times)
In the summer of 2015, Phoebe Barghouty was 23 years old and had a new master’s degree in journalism from Stanford — but little other experience — when she landed what most of her peers would consider a dream job: associate producer at Vice’s Los Angeles bureau.
Though her job hadn’t technically started yet, her boss, then-Editor in Chief Jason Mojica, invited her to join the team at the L.A. Press Club Awards. After accepting an award for public service in journalism, the team from Vice — including Mojica and Kaj Larsen, the bureau chief who had hired Barghouty — celebrated with drinks. By the end of the night, Barghouty says a very drunk Larsen had brought up sex (musing about his chances with a group of “black girls” at the bar), asked her for a ride home, then passed out in her car.
“I had not even started work and he was being so inappropriate,” she remembers.
Things just got weirder.
Barghouty says within her first few weeks on the job, Larsen was asking her to meet him at his home in Venice Beach. She thought it was strange, but he was her boss so she complied. As she waited outside his house, she texted a friend her location — “like how you tell a friend before a Tinder date in case you get murdered” — when a shirtless Larsen walked up and told her to come wait inside his bungalow while he took a shower.
She felt uncomfortable. Was she being too prudish, overly offended? She thought, “My family is Muslim. Maybe this is just how people are in L.A.?”
The unusual interactions continued. Barghouty says Larsen would touch her at work — on the small of the back, on her bare thigh — in ways that he didn’t touch the other employees. And she wasn’t producing much journalism. Instead, Larsen, a former Navy SEAL turned journalist, had her do things like accompany him to parties in the Hollywood Hills. At one party, Larsen demonstrated headsets, telling the group that he would be the first person to report in virtual reality from a war zone. Larsen told her he was “grooming her,” but Barghouty felt instead like she was being shown off as arm candy.
The Daily Beast spoke with more than a dozen former and current Vice employees in recent weeks about the culture for women inside Vice Media — and they painted a picture of harassing behavior and company indifference. (Neither Larsen nor Barghouty are still with the company.) [The Daily Beast]
Former IGN editor and current GameSpot associate editor Kallie Plagge has alleged that her IGN colleague and fellow editor Vince Ingenito — who is 15 years older than her — harassed both her and “one other female employee” for months, Waypoint reports.
Plagge detailed her claims on Twitter, citing “uncomfortable compliments” and “manipulative and abusive comments” from Ingenito, as well as “overtly sexual comments” such as: “When I was your age, I could go all night”. Plagge alleges that this was followed by a touch on the arm.
When she reported this to IGN’s HR department, she was allegedly told she “needed to have better judgement about who [she] was ‘friends’ with”, accusing her of being an “equal participant” in “inappropriate flirtation.”
Plagge goes on to claim that she was told to sign a document saying that she had behaved inappropriately, and was threatened with dismissal if she did not comply.
Ingenito has since responded to these allegations via Twitter, acknowledging that Plagge isn’t “a liar” but instead believes he “overestimated or perhaps misread the degree of our friendship.”
He insists he “never touched Kallie in any sexual way” and requested that people following this incident “do not go piling on her.”
IGN has released a statement from the content team — “not by management or legal or anyone else” — condemning both Ingenito’s treatment of Plagge and the other victim, as well as the HR system that is supposed to support them.
“It is with great sadness, pain, and regret that we tell you that IGN has failed two of its female employees, one former and one current — both of whom the team cares deeply about,” the team wrote. “We are devastated that two of our own have had to live with and carry this pain for more than a year.
“When the women made management and human resources aware of the situation involving a now-former employee, those women, in the estimation of the IGN team, did not get the respect and care that they deserved as IGN employees and as people. That system, plainly put, failed them. It especially failed them but it also failed all of us.”
Some employees have reportedly refused to work as a sign of protest against how these allegations were handled, as revealed via Twitter by IGN producer Alanah Pearce.
The content team claims it has held a “difficult but ultimately productive” two-hour meeting voicing its concerns with both management and human resources, and pledges that dramatic improvements will be made.
“Any future allegations will be taken extremely seriously, and we are actively working to ensure that everyone on our team feels like they work in a safe environment; we will not tolerate the exclusion or mistreatment of any people. The human resources representative who oversaw this situation originally is no longer with the company, and our current HR rep has been transparent and willing to listen to ideas and suggestions for how to create a better work environment going forward.”
General manager and executive vice president Mitch Galbraith has since emailed all staff. The email was shared with Kotakuand says: “It is clear IGN can and must do better delivering on our commitment to a safe and harassment-free work environment for employees.”
Galbraith outlines plans to bring in an independent expert to investigate the support system for employees, promising to define future actions that will be shared with all employees.
“I will be accountable to you for delivering results,” he writes. “I will [also] work to give HR a stronger presence throughout IGN, including outside the San Francisco office.
“I’m not going to reiterate IGN’s committment to a safe and harassment free work environment. Instead I am going to work with all of you to prove it with our actions and results from here on out.”
The allegations follow the wave of sexual harassment claims emerging after women have come forward to out the behaviour of Hollywood exec Harvey Weinstein. [GameIndustry.biz]
Sean Hannity is a conservative talk show host and author. He’s the author of the books Let Freedom Ring: Winning the War of Liberty over Liberalism, Deliver Us from Evil: Defeating Terrorism, Despotism, and Liberalism, and Conservative Victory: Defeating Obama’s Radical Agenda.
In April 2017, a former guest on Hannity’s show alleged that he sexually propositioned her and, when she refused, banned her from appearing on his show.
Dwayne Duron Marshall
An American woman goes to the police in Las Vegas. She claims she has been raped by an athlete: global football star Cristiano Ronaldo. What really happened has never been resolved because lawyers settled the case with a payment of $375,000 by the Real Madrid star. [Der Spiegel]
This list will be updated when necessary.
The Shitty Men In Media List
56 Screen Celebs Who Abuse/d Women & Children (Accusations Resurfaced in 2017)
The 12 accused abusers who so far remain unnamed…
- The monster who sexually assaulted nine year-old America Ferrera.
- The music executives who abused and allowed the abuse of Kaya Jones.
- The director who sexually assaulted 16-year-old Reese Witherspoon.
- The men who assaulted James Van Der Beek.
- The countless, unnamed “predators” in the fashion industry.
- The man who sexually assaulted 16-year-old Laura Dern.
- The TV executive who assaulted Maureen Ryan.
- These harassers.
- This A-List animal.
- Lady Gaga’s abuser.
- Gabrielle Union’s abuser.
- The producer who declared a 15-year-old Jennifer Lawrence “f**kable.”