Gwyneth Paltrow is not ready to write off Harvey Weinstein completely. The actress, who rose to stardom with lead roles in the Weinstein-produced films Emma and Shakespeare in Love, is one of many actresses who has come forward with stories of being sexually harassed by the producer. On Sunday, Paltrow told the audience at the Sun Valley Film Festival that she was “still trying to process” her experience — and added that Weinstein’s accomplishments don’t deserve to be forgotten in the midst of the scandal.
“Harvey Weinstein had an incredible gift for finding talent, for supporting great screenplays, great actors,” said Paltrow, as quoted in Idaho’s Eye on Sun Valley. “We tend to throw the baby out with the bath water. It’s far more complicated than that.”
“I’m proud of the work that I did during that time,” she continued. “Art remains art, and I’m proud of the art that I put in the world then.”
Weinstein’s company, Miramax, produced some of the most acclaimed films of the 1990s and 2000s, including Pulp Fiction, Good Will Hunting, Bridget Jones’s Diary, Amelie, and Chicago. However, more than 80 women have now alleged that Weinstein sexually harassed or assaulted them during these decades, often with the result that their careers were derailed by the trauma or they were blacklisted for refusing his advances.
Paltrow shared her own story with the New York Times in October, saying that Weinstein asked her to go to his bedroom for a massage during a meeting when she was 22 years old. The actress (who declined) said she told her then-boyfriend, Brad Pitt, about the incident, after which Pitt confronted the producer and told him not to touch Paltrow again. Weinstein was furious and told Paltrow never to tell anyone else what had happened. “I thought he was going to fire me [from Emma],” Paltrow told the Times. “He screamed at me for a long time. It was brutal.”
Paltrow has also said that Weinstein boasted about having sex with her in order to persuade aspiring actresses to sleep with him. “He’s not the first person to lie about sleeping with someone,” she told the Times. “But he used the lie as an assault weapon.”
Weinstein has denied all accusations of sexual assault. He is currently under investigation by the district attorneys of Los Angeles County and Manhattan. On Tuesday, his current film studio, the Weinstein Company, filed for bankruptcy and terminated all nondisclosure agreements that may have prevented victims from coming forward.
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