Just days after a myriad of sexual harassment and assault allegations have been levied against former Weinstein Company executive Harvey Weinstein, more women have come forward, with three alleging that he raped them, including actress Asia Argento. This new expose even features audio of Harvey Weinstein admitting to groping a Filipina-Italian model named Ambra Battilana Gutierrez, which was part of a 2015 NYPD sting operation where the model was wearing a wire. The audio was never made public until today, with this latest expose that sheds even more light on the history of Harvey Weinstein's sexual abuse that goes back decades.
The most damning claims come from actress Asia Argento, daughter of iconic horror filmmaker Dario Argento, who revealed that in 1997, when she was an up and coming actress at just 21 years of age, she was invited by an unnamed producer who worked for Harvey Weinstein's company, then known as Miramax, to a party where Harvey Weinstein would be attending. The producer reportedly took her to a hotel room where Harvey Weinstein was the only one there, with the producer claiming that they just got there "too early" before leaving her alone with him. The unnamed producer denies bringing the actress to the room that night. After praising her work, Harvey Weinstein left the room and returned wearing a bathrobe and holding a bottle of lotion, asking for a massage. After she reluctantly agreed, he pulled her skirt up and performed oral sex on her as she repeatedly told him to stop. Here's what the actress had to say in an emotional interview about the sexual assault that took place that night.
"He asks me to give a massage. I was, like, 'Look, man, I am no f---ing fool.' But, looking back, I am a f---ing fool. And I am still trying to come to grips with what happened. (He) terrified me, and he was so big. It wouldn't stop. It was a nightmare. I was not willing. I said, 'No, no, no.' . . . It's twisted. A big fat man wanting to eat you. It's a scary fairy tale. The thing with being a victim is I felt responsible. Because, if I were a strong woman, I would have kicked him in the balls and run away. But I didn't. And so I felt responsible."
The actress, "insisted that she wanted to tell her story in all its complexity, said that she didn't physically fight him off, something that has prompted years of guilt." It gets even more complex because she would ultimately give in to his continued sexual advances and grow close to him, having consensual sexual relations with Harvey Weinstein multiple times, and that she felt obligated to submit to his sexual advances after he agreed to pay for a nanny when she was a struggling single mother. The actress also wrote and directed a movie in 2000 called Scarlet Diva, where she plays an actress who is sexually assaulted by a movie producer, which lead several women to approach her because they recognized the same behavior in Harvey Weinstein. The actress posted the scene in question on her Twitter account, shortly after this report was published, which you can see below..
The report also features accounts from notable actresses such as Mira Sorvino and Rosanna Arquette, who accused Harvey Weinstein of sexual harassment, along with several unnamed women who used to work as assistants to Harvey Weinstein. They claimed they were used as a "honeypot," helping to lure women to Harvey before leaving them alone with him. Many of these women refused to give their names because they were afraid he could still use his power and influence to drag their name through the mud. Ambra Battilana Gutierrez, who agreed to wear a wire as part of the NYPD sting operation, saw several gossip articles surface about her to try and discredit her.
After the initial report ran in The New York Times, Harvey Weinstein was fired from The Weinstein Company by its board of directors, while several members of the board also offered their resignations as well. Harvey Weinstein is reportedly suing the New York Times over the initial report, although no lawsuit has been filed at this time. Even more have come forward today as well, with a New York Times follow-up article from Jodi Kantor and Rachel Abrams, revealing that actresses such as Gwyneth Paltrow and Angelina Jolie were also harassed by the executive early on in their careers, while Ben Affleck also released a statement about Harvey Weinstein's behavior. For a more in-depth look at the allegations, you can read the entire piece from The New Yorker.