HOLLYWOOD (CBSLA) — In New York and London investigations have been opened regarding sexual harassment and sexual assault allegations about embattled Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein.
Meanwhile, as Peter Daut reports, more actresses have spoken out about their dealings with Weinstein or Hollywood’s problem.READ MORE: LAPD Officer Accused Of Inappropriately Touching Deceased Woman's Body To Stand Trial On Felony Charge
Tonight, many of the nearly three-dozen women accusing Weinstein of inappropriate conduct hope their stories will lead to dramatic changes.. and force Hollywood to take a hard look at itself.
Yesterday, before he went off to a trip to rehab, Weinstein spoke to paparazzi outside his home and he asked for a second chance.
“Guys I’m not doing okay, but I’m trying. I gotta get help guys. You know what we all make mistakes, second chance I hope, okay. Thanks guys. And you know what I’ve always been loyal to you guys not like those (blank) who treat you like (blank). I’ve been the good guy.”
As he was seeking some kind of redemption more actresses opened up about being victimized by him.
Kate Beckinsale, who is now 44, posted her experience on Instagram. When she was 17, she went to a Weinstein meeting.
She was invited to his hotel.
“I was incredibly naive and young and it did not cross my mind that this older, unattractive man would expect me to have any sexual interest in him. After declining alcohol and announcing that I had school in the morning, I left, uneasy but unscathed,” she wrote.
For years, she said she rebuffed his advances and believes her career suffered because of it.
Beckinsale’s fate is the exact reason many Hollywood insiders say so many women keep quite for so long. For a time, Weinstein could make — or break — anyone.
“You couldn’t work in Hollywood and not know the stories and the reputation,” said Cynthia Littleton, Variety’s Managing Editor for TV.
Take Gwyneth Paltrow. She came from a distinguished Hollywood family — mother is Blythe Danner, dad was legendary TV director/producer Bruce Paltrow. And in the early 90s, Gwyneth was even dating Brad Pitt.
She said all that didn’t stop Weinstein from putting the moves on her. She told the New York Times that he made sexual advances to her when she was 22. She said Pitt confronted Weinstein.READ MORE: Dodgers On Brink Of Elimination After Braves Rough Up Urías, Dominate In Game 4
Paltrow continued to work with Weinstein — most famously her Oscar-winning role in “Shakespeare in Love” under his former company Miramax.
Pitt also worked for Weinstein in films like “Inglorious Basterds” and “Killing Him Softely.”
“Even a Brad Pitt, at the point when he was a marquee star, to stand up and say I’m not going to work with Harvey Weinstein would be damaging to his career,” Littleton says.
A-lister Ben Affleck is also facing a series of questions about what he knew about Weinstein.
The Hollywood mogul was instrumental in Affleck’s career — Weinstein championed “Good Will Hunting” (which he starred in and co-wrote with pal Matt Damon) and “Reindeer Games.”
Affleck released a statement that said in part, “What can I do to make sure this doesn’t happen to others?”
Actress Rose McGowan said on Twitter that Affleck did know about Weinstein and that she told him about her experiences with him. She’s also alleged Weinstein raped her, one of four women who have done so. (He has denied any non-consensual sex.)
“This is a situation of power and influence and fear of reprisal,” says entertainment attorney Lisa Bonner.
The casting couch has been around as long as Hollywood has been making movies. Actress Jane Fonda said she found out about Weinstein but only about a year ago. She feels ashamed that she dd not speak out when she had the chance.
“It has happened to me. It has. I only met Harvey when I was old and Harvey goes for young because that’s more vulnerable, you know. But it’s very very common,” Fonda said.
Daut also went to a Starbucks in Studio City — typically packed with Hollywood insiders.
They say the Weinstein accusations are extreme examples of the industry’s culture of sexual exploitation.
“It’s not fair that we women have to feel like we need to hide something like this just because we want our career.” said actress Robin Miller.MORE NEWS: Disappointed Dodgers Fans React To 9-2 Loss In Game 4 Of NLCS
“So many people are coming out and feeling the strength in numbers. that’s the beginning.” said Hollywood observer Eddy Kopernik.