In a newly published New Yorker article, several women have shared their detailed accounts of disgraced movie producer Harvey Weinstein's predatory behavior. Three women, including director-actress Asia Argento, say Weinstein raped them. Argento said of the 1997 attack, "I am still trying to come to grips with what happened. When I see him, it makes me feel little and stupid and weak. After the rape, he won."

The article also features audiotape from an NYPD sting operation, after an Italian model accused Weinstein of groping her in 2015. On the tape, Weinstein is heard apparently begging the woman, Ambra Battilana Gutierrez, to enter a hotel room and watch him shower. She says, "I don't feel comfortable... Please I don't want to do something I don't want to do." Weinstein tries to reassure her, "I'm a famous guy... I am not going to do anything, I swear on my children."

"Why yesterday you touch my breast?" Gutierrez asks. To which he replies, "Oh, please, I'm sorry, come on, I'm used to that... I won't do it again."

The Manhattan D.A.'s office declined to prosecute Weinstein, and it was recently revealed that D.A. Cy Vance received a $10,000 donation from Weinstein after not pursuing the sexual assault charge.

Incidents of sexual harassment or sexual assault by Weinstein dating back to the 1990s were revealed in a NY Times article on October 5th, along with how Weinstein, through his company, settled with at least eight women. After that, as more women have been coming forward with their harrowing accounts, the Oscar-winning producer was fired by the board of the company he co-founded with his brother, The Weinstein Company.

On the eve of the Times article, the Hollywood Reporter said that Weinstein was assembling a heavy-hitting team of lawyers to fight the "possibly explosive" reports from the Times and the New Yorker. Weinstein told THR at the time, "The story sounds so good, I want to buy the movie rights."

For the New Yorker, reporter Ronan Farrow interviewed numerous women, many of whom detail a similar M.O. from Weinstein—demanding that they give him a massage.

Argento gave a harrowing description of her encounter with Weinstein during the Cannes Film Festival in 1997. A producer told her about a party where Weinstein would be, but when she got there, there was no one else. "He asks me to give a massage. I was, like, ‘Look man, I am no fucking fool.' But, looking back, I am a fucking fool. And I am still trying to come to grips with what happened," she said.

Argento said that, after she reluctantly agreed to give Weinstein a massage, he pulled her skirt up, forced her legs apart, and performed oral sex on her as she repeatedly told him to stop. Weinstein “terrified me, and he was so big,” she said. “It wouldn’t stop. It was a nightmare.”

At some point, Argento said, she stopped saying no and feigned enjoyment, because she thought it was the only way the assault would end. “I was not willing,” she told me. “I said, ‘No, no, no.’ It’s twisted. A big fat man wanting to eat you. It’s a scary fairy tale.” Argento, who 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.

“The thing with being a victim is I felt responsible,” she said. “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.” She described the incident as a “horrible trauma.” Decades later, she said, oral sex is still ruined for her. “I’ve been damaged,” she told me. “Just talking to you about it, my whole body is shaking.”

She said that her depiction of a heavy movie producer forcing himself on an actress after asking her for a massage in her 2000 film Scarlet Diva prompted women to recount their experiences with Weinstein.


Another actress, Lucia Evans, said Weinstein forced her to perform oral sex on him in his Tribeca office building. "I tried to get away, but maybe I didn’t try hard enough. I didn’t want to kick him or fight him," she recalled. "He’s a big guy. He overpowered me... I just sort of gave up. That’s the most horrible part of it, and that’s why he’s been able to do this for so long to so many women: people give up, and then they feel like it’s their fault."

Emily Nestor worked as a temporary assistant at The Weinstein Company, where others said she was Weinstein's "type." She made up an excuse not to meet him at night but ended up meeting him for breakfast at his hotel, recalling, "I dressed very frumpy." From the New Yorker:

Nestor told me that the meeting was the “most excruciating and uncomfortable hour of my life.” After Weinstein offered her career help, she said, he began to boast about his sexual liaisons with other women, including famous actresses. “He said, ‘You know, we could have a lot of fun,’ ” Nestor recalled. “I could put you in my London office, and you could work there and you could be my girlfriend.” She declined. He asked to hold her hand; she said no. In Nestor’s account of the exchange, Weinstein said, “Oh, the girls always say ‘no.’ You know, ‘No, no.’ And then they have a beer or two and then they’re throwing themselves at me.”

In a tone that Nestor described as “very weirdly proud,” Weinstein added “that he’d never had to do anything like Bill Cosby.” She assumed that he meant he’d never drugged a woman. “It’s just a bizarre thing to be so proud of,” she said. “That you’ve never had to resort to doing that. It was just so far removed from reality and normal rules of consent.”

2017_10_ambra1.jpg
Ambra Battilana Gutierrez in Italy (Getty Images)

In the Gutierrez incident, two NYPD sources "said that they had no reason to doubt Gutierrez’s account of the incident. One of them, a police source, said that the department had collected more than enough evidence to prosecute Weinstein. But the other source said that Gutierrez’s statements about her past—she allegedly accused a past lover of rape—"complicated the case for the office of the Manhattan District Attorney."

A source insisted to the New Yorker, "We had the evidence. It’s a case that made me angrier than I thought possible, and I have been on the force a long time."

Actresses Rosanna Arquette and Mira Sorvino also detailed incidents where Weinstein overstepped bounds—Sorvino said: "He started massaging my shoulders, which made me very uncomfortable, and then tried to get more physical, sort of chasing me around." They both believe that their careers suffered because they rejected him. "Sorvino said that she struggled for years with whether to come forward with her story, partly because she was aware that it was mild compared to the experiences of other women, including another actress she spoke to at the time," the New Yorker reports.

Arquette added, "He’s going to be working very hard to track people down and silence people. To hurt people. That’s what he does."

Weinstein's spokesperson Sallie Hofmeister told the magazine, "Any allegations of non-consensual sex are unequivocally denied by Mr. Weinstein. Mr. Weinstein has further confirmed that there were never any acts of retaliation against any women for refusing his advances. Mr. Weinstein obviously can’t speak to anonymous allegations, but with respect to any women who have made allegations on the record, Mr. Weinstein believes that all of these relationships were consensual. Mr. Weinstein has begun counseling, has listened to the community and is pursuing a better path. Mr. Weinstein is hoping that, if he makes enough progress, he will be given a second chance."