In light of movie star Gwyneth Paltrow’s recent revelation to The New York Times that Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein sexually harassed her after she was cast in his 1996 film Emma, this clip from a 1998 David Letterman interview below can be seen in a whole new light:
In the now seemingly revealing exchange, Letterman asks Paltrow about her relationship with Weinstein, and eventually asks her directly, “Are you here of your own free will? Did someone coerce you to be here?”
Paltrow replies, “Do you count Harvey Weinstein as a coercer?”
Letterman responds with a curious joke about Weinstein having some sort of history with the mob that helped him acquire his powerful position.
Saying she’s “lucky” to do all her movies with Harvey and Miramax, Paltrow adds, “But he will coerce you to do a thing or two.”
Paltrow’s New York Times revelation really puts that exchange in context. She told the Times that when she was 22 and Weinstein had just given her a potentially life-changing role, she was scheduled to meet with the producer at his hotel in Los Angeles. She said she didn’t initially suspect anything, but it soon became apparent that Weinstein, whom she said she thought of as her “Uncle Harvey,” had other things in mind.
When Mr. Weinstein tried to massage her and invited her into the bedroom, she immediately left, she said, and remembers feeling stunned as she drove away. “I thought you were my Uncle Harvey,” she recalled thinking, explaining that she had seen him as a mentor.
After she told Mr. Pitt about the episode, he approached Mr. Weinstein at a theater premiere and told him never to touch Ms. Paltrow again. Mr. Pitt confirmed the account to The Times through a representative.
Paltrow told the Times that Weinstein “berated her for discussing the episode,” and she feared that she might lose the role in Emma, but she wouldn’t give in:
Soon after, Mr. Weinstein called Ms. Paltrow and berated her for discussing the episode, she said. (She said she also told a few friends, family members and her agent.) “He screamed at me for a long time,” she said, once again fearing she could lose the role in “Emma.” “It was brutal.” But she stood her ground, she said, and insisted that he put the relationship back on professional footing.
Even as Ms. Paltrow became known as the “first lady of Miramax” and won an Oscar for “Shakespeare in Love” in 1999, very few people knew about Mr. Weinstein’s advances. “I was expected to keep the secret,” she said.
As Weinstein’s world is crumbling, the movie producer boarded a private jet on Wednesday and is said to be seeking help at a sex rehab clinic in Arizona. Weinstein told reporters that he believes he deserves a “second chance” despite decades of alleged sexual harassment of numerous women.