An explosive new documentary explores how disgraced film mogul Harvey Weinstein wielded his power to sexually abuse employees in Britain as well as the US.
Former Weinstein Company and Miramax employees describe how the Hollywood producer would dominate, control and humiliate those around him.
While A-list actresses have made allegations of harassment, sexual abuse and rape by the renowned producer, Working with Weinstein, which airs on Channel 4 tomorrow night, hears allegations of how he used his power and position to abuse his colleagues and workers in Britain – and kept them silent for 30 years.
The UK film industry was central to Weinstein’s success, making him one of the most powerful men in Hollywood.
Explosive claims: Oscar-winning producer David Parfitt, left, tells how Weinstein assaulted him after a screening of their film My Week With Marilyn. Pictured, Parfitt with (left-right) Shakespeare In Love Producers Donna Gigliotti, Harvey Weinstein, Edward Zwick and Marc Norman, and actress Gwyneth Paltrow (centre) at the Academy Awards in 1999
One former employee tells how during a job interview Weinstein, 65, made her take off her clothes so he could give her a massage while he masturbated. He then pressured her into taking a shower with him.
Another describes her discomfort at being expected to escort women to Weinstein’s hotel room and having to collect a prescription for erectile dysfunction injections.
Meanwhile producer David Parfitt, who worked with Weinstein on My Week With Marilyn and the Oscar-winning Shakespeare In Love, told how he was once attacked by Weinstein following a film screening.
Building up a picture of the growing power, wealth and influence of the film mogul, it explores how someone in Weinstein’s position could abuse so many people over decades without facing any consequences that ended the behaviour.
A-list actresses including Rose McGowan, pictured, have made allegations of harassment, sexual abuse and rape by the renowned producer. Working with Weinstein, hears allegations of how he used his power and position to abuse his colleagues and workers in Britain
Lawyer Jill Greenfield, who is representing ‘half a dozen’ women in a UK Civil Court Action, comments in the film: ‘You’ve got an awful lot of women who have been afraid for many years and are still very afraid, but these women now have an awful lot of other women and people around them who are really not afraid and are prepared to go all the way on this. Because it’s so important that they have the right to access to justice in a way that they were so fearful of all those years ago.
‘He may be or may have been a powerful man, but it doesn’t matter. He’s not above the law. He’s just a man.’
A spokesperson for Harvey Weinstein has previously said that any allegations of non-consensual sex are unequivocally denied.
Here, the words of those who speak out against Weinstein in the documentary
A former Miramax employee
On her first meeting with Weinstein: ‘It very quickly turned from being a conversation about a profession, a job, to being about him being tired and having travelled a long way and him wanting a massage. And I think, I remember feeling sort of, sort of, quite shocked by this request.
‘And him sort of, you know, you know, saying, you know, “What’s wrong with that, that’s normal. All my staff do this, this is very normal.” And I felt that I was the one who was sexualising it and who was making it a problem. And so I ended up being given a massage by him.
‘So he took my top off and he started massaging me. And I think all my clothes ended up coming off. And he, he was wearing a robe and masturbating. And then, it was a constant, there were constant new requests. It was… “no, no, let’s have a shower”.’
On later incidents: ‘Any time I was, summonsed to a, to the Savoy where he would work from, there were always requests for massage. You know, he never stopped trying it on, never. Even having promised that he wouldn’t. It was consistent and constant.’
A former employee of The Weinstein Company
‘I got a call from someone in New York: “We needed to pick up a prescription that’s very sensitive”…
‘So I went and got them and came back and there was masses of them, boxes and boxes, and it was the injections. So I looked it up. And they were penile erection dysfunction injections. And I thought, I’ve been picking these things up off the floor.’
Oscar-winning producer David Parfitt
On 2011 film My Week With Marilyn: ‘When we actually got through the main shoot and into the test, he decided it wasn’t enough Marilyn’s film and that he wanted more Marilyn.
‘The scores came in at the end of the test, um, and they were very good and I think he’d expected it to be not good. In his fury about it doing so well when he thought it wouldn’t, he physically assaulted me.
‘We were talking at the back of the theatre after the audience had left, but the Miramax crowd were around, and he pinned me up against a Coke machine and threatened all sorts of stuff. It was very scary. But he was just furious that the film in our version had worked.’
‘The use of Non-Disclosure agreements with employees in both entertainment and media companies is ….. standard in the industry.
‘Mr Parfitt and Mr Weinstein had creative differences on the film, any conflict between them was solely over their different visions for the film.
‘…… while Mr Weinstein has apologized for boorish behavior in certain situations in the past, Mr Weinstein unequivocally denies he ever engaged in criminal misconduct of any kind.’
Working with Weinstein airs Tuesday 20 February at 10pm on Channel 4