Harvey Weinstein 'used fashion businesses as a pipeline to harass models'

Disgraced film producer Harvey Weinstein reportedly used his fashion businesses to get close to and harass a string of models.

Although he is best known for producing a number of films and television programmes with Miramax, Weinstein also oversaw a number of fashion projects. 

He invested in the clothing brand Halston and supported the company Marchesa, which was co-founded by his wife and former model Georgina Chapman. He also produced the reality TV show Project Runway

A dozen people connected to the fashion industry told the Los Angeles Times to confirm he used his fashion ventures as a “pipeline” to models.

Project Runway launched in 2004 and is now in its 16th season, becoming one of Miramax’s most popular television franchises.

On the show, aspiring fashion designers compete with each other for a $100,000 (£758,000) prize. However, Mr Weinstein insisted the format also incorporate models.

“He kept asking: ‘Where’s my model show? He wouldn’t drop it”, a former employee told the newspaper. Eleven former or current models have so far come forward to accuse the producer of assault or harassment.

Model and actor Cara Delevingne last week added her voice to the growing number of women speaking out against Mr Weinstein with a lengthy Instagram post about a past meeting.

When I first started to work as an actress, i was working on a film and I received a call from‎ Harvey Weinstein asking if I had slept with any of the women I was seen out with in the media. It was a very odd and uncomfortable call….i answered none of his questions and hurried off the phone but before I hung up, he said to me that If I was gay or decided to be with a woman especially in public that I’d never get the role of a straight woman or make it as an actress in Hollywood. A year or two later, I went to a meeting with him in the lobby of a hotel with a director about an upcoming film. The director left the meeting and Harvey asked me to stay and chat with him. As soon as we were alone he began to brag about all the actresses he had slept with and how he had made their careers and spoke about other inappropriate things of a sexual nature. He then invited me to his room. I quickly declined and asked his assistant if my car was outside. She said it wasn’t and wouldn’t be for a bit and I should go to his room. At that moment I felt very powerless and scared but didn’t want to act that way hoping that I was wrong about the situation. When I arrived I was relieved to find another woman in his room and thought immediately I was safe. He asked us to kiss and she began some sort of advances upon his direction. I swiftly got up and asked him if he knew that I could sing. And I began to sing….i thought it would make the situation better….more professional….like an audition….i was so nervous. After singing I said again that I had to leave. He walked me to the door and stood in front of it and tried to kiss me on the lips. I stopped him and managed to get out of the room. I still got the part for the film and always thought that he gave it to me because of what happened. Since then I felt awful that I did the movie. I felt like I didn’t deserve the part. I was so hesitant about speaking out….I didn’t want to hurt his family. I felt guilty as if I did something wrong. I was also terrified that this sort of thing had happened to so many women I know but no one had said anything because of fear.

“As soon as we were alone he began to brag about all the actresses he had slept with and how he had made their careers and spoke about other inappropriate things of a sexual nature.”

Mr Weinstein invited her up to his hotel room and asked her to kiss another model, according to Ms Delevingne’s Instagram post.

Former aspiring actor Lucia Evans told the New Yorker that the producer said during a meeting that she’d “be great in Project Runway”, before allegedly forcing her to perform oral sex.

Six women have accused Weinstein of rape or forced sex acts, and he is under investigation for sexual assault in Los Angeles, New York and London.

The  Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the body that gives out Oscar awards, expelled Mr Weinstein last week in an unprecedented move.

In a statement, the board said they had taken the action ”not simply to separate ourselves from someone who does not merit the respect of his colleagues, but also to send a message that the era of willful ignorance and shameful complicity in sexually predatory behaviour and workplace harassment in our industry is over”.

Source: fashion – Google News

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