In the days since The New York Times published a bombshell report filled with sexual-harassment accusations against the film producer Harvey Weinstein, more women are sharing their stories.
On Tuesday morning, The New Yorker published an article in which three women accuse Weinstein of rape.
The women told The New Yorker that Weinstein raped them, detailing allegations including Weinstein performing unwanted oral sex, forcing oral sex to be performed on him, and forcing vaginal sex.
Sallie Hofmeister, a spokeswoman for Weinstein, issued this statement in response to the allegations in the article:
“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.”
The stories the three women told The New Yorker offer a dramatically different account.
Asia Argento, an Italian film actress and director, told The New Yorker that Weinstein forced oral sex on her 20 years ago. Argento said she did not speak out until now because she was scared Weinstein would “crush” her. “I know he has crushed a lot of people before,” Argento told the publication in an interview. “That’s why this story – in my case, it’s 20 years old, some of them are older – has never come out.”
Weinstein “terrified me, and he was so big,” she said. “It wouldn’t stop. It was a nightmare.” Argento told The New Yorker she eventually started to pretend she enjoyed the assault with the hope that doing so would make it end sooner.
The New Yorker also described the account of a woman named Lucia Evans, who the magazine said gave Weinstein her number in 2004 when she was an aspiring actress and college student. The magazine said Weinstein started calling her late at night asking to meet, offers she declined. It said that she eventually met Weinstein at the Miramax office in New York City during the day and that after both demeaning her and complimenting her (he told her she should lose weight) he forced her to perform oral sex on him.
“I said, over and over, ‘I don’t want to do this, stop, don’t,'” Stoller told The New Yorker. “I tried to get away, but maybe I didn’t try hard enough. I didn’t want to kick him or fight him. 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.”
Another woman, who The New Yorker said was afraid to allow her name to be published, told the magazine that Weinstein brought her to a hotel room for what she expected to be a professional meeting; she said he then changed into a bathrobe and forced himself on her sexually.
The woman told The New Yorker that she had thought about going to the police at the time but was intimidated by Weinstein’s power and worried about losing her job. “He drags your name through the mud,” she said, “and he’ll come after you hard with his legal team.”