Before spearheading a luxury lifestyle movement, Gwyneth Paltrow was a familiar and formidable presence at the movies. She starred in some of the biggest films of the ‘90s and early 2000s (Shakespeare in Love, A Perfect Murder, The Talented Mr. Ripley), and is an Oscar, Emmy, and Grammy winner (future EGOT, anyone?). While perhaps not as prolific as before — running her Goop empire is no small task — Paltrow is still working in Hollywood, appearing in major projects such as Avengers: Endgame and the recent Netflix series The Politician.
Paltrow’s success also gave her a crucial platform to speak out against Harvey Weinstein, the disgraced movie producer who has been accused of sexual harassment and abuse spanning decades. She is one of more than 80 women who have come forward with sexual misconduct allegations against Weinstein.
At The New York Times’ DealBook Conference, Paltrow said she is still processing her feelings about Weinstein. Citing a recent column in the Times, Paltrow acknowledged that she didn’t even think she was consciously aware of how Weinstein’s behaviour had impacted her, or how it might have influenced her eventual entrepreneurship in the wellness industry.
“It's something that I've been processing over the last year or so. I don’t even think I was aware that it possibly could have tarnished the way I viewed my first career,” she said, also noting that her personal experiences with Weinstein are at odds with the success he helped her achieve.
“I don’t like to be binary about people and things,” she added. “He gave me an incredible opportunity — and yet during that time, we had a very, very fraught, complicated relationship.”
In 2017, Paltrow told The New York Times that Weinstein made advances at her during a meeting meant to discuss her starring role in Emma, the 1996 film adaptation of Jane Austen’s novel. Paltrow was 22 at the time.
“The postscript to that chapter of my life is where it gets extremely complicated for me,” she continued, alluding to how Weinstein systematically kept specific details of his misconduct under wraps. “Information came to light about who he was and how he was behaving that I didn't know during my already very difficult time with him. So I'm not sure. I'm not sure how I feel.”
Paltrow also talked about the power dynamics that enabled Weinstein to continue this behaviour for years.
“There's a spectrum — but it does seem to me, for the more egregious offenders, that really loss of power is what keeps them from further offending,” Paltrow said. “So if they don't have the power, then they lose that dynamic and then the game's over.”
Weinstein, who maintains his innocence, is facing charges of rape and sexual assault and awaits trial in January.