A year ago, Harvey Weinstein was at the top of his game. Some of the biggest names in Hollywood revered him as a trusted friend and businessman. Now, after dozens of women publicly accused him of sexual misconduct, he sits disgraced with no friends or family to praise or support him. Weinstein denies all allegations of nonconsensual sex.
On the surface, each accusation seems to depict Weinstein as a power-hungry man who let his rise to fame fundamentally change the way he interacted with the world and, especially, the women who inhabit it. But, a new profile titled "Young Harvey Weinstein: The Making Of A Monster," published in The Hollywood Reporter suggests that Weinstein's transformation into the reprehensible person he is today began far before he ever made his first million. THR traveled to Weinstein's old stomping grounds in New York (Queens and, later, Buffalo) and talked with nearly a dozen of his former friends and acquaintances. Below are some of the scariest takeaways.
Some of the men in his life seemed to know what he was up to and did nothing about it.
Before Weinstein got into the film industry, he worked in music, booking big gigs like the Rolling Stones for shows in Buffalo. At one point, Weinstein allegedly made a deal with an unnamed woman who said he'd offered her tickets to a show if she'd allow him to postpone a payment. When she arrived at his apartment to pick up the tickets, his roommate reportedly told her Weinstein was in the tub. She entered the bathroom and found him naked; then, he asked her to scrub his back. She left immediately.
Why would his roommate cover for Weinstein? Surely, he knew it wasn't normal for two professionals to meet up in a bathroom and had to suspect Weinstein was up to something. Yet, somehow, the men in Weinstein's life seemed to turn a blind eye when the producer acted inappropriately with women.
He's always had a propensity for violence.
Many of the people interviewed recalled that Weinstein's behaviour was erratic and sometimes violent. He reportedly got in fights with his brother Bob, and he'd physically and verbally lash out at his colleagues, such as childhood friend and producer Alan Brewer, when he grew frustrated on set.
"This was a person who had tremendous anger issues that no friendship or sense of loyalty was going to contain," Brewer, one of Weinstein's childhood friends and colleagues told THR. "that no friendship or sense of loyalty was going to contain."
This revelation doesn't seem too surprising, considering Salma Hayek said Weinstein once threatened to kill her for refusing to engage in sexual acts with him.
He developed a pattern of abuse and harassment.
The allegations in the THR profile are all-too familiar at this point. He tried to force women into giving him blow jobs; he would strip naked in front of them and point to his genitals; he'd forcibly kiss them; he'd ask for massages and help bathing.
Paula Wachowiak told THR that in 1980 she was working on Weinstein's film, The Burning, and needed him to sign a few checks. She was told to meet him at his apartment. When she arrived, he dropped his towel and asked for a neck massage. She said she "fell apart" after the scarring encounter.
If you have experienced sexual violence of any kind, please visit Rape Crisis or call 0808 802 9999.