Disgraced Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein used his fashion businesses as a way to get in close contact with models, according to recent allegations.
Weinstein, known for being the co-founder of Miramax, also oversaw a number of fashion projects.
One of them the mogul invested in was a clothing brand called Halston. He also supported the company Marchesa, another clothing brand, which was co-founded by his wife and former model, Georgina Chapman. Weinstein also produced the reality TV show “Project Runway.”
Around a dozen people from the fashion industry told the Los Angeles Times newspaper that Weinstein had used his fashion businesses as a “pipeline” to access models.
On the Project Runway show, aspiring fashion designers compete for a $100,000 prize, but Weinstein insisted that the show incorporate more models, according to the Los Angeles Times.
“He kept asking: ‘Where’s my model show? He wouldn’t drop it,” a former employee told the newspaper.
So far, eleven former or current models have come forward to accuse the producer of assault or harassment. Project Runway first launched back in 2004, and after its 16th season, is one of Miramax’s most popular television franchises.
Just last week, model and actor Cara Delevingne added her voice to the growing number of women speaking out against Weinstein. In a lengthy Instagram post, she detailed how he had harassed her.
In the post, she describes how Weinstein invited her up to his hotel room and asked her to kiss another model. Delevingne said Weinstein also tried to kiss her, “I felt very powerless and scared” Delevingne wrote.
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.
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Another aspiring actress, Lucia Evans, told the New Yorker that Weinstein said during a meeting that she would “be great in Project Runaway,” before he forced her to perform a sexual act.
According to reports, Weinstein is currently under investigation for sexual assault in Los Angeles, New York, and London.
The producer, now in rehab, reportedly began by flouting the rules, getting a cell phone into a facility where phones are prohibited.
A source told Page Six that Weinstein doesn’t attend group sessions anymore, and instead receives individual treatment and that he is accompanied by a therapist at all times.
“He insists he never raped or assaulted anyone, and that all the encounters were consensual. He realizes he has acted like an [expletive], but he still insists he’s not a rapist,” the second source said.