Latest Update Of Hollywood Sex Scandal

What started as Harvey Weinstein being accused of sexual assault, harassment and rape has turned into a widespread calling out of some of Hollywood’s most elite members.

From Weinstein to Kevin Spacey and several others, here’s a look at the latest headlines in the sexual misconduct scandal rocking Hollywood.

Son of Richard Dreyfuss says Kevin Spacey groped him in 2008

NEW YORK (AP) — Harry Dreyfuss, the son of actor Richard Dreyfuss says Kevin Spacey groped him in 2008, adding another allegation to the mounting claims against the “House of Cards” actor.

In a guest column published Saturday by Buzzfeed, Harry Dreyfuss said the occurrence took place while his father was rehearsing at Spacey’s London apartment for the play “Complicit” at the Old Vic theater. Dreyfuss was 18 at the time. He said he didn’t tell his father about the encounter for several years.

An attorney for Spacey didn’t immediately respond to messages Sunday.

Netflix on Friday cut ties with Spacey after numerous allegations of sexual harassment and assault were leveled against the 58-year-old actor. London police are reportedly investigating Spacey for a 2008 sexual assault.

NYPD says it is building rape case against Harvey Weinstein

NEW YORK (AP) — New York City police said Friday that an actress’ rape allegations against Harvey Weinstein are credible, and if the movie mogul were in the state and the accusation more recent, they would move to arrest him immediately.

Chief of Detectives Robert Boyce said investigators have interviewed actress Paz de la Huerta. She has publicly accused Weinstein of raping her twice in her apartment in 2010 and called police about it on Oct. 26.

Boyce said detectives found the “Boardwalk Empire” actress’ story believable and that two people corroborated portions of her account. They have subpoenaed people in the case.

“If this person was still in New York, and it was recent, we’d go right away and make the arrest. No doubt,” Boyce said of Weinstein. “But we’re talking about a 7-year-old case. And we have to move forward gathering evidence first.”

The factors that made her story credible included: “The ability to articulate each and every minute of the crime, where she was, where they met, where this happened and what he did,” he said.

An email message sent to Weinstein representative Sallie Hofmeister was not immediately returned. Weinstein, 65, has previously denied all allegations of non-consensual sex.

The investigation comes a month after The New York Times published an expose of sexual harassment allegations against Weinstein, leading to his firing from the company he co-founded and his expulsion from the organization that bestows the Academy Awards. Since then, dozens of women have come forward to tell similar tales of harassment or assault.

Investigators in London and California were also looking into allegations made by women, but no other department has suggested allegations could result in criminal charges. New York doesn’t have a statute of limitations on rape.

De la Huerta told CBS News that the first rape occurred in October 2010 after Weinstein gave her a ride home from a party, insisted on having a drink in her apartment and forced himself on her. She said the second rape occurred in December 2010 after Weinstein showed up at her apartment. She had been drinking and was not in a condition to give consent, CBS reported the actress said.

Police said she didn’t come forward earlier because she was afraid of damaging her career and wasn’t sure anyone would believe the allegations against such a powerful Hollywood player.

Weinstein has an apartment and had an office for his production company in New York City, but his exact whereabouts Friday were unknown. Boyce said Weinstein knows police wish to speak with him. Weinstein’s representatives have not responded to media inquiries about where he is, but TMZ on Friday posted a photo of a man it said was Weinstein in disguise eating at a Phoenix restaurant.

A person who answered the phone and said he was a manager at the Chestnut Fine Foods & Provisions restaurant in Phoenix said Weinstein dined there Thursday night. The person declined to give their name.

New York City investigators could seek an arrest warrant, which requires a court order, or hand the evidence over to prosecutors to put the allegations to a grand jury to seek an indictment. Either way, they need collaboration from Manhattan prosecutors, who put the brakes on a 2015 investigation into Weinstein.

Ambra Battilana Guiterrez told police the movie magnate touched her thigh, grabbed her breasts and asked “are these real?” during a meeting in his Manhattan office on March 27, 2015. Police investigated it as a possible case of forcible touching, a misdemeanor with a two-year time limit for bringing charges under New York law.

Investigators conducted a sting, listening to a call between the two and getting the Italian model to record an in-person encounter in which Weinstein alternated between trying to persuade her to come into his hotel room and apologizing for his conduct at his office.

No charges were brought, because the district attorney concluded they were not supported.

After the recent flood of allegations against Weinstein brought new scrutiny of that decision, Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance’s top assistant prosecutor said that police had arranged the 2015 sting without prosecutors’ knowledge and that there were other “proof issues.” The NYPD pushed back, saying it had used established investigative techniques to present prosecutors with a recording that corroborated Gutierrez’s complaint, plus other statements and information.

But Boyce said detectives were working collaboratively with the district attorney’s office on this case. Vance’s office said a senior prosecutor has been assigned but didn’t comment further.

The Associated Press does not typically identify people who say they are victims of sexual assault unless they speak publicly, which de la Huerta and Guiterrez have done.

On another front, a New York City AIDS charity, amfAR, confirmed on Friday a report that it has received a subpoena from federal prosecutors investigating Weinstein’s involvement in 2015 fundraising event.

The New York Times reported that authorities are trying to find out if fraud occurred when $600,000 raised at the auction went to a theater that had staged a musical produced by Weinstein. A spokeswoman for Weinstein declined to discuss the inquiry, but said he had raised tens of millions of dollars for amfAR in the past several years, the newspaper said.

The charity said in statement that it is not a target of the probe and is cooperating with investigators.

The U.S. attorney’s office in Manhattan declined to comment to The Associated Press.

UK police investigating sex assault linked to Spacey

LONDON (AP) — London police are investigating an alleged 2008 sexual assault reportedly linked to Kevin Spacey in the latest setback for the “House of Cards” star.

Police Friday did not identify Spacey by name but said the department’s child abuse and sexual offenses unit is investigating the reported assault after it was referred to police two days ago.

British media including The Sun reported Spacey was the subject of the investigation. The Sun said the new allegation comes from a man who was in his early 20s at the time.

London’s Metropolitan Police released a statement saying the force is investigating a 2008 assault in Lambeth in south London. The statement noted police do not identify people who may or may not be subject to investigation.

Asked whether police were investigating Spacey, a spokesman asked for details about the alleged incident and then provided the statement.

London police policy in cases like this is not to respond to questions about individuals but to respond to questions about incidents.

Spacey has not been arrested or charged with any crime. Police would not say if he has been questioned.

His publicist did not immediately return an email message seeking comment.

Spacey, 58, has been prominent in London since serving for more than a decade as artistic director of the Old Vic theater.

The two-time Academy Award winner’s reputation was badly damaged last weekend when BuzzFeed News reported that actor Anthony Rapp said that Spacey attempted to seduce him in 1986, when Rapp was 14.

That report helped spur the announcement that “House of Cards” was being canceled and has cost Spacey other opportunities.

CNN reported that eight current or former “House of Cards” workers claim that Spacey made the production a “toxic” workplace and one ex-employee alleges the actor sexually assaulted him.

The report accuses Spacey of allegedly targeting staffers who were typically young and male with nonconsensual touching and crude comments. The show’s producers acknowledged one complaint involving Spacey during production of the show’s first season, but said the actor attended training and it was not aware of any issues since 2012.

The reports have cost Spacey other opportunities as well. A Dutch business forum has canceled a headline appearance by Spacey after the allegations surfaced.

BusinessBoost Live said in a statement Friday that “it is not desirable” to let Spacey speak at their conference Nov. 29 in Rotterdam.

Spacey has in the past spoken at other business conferences including the prestigious World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

Hoffman apologizes for alleged harassment incident in 1985

NEW YORK (AP) — Dustin Hoffman is apologizing for the alleged sexual harassment of a 17-year-old intern in 1985, saying “it is not reflective of who I am.”

Writer Anna Graham Hunter alleges that the now 80-year-old actor groped her on the set of TV movie “Death of a Salesman” and “talked about sex to me and in front of me.” She was left in tears, she wrote in a Wednesday column in The Hollywood Reporter.

The Oscar-winner replied in a statement: “I have the utmost respect for women and feel terrible that anything I might have done could have put her in an uncomfortable situation. I am sorry. It is not reflective of who I am.”

Hoffman is the latest Hollywood name linked to a deluge of sexual harassment and assault allegations.

Studio cuts ties to director Ratner after harassment report

NEW YORK (AP) — Hollywood’s widening sexual harassment crisis has ensnared a prominent film director after six women — including actress Olivia Munn — accused Brett Ratner of sexual misconduct in a Los Angeles Times report on Wednesday.

Playboy Enterprises quickly distanced itself from Ratner as his attorney denied the allegations and late Wednesday Warner Bros. severed ties with the director, whose expired first-look deal with the studio will not be renewed, according to a person with knowledge of the decision who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the matter publicly.

Munn also complained about on-set behavior, alleging that while visiting the production of Ratner’s “After the Sunset” in 2004, he masturbated in front of her in his trailer. Munn described the incident, without naming Ratner, in a 2010 collection of essays.

Ratner’s lawyer issued a statement Wednesday in which he said the director “vehemently denies the outrageous derogatory allegations” and is “confident that his name will be cleared once the current media frenzy dies down and people can objectively evaluate the nature of these claims.”

Ratner directed the “Rush Hour” film series, “Red Dragon,” ”X-Men: The Last Stand” and “Tower Heist.”

According to a person with knowledge of the situation who spoke on condition of anonymity, Ratner will no longer occupy rented office space on the company’s lot in Burbank, Calif. He has also been taken off of the adaptation of Donna Tartt’s novel “The Goldfinch,” which he had previously been set to produce.

Ratner’s production company, RatPac Entertainment does have a financing deal with the studio that will continue until March 2018. The $450-million co-financing agreement was signed in 2013 and it remains unclear whether that will be renewed or not. It has encompassed much of Warner Bros.’s output, including “Wonder Woman,” ”It” and “Justice League.”

A Warner Bros. representative declined comment.

Ratner had previously said he would step away from work with Warner Bros. for an unspecified amount of time. “I don’t want to have any possible negative impact to the studio until these personal issues are resolved,” Ratner said.

Playboy Enterprises has shelved any of its projects that involved Ratner, including working on a biopic of Hugh Hefner, which was to star Jared Leto. “We are deeply troubled to learn about the accusations against Brett Ratner. We find this kind of behavior completely unacceptable,” according to a statement.

“Wonder Woman” director Patty Jenkins, who presented Ratner an award at the Jewish National Fund dinner on Saturday, wrote on Twitter on Wednesday that she was disturbed by the accusations. She added that she had never witnessed or been aware of any misconduct by Ratner.

New allegations leveled against actors Spacey, Piven

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Hollywood’s widening sexual harassment crisis brought forth a second actor’s allegation against Kevin Spacey on Tuesday, halted production on his Netflix series “House of Cards” and prompted CBS to check into an actress’ claim she was groped by Jeremy Piven.

Mexican actor Robert Cavazos wrote on his Facebook page that he encountered Spacey at the bar of London’s Old Vic Theatre, where Spacey was artistic director, and the actor tried to fondle him against his will.

“It was more common for this guy, when he was in the bar of his theater, grabbing whoever caught his attention,” Cavazos wrote. “I didn’t stand for it, but I know some people who were afraid to stop it.”

Cavazos declined an interview request. There was no immediate reply to a request for comment from representatives for Spacey, who was artistic director from 2004-15.

In a statement Tuesday, the theater expressed “deep dismay” at the allegations and said “inappropriate behavior by anyone working at The Old Vic is completely unacceptable.”

In recent days, Hollywood has reacted swiftly to allegations of sexual harassment and assault: Harvey Weinstein was fired from the company he founded within days after initial reports of sexual harassment were published in The New York Times earlier this month.

Weinstein has denied engaging in any non-consensual sexual contact.

Dozens of women, including actresses Selma Blair and Rachel McAdams, have alleged that writer and director James Toback sexually harassed or assaulted them.

Toback has denied the allegations.

On Tuesday, however, the Beverly Hills Police Department said it was investigating both men after receiving “multiple complaints,” although the department did not specify the nature of the complaints.

On Monday, Netflix said it would end “House of Cards” after its upcoming sixth and final season, although the streaming network said the decision was made before the BuzzFeed News report on Spacey last weekend. The network has not commented on plans for a Gore Vidal biopic starring Spacey that is currently in production.

The pause in production Tuesday shadows the fate of the last season.

Also Tuesday, CBS said it is “looking into” a claim by actress and reality star Ariane Bellamar that Emmy-winning “Entourage” star Piven groped her on two occasions.

On her Twitter account Monday, Bellamar alleged that one encounter took place in Piven’s trailer on HBO’s “Entourage” set and the other occurred at the Playboy Mansion.

Piven, who stars in the new CBS series “Wisdom of the Crowd,” said in a statement that he “unequivocally” denies the “appalling allegations being peddled about me.”

“It did not happen. It takes a great deal of courage for victims to come forward with their histories, and my hope is that the allegations about me that didn’t happen, do not detract from stories that should be heard,” he said.

In a Monday interview with The Associated Press, Piven said he was glad people had come forward with allegations against Harvey Weinstein and that he had never been in that situation.

HBO, which aired the 2004-11 series, said in a statement that it was unaware of Bellamar’s allegations until they were reported by media.

“Everyone at HBO and our productions is aware that zero tolerance for sexual harassment is our policy. Anyone experiencing an unsafe working environment has several avenues for making complaints that we take very seriously,” the channel said.

Bellamar’s credits include “Suicide Squad” and “The Hangover Part III” and the reality series “Beverly Hills Nannies.”

Netflix’s actions involving “House of Cards” are rare in an industry that puts commerce first.

Shows are infrequently derailed by concerns other than their ratings performance, said TV historian and former network executive Tim Brooks.

“It usually depends on how popular the show is, not to put too fine a point on it,” Brooks said Tuesday.

The widespread tumult has prompted unusual actions, such as Weinstein being booted from industry organizations, and created a climate of uncertainty. But a look back shows that Hollywood has dealt with disruption before, with even beloved shows and actors fighting to keep their balance amid controversy.

During the 1950s “red scare,” Brooks said, “I Love Lucy” star Lucille Ball was accused of being a communist sympathizer. The sitcom co-starred her husband, Desi Arnaz, who took action.

“Desi came out before a studio taping and said, ‘The only thing red about Lucy is her hair, and even that’s not real,'” using humor to effectively defuse the situation, Brooks said. The show’s No. 1 status also helped.

Popularity and audience acceptance of a star’s personal issues aided “Mickey Spillane’s Mike Hammer” when lead actor Stacey Keach served six months in jail for a drug-related arrest in England in the mid-1980s.

The 1984-85 season was cut short but the series returned in 1986 with Keach aboard and a revised title, “The New Mike Hammer.” It aired until 1987 on CBS.

“Grey’s Anatomy” was swamped by controversy in late 2006 when an on-set scuffle broke out between stars Patrick Dempsey and Isaiah Washington over Washington’s use of a gay slur regarding another cast member.

After Washington repeated the slur at the 2007 Golden Globes while denying he had used it, ABC rebuked him publicly, as did co-star Katherine Heigl. He was subsequently fired, and the medical drama from TV hitmaker Shonda Rhimes sailed on even as Washington blamed racism for his treatment.

Bill Cosby has felt the professional as well as legal brunt of multiple accusations of decades-old sexual offenses.

Three years ago, when multiple women accused Bill Cosby of decades-old sexual offenses, the comedian’s ambitious standup comedy tour was dotted with cancellations, NBC dropped development of a new show with him and Netflix pulled the plug on a stand-up special.

An actor’s popularity with his cast mates can determine his fate, Brooks said.

“If they like him, if they get along with him, it’s easy enough to say, ‘If I don’t get my career ruined in this, I’ll stick with him,'” he said.

How Spacey’s cast mates are reacting to the allegations remains to be seen. Robin Wright, who stars opposite Spacey as his wife, hasn’t commented publicly, but her Twitter feed includes a number of posts backing social issues including female rights and education.

Netflix and “House of Cards” producer Media Rights Capital had already decided to end the series at the end of next season, its sixth, but on Tuesday they chose to pause the production, which is filmed in Baltimore, “to give us time to review the current situation and to address any concerns of our cast and crew.” Spacey was not scheduled to work that day.

The move comes after actor Anthony Rapp came forward with claims Spacey made inappropriate sexual advances toward him in 1986, when he was 14.

Spacey responded by saying he doesn’t remember the alleged encounter but if he acted the way Rapp alleges, “I owe him the sincerest apology for what would have been deeply inappropriate drunken behavior.” He also spoke publicly for the first time about being gay, which draw backlash from some observers as an attempt at deflection.

The fallout for Spacey also included the loss of an award he was going to get later this month by The International Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. The group says “it will not honor Kevin Spacey with the 2017 International Emmy Founders Award,” which is to honor “an individual who crosses cultural boundaries to touch humanity.” Spacey was to get it at a gala on Nov. 20 in New York City. Past recipients include Rhimes, Steven Spielberg, and J.J. Abrams.

A release date for the final “House of Cards” episodes has yet to be announced. Netflix is developing a possible spinoff of the award-winning drama that helped put the streaming service on the TV series map.

Earlier Tuesday, British media reported that police have widened their investigation into sexual assault claims against Weinstein.

The Independent newspaper, Press Association and Sky News say London’s Metropolitan Police is now investigating allegations against Weinstein by seven women over incidents that reportedly took place from the 1980s to 2015. Weinstein is also being investigated by police in New York and Los Angeles.

NBC fires Mark Halperin after sexual harassment accusations

NEW YORK (AP) — NBC News said Monday it has terminated its contract with Mark Halperin, the political journalist who was accused of sexual harassment by several women when he worked at ABC News more than a decade ago.

Since the charges came to light last week, publisher Penguin Press canceled a planned book by Halperin and John Heilemann about the 2016 election and HBO pulled the plug on a miniseries that would have been based on the book. Showtime also said Halperin would not be brought back with co-hosts Heilemann and Mark McKinnon should the political series “The Circus” be renewed.

At NBC News, Halperin was a contributor who was most visible as a regular panelist on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.” The network had initially suspended him last week.

Halperin has apologized for his behavior and said he sought counseling. He said he acknowledges and apologizes for conduct that was often aggressive and crude.

“No one had filed a human resources complaint against me, no colleague had confronted me,” he said on Twitter. “But I didn’t need a call from HR to know that I was a selfish, immature person, who was behaving in a manner that had to stop.”

Journalist Eleanor McManus was interviewed by NBC’s Megyn Kelly on Monday, describing how Halperin tried to kiss her and more in his office in the late 1990s, when she was a college student and had been invited by him to give career advice. She said she quickly left the office and didn’t report the incident, and that the stories that emerged about Halperin last week made her angry.

“I’m angry because I was silent, and because I was silent this happened to other people,” she said.

She said Halperin’s behavior was “an open secret,” and that she’s upset that some women did not pursue journalism as a career because of what had happened to them.

Halperin said on Twitter that some of the allegations made against him were not true, although he did not specify which ones. “But I realize that’s a small point in the scheme of things,” he said.

Selma Blair, Rachel McAdams tell Toback harassment stories

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Actresses Selma Blair and Rachel McAdams have added their names to the growing list of women who have come forward to allege that writer and director James Toback sexually harassed or assaulted them following a report Sunday in The Los Angeles Times detailing the accounts of 38 accusers.

Since Sunday, the number of accusers has ballooned to over 200 alleging inappropriate encounters with Toback, an Oscar-nominee for his “Bugsy” screenplay. Speaking to Vanity Fair in an article published Thursday, Blair and McAdams describe encounters similar to those detailed in the L.A. Times report — many of which assert that Toback, now 72, would talk up his accomplishments and promise stardom, often referencing his friendship with Robert Downey Jr., before masturbating or simulating sex acts on the women.

Blair had already filmed “Cruel Intentions” when her representative arranged for her to meet Toback for a possible role in his film “Harvard Man.” The meeting was set at a hotel restaurant, but Blair said when she arrived the hostess said that Toback wanted her to meet him in his room.

There, she described a long meeting in which Toback asked her to perform a monologue naked, propositioned her for sex, and said he would not let her leave until he “had release.” Blair said he then simulated sexual intercourse on her leg.

“I felt disgust and shame, and like nobody would ever think of me as being clean again after being this close to the devil,” Blair said. “His energy was so sinister.”

Afterward, Toback implied that if she told anyone, he could have her killed.

“I didn’t want to speak up because, it sounds crazy but, even until now, I have been scared for my life,” Blair said.

McAdams, an Oscar nominee for her supporting role in “Spotlight,” also met Toback to audition for “Harvard Man.” She was 21 and just starting out in the business. After her audition he told her he wanted to workshop with her. They met that night in his hotel room where, she said, the conversation quickly turned sexual.

“He said, ‘You know, I just have to tell you. I have masturbated countless times today thinking about you since we met at your audition,'” McAdams said.

He later asked if she would show him her pubic hair. McAdams said she eventually excused herself and left.

“I was very lucky that I left and he didn’t actually physically assault me in any way,” she said, adding that she has felt shame ever since that she didn’t leave earlier. When she told her agent about the encounter the next day, she said the agent said Toback had done this to another one of her actress clients.

The accounts come as sexual harassment in the workplace, and, specifically Hollywood, has been under increased scrutiny after dozens of women accused movie mogul Harvey Weinstein of sexual harassment and assault going back decades.

Blair said in the case of Toback she was emboldened by the “brave women” who spoke out in the Times and the rage she felt when Toback dismissed the accounts. Toback denied the allegations to the paper, and declined to comment on the new allegations to Vanity Fair. He has not responded to requests for comment from The Associated Press.

She also said she hoped that “someone bigger” than her would “call him out.”

Weinstein accusers, who now total over 50, have ranged from assistants to aspiring actresses to some of the industry’s most famous, including Gwyneth Paltrow and Angelina Jolie. Filmmaker Ava DuVernay tweeted that Blair and the others are “big enough.”

“You’ve helped someone out there. You have,” DuVernay wrote to Blair.

Like Weinstein, reports of Toback’s alleged behavior toward women have been around for decades. Spy magazine wrote about him in 1989, and the now-defunct website Gawker also published accounts from women in New York who had had run-ins with Toback on the street. Julianne Moore said on Twitter Tuesday that Toback approached her on the street in New York in the 80s, asking her to come to his apartment to audition.

But exactly what might happen to Toback is still a question. As Blair pointed out, unlike Weinstein and Amazon executive Roy Price, Toback is not an employee of a company from which he can be fired. He is also not currently a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

“Toback was an Academy member but stopped renewing his annual membership nearly a decade ago. He is no longer a member of the Academy,” a film academy spokesperson said Thursday.

He does, however, currently has a completed film, “The Private Life of a Modern Woman,” starring Sienna Miller and Alec Baldwin that debuted at the Venice Film Festival earlier this year. It does not yet have a distributor.

Some see a silver lining in the dominoes falling like this.

“For years, many in power tried to divide & conquer women in order to dominate, control, & victimize them,” said actress Jessica Chastain on Twitter on Thursday with a link to the Vanity Fair article. “The inexcusable behavior stops now.”

Hollywood condemnation of Weinstein grows louder

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The Hollywood establishment, slow to react to the initial sexual harassment allegations against Harvey Weinstein, began speaking out against him more forcefully Monday after the powerful studio boss was fired by his own company.

Among those weighing in were his longtime allies and beneficiaries Meryl Streep, Kate Winslet, Kevin Smith and Judi Dench. They spoke up with a combination of disgust over his alleged behavior and remorse or defensiveness over their own business entanglements with him. Even the actors’ labor union SAG-AFTRA joined the chorus in condemning the disgraced movie mogul, calling reports of his alleged conduct “abhorrent and unacceptable.”

Director Kevin Smith, whose movies “Clerks” and “Chasing Amy” were produced by Weinstein, noted on Twitter that the producer financed the first 14 years of his career.

“Now I know while I was profiting, others were in terrible pain,” Smith wrote. “It makes me feel ashamed.”

Weinstein, 65, was fired Sunday by the Weinstein Co., the studio he co-founded, three days after a bombshell New York Times expose alleged decades of crude sexual behavior on his part toward female employees and actresses, including Ashley Judd. The Times said at least eight settlements had been reached with women.

Jennifer Lawrence condemned Weinstein in statement released late Monday, writing that she had never experienced any harassment by him and had not heard allegations of inappropriate behavior before the Times story was published.

“I was deeply disturbed to hear the news about Harvey Weinstein’s behavior. I worked with Harvey five years ago and I did not experience any form of harassment personally, nor did I know about any of these allegations. This kind of abuse is inexcusable and absolutely upsetting,” Lawrence’s statement said.

The actress won an Academy Award for 2012’s “Silver Linings Playbook,” which was produced by The Weinstein Co.

“My heart goes out to all of the women affected by these gross actions. And I want to thank them for their bravery to come forward,” Lawrence said.

Streep, who once called Weinstein “God” while accepting the Golden Globe for “The Iron Lady,” condemned his alleged conduct as “inexcusable” while also saying she did not know about it before.

“The disgraceful news about Harvey Weinstein has appalled those of us whose work he championed, and those whose good and worthy causes he supported,” Streep said in a statement.

Stories of his behavior, she said, were not universally known in Hollywood.

“Harvey supported the work fiercely, was exasperating but respectful with me in our working relationship, and with many others with whom he worked professionally,” Streep continued. “If everybody knew, I don’t believe that all the investigative reporters in the entertainment and the hard news media would have neglected for decades to write about it.”

Similarly, Dench, whose awards and nominations have been inextricably linked for two decades to Weinstein, first at his company Miramax and then at the Weinstein Co., said in a statement that she was “completely unaware” of the “horrifying” offenses.

“I offer my sympathy to those who have suffered and wholehearted support to those who have spoken out,” she wrote.

Dench won a best supporting actress Oscar for “Shakespeare in Love” and a nomination for “Philomena.”

Not all were completely blindsided, however.

Kate Winslet, who won an Oscar for The Weinstein Co.’s “The Reader” said in a statement that the alleged behavior is “without question disgraceful and appalling.”

“I had hoped that these kind of stories were just made up rumors, maybe we have all been naïve,” Winslet wrote.

Glenn Close had also heard the “vague rumors” of his inappropriate behavior toward.

“Harvey has always been decent to me, but now that the rumors are being substantiated, I feel angry and darkly sad,” Close said in a statement to the New York Times. “I’m angry, not just at him and the conspiracy of silence around his actions, but also that the ‘casting couch’ phenomenon, so to speak, is still a reality in our business and in the world: the horrible pressure, the awful expectation put on a woman when a powerful, egotistical, entitled bully expects sexual favors in exchange for a job.”

Close called on everyone to unite on both an institutional and personal level to create a new culture of, “respect, equality and empowerment.”

In ousting him from the company, the Weinstein board of directors said it was reacting to “new information about misconduct by Harvey Weinstein that has emerged in the past few days.” It did not elaborate.

A studio insider who was not authorized to discuss the matter and spoke on condition of anonymity told The Associated Press that the Weinstein Co. plans to change its name.

Also, Weinstein’s name will be stripped from the TV series “Waco” and “Yellowstone,” among other projects.

Actress Lena Dunham tweeted Sunday night, “Easy to think Weinstein company took swift action but this has actually been the slowest action because they always always knew.”

Under Weinstein’s leadership, the Weinstein Co. has been a dominant force at the Oscars. It accomplished the rare feat of winning back-to-back best picture Academy Awards with “The King’s Speech” and “The Artist.”

In recent years, however, Weinstein’s status has diminished because of money shortages, disappointing box-office returns and executive departures.

His other movie credits over the years include “Pulp Fiction” and “The English Patient”

Since the Times article, more accounts of predatory behavior have followed.

In a HuffPost report, TV anchor Lauren Sivan detailed an alleged 2007 encounter with Weinstein. Sivan, then working at a New York cable channel, said Weinstein cornered her in the hallway of a New York City restaurant closed to the public and masturbated in front of her.

Sivan said she had rejected an attempt by Weinstein to kiss her, and he responded: “Well, can you just stand there and shut up?”

The swift fall of one of Hollywood’s most powerful figures has turned up the pressure on many in the industry to speak out.

“What Harvey Weinstein did was abhorrent. He admits he did it. Why should anyone be silent in their disgust and support for his victims?” director Judd Apatow said on Twitter.

SAG-AFTRA said in its statement Monday said that everyone has the right to work in an environment free of discrimination and harassment. It provided the number for their safety hotline too.

“There is more to be done by all of us to ensure the safety of women in the industry,” the organization said.

Actor Ed Westwick under investigation for sex assault report

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Police in Los Angeles say they are investigating a sexual assault report filed against former “Gossip Girl” star Ed Westwick days after an actress accused him of raping her.

LAPD spokesman Off. Michael Lopez tells The Associated Press that the report was filed Tuesday and the British actor is listed as a suspect.

In a Facebook post on Monday, actress Kristina Cohen said that Westwick sexually assaulted her three years ago. The Hollywood Reporter says it has obtained a copy of the police report and verified it was filed by Cohen.

Westwick said in a social media post Tuesday that he doesn’t know Cohen and added: “I have never forced myself in any manner, on any woman. I certainly have never committed rape.” Westwick’s representatives didn’t immediately return a request for further comment Wednesday.

This story was originally published in journal star

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