After a damning New York Times article reported that Weinstein settled with eight different women on sexual abuse and harassment allegations, a New Yorker piece reported that in addition, Weinstein had also allegedly raped three women.
Weinstein, for all intents and purposes, is essentially a Hollywood titan. His production companies, The Weinstein Co. and Miramax Films (which is now owned by Disney), have won more than 70 Academy Awards, according to The New York Times, for films such as “Good Will Hunting,” “Shakespeare in Love,” and “Pulp Fiction.”
After allegations against him came out, there seemed to be a silence from Hollywood at first, leaving many to wonder if anyone would actually come forward and condemn that type of misconduct.
On Monday’s episode of “Today,” Kathie Lee Gifford was among the first to denounce Weinstein’s alleged behavior. She acknowledged that she and Weinstein were/are friends, but she insisted she’d never witnessed that type of aggressive behavior from him:
“I never saw any of this. I’m not saying it didn’t happen. I’m just saying I know a different man, just like I did with Bill Cosby.”
She said that she felt for Weinstein’s family, especially his wife, but she said, as a woman, she’s very disturbed because “this kind of behavior is real, and no one ever thinks it’s going to catch up with them.”
She wasn’t done there, however, revealing that when she was 21 years old and an up-and-coming force in the entertainment industry, she was invited to the home of a producer who wanted to discuss her career. She did not name the man, but she said “the same thing” happened to her, implying he made her watch him masturbate:
“‘I felt grateful I got out of there without being raped.”
Although Weinstein never violated Gifford, it’s clear sexual abuse going unreported in Hollywood is a fairly common occurrence — and that is why Gifford bravely spoke out on “Today.”
To hear Gifford tell the story in full, watch the video below: