Gwyneth Paltrow was ‘one of the first people’ to speak to the NYT about Harvey Weinstein

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Ronan Farrow got a lot of (deserved) credit for his part in breaking the Harvey Weinstein story in 2017. But a lot of credit should go (and does go) to Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey, the two New York Times journalists who were working concurrently to break the Weinstein story. I still remember that week in 2017, when the dominos began to fall and the New Yorker and New York Times were running exclusive after exclusive. Anyway, Kantor and Twohey have written a book about their experience breaking the story and the last impact of the #MeToo movement. The book is called She Said: Breaking the Sexual Harassment Story That Helped Ignite a Movement. We’re coming up on the two-year anniversary of the story breaking.

Kantor and Twohey have been giving lots of interviews to promote the book, and some of the biggest headlines are about which celebrity women spoke to them first. They give a lot of credit to Ashley Judd for being the first to say that they could use her name. They also give credit to Gwyneth Paltrow:

On the Today show, Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey revealed that Gwyneth Paltrow—who found fame largely through appearances in Weinstein’s films—was one of the first actors to speak with them.

“Gwyneth Paltrow is one of Harvey’s biggest stars, and he had really kind of presented himself as kind of a godfather to her over the years,” Twohey told Savannah Guthrie on Monday. (Paltrow did not initially go on the record for their first story, but did eventually share her own account of Weinstein’s alleged misconduct toward her.) “I think that many people will be surprised to discover that when so many other actresses were reluctant to get on the phone and scared to tell the truth about what they had experienced at his hands, that Gwyneth was actually one of the first people to get on the phone, and that she was determined to help this investigation—even when Harvey Weinstein showed up to a party at her house early and she was sort of forced to hide in the bathroom.”

As Twohey explained, Paltrow called them at that point. “I think Harvey Weinstein was extremely aware and extremely scared of what the implications would be if is biggest star actually ended up going on the record,” Twohey said.

Kantor and Twohey also explained how difficult it was for them to find sources for the story early on in their investigation—not only due to the various machinations and nondisclosure agreements that protected Weinstein, but also because neither of them had a Hollywood background at that time. “Even trying to figure out how to reach these famous actresses was kind of an investigation unto itself,” Kantor said. “We couldn’t call their publicists; we couldn’t call their agents. So even if we managed to get Ashley Judd, Gwyneth Paltrow on the phone, which we did, we had to figure out how to say in that first minute, ‘Here’s an argument for trusting us; here’s an argument for telling us a really private story.’”

[From Vanity Fair]

They also spoke at length to NPR – you can read that piece here. They haven’t talked about how they got Angelina Jolie to go on the record, but I remember that Jolie was one of the first actresses to put her name to something, at the same time as Gwyneth. Meanwhile, Harvey Weinstein’s statement is this: “‘She Says’ is all you need to know to appreciate that this book contains one sided allegations without having adequately investigated the facts of each situation. There is very different side to every story.” Yeah, there’s NOT another side, actually.

Another part of the book and the interviews: a larger conversation about the role Lisa Bloom played in discrediting Weinstein’s victims. Bloom is a lawyer, she’s Gloria Allred’s daughter, and she was on Weinstein’s retainer (getting paid about $900 an hour) to smear, discredit and shame the women Weinstein harassed, assaulted and raped. Some people – Rose McGowan among them – want Bloom disbarred. I kind of agree.

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Photos courtesy of Getty.

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56 Responses to “Gwyneth Paltrow was ‘one of the first people’ to speak to the NYT about Harvey Weinstein”

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  1. Nev says:

    Oh wow so uncomfortable that pic.

  2. Snowslow says:

    I understand being afraid of coming out and accuse a powerful man.
    Everyone’s default setting is to protect their careers. Now it’s easy to say that it was worth it but at the time no one knew how this would pan out.
    I don’t mean to sound harsh but this to me means that Paltrow is very removed from the industry and focusing mainly on her husband’s projects or selling snake oil.
    Angelina is a humanitarian who also only does high profile projects here and there, which aren’t connected to him.

    • A says:

      You’re not harsh, but I feel like your focus is off. The fact that Gwyneth and Angelina spoke up only after they had accquired enough clout within the industry and diversified their careers enough that they no longer solely needed movie credits in order to make money says a lot about how unprotected victims are in Hollywood. Economic coercion is still coercion, and it’s one of the many, many ways that people have been compelled into silence. I think we should look at that aspect of things, rather than say something like, “Well they only spoke up because they’re safer,” as if they were in any way responsible for their lack of safety.

      • Snowslow says:

        I think that was my point?
        Also to add: we’re lucky that Paltrow and Jolie were safe enough and powerful enough to not be afraid.
        What I’m also saying is that had this been when they were younger I’m not sure they would have which is all kinds of sad.
        The harshness is just that Paltrow is insufferable and I tend to go a bit overboard with her. She did a good thing though, and the fact that she could allowed others to reveal more in her wake.

    • Toi Filles says:

      There is a very good documentary out “This Changes Everything” covering the systemic sexism & racism in Hollywood. I watched it recently, noting what these 3 actresses said, and it echos what Snowslow wrote:

      Yara Shahidi: Not everybody has the safety net to say, “Hey, I can speak out about this and know that I can still get work in the field that I love.”

      Amandla Stenberg: There’s often a lot of distance between us b/c we’re all navigating (a) very treacherous industry– We don’t learn to call upon each other, and lean on each other, and create community.

      Tracee Ellis Ross: Part of sexism & racism is like, stay in your place, stay in your lane, shut up, like, be happy w /what you’ve got– So, we’re all like, silo’d off. And you don’t tell people what your fears are b/c then they know where your vulnerable spaces are.

      Anyway, it’s an excellent / EXCELLENT documentary. I can’t remember which media streaming platform it’s on, but I watched it through my public library streaming system.

  3. Becks1 says:

    That picture….yikes.

  4. Sarah says:

    The fact that this didn’t just happen to girls from Iowa who came to the proverbial Big City to Make It- it also happened to women with rich and influential parents/families- is truly SO telling about our inherent nature to make excuses/secret keep/believe we have to play nice to be successful.
    Learning to set boundaries and protect themselves is one of the most powerful tools women can possess: teach your daughters.
    Let’s hope this awful shit starts to end.

    • Mia4s says:

      That’s one of the things that always struck me. Both Gwyneth and Angelina were Hollywood or Hollywood-adjacent raised. They came from privilege. Paltrow in particular was CRAZY well connected (Spielberg really is her godfather). And yet the status quo was this is how it is and he needs to be tolerated because art or something. Hollywood is absolute garbage.

    • lucy2 says:

      I was really amazed and horrified by that too. I thought some of them would have been ignored by him given their famous families, but I guess he thought he was more powerful. I hope he rots in jail for the rest of his miserable life, but I don’t have high hopes.

      While thanking these women for being brave enough to come forward, I want to also thank Tarana Burke, who started the whole MeToo movement a decade before any of this story blew up, and who has been doing really important and difficult work for a long time.

    • Marigold says:

      Hmmm…what does that mean-learn to set boundaries? If anyone needs such a lesson, it’s the sons of the world. They need to set boundaries-about what is acceptable behavior around women and what isn’t. The onus of protecting women from predator men shouldn’t fall on women.

      • Carol says:

        It’s not that the girls are responsible for the boys’ behavior, but I do think girls are conditioned not to advocate for themselves or feel like they have a right to say, “No.” Girls need to be taught to be comfortable demanding their safe space, and boys need to be taught not only to respect the No, but also to recognize the boundaries for themselves.

      • L84Tea says:

        I have 2 boys, aged 6 and 4, and you better believe I am already trying to teach them about respecting people’s NO’s and that they have no right to put their hands on anybody–even with each other. When they’re playing rough and it starts to get out of hand and one of them is telling the other to stop it, I expect them to stop. I refuse to raise boys who think other peoples’ bodies are theirs to toy with and do what they wish with.

  5. Sarah says:

    The picture with Goop and Harvey made me SHUDDER. OMG.

  6. Loretta says:

    I know that many people dislike Paltrow but I like her. Sometimes she’s maybe over the top but I think she’s a strong and good woman (and a good actress).
    That pic is scary.

    • Valiantly Varnished says:

      Same and same. She can be a bit much at times but Ive never disliked her.

    • Alyse says:

      Yeah I agree, she’s in a bubble of privilege, but seems like she’d be fun to day drink with.
      She’s not pretending to be anyone she’s not.

  7. Valiantly Varnished says:

    I know people love to talk trash about Gwyneth but let’s give credit where it’s due. Allowing them to use her name probably helped a lot of other women have the courage to come forward with their own stories. Gwyneth was Harvey’s golden goose. Her parents were in the industry. Her godfather is Steven Spielberg. If it could happen to her no one was safe. That photo and her eyes in it speak VOLUMES.

    • Jadedone says:

      I agree with everything you have said, spot on

    • Bettyrose says:

      I have to admit seeing her so young and so vulnerable, there’s a lot about Gwenyth I don’t know. I’m not crazy about her current persona, but total respect for giving a voice to who knows how many others.

    • SM says:

      I agree. Her willingness to put her name to this story must have helped a lot. I also kind of agree that at this point in time she doesn’t give a shit about Hollywood and sees herself as above it which must have also added some courage. In the end that story about Harvey showing up at her house and her hiding in the bathroom is just sick.It shows that despite your own status, connections or actual willingness to burn bridges ( in this case for her with Hollywood), there is a huge human factor – how men like him hold sway over women, no matter who they are or where the truth lies.

    • otaku fairy.... says:

      This.

  8. JanetFerber says:

    Good on you, Gwyneth. You did a really good thing here. (But I’m still not buying your products.)

  9. Adrien says:

    I forgot Gwyn and Madge were once best friends.

  10. jane says:

    Okay I know that everyone is rightfully angry at Weinstein but can we not go after the lawyer. Bloom was doing her job. If you were accused of a different crime you didn’t commit, you would want your lawyer to go out for you. Its easy in this scenario to be like Bloom shouldn’t have done that but imagine a different scenario such as Meek Mill case having had a lawyer like Bloom. You would want that. Democracy and Justice only works when everybody gets proper representation, not just the good guys

    • lucy2 says:

      I’m not a lawyer so I don’t know exactly how it works, but perhaps her conduct here should be reviewed. Representation is one thing, but planting false stories to discredit victims sounds pretty unethical to me.

    • Goldie says:

      I think part of the problem with Bloom is that she markets herself as a feminist lawyer who specializes in women’s rights cases. If she wants to rep Weinstein, fine. But she can’t really sell herself as a champion of women when she is helping a powerful man smear vulnerable assault victims.
      She even stated in a memo : I feel equipped to help you against the Roses of the world, because I have represented so many of them.”
      It’s pretty gross how she was using her past experiences with sexual assault victims to discredit other survivors.
      That said, I don’t think she should be disbarred.

      • Tourmaline says:

        Yes, this. I totally defend anyone’s right to a strong legal defense. However. If Lisa Bloom was just a lawyer/gun for hire as they say that would be one thing — but she absolutely brands herself as a hero legal advocate of women. So that is over now for Lisa Bloom.

        In a related note, top attorney David Boies is involved in representing women against Jeffrey Epstein/his estate and associates, including Virginia Giuffre, Prince Andrew’s accuser. He also represented Weinstein and used aggressive tactics against his accusers (and he also represented Elizabeth Holmes/Theranos and did the same).

      • Some chick says:

        Boies was also key in getting same sex marriage legalized. Good for him for being on the right side this time too.

        Lisa Bloom caused her own problems. I’m sure she knows it by now. I think she should at least be reprimanded. I have a very large side-eye for her comment about Rose, in particular. Her mother must be so proud. :-(

    • MC2 says:

      Lisa Bloom had a potential tv deal with Weinstein while she was repping him, she was not acting as just his lawyer. She had her own agenda & was taking a bribe bigger then $900/hour to do his dirty work. She wasn’t just “doing her legal duty”.

    • Mia4s says:

      I have to disagree @Jane. If she was representing Weinstein against criminal charges in a court of law I would genuinely have no problem with it and in fact I would salute her. Criminal defence attorneys serve an absolutely vital and often horribly difficult role in this profession.

      However.

      What she did here was offer to be complicit in public character assassination that had no basis in fact in order to silence women. It wasn’t about refuting the charges, it was about pulling the “bitches be crazy!” card. I find that deeply unethical. Perhaps not grounds for disbarment, but a caution or reprimand would not be unreasonable.

  11. MS says:

    I read in a Angelina biography book that she had an Encounter with a producer & rejected his advances, but he persisted, so she stabbed him in the leg & foot with her butterfly knife. Definitely think this was Weinstein.

  12. Samantha says:

    I guess she’s not saying anything about how she got that Shakespear In Love role and Oscar then… right. She was willing to play the game to win. What is she without the Weinstein Company? A nutty lady selling nutty stuff to bored rich housewives.

    • Mo says:

      At a certain point, an actress’s value to Weinstein was that she was bait for others. He could bully and coerce other women with the claim she had slept with him, whether it was true or not.

    • Jaded says:

      The story seems that Paltrow saw the script for Shakespeare in Love on Winona Ryder’s desk and called her own agent agent at the time to get an audition without telling Ryder. Paltrow got the role and the Oscar. There were a number of producers on the film, Harvey being only one of about 10, and she didn’t have to go through him to secure the role. Her manager at the time may have been Aleen Keshishian of Lighthouse Management & Media. However Harvey was not above alleging that he had slept with actresses X, Y and Z and made them famous. Using more famous women as bait to get younger, more hungry victims is his hallmark.

  13. Hmmm says:

    I mean he’s kind of right tho about gwyneth being Hollywood royalty and not needing to work with him. She continued to work with him because she wanted Oscars.

    Look at Angelina Jolie one of the biggest stars and she didn’t need to work with Harvey to get there 🤷🏽‍♀️🤷🏽‍♀️ Those women and men who chose to keep working with him were Oscar hungry because they knew Harvey had a way to get the awards even if the movie was crap. Tarantino is one of the most overrated directors but Harvey always got him into the award talk.

  14. prettypersuasion says:

    Remember when all the old gossip blogs had blind items about Gwyneth sleeping with Harvey to get her Oscar? I remember Ted Casablancas specifically going after “Fishsticks” for that pretty hard. So gross now that we know the truth. Good for her for finally clearing up the rumors. I do believe there are very famous and successful actresses who took him up on his advances, however.

  15. Mrs.Krabapple says:

    I’m torn when it comes to Paltrow, given that — of all his victims — she had wealth and connections that could have provided a safety net if she came forward sooner. I do NOT believe she welcomed the advances, even if they helped her career, and I think she is just as much a victim as other women. On the other hand, I do not praise her either, because not every victim is a hero. The real heroes report the crime when it happens, to protect others from the perpetrator. The reason I’m torn is because I understand why victims don’t always come forward. For example, if my child was victimized, I might be concerned about publicity and my child’s name being made public and further harassment; on the other hand, if victims don’t come forward, the perpetrator never gets caught. Society needs people to report crimes as they happen. So I believe Paltrow was a victim and deserves our sympathy, but I do not think she deserves praise — that should go to the woman who FIRST came forward.

  16. Ann says:

    Lisa Bloom definitely should be disbarred. She slandered Rose McGowan to protect a known rapist. Kathy Griffin was tweeting about Bloom as well and it’s nothing good. She is a scumbag.

  17. Jerusha says:

    This is the topic on Fresh Air today and it’s fascinating. It covers Gwyneth’s role extensively and also Lisa Bloom’s duplicity.

  18. Trashaddict says:

    Meanwhile (and no, I don’t condone what she did), Felicity Huffman will probably be finished either either her prison sentence or community service by the time this asshole finally goes to trial. And unfortunately Donald Trump will probably still be president (no I’m not going to upper case that noun).

  19. serena says:

    Wait, he’s still talking?