Harvey Weinstein ‘used fashion businesses as a pipeline to harass models’ – The Independent
Disgraced film producer Harvey Weinstein reportedly used his fashion businesses to get close to and harass a string of models.
Although he is best known for producing a number of films and television programmes with Miramax, Weinstein also oversaw a number of fashion projects.
He invested in the clothing brand Halston and supported the company Marchesa, which was co-founded by his wife and former model Georgina Chapman. He also produced the reality TV show Project Runway.
A dozen people connected to the fashion industry told the Los Angeles Times to confirm he used his fashion ventures as a “pipeline” to models.
Project Runway launched in 2004 and is now in its 16th season, becoming one of Miramax’s most popular television franchises.
On the show, aspiring fashion designers compete with each other for a $100,000 (£758,000) prize. However, Mr Weinstein insisted the format also incorporate models.
“He kept asking: ‘Where’s my model show? He wouldn’t drop it”, a former employee told the newspaper. Eleven former or current models have so far come forward to accuse the producer of assault or harassment.
Model and actor Cara Delevingne last week added her voice to the growing number of women speaking out against Mr Weinstein with a lengthy Instagram post about a past meeting.
“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.”
Mr Weinstein invited her up to his hotel room and asked her to kiss another model, according to Ms Delevingne’s Instagram post.
Former aspiring actor Lucia Evans told the New Yorker that the producer said during a meeting that she’d “be great in Project Runway”, before allegedly forcing her to perform oral sex.
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Six women have accused Weinstein of rape or forced sex acts, and he is under investigation for sexual assault in Los Angeles, New York and London.
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the body that gives out Oscar awards, expelled Mr Weinstein last week in an unprecedented move.
In a statement, the board said they had taken the action ”not simply to separate ourselves from someone who does not merit the respect of his colleagues, but also to send a message that the era of willful ignorance and shameful complicity in sexually predatory behaviour and workplace harassment in our industry is over”.