Gwyneth Paltrow calls Harvey Weinstein a 'coercer' in resurfaced 1998 Letterman interview

The actress is one of many women to have accused the movie mogul

Andrew Buncombe
New York
Thursday 12 October 2017 16:30
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Gwyneth Paltrow alludes to Harvey Weinstein coercion in old Letterman interview

Gwyneth Paltrow, one of a number of women to have in recent days accused Harvey Weinstein of sexual harassment or assault, called him “a coercer” in a televised interview two decades ago.

As Mr Weinstein seeks to deny allegations of rape, harassment of and seeking to silence women from speaking out, footage has emerged of an interview Paltrow gave to David Letterman in 1998.

In the interview with the talk show host, she talks about the movie mogul and refers to him as someone who will “coerce you to do a thing”. Letterman asks the actress, who was promoting Mr Weinstein’s Shakespeare in Love, about her travel plans over the Thanksgiving holiday.

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Letterman asks: “Are you here of your own free will? Has someone coerced you into being here?”

“Do you count Harvey Weinstein as a coercer,” Paltrow responds.

Letterman then begins a riff, saying: “I don’t know whether he’s in some kind of organised crime now, but he used to be like some kind of like junior mob kind of guy. He was like in the mob auxiliary.”

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Paltrow responds by saying: “I do all my movies for Harvey Weinstein, that’s Miramax, and I’m lucky to do them there but he will coerce you to do a thing or two.”

When Letterman asks what Paltrow got in return for doing things for Weinstein, she says “nothing”.

Last week, the New York Times said Mr Weinstein, who has since been fired by Miramax, paid settlements to eight women to deal with allegations of sexual harassment. The report was followed by claims from more women, including Paltrow and Angelina Jolie, that the producer of The English Patient and Pulp Fiction, had harassed them too.

The New Yorker magazine quoted three women who said they had been raped by Mr Weinstein. The 65-year-old has denied all the allegations.

Paltrow, 45, said Mr Weinstein said Mr Weinstein had harassed her at his suite at the Peninsula Beverly Hills hotel where she had gone for a work meeting. She said it ended with him placing his hands on her and suggesting they head to the bedroom for massages.

“I was a kid, I was signed up, I was petrified,” she told the Times.

She said confided in Brad Pitt, her boyfriend at the time. Mr Pitt confronted Mr Weinstein and soon after, the producer warned her not to tell anyone else about his come-on. “I thought he was going to fire me,” she said.

In a statement issued on Tuesday, Mr Weinstein’s spokeswoman, Sallie Hofmeister, said: “Any allegations of non-consensual sex are unequivocally denied by Mr Weinstein. Mr. Weinstein has further confirmed that there were never any acts of retaliation against any women for refusing his advances.”

She added: “He will not be available for further comments, as he is taking the time to focus on his family, on getting counselling and rebuilding his life.”

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