Harvey Weinstein allegations: What we know so far

Theresa May speaks out against Harvey Weinstein and hints he could be stripped of honour

The Prime Minister’s spokesman said that ‘any unwanted sexual activity is completely unacceptable’

Joe Watts
Political Editor
@JoeWatts_
Wednesday 11 October 2017 17:26
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Theresa May has praised women who had the “courage” to report allegations of sexual harassment by Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein, raising the prospect he could be stripped of his honour.

The Prime Minister said that “unwanted sexual activity” is unacceptable and called for all the allegations against the movie mogul to be fully investigated.

Barack and Michelle Obama are among the other high-profile political figures to have condemned the allegations, saying that they were “disgusted” by the reports.

A number of senior Labour politicians have also signed a letter to Ms May calling for Weinstein to be stripped of his CBE.

Speaking as the furore over the Weinstein allegations grew, Ms May’s spokesman said: “The reports over the recent days are deeply concerning. Any unwanted sexual activity is completely unacceptable.

“Any allegation should be fully investigated. Anyone who comes forward to report these kind of allegations should be praised for their courage.

Weinstein was protected by 'machine designed to keep claims quiet

“The independent Honours Forfeiture Committee considers cases where the honours system has been brought into disrepute, their discussions are confidential. It’s right that we let them get on with their work.”

An open letter to the Prime Minister has been signed by Labour frontbenchers Chi Onwurah, Jack Dromey, Dawn Butler and Kevin Brennan and the head of the Women’s Parliamentary Labour Party, Jess Phillips, describing Weinstein’s alleged behaviour as “unacceptable and intolerable”.

The letter goes on to say that keeping his honorary CBE in place risks “bringing the honours system into disrepute”.

Weinstein has rejected many of the allegations and issued a vehement denial over three allegations of rape which emerged on Tuesday.

But the wife of the disgraced Hollywood producer, fashion designer Georgina Chapman, still described her husband’s behaviour as “unforgivable” and announced she is leaving him.

In a further development on Wednesday, the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (Bafta) suspended Weinstein’s membership from the organisation.

The body said: “Whilst Bafta has previously been a beneficiary of Mr Weinstein’s support for its charitable work, it considers the reported alleged behaviour completely unacceptable and incompatible with Bafta’s values.”

On Tuesday Gwyneth Paltrow and Angelina Jolie joined a growing list of stars making claims about the producer, which has seen him dismissed from the company he co-founded.

Speaking to The New York Times, Paltrow claimed Weinstein summoned her to his suite at a Beverly Hills hotel after he had hired her as a lead for 1996 hit Emma. She said he placed his hands on her and suggested they head to the bedroom for massages.

“I thought he was going to fire me,” Paltrow told the publication.

Pulp Fiction star Rosanna Arquette and French actress Judith Godreche made similar accusations, while Jolie said he made unwanted advances on her in a hotel room.

The Obamas said in a statement: “Any man who demeans and degrades women in such fashion needs to be condemned and held accountable, regardless of wealth or status.”

Weinstein had issued an apology for his behaviour prior to the rape allegations surfacing, saying he appreciated that the way he had behaved with colleagues in the past “caused a lot of pain” and that he realised he “needed to be a better person”.

Stars including George Clooney, Meryl Streep, Kate Winslet, Dame Judi Dench and Benedict Cumberbatch have thrown their support behind the women accusing him of sexual harassment, while Ben Affleck said reading the rape allegations made him “sick”.

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