The downfall of Harvey Weinstein reached its nadir Sunday as more stories of sexual misconduct against the Hollywood mogul surfaced, three days after The New York Times reported that Weinstein had paid off sexual harassment accusers for decades.
The Board of the Weinstein Company announced Sunday that, a co-founder of the company.
On “CBS This Morning” Monday, New York Times reporter Jodi Kantor (who co-wrote the report with Megan Twohey), said the film company’s board is continuing to learn about allegations of what Weinstein may have done to women.
“I think his firing, by the way, does not really end that question,” Kantor said. “I think the question we all face now is, what was the size and scope of this thing? What really happened in this situation? How come this behavior appears to have continued for decades? Did anybody — including the board of the Weinstein Company — try to stop it?”
One reason why the board may not have fully known of the allegations, Kantor said, was legal settlements. “We do know for sure that Harvey Weinstein had women who complained about allegations of sexual harassment not only signed settlements, but signed confidentiality agreements,” she said.
Co-anchor Charlie Rose asked, “Has the board acknowledged that they knew about the settlements? They would have to have known about the settlements, because they’d have [paid them].”
“I think the question of what exactly the board knew and when they knew it is something we’re looking at very, very closely,” Kantor replied.
Rose asked Kantor what it was like to be the reporter behind a story that is now assuming its own momentum following publication.
“What we feel is the responsibility of getting this right and understanding what really happened,” she said. “This was a situation in which there was silence for so long. There was a heavy intimidation factor. Mr. Weinstein was an incredibly powerful figure in Hollywood, and so I think what we’re devoted to is really understanding the issues here, just how big this was and how it played out, and who may have been hurt in the process.”
Weinstein’s attorneys told CBS News last week, “We sent the Times the facts and evidence but they ignored it and rushed to publish.”
Rose asked, “Did Weinstein or his lawyers provide you with facts and evidence to discredit the claims?”
Kantor replied, “They knew about our story well ahead of time. We have been working on it all summer with their knowledge. We asked them plenty of questions in advance. At the end of the process, we came to them with very specific allegations, and they had 48 hours to respond.
“We stand by the facts and the fairness of our reporting.”
Co-anchor Gayle King asked, “There have been so many women who have praised him from the stage: ‘I want to thank Harvey Weinstein…’ A lot of people knew Harvey to be very passionate about his movies and relentless in trying to get awards for his movies and his actresses. That’s why I’m so surprised to hear this was an open secret, that so many people knew that this was going on.”
“I think the question stands: Who protected Harvey Weinstein? Who protected the women? Did the women feel they could speak up? Would they feel that anybody believe them? Did they fear that [speaking out] would hurt their careers?” Kantor said.
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