Disgraced Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein pleaded not guilty to three counts of sexual assault Tuesday, CNN reports.
Weinstein was previously indicted on two charges of rape and one charge of a criminal sex act. His prosecution has been highly scrutinized, after dozens of women came forward to accuse Weinstein of sexual misconduct and harassment. Weinstein has continually denied all allegations, saying any sexual contact was consensual.
The former movie mogul was released on $1 million bail and has been monitored by authorities. He is now facing felony charges stemming from two women's allegations — one who said Weinstein forced her to perform oral sex in his Manhattan office in 2004, and another who said Weinstein raped her in 2013 at a Manhattan hotel. The grand jury that indicted Weinstein is still considering additional evidence and could add charges, reports The New York Times. Summer Meza
Women who have accused former movie producer Harvey Weinstein of sexual abuse and harassment reacted strongly to his surrender to New York police on Friday. A few of the more than 50 women who have alleged misconduct took to social media to address his arrest.
Rose McGowan, who alleges that Weinstein raped her in 1997, appeared on Megyn Kelly Today and Good Morning America and described how his criminal charges made her feel. "We got you," she said in a message to Weinstein. "I have to admit I didn't think I would see the day that he would have handcuffs on him. I have a visceral need for him to have handcuffs on."
— Megyn Kelly TODAY (@MegynTODAY) May 25, 2018
Asia Argento, an actress who also alleges that Weinstein raped her in 1997, tweeted that Weinstein was taking "his first step on his inevitable descent to hell," additionally asking what took so long. In response to a photo of Weinstein smiling as he walked out of the NYPD station in handcuffs, Argento wrote, "wipe that smile off your face you f--king monster."
Today Harvey Weinstein will take his first step on his inevitable descent to hell. We, the women, finally have real hope for justice. https://t.co/or8qGaNO93
— Asia Argento (@AsiaArgento) May 25, 2018
Mira Sorvino, who alleges that Weinstein sexually harassed her and tried to pressure her into sex, had a simple message for the former mogul ahead of his criminal charges: "#Justice" Summer Meza
— Mira Sorvino (@MiraSorvino) May 25, 2018
Former Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein will surrender to authorities and face charges of sexual abuse on Friday, NBC News reports.
Federal prosecutors in Manhattan are in the final stages of an investigation into allegations of sexual assault from actresses Paz de la Huerta and Lucia Evans. Weinstein has been accused of wide-ranging abuse by more than 50 women.
Weinstein has denied ever engaging in nonconsensual sex acts, but the New York Daily News reports that he will turn himself in to New York City police. The charges are expected to be brought in state court in Manhattan. A lawyer for Weinstein declined to comment. Summer Meza
Eight women have accused actor Morgan Freeman of inappropriate behavior and sexual harassment, reports CNN.
People who worked with Freeman on film sets or during press tours said that the actor would ogle women, try and lift their skirts, engage in inappropriate touching, and make suggestive comments. Freeman did not comment on the allegations. Former employees and coworkers told CNN that Freeman acted like a "creepy uncle" who would make "vulgar" comments about women, often remarking on their bodies and the way they dressed.
"He would be verbally inappropriate and it was just shocking," one former employee of Freeman's production company told CNN. Freeman would allegedly make approving comments when women wore revealing clothing, and one former production assistant said that he repeatedly tried to lift her skirt, asking whether she was wearing underwear.
Eight women said they had been harassed, and eight other people said they had witnessed Freeman's alleged misconduct. The women say they didn't report Freeman's behavior out of fear that it would negatively affect their careers. Some women said they would dress differently when they knew Freeman would be on set, in an attempt to avoid unwanted comments or touching. Read more at CNN. Summer Meza
Federal prosecutors in Manhattan are investigating allegations of sexual assault against former Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein, The Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday.
The investigation is "in an advanced stage," a Manhattan DA representative said. The probe is looking into allegations of sexual abuse made by actresses Paz de la Huerta and Lucia Evans. Prosecutors are examining claims that Weinstein "lured or induced any women to travel across state lines for the purpose of committing a sex crime."
Weinstein has denied ever engaging in nonconsensual sex acts. The movie mogul has been accused of wide-ranging abuse by more than 50 women. The allegations range from sexual harassment to rape, and many women in the entertainment industry say they felt coerced or manipulated by him.
Weinstein's attorney has met with prosecutors "in an attempt to dissuade them from proceeding," reports NBC News. New York Police Department officials are reportedly ready to arrest Weinstein if they receive approval from Manhattan DA Cy Vance. Read more at The Wall Street Journal. Summer Meza
Prominent Southern Baptist leader Paige Patterson was retired by Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary amid #MeToo furor
On Wednesday, after 13 hours of meeting behind closed doors, the trustees of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas, removed prominent Southern Baptist leader Paige Patterson as president "for the benefit of the future mission of the seminary." Patterson, 75, is at the center of what's being described as a #MeToo moment in the Southern Baptist Convention, America's largest Protestant body. Earlier this month, two recordings emerged of Patterson, one from 2000 in which he talked about counseling a woman being physically abused to stay in the relationship and pray for her "abusive husband," and another, from 2014, in which he discussed a 16-year-old girl in a biblically and morally questionable manner.
The recordings prompted more than 1,400 Southern Baptist women to call for Patterson's resignation, and on Tuesday, The Washington Post reported that Patterson had urged one woman in 2003 to forgive the man who raped her, a fellow student at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, and told her not to report the incident to police, before suspending her for two years.
Kevin Ueckert, chairman of the Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary board, said the trustees had decided to appoint D. Jeffrey Bingham, dean of the seminary's school of theology, as interim president and "appoint Dr. Patterson as president emeritus with compensation, effective immediately." Patters and his wife will also be allowed to retire on campus, on the grounds of the near-complete Baptist Heritage Library, as offered last September.
Washington University's R. Marie Griffith called Patterson's ouster a "turning point moment" for Southern Baptists. "The tide has shifted so strongly on these issues of sexual harassment and assault, all I can think is: Enough leaders knew they'd really be condemned and look terrible if they stood up for him at this point," she told the Post. Peter Weber
Spotify has joined the #MuteRKelly movement.
The music streaming service told Billboard on Thursday that R. Kelly's music would no longer be included on any playlists, in an effort to "reflect our values."
Kelly has been accused of sexually assaulting and abusing several women and teenage girls over the span of multiple decades, and the allegations have inspired many in the industry to launch a campaign called #MuteRKelly. The campaign is encouraging industry leaders to cut ties with the R&B singer, and it has picked up momentum on social media. Kelly has denied all allegations against him.
Spotify has removed R. Kelly's music from all curated playlists as well as algorithmic playlists, which pull music for a user based on their listening history. "His music will still be available on the service, but Spotify will not actively promote it," Spotify told Billboard in a statement. "When an artist or creator does something that is especially harmful or hateful, it may affect the ways we work with or support that artist or creator." The new policy was reportedly designed to disassociate from artists who engage in "egregious" conduct, but will leave music on the service to avoid "censoring content."
More than 1,400 Southern Baptist women — and counting — have signed an open letter calling for the resignation of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary (SWBTS) President Paige Patterson because of "the dangerous and unwise counsel given by Dr. Patterson to women in abusive situations" and video of a sermon in which he "objectif[ies] a teenage girl and then suggest[s] this as behavior that is biblical."
The controversy was sparked by two recordings of Patterson's comments that first came to broad attention last week. In an audio clip from 2000, he describes advising a woman in a physically abusive relationship to remain in her dangerous situation and respond only by praying for her husband. Patterson said the woman returned with two black eyes and "said: 'I hope you're happy.' And I said, 'Yes ... I'm very happy,'" because the abusive husband chose to attend church for the first time after seeing his wife pray for him.
The second recording is a video from 2014 in which Patterson recounts seeing a "built" 16-year-old girl and endorsing teenage boys' objectification of her as "biblical."
"This pattern of discourse is unbefitting the sober, wise, and sound character required of an elder, pastor, and leader," the open letter says. "We declare that Jesus is nothing like this ... We cannot defend or support Dr. Patterson's past remarks. No one should."
A number of prominent Southern Baptists have endorsed the letter's aim. Ed Stetzer, a Southern Baptist professor, author, and editor of Christianity Today, documented a longer list of Patterson's inappropriate comments and urged him to retire. The Southern Baptist Convention is the United States' largest Protestant denomination.