Cate Blanchett has appeared in a number of films on which Harvey Weinstein served as producer, including The Aviator, The Shipping News, and Carol. In a new interview with Variety, Blanchett stated that he sexually harassed her on set.
Cate Blanchett has been a vocal advocate for Time’s Up. In the interview, she discussed her work with the organization and the subsequent pressure to renounce director Woody Allen, with whom she recently worked on Blue Jasmine. When asked if she’d work with Allen again, she did not say unequivocally no, but rather suggested the case against him should be reopened and tried in court:
Would I work with Woody again? I had a very productive time working with Woody, and he has written some of the most extraordinary roles for women. But at the time I worked with him I knew absolutely nothing about what was going on, and it came out subsequently.
But, far more important than me adding to yet another headline … and finger-pointing is, if that issue has not been dealt with … I am absolutely for it to go back into the courts because there lies the solution.
Harvey Weinstein, on the other hand, is someone she does not think will be making films again. Blanchett said she didn’t have a “creative or functional relationship” with Weinstein, and claimed he sexually harassed her on set:
Have you ever been sexually harassed?
Well, there’s layers and layers to sexual harassment. I’ve been pestered, of course. I don’t know that there are many people who haven’t been.
You worked on a number of movies with Harvey Weinstein going back to “The Talented Mr. Ripley.” Did he ever sexually harass you or act inappropriately?
With me, yes. I think he really primarily preyed, like most predators, on the vulnerable. I mean I got a bad feeling from him. … He would often say to me, “We’re not friends.”
What did he mean by that?
Well, I wouldn’t do what he was asking me to do. [When asked to clarify, Blanchett declined to specify.]
Blanchett also advocated for legal prosecution against Weinstein, believing a legal precedent will make it easier for victims to come forward in the future.
Meanwhile, over at the Weinstein Company, a Dallas private equity firm called Lantern Capital Partners has likely won their bankruptcy sale, according to the New York Times, paying $310 million and assuming $115 million in debt in the deal. Lantern has no Hollywood experience and are being chosen over a bid from Broadway producer Howard Kagan.
Business Wire reports this decision is being contested by five plaintiffs from the sexual assault class action against Harvey Weinstein and The Weinstein Company, who say it’s an attempt to end the claims against the company and avoid any compensation or damages owed to victims of Weinstein’s abuse. Kagan’s bid included a promise of a $25 million settlement fund for plaintiffs named in the class action suit:
“Mr. Kagan has a long history of supporting and promoting women and diversity, and has stated that he intends to ensure that the content of the new company is likewise forward-thinking and will serve as a model for the industry,” said Cris Armenta, founding partner of The Armenta Law Firm. “We believe this is the best possible course of action for the class of women who suffered unspeakable harassment at the hands of Harvey Weinstein.”
The bid from Lantern still needs the signature of a bankruptcy judge, and can additionally be contested by creditors who are owed money by the Weinstein Company.