News Round-Up: February 24, 2020

(image via Instagram)

Some news items you might have missed:

InstaHunks: I hate to say it, I’m guilty of this as well, but Bremen Menelli (above) is right: there are no excuses to get some kind of workout in  – even if it’s just a few sets of bicep curls. Get up and do something folks.

Deadline: The TV series inspired by the praised 2018 movie Love, Simon is moving from Disney+ to the Disney-controlled Hulu streaming service. The half-hour comedy, which will be re-titled Love, Victor after its protagonist, will debut in time for Pride month.

Reuters: Stock market experts pointed to the growing coronavirus outbreak threat as well as the surging Bernie Sanders campaign for the S&P 500 managed healthcare index of health insurance stocks (SPLRCHMO) tumbling over 7% early Monday afternoon.

LA Times: Harvey Weinstein was found guilty of rape and a felony sex crime Monday. Weinstein was acquitted on the two most serious charges of predatory sexual assault, which each carried a potential life sentence. Sentencing for the 69-year-old is set for March 11.

Axios: The Trump White House and its allies, over the past 18 months, has assembled detailed lists of government officials perceived to be disloyal to oust. The plan would be to dismiss those officials and replace them with Trump loyalists.

NBC News/Marist Poll: A new poll in South Carolina shows Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) trailing former Vice President Joe Biden by only four points. That said, Biden continues to lead the pack of Democratic contenders among African American voters by double-digits with only five days before the South Carolina primary.

Harvey Weinstein To Surrender To Authorities On Friday Regarding Sexual Misconduct Allegations

(image via Flickr/Thomas Hawk)

The New York Daily News is reporting that disgraced Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein is expected to surrender to authorities sometime on Friday to face charges related to alleged sexual misconduct in connection to a probe by the Manhattan District Attorney’s office and NYPD.

The Academy Award winning producer is facing charges regarding at least one accuser, Lucia Evans, who told authorities that Weinstein forced her to perform oral sex on him in 2004, sources said.

Weinstein is expected to be charged with felony sexual assault.

The Daily News reports that due to the nature of the allegations, the statute of limitations does not apply.

In October 2017, following numerous allegations of sexual misconduct, Weinstein was fired from his company and expelled from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

By the end of October, well over 80 women had made allegations against Weinstein. The allegations were the impetus for the “#MeToo” social media campaign.

Since then the launch of the #MeToo campaign, gay men have stepped forward alongside women to share their stories of sexual misconduct in the workplace.

Weinstein has maintained that he is innocent of all alleged wrongdoing.

President & Mrs. Obama Respond To Weinstein Sex Scandal

President Obama and Mrs. Obama have issued the following statement regarding the recent reports about Harvey Weinstein:

“Michelle and I have been disgusted by the recent reports about Harvey Weinstein. Any man who demeans and degrades women in such fashion needs to be condemned and held accountable, regardless of wealth or status. We should celebrate the courage of women who have come forward to tell these painful stories. And we all need to build a culture – including by empowering our girls and teaching our boys decency and respect – so we can make such behavior less prevalent in the future.”

Harvey Weinstein Sex Scandal Blowing Up By The Hour

The sex scandal surrounding Harvey Weinstein continues to blow up exponentially as more and more women come forward with their stories of sexual advances and attacks.
Harvey Weinstein

It’s almost impossible to keep up with the number of women coming forward sharing their stories of unwanted sexual advances, actual sexual attacks and more.

The list of famous and not-so-famous women is incredible: Gwyneth Paltrow, Angelina Jolie, Rosanna Arquette, and many many more.

It all began with a blockbuster story in the New York Times last week alleging that Weinstein had paid off sexual accusers for decades. In reaction to that story, Weinstein announced he would take a sabbatical from his company, but the company has now fired him.

Today, there’s an even more explosive expose, also published in the New York Times:

When Gwyneth Paltrow was 22 years old, she got a role that would take her from actress to star: The film producer Harvey Weinstein hired her for the lead in the Jane Austen adaptation “Emma.” Before shooting began, he summoned her to his suite at the Peninsula Beverly Hills hotel for a work meeting that began uneventfully.

It ended with Mr. Weinstein placing his hands on her and suggesting they head to the bedroom for massages, she said.

“I was a kid, I was signed up, I was petrified,” she said in an interview, publicly disclosing that she was sexually harassed by the man who ignited her career and later helped her win an Academy Award.

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

Rosanna Arquette, a star of “Pulp Fiction,” has a similar account of Mr. Weinstein’s behavior, as does Judith Godrèche, a leading French actress. So does Angelina Jolie, who said that during the release of “Playing by Heart” in the late 1990s, he made unwanted advances on her in a hotel room, which she rejected.

“I had a bad experience with Harvey Weinstein in my youth, and as a result, chose never to work with him again and warn others when they did,” Ms. Jolie said in an email. “This behavior towards women in any field, any country is unacceptable.”

Additionally, Ronan Farrow has penned an equally devastating account of even more women who were the victims of Weinstein’s aggressive nature for The New Yorker:

In the course of a ten-month investigation, I was told by thirteen women that, between the nineteen-nineties and 2015, Weinstein sexually harassed or assaulted them, allegations that corroborate and overlap with the Times’s revelations, and also include far more serious claims.

Three women––among them Argento and a former aspiring actress named Lucia Evans—told me that Weinstein raped them, allegations that include Weinstein forcibly performing or receiving oral sex and forcing vaginal sex. Four women said that they experienced unwanted touching that could be classified as an assault. In an audio recording captured during a New York Police Department sting operation in 2015 and made public here for the first time, Weinstein admits to groping a Filipina-Italian model named Ambra Battilana Gutierrez, describing it as behavior he is “used to.” Four of the women I interviewed cited encounters in which Weinstein exposed himself or masturbated in front of them.

Sixteen former and current executives and assistants at Weinstein’s companies told me that they witnessed or had knowledge of unwanted sexual advances and touching at events associated with Weinstein’s films and in the workplace. They and others describe a pattern of professional meetings that were little more than thin pretexts for sexual advances on young actresses and models. All sixteen said that the behavior was widely known within both Miramax and the Weinstein Company.

Included in the piece from The New Yorker is audio captured by one of the women who went to the police about Weinstein’s unwanted advances.

Listen below. Warning: this is pretty creepy stuff.