After the New York Times recently ran the sensational story of movie mogul Harvey Weinstein’s alleged sexual harassment of female employees, the Oscar-winning Hollywood producer was fired from the board of the Weinstein Company. According to reports, Weinstein was involved in sexual harassment and molestation of a number of women, including big names such as Ashley Judd and Rose McGowan. Many celebrities have openly condemned the act and lashed out at the producer, including Meryl Streep, who had called Weinstein “God” in her Golden Globe acceptance speech in 2012. Others like Dame Judy Dench, Michael Keaton and Mark Ruffalo have also spoken out since the news broke, while many others have surprisingly been tight-lipped about the scandal.
Interestingly, Weinstein isn’t the only film-industry big shot who has been accused of sexual predation. There are a whole lot of offenders on that front (and not just men), both in Hollywood as well as on the home turf i.e. Bollywood as well. Some claim they have been falsely accused, while others have opted for hushed-up settlements outside of courts. Few have been taken to task, and most get away with just a temporary backlash. Guilty or not, here are some influential names that have embroiled in sexual controversies…
The Oscar-winning filmmaker was accused by adopted daughter, Dylan Farrow, of sexual abuse, although the director denied the claims, saying she was just spewing venom fed by his ex-wife Mia Farrow. Both Mia and Dylan maintain that he assaulted Dylan in a “dim, closet-like attic” in 1992 when she was seven years old. Interestingly, Allen was also apparently found with nude photos of Mia’s adopted daughter, Soon-Yi, who he later married in 1997. Allen was investigated over the abuse allegations at the time of the incident, but was not charged.
The popstar was accused of sexual misconduct by former bodyguard, Fernando Flores, who had worked with her from February to July 2010. According to Fores, the singer flashed him and invited him into her bedroom while she was naked. During his sworn testimony, he had described incidents that he believed were Spears’ attempts at seducing him. The case was closed after an out-of-court settlement was reached.
The famous comedian was accused of sexual assault by more than 10 different women in 2004. The civil lawsuit claimed he drugged and sexually molested the victims. The trial ended in a hung jury in June and Cosby will be re-tried in April, 2018.
The Hindi film director faced charges of molestation by actress Payal Rohatgi. Rohatgi claimed her “good friend” apparently made uncalled-for advances in lieu of a role in one of his films, Shanghai. According to her, Banerjee once dropped by her house and told her that she had put on weight. He is alleged to have then gone on to ask her to take off her shirt.
The National Award-winning director made headlines in 2004 when Preeti Jain, an aspiring actress, filed a complaint against him, accusing him of making her a victim of the casting couch and raping her multiple times between 1999 and 2004, promising her a role in his film. The case got even murkier after Jain allegedly hired a gangster to kill Bhandarkar in 2005, following her sexual abuse claims. A leading national newspaper reported in April this year that the Mumbai civil and sessions court had convicted Jain and given her three years of imprisonment for plotting to kill Bhandarkar.
Featured Image – Credit: abcnews.com Pic: Harvey Weinstein with Meryl Streep