Watch Gwyneth Paltrow Say Harvey Weinstein 'Could Coerce You' in '98 Letterman Interview
The actress — who was starring in Shakespeare in Love at the time, which Weinstein produced — has since leveled allegations of sexual harassment at the movie mogul. Paltrow won an Academy Award for her performance in the film.
During the November 1998 interview, Letterman asked about Paltrow’s Thanksgiving travel plans when she remarked, “I would have ordinarily gone not on Thanksgiving but I’m here for you.”
In response, Letterman joked, “Are you here of your own free will? Has someone coerced you into being here?”
“Do you count Harvey Weinstein as a coercer?” retorted Paltrow.
The exchange continued, as Letterman shared of Weinstein, “I don’t know whether he’s in some kind of organized crime now, but he used to be like some kind of like junior mob kind of guy. He was like in the mob auxiliary.”
“I do all my movies for Harvey Weinstein, that’s Miramax, and I’m lucky to do them there but he will coerce you to do a thing or two,” Paltrow elaborated. When Letterman asked what Paltrow got in return for doing things for Weinstein, she stated, “nothing.”
Said Letterman, “I’m kind of fed up with Harvey’s behavior,” noting that the producer often pushed him to tout his films.
Paltrow is one of dozens of women coming forward this week to accuse Weinstein of sexual misconduct, telling the New York Times that the movie mogul made unwanted advances towards her in a hotel room when she was 22.
The encounter, which she said occurred after Weinstein hired her for the lead role in Emma, allegedly ended with him placing his hands on her and suggesting a massage. Paltrow’s then-boyfriend, Brad Pitt, then confronted Weinstein about the incident at a Hollywood party around 1995, a source told PEOPLE.
After the alleged confrontation, Paltrow told the NYT that Weinstein called her and threatened her not to speak to anyone else about it. “I thought he was going to fire me,” she told the paper. “He screamed at me for a long time. It was brutal.”
Paltrow, who would go on to win a Best Actress Oscar in 1999 for Shakespeare in Love, “feels relieved and pleased to have spoken out,” said the source.
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In response to the lengthy allegations made against Weinstein in the New Yorker and New York Times pieces, a spokesperson for Weinstein said, “Any allegations of non-consensual sex are unequivocally denied by Mr. Weinstein.”
“Mr. Weinstein has further confirmed that there were never any acts of retaliation against any women for refusing his advances. Mr. Weinstein obviously can’t speak to anonymous allegations, but with respect to any women who have made allegations on the record, Mr. Weinstein believes that all of these relationships were consensual. Mr. Weinstein has begun counseling, has listened to the community and is pursuing a better path. Mr. Weinstein is hoping that, if he makes enough progress, he will be given a second chance.”
On Sunday, Weinstein was removed from his powerhouse film studio in the wake of the mounting allegations.