Right up until his downfall in early October, Harvey Weinstein was considered one of the many kings of Hollywood. His word could open doors, land starring movie roles, and create some of the biggest celebrities to be found today. It could just as easily slam those doors shut and lay waste to film careers both young and old.
Before his own career was cratered by his inability to bag a woman without assaulting her, Weinstein has been credited by many for being the one man that ruined their careers. Many were women who simply refused his advances, leading the petulant film producer to use his power for revenge if it couldn’t be used for sex.
Here are five celebs who’ve had their careers shattered by Harvey Weinstein.
British actress Sophie Dix blames Weinstein for stalling her movie career after a fateful encounter in 1990. After being cast in one of Weinstein’s films, she was invited out for dinner by the producer and later back to his hotel room. There, things took a decided unprofessional turn as Weinstein then asked if she’d be interested in a massage, something Dix found to be “pretty gross.”
That’s when Weinstein became violent.
“Before I knew it, he started trying to pull my clothes off and pin me down and I just kept saying ‘No, no, no’. But he was really forceful.”
“I remember him pulling at my trousers and stuff and looming over me and I just sort of – I am a big strong girl and I bolted ... ran for the bathroom and locked the door.”
Dix escaped after room service arrived. She would later star in several British films but never made any headway in Hollywood.
And yes she’s right and because I confronted him he basically halted my film career https://t.co/szi349xN1S— Robert Lindsay (@RobertLindsay) October 17, 2017
Successful on stage and TV, Lindsay's big movie break came on the set of Strike It Rich. However, Weinstein began to disagree with the director on nearly everything, recutting and reshooting scenes to the point where it was nearly unrecognizable from the script. Lindsay confronted Weinstein with his concerns and was promptly brushed off. Afterward, Lindsay was cut from the cast of Shakespeare In Love, the Oscar-winning movie starring Gwyneth Paltrow.
"#HarveyWeinstein represented everything I came to hate about movies, if he owned a movie he owned everyone in it," Lindsay wrote in a later tweet.
Weinstein seems to have preferred to prey on British actresses in London. In 2013, Weinstein convinced Amber Anderson of attending a private meeting without the usual cloud of staff around them. Once alone, he propositioned her, saying it would help her career if she accepted. Weinstein also bragged about how many other women he'd helped in similar ways, and refusing would affect her future prospects.
Amber refused, and much like Dix, her film career never seemed to take off beyond the UK.
In 1995, Mira Sorvino was at the Toronto International Film Festival promoting Mighty Aphrodite, a movie that would eventually land her an Academy Award for supporting actress. At the time she found herself working closely with Weinstein, who invited her back to his hotel room. Again, Weinstein suggested massages but she rejected him and left the room before things could get too physical. A few weeks later he appeared at her door in New York saying he had marketing ideas for the film. When Sorvino told him her "boyfriend" was on his way over, Weinstein became crestfallen and left. Sorvino was single at the time.
Sorvino appeared in a few more of Weinstein's films, but her career seemed to peak after her encounter. “There may have been other factors, but I definitely felt iced out and that my rejection of Harvey had something to do with it.”
Refusing to sleep with Weinstein wasn't the only reason he'd ruin a career. Director Mark Christopher saw his fortunes change on the movie 54, a dark drama following the events of the infamous New York nightclub Studio 54.
Starring the likes of era up-and-comers like Ryan Phillippe, Neve Campbell, and Salma Hayek, it was supposed to be a gritty look at drugs and sexuality, with Phillippe's character having a gay sex scene.
Weinstein thought the film could see mainstream success and gave test screenings to find out. Poor results convinced him to take the reigns and practically re-write the movie, spending $4 million on reshoots and removing any hint of homosexuality.
“But they didn’t test it in the cities,” Christopher said in an interview with Variety. “They tested it out in malls in Long Island and places like that, and that audience was split between the cool people who loved it and the homophobes in the audience.”
The released film was a hopelessly incoherent mess and flopped commercially. Christopher never directed a film even close to as large as 54, but would later re-release the unedited version (with all the gay stuff) in 2015.