Harvey Weinstein had it all—money, cars, fancy houses, women (well, the women that he paid for anyway), and successful film production company with multiple Academy Awards under its belt. But Weinstein had a problem; the man just couldn’t keep his hands to himself. He loved women, so much so that he assaulted a few of them.
OK, more than a few. If even half the allegations against Weinstein are true, the man should be in jail for a very, very long time.
But an interesting thing happened after the very public downfall of one of Hollywood’s biggest movie barons. Others starting going down with him. They were never related - at least beyond the broad scope of them all being men in positions of power - but they all suffered from the same affliction that Harvey did: being complete and utter sleaze-balls.
Here’s an incomplete and ever-growing list of powerful men to be brought down by the Weinstein effect.
Senator Al Franken
The Minnesota senator and former comedian was lambasted after reports surfaced he groped several women’s buttocks during campaign events. A photo of Franken moving to grope radio host and former model Leeann Tweeden was also posted to Twitter and Facebook. Franken has since apologized, saying, "I feel terribly that I've made some women feel badly and for that, I am so sorry, and I want to make sure that never happens again."
Congressman John Conyers Jr.
The Democratic representative for Michigan was forced to step down from the House Judiciary Committee after reports surfaced that the Congressman paid off an ex-staffer who says she was fired because she refused Conyers’ sexual advances. Conyers denies the allegations, saying “I very much look forward to vindicating myself and my family before the House Committee on Ethics.”
Senate Candidate Roy Moore
The Republican candidate for Alabama’s Senate seat has been accused by nine women of sexual assault or misconduct, with the women ranging in age from 28 to 14. Former colleagues described the man hanging around in malls trying to pick up women while he was in his 30s, before eventually being banned from Gadsden Mall for harassing underage girls. Moore denies the accounts and is pressing on with his campaign although most sitting Republicans have denounced Moore and asked that he step aside for a different candidate.
Journalist Charlie Rose
The former CBS This Morning host was fired from the company after eight female colleagues accused Rose of sexual harassment, including groping, lewd phone calls, and revealing himself without consent. In addition to his termination, Rose had two honorary degrees rescinded from the University of Kansas and the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication.
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Actor Kevin Spacey
The Oscar-award winning actor’s woes began after Anthony Rapp accused him of an unwanted sexual advance when he was 14. Since then, 15 other men came forward with tales of Kevin Spacey’s abuse. Nearly all of Spacey’s projects were canceled, Netflix fired him from the latest season of House of Cards, and had all his parts removed from the upcoming film All the Money in the World. He was also widely criticized for attempting to deflect the accusations by coming out of the closet in his apology.
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Actor Ben Affleck
Ben Affleck condemned Weinstein for his alleged sexual assaults shortly after they arose in October, but was immediately called out by many of Weinstein’s accusers for doing nothing despite knowing about the film producer’s heinous actions. Affleck was also accused of assault by actress Hilarie Burton during a 2003 interview on MTV’s Total Request Live. He apologized for his actions on Twitter, and again on a taping of The Late Show with Stephen Colbert saying, “if I was ever part of the problem, I want to change, I want to be a part of the solution.”
Comedian Louis C.K
Comedian Louis C.K. was accused of inappropriate sexual behavior by five female comedians who recounted instances where C.K. either masturbated in their presence, on the phone, or near their place of business. C.K. later confirmed the accusations, saying he used his position of power inappropriately and that he mistakenly believed his actions were acceptable because he asked permission first, not realizing that it often put women in difficult positions. HBO, TBS, and FX Networks all dropped C.K. in the wake of the allegations.
Celebrity Chef John Besh
Co-owner of the Besh Restaurant Group (BRG) and appearing on various Food Network programs, celebrity chef Besh was accused by 25 current and former employees of sexual harassment while working at his restaurants. BRG managers were also implicated for perpetuating "a culture of sexual harassment". Two days later, Besh stepped down as CEO of BRG while fellow celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain tweeted this was "the beginning of the end of institutionalized Meathead Culture in the restaurant business."
Director James Toback
A total of 310 women have accused screenwriter and director James Toback of luring them into fake "auditions" where he would proceed to make unwanted sexual advances or simply masturbate in front of them. Toback denies the allegations, saying that he was taking medications at the time of the assaults that made it "biologically impossible" for the accusations to be true. He has never elaborated on this statement.
Fashion Designer Gianni Versace
Actor Kevin Sorbo has alleged the late fashion designer Gianni Versace sexually harassed him while he was working as a model. Versace invited him to a dinner party in 1984, during which he ran a hand up Sorbo’s leg and asked if he could “build a bridge” between them. "The bridge was never built, and I never got the [modeling] campaign," Sorbo says. "I got four free dinners."
Producer Rick Najera
The now-former director for CBS' Diversity Sketch Comedy showcase was forced from the company after complaints from participants surfaced that Najera had made lewd comments and unwanted sexual advances. The complaints took place in 2009 and 2014, which CBS said incurred disciplinary action at the time, but "subsequent information" required the company to take a second look at the allegations. After a "discussion", Najera resigned.
Producer Brett Ratner
Best known for directing the Rush Hour film series, Ratner was accused of rape by a former talent agent employee. Later, seven more women accused the producer of sexual misconduct, including actresses Ellen Page and Olivia Munn. Page accused Ratner of outing her on the set of X-Men: The Last Stand when she was 18 and nearly a decade before she came out as gay publicly in 2014.
Republican Jeff Hoover
Hoover resigned as House speaker for Kentucky's state legislature after allegations surfaced he inappropriately texted and sent graphic images to a former staffer. The woman sued for harassment, which Hoover settled secretly for an undisclosed sum. After news of the scandal broke public outcry forced Hoover to resign as speaker.
Actor George Takei
Former actor and model Scott Brunton accused the Star Trek actor of sexual assault in 1981. After having recently broken up with his boyfriend, Takei invited the grieving actor back to his apartment where he laced the Brunton's drink. He later woke up with his pants around off and Takei groping his crotch. Takei denies the allegations entirely, saying the two never met.
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Animator Chris Savino
The Creator of Nickelodeon's The Loud House was fired after allegations of sexual misconduct surfaced from as many as a dozen women. Savino was accused of harassment, unwanted sexual advances, and threats of blacklisting women who broke-off sexual relationships. Rumors of Savino's behavior had swirled at Nickelodeon for "at least a decade". Savino later apologized, saying he was "deeply sorry and ashamed" for his actions.
Executive Roy Price
The Former head of Amazon Studios resigned after allegations surfaced that he sexually harassed the producer of Man in the High Castle, repeatedly propositioning her during 2015's San Diego Comic-Con. Price has also been accused of ignoring complaints from Rose McGowan that Harvey Weinstein had raped her.
Author Mark Halperin
Former MSNBC political analyst and author Mark Halperin was dropped from NBC News, as well as HBO and Penguin Press, after CNN reported that a dozen women were accusing him of sexual harassment. One woman accused the author of standing outside the women's bathroom and demanding the pair head back inside to engage in sexual activity. Halperin has since apologized to the women he "mistreated", but denies reports of assault.
Journalist Michael Oreskes
Michael Oreskes was the former vice president of news and editorial director at NPR as well as a journalist for The New York Times. Three women accused Oreskes of sexual harassment, with two saying he forcibly kissed them while working at The Times. Reports later surfaced that NPR had ignored complaints against Oreskes for years, and a petition was signed by 100 Associated Press staffers calling for Oreskes ousting. He was fired in late October.
Director Roman Polanski
Having already fled the United States to avoid a pending prison charge for raping a 13-year-old girl in the late 1970s, new allegations broke that he molested a 10-year-old girl in 1975. Marianne Barnard, an artist living in California, accused the director of touching her during a photo shoot, asking her to pose nude. Polanski remains under threat of imprisonment if he ever returns to the US.
George H.W. Bush
Three women have accused the oldest living president of sexual assault while they posed for pictures with him, saying he grabbed their behinds and told them a "dirty joke." The president's spokesman later explained that the 93-year-old, who has been confined to a wheelchair for the past five years, can no longer lift his arms so must encircle a person's waist. He also tells the same joke to put people at ease. Bush himself would later apologize to the women.