To make matters worse, the model Emily Ratajkowski was so outraged by this week’s settlement that she wrote ‘F*** Harvey’ on her arm and paraded it on the red carpet for the premiere of her husband’s new film
So yes, it might be seasonal — but what a dispiriting pantomime the Harvey Weinstein affair has become.
This week, many of the actresses, models and ex-employees who accused the disgraced film mogul of a decades-long trail of sexual misconduct have tentatively agreed to settle with him.
Many feel they have no alternative but to take the money because their claims are outside the American courts’ statute of limitations, which puts a timescale on bringing legal action.
What option do they have? For them, this is the last throw of the dice, their only option to elicit something positive from a terrible negative.
Yet is a big lump of lovely cash really all that these women were fighting for in the end? All that postulating, all the flashy protests, all the MeToo and Time’s Up swaggering hashtaggery?
This movement was supposed to empower more vulnerable women to speak out, supported by the empathy and solidarity of their sisters.
Once and for all, the scourge of institutionalised sexual harassment was going to be dragged into the open.
It would never be allowed to proliferate in the shadows again, in Hollywood or anywhere else. The perpetrators would be named, shamed and brought to justice, right? Wrong.
Weinstein’s legal team have put forward a £19 million package deal to end dozens of lawsuits and about half the women involved want to take up the offer. Some separate cases, including one with actress Ashley Judd, will still go to trial in January. However, this latest move means that for the majority of cases, Weinstein gets off pretty much scot-free. He will not have to admit to any wrongdoing. He won’t even have to pay the money himself, as it would be covered by his former company’s insurance policies.
Weinstein’s legal team have put forward a £19 million package deal to end dozens of lawsuits and about half the women involved want to take up the offer. (Pictured: Weinstein leaving New York State Supreme Court after the hearing on December 6)
Are the women morally wrong to accept the cash rather than have their day in court? Surely many deserve every comforting penny for the torment and distress they suffered at Weinstein’s crabbed and sweating hands.
Perhaps they are just making a pragmatic decision in the face of insurmountable odds. However, wasn’t there once a principle at stake here, something that was supposed to be so much more important than money?
That is certainly the impression they all gave, way back in the noble beginning. When victim after victim came forward to expose Weinstein’s alleged record as a serial predator and claimed to do so for female empowerment, not personal enrichment.
To make matters worse, the model Emily Ratajkowski was so outraged by this week’s settlement that she wrote ‘F*** Harvey’ on her arm and paraded it on the red carpet for the premiere of her husband’s new film. Is Emily too asinine to grasp the horrible irony in this?
Her stance is right up there with writing inspirational messages on bananas to cheer up glum sex workers.
Emily’s dimbulb sloganeering would be funny were it not so pitiful. However, in a happy coincidence for her, this display produced lots of lovely publicity for Uncut Gems, her hubby Sebastian Bear-McClard’s new film.
She posed up a storm in a sexy, barely-there dress, while looking suitably furious about that pest Harv. Honestly. All these mixed messages, beefed up by the average starlet’s thirst for publicity, leaves us in a confused place.
Emily’s dimbulb sloganeering would be funny were it not so pitiful. However, in a happy coincidence for her, this display produced lots of lovely publicity for Uncut Gems, her hubby Sebastian Bear-McClard’s new film. (Pictured: the couple at the Uncut Gems event on Tuesday)
Emily often poses, oiled up and starkers, on her social media accounts. This is okay because she says she does not do it for men or male approval and that she owns her body and is at liberty to do with it what she wants.
All true, but a hollow sort of victory, nonetheless. Ratajkowski, like so many she-activists, enjoy all the benefits of feminism but simply will not accept any of the responsibility. And that is a big part of the problem — and the messy juncture now reached.
Weinstein’s reputation and career may be in tatters, but it will be disappointing if the biggest and most high-profile sexual misconduct case now deflates into nothing much more than cash payments and silence.
The old brute certainly seems to be gaming the system in shameless ways. This week he used a Zimmer frame to shuffle into his bail hearing in a New York court. Wearing a jacket three sizes too big, he seemed to be keen on presenting himself theatrically as a shrunken shadow of his former being; a sexless creature to be pitied, not feared.
His claims that he suffered from a bad back put one in mind of Bill Cosby, who suddenly went blind just before his big trial for sexual offences last year. But at least Cosby ended up in jail.
The way things are going, it is anyone’s guess what might happen next to horrible Harvey.
Happy birthday, Taylor: calm in the face of fame
Happy Birthday Taylor Swift, who is 30 today. Love her or hate her (love!), you have to admit that hers is a wonderful spin on the merry-go-round of life.
Taylor was born on a Christmas tree farm in Pennsylvania and signed to a record company at the age of 14.
She is now a huge star, worth £270 million and with more than 123 million adoring fans who follow her Instagram account. Mainly for updates about her cats, Meredith, Olivia and Benjamin.
Happy Birthday Taylor Swift, who is 30 today. Love her or hate her (love!), you have to admit that hers is a wonderful spin on the merry-go-round of life. (Pictured: Taylor Swift attends the 2019 InStyle and Warner Bros. 76th Annual Golden Globe Awards Post-Party at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on January 6, 2019)
Taylor (pictured) is beautiful, with exquisite songwriting skills that first captured what it was to be young and silly, later developing into lyrics about heartache, breakups and the unfathomability of love. (‘Have I known you for twenty seconds or twenty years?’)
Yes, there have been lots of boys. Some of them bad. Harry Styles (who had ‘Might as well . . .’ tattooed on his waist when they were together); Scottish musician Calvin Harris and let’s not mention that weird escapade with actor Tom Hiddleston, which left his career in shreds, while hers surged ever onwards.
She stood up to her own record company and last year ended her 14-year silence about her political affiliations. I know this may come as a shock, but she came out for the Democrats. No! Yes.
Now she is appearing as Bombalurina in the new film version of Cats, complete with a furry kittenish bosom that is giving millions of us nightmares.
She even composed one of the film’s songs with Andrew Lloyd Webber, proving that no matter how successful you are, you have to keep trying new things.
As she turns 30, she will have spent more of her life being a star than not, but has remained wholesome and hardworking. Can she emerge intact from the flume of fame?
‘Do not let anything stop you from making art,’ she said recently. If anyone can stay sane, it’s her.
Purrfection or cat-astrophe?
Evil rapist should have been dragged to court
Serial rapist Joseph McCann was jailed for a minimum of 30 years, found guilty of all 37 charges against him. Good.
At the Old Bailey on Monday, the judge called him ‘a coward, a violent bully, a classic psychopath and a paedophile’. McCann had carried out a campaign of rape, violence and abduction of a kind that, said the judge, he had ‘never seen or heard of before’.
Yet McCann was not in court to hear any of these damning words. Nor his sentencing. Nor to listen to the impact statements read out by some of his 11 victims.
Serial rapist Joseph McCann, pictured, was jailed for a minimum of 30 years, found guilty of all 37 charges against him. Good…Yet McCann was not in court to hear any of these damning words. Nor his sentencing. Nor to listen to the impact statements read out by some of his 11 victims.
Why? He had refused to attend court, citing a bad back as his excuse. It makes me furious — not least because it is hard to understand why McCann was not dragged out of his cell, in chains if need be, to face the full wrath of the court and British justice. No doubt this would be an abuse of his human rights. But what about his victims?
There is scant solace for those who have suffered from terrible crimes such as these. But seeing the accused in the dock, then being put behind bars for the rest of his life — hopefully — must bring no little comfort.
It is time for this nonsense to stop. Prisoners should be forced to attend their trials, no matter what.
To boldly go looking for wife No 5 — at 88
At the age of 88, William Shatner is going where few men have boldly gone before — for that crazy fourth divorce. The Star Trek star has just filed for divorce from his fourth wife Elizabeth, 61, citing irreconcilable differences. Perhaps he also needed space — the final frontier
At the age of 88, William Shatner is going where few men have boldly gone before — for that crazy fourth divorce.
The Star Trek star has just filed for divorce from his fourth wife Elizabeth, 61, citing irreconcilable differences. Perhaps he also needed space — the final frontier.
The couple were together for 18 years, so it wasn’t exactly a flash in the pan of love. However, one has to admire his optimism that he might meet a new wife. That the fifth Mrs Shatner is just out there somewhere, at the edge of the universe, waiting to be beamed up.
Charming that after all these years the former Captain Kirk still wants to explore strange new worlds and seek out new life. And that’s the post-80 dating scene in a nutshell.
You must be kidding! This is not the best film
The influential National Board of Review (NBR) has announced that its award for Best Film will go to Martin Scorsese for The Irishman.
Are you kidding me? The film — already on Netflix — stars Robert De Niro, Al Pacino and Joe Pesci.
I hugely admire them all, but not in this film, which was so indulgent its running time was over eight hours. Well, that is what it felt like, especially when watching a laminated De Niro shuffle around trying to play a much younger version of his character.
I hugely admire them all, but not in this film, which was so indulgent its running time was over eight hours. Well, that is what it felt like, especially when watching a laminated De Niro (right) shuffle around trying to play a much younger version of his character
Why not just hire a younger actor to do the job, you old screen-hog?
Although the editing was superb, the soundtrack fabulous and the usual Pacino overkill in every scene a kind of thrilling joy, this Irishman lacked charm.
Not least because the brutal tale about Teamsters union boss Jimmy Hoffa has so little resonance in Europe. And the big boys love themselves so much they burned up every second of screen-time in a festival of egos.
In a year of Once Upon A Time in Hollywood and Marriage Story — both masterpieces — it seems unfair that the star power of The Irishman has propelled it to pole position for the awards season.
- Please note this column is an election-free zone today. Apart from this one tiny thought. Isn’t it time to end the terrible tribalism that has characterised this election — along with the European referendum and the Scottish referendum that preceded it?
Such toxic attitudes should have no place in our politics.
So, my people. I ask this of you. Let’s all put down the cudgels. Forget those corrosive, naked hatreds and blind loyalties that make fools of us all. The ‘my side is good, yours is bad’. We are above reproach while you are evil incarnate. The facile belief that all Brexiteers are racist while all Remainers are traitors. It is divisive and depressing.
Surely the time has come to do the British thing, to remember who we are in our very marrow? To embrace each other, smoke the pipe of national peace, respect the opinions of others and honour their views.
Do you all agree? You know in your fair hearts that I’m right.
This does not apply to anyone who voted for Jeremy Corbyn, of course. Nutters.