GRIFFITHS TOLD TO BE WARY OF HOLLYWOOD PEST
IT WAS the chilling warning given to acclaimed Australian actress Rachel Griffiths on her arrival in Hollywood: never be alone with Harvey.
While the Weinstein Company has done its best to distance itself from disgraced founder Harvey Weinstein since a flood of sexual harassment allegations emerged against the movie executive last month, Griffiths has revealed insiders knew of his behaviour decades ago.
Griffiths, who was propelled to international stardom off the back of her breakthrough role in 1994’s Muriel’s Wedding, went to Los Angeles after Weinstein’s company, Miramax, bought distribution rights to the film.
“When I landed in Hollywood after the acquisition of Muriel’s Wedding by Miramax, I was pulled aside by a high-ranking female from Miramax and told, ‘Don’t ever be alone in a room with Harvey, ever’,” she said. “I took her advice and never was.”
The scandal has revealed a seedy underbelly of sexual abuse in Hollywood after dozens of actresses came forward with horrific stories of abuse and bullying by Weinstein. It has since spread to engulf other top showbiz names, including actor Kevin Spacey and comedian Louis CK.
However, it now appears that Weinstein’s behaviour was an open secret among Hollywood insiders, who failed to do anything about it.
Toni Collette, who costarred in Muriel’s Wedding, said on Instagram: “Harvey was a cowboy with a lot of power who seemed to do whatever he wanted.
“Thankfully, it never happened to me, however I did hear numerous, very real stories about other actresses being sexually harassed and/ or abused by him.
“He was notorious.”
EARLY WARNING: Rachel Griffiths (top) and with Toni Collette in Muriel’s Wedding (above), and Harvey Weinstein (left), whose studio, Miramax, bought the film’s distribution rights. Picture: Toby Zerna