GRIF­FITHS TOLD TO BE WARY OF HOL­LY­WOOD PEST

The Sunday Mail (Queensland) - - NEWS - JONATHON MO­RAN

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

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