Affleck apologises for groping VJ
> More actresses come forward with explosive allegations against Weinstein
LOS ANGELES: Ben Affleck on Wednesday apologised to a television presenter he groped live on air more than a decade ago, as the American actor and director was accused of having been aware of the conduct of disgraced producer Harvey Weinstein.
Affleck had posted a statement on Twitter about Weinstein, saying he was “saddened and angry that a man who I worked with used his position of power to intimidate, sexually harass and manipulate many women over decades”.
In response, a Twitter user pointed out that he had once “grabbed Hilarie Burton’s breasts” during a live television interview.
“Everyone forget though,” the user added, to which former MTV VJ Burton responded “I didn’t forget”.
Footage of the 2003 incident was recirculated online.
“I acted inappropriately toward Ms Burton and I sincerely apologise,” Affleck later tweeted.
He also faced criticism from actress Rose McGowan, however, who accused him of lying over Weinstein, saying he had been aware of his behaviour for decades.
She quoted Affleck responding to her story of being sexually assaulted by Weinstein saying “I told him to stop doing that.”
McGowan reached a US$100,000 (RM420,000) settlement with Weinstein in 1997 after an incident in a hotel during a film festival, The New York Times reported yesterday.
Meanwhile, the avalanche of assault accusations against Weinstein grew on Wednesday as more actresses came forward with explosive charges against him.
The latest allegations portray Weinstein as a ruthless sexual predator, who on at least one occasion, sought to engage an actress in a threesome with another woman.
“He asked us to kiss and she began some sort of advances upon his direction,” actress Cara Delevingne, who is also a fashion model, said in an Instagram post detailing an encounter at a hotel.
When Delevingne got up to hurriedly leave, “he walked me to the door and stood in front of it and tried to kiss me on the lips”.
The bluntest accusation came from Lea Seydoux, an awardwinning French film star who wrote a devastating account of her run-ins with Weinstein and others in an industry that essentially turned a blind eye to the abuse.
“That’s the most disgusting thing. Everyone knew what Harvey was up to and no one did anything,” Seydoux wrote in The Guardian.
She said she quickly figured out Weinstein’s motives when they met.
“He had a lecherous look. He was using his power to get sex,” she wrote.
“He’s big and fat, so I had to be forceful to resist him. I left his room, thoroughly disgusted.” – Agencies
... This picture from the Vietnam News Agency taken on Wednesday shows residents standing at an end of a destroyed bridge in the northern province of Yen Bai. At least 37 people have died and another 40 are missing after floods and landslides ravaged northern and central Vietnam, disaster officials said yesterday.
Seydoux and Delevingne.