Af­fleck apol­o­gises for grop­ing VJ

> More ac­tresses come for­ward with ex­plo­sive al­le­ga­tions against We­in­stein

The Sun (Malaysia) - - NEWS WITHOUT BORDERS -

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

AFPPIX

... 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.

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