Nov 4, 2017 - Economy

The men in media, entertainment and government accused of sexual harassment

From left: Actor Kevin Spacey, former U.K. Defense Secretary Michael Fallon, actor Dustin Hoffman, former NPR news chief Micahel Oreskes, director Brett Ratner. Photos: AP

In the month since the first allegations against Harvey Weinstein shook Hollywood the number of men, accused of sexual harassment and sexual abuse grows every day. This week actor Kevin Spacey, U.K. defense secretary Michael Fallon, U.S. congressmen, and several others were added to the list.

The bottom line: After decades of staying silent out of fear of backlash, victims of sexual abuse are coming forward, creating an environment where sexual predators in every walk of professional life are nervous of being exposed.

The men accused this week:

House of Cards star Kevin Spacey

  • Actor Anthony Rapp said Monday that Spacey had invited him to a party at his apartment back in 1986 where he made unwanted sexual advances toward him. Rapp was 14 years old and Spacey was 26.
  • Spacey responded to the allegation on Twitter, claiming that he didn't remember the encounter, "But if I did behave then as he describes, I owe him the sincerest apology for what would have been deeply inappropriate drunken behavior."
  • In the same note, Spacey announced that he's chosen to "live as a gay man." Several critics quickly met his statement with backlash online, arguing that it was an inappropriate time to come out, calling it a calculated PR move that shouldn't detract from the serious allegation.

Domino effect:

  • Mexican actor Roberto Cavazos, who worked with Spacey at the Old Vic theater in London, said Spacey "routinely preyed" on young male actors there.
  • Another man told the BBC that he was left "uncomfortable at best, traumatized at worst" after waking up with Spacey lying on him in 1985. The man was 17 at the time.
  • Filmmaker Tony Montana told Radar Online that he was left with PTSD for six months after he claimed Spacey "forcefully" grabbed his "whole package" in a Los Angeles bar in 2003.
  • British barman Daniel Beal claimed Spacey flashed him his private parts, saying, "It's big, isn't it?" He then allegedly tried to get the then 19-year-old to touch him and to come up to his room.
  • Eight current and former House of Cards employees accused Spacey of sexual harassment and, in one case, assault. The victims described his behavior to CNN as "predatory" and claimed it caused a "toxic" work environment

U.K. defense minister Michael Fallon

  • Julia Hartley-Brewer, an English broadcast journalist, said Fallon inappropriately touched her knee in 2002.
  • The fallout: Fallon resigned, stating that his past behavior may have "fallen short" of expectations for someone in his position. His resignation has led to speculation that more serious allegations about his behavior were about to be revealed.

U.S. congressmen

  • One current and three former female lawmakers claim that they have been harassed or subjected to hostile sexual comments by fellow members of Congress, ranging from isolated events to repeated unwanted come-ons and even groping on the House floor, according to AP.
  • Former Rep. Mary Bono (R-Calif.) said she endured comments from one member for years, including him telling her he'd been thinking about her in the shower.
  • Former Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) said back in the 1980s, a male colleague made a sexually suggestive comment that he wanted to "associate with the gentle lady."
  • Former Rep. Hilda Solis (D-Calif.) said she remembers repeated unwanted harassing overtures from one lawmaker.
  • Rep. Linda Sanchez (D-Calif.) said when she was a young and new member of Congress, a more senior, married member "outright propositioned" her. He's still in Congress. She also said a different male colleague repeatedly ogled her and one time even touched her inappropriately on the House floor.

U.K. members of Parliament

  • A spreadsheet compiling allegations against 40 Conservative MPs is currently making the rounds.
  • The London Evening Standard broke a story Wednesday about a Conservative aide allegedly having her drink spiked at the House of Commons bar, which is only accessible to MPs and their guests.
  • Another woman victim said a Conservative MP she worked for sexually assaulted her in her office at the House of Commons, approaching her from behind and grabbing at her crotch.
  • The fallout: A House of Commons spokesman said: "Allegations of criminal activity on the Parliamentary Estate are a matter for the police. Any police investigation carried out as a result of such allegations would have Parliament's full cooperation." The allegations have also sparked backlash online and from other MPs, and could lead to more resignations following Fallon's.

NPR news chief Michael Oreskes

  • The allegations: Two female journalists told the Washington Post that Oreskes, then the Washington bureau chief of the New York Times, abruptly stuck his tongue in their mouths while they were speaking with him about working at the newspaper.
  • The fallout: Oreskes announced his resignation Wednesday. "I am deeply sorry to the people I hurt. My behavior was wrong and inexcusable, and I accept full responsibility."

Oscar winner Dustin Hoffman

  • Writer Anna Graham Hunter told The Hollywood Reporter that when she was a 17-year-old intern on the set of a television adaptation of Death of a Salesman, Hoffman repeatedly groped her and "talked about sex to me and in front of me."
  • Writer and producer Wendy Riss Gatsiounis told Variety that when she was a struggling playwright in 1991, Hoffman, 53 at the time, allegedly asked, "Wendy -- have you ever been intimate with a man over 40? ... It would be a whole new body to explore," before inviting her to go shopping for clothes at a nearby hotel.
  • The fallout: Following the first allegation, Hoffman publicly apologized, and said "anything I might have done could have put her in an uncomfortable situation. I am sorry. It is not reflective of who I am."

"Rush Hour" director Brett Ratner

  • Actress Natasha Henstridge said she was 19 when Ratner, then 20, allegedly forced her to perform oral sex.
  • Actress Olivia Munn claimed Ratner masturbated in front of her in his trailer when she went to deliver a meal, and later "boasted of ejaculating on magazine covers featuring her image."
  • Actress Jaime Ray Newman alleged in 2005 Ratner loudly described sex acts he wanted to perform on her in explicit detail during a flight.
  • Actress Katherine Towne said she met Ratner at a party in 2005 where he allegedly came onto her "in a way that was so extreme." When she tried to excuse herself, he followed her into a bathroom.
  • Eri Sasaki, then a 21-year-old with a role as an extra in one of Ratner's films, claimed Ratner approached her, ran his index finger down her bare stomach and asked if she wanted to go into a bathroom with him. When she said no, he allegedly said "Don't you want to be famous?"
  • Jorina King, then a background actress, said Ratner asked her to come to his trailer and allegedly demanded to see her breasts. She declined and hid in a restroom.
  • The fallout: Warner Bros. cut ties.

Country music publicist Kirt Webster

  • Austin Cody Rick, then a budding musician and recent college graduate, accused Webster, who's repped stars like Dolly Parton, Hank Williams Jr., and Kid Rock, of "repeatedly" sexually assaulting him. "[H]e drugged and sexually violated me, he offered me publicity opportunities and magazine columns in exchange for sexual acts. He paid me to keep my mouth shut. And he did everything under the threat that he'd make sure nobody in the industry ever heard my name again," Rick wrote in a Facebook post.
  • Cody Andersen, then an intern at Webster's PR firm, told Fox News that Webster told him he was gay and allegedly followed him into the bathroom and asked him if he wanted to have sex. Andersen also alleged that Webster once asked him to join him in a hot tub, naked.
  • Five other former Webster employees claimed to Fox News that they had also been sexual harassed. They described instances where they alleged Webster touched them inappropriately, showed them porn in the office, and made sexually-charged comments in front of clients during staff meetings.
  • The fallout: Despite Webster's denial of the allegations, Kid Rock, Randy Travis and Dolly Parton, among other top clients, cut ties. His PR firm, Webster PR, has also deleted its client page from the company's website and changed the firm's name to "Westby PR." Westby told Fox News that Webster is not involved in Westby PR in any capacity.

Comedian Andy Dick

  • Sources detailed Andy Dick's inappropriate behavior, which allegedly included groping people's genitals, unwanted kissing and licking, and sexual propositions.
  • Dick, who "vehemently denied" the claims, told The Hollywood Reporter that it's possible he licked people and confirmed that he had made advances on others.
  • The fallout: Although Dick denies the allegations, he was dropped from the independent feature film Raising Buchanan as well as from the horror comedy Vampire Dad.

Entourage star Jeremy Piven

  • Ariane Bellamar, an actress, reality TV star and Playboy Playmate, alleged in a string of tweets that Piven "forcefully" groped her on the set of "Entourage" and at the Playboy Mansion. She also claimed he sent her "sexual" and "threatening" text messages.
  • Piven "unequivocally" denied the accusations in a statement to PEOPLE. "[M]y hope is that the allegations about me that didn't happen, do not detract from stories that should be heard."
  • The fallout: Piven's pre-taped interview with Stephen Colbert for "The Late Show" was pulled.
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