Cate Blanchett has become the latest Hollywood figure to claim sexual misconduct at the hands of studio mogul Harvey Weinstein.
The Australian actor, who has appeared in Weinstein-produced films including The Aviator, Carol and The Shipping News, made the allegation during an interview with Variety. Asked if the producer sexually harassed or behaved inappropriately towards her, Blanchett replied “With me, yes.”
“I got a bad feeling from him,” Blanchett added. “He would often say to me, ‘We’re not friends’.” When asked why Weinstein didn’t consider her a friend, Blanchett replied, “I wouldn’t do what he was asking me to do.”
It is the first time Blanchett, a vocal supporter of the Time’s Up movement, has spoken openly about Weinstein’s alleged behaviour towards her.
“[Weinstein has] been held up as an exemplar because he’s unfortunately typical of certain men,” she said. “I’m interested in those people being prosecuted. We have to set a legal precedent.
“When legal precedent is set by people being actually convicted, then other people can benefit from that because those precedents have been set.”
Asked if Weinstein could go to jail over the allegations against him, Blanchett responded: “I hope so. Statutory rape is a crime, the last time I looked.”
Weinstein has been accused of sexual assault and harassment by more than 70 women, and is currently the subject of criminal investigations in the US and the UK as well as a number of civil suits. A spokesperson for the producer says that he denies all claims of nonconsensual sex made against him.
The Australian actor also addressed the continuing controversy about director Woody Allen, suggesting that the allegations of sexual abuse made against Allen by his daughter Ronan Farrow should be tried in a court of law.
Blanchett, who starred in Allen’s 2013 comedy-drama Blue Jasmine, has been criticised for remaining silent over the claims, which Allen denies. Farrow address Blanchett by name in an open letter published in the New York Times.
“Obviously, Dylan Farrow has been living in a world of pain, and if the case has not been properly tried, then it needs to be reopened and go back into court, because that’s a place where those things get solved,” Blanchett said. – Guardian Service