October 28, 2017

Annabella Sciorra "was still living in fear of [Harvey Weinstein], and slept with a baseball bat by her bed. Weinstein, she told me, had violently raped her..."

"... in the early nineteen-nineties, and, over the next several years, sexually harassed her repeatedly," writes Ronan Farrow, in a new New Yorker article, "Weighing the Costs of Speaking Out About Harvey Weinstein/Annabella Sciorra, Daryl Hannah, and other women explain their struggles with going public."

Farrow had attempted to get Sciorra to speak to him for the first article, and here we see her description of how she reacted to Farrow's earlier encouragement to tell her story:
“I was so scared. I was looking out the window of my living room, and I faced the water of the East River,” she said, recalling our initial conversation. “I really wanted to tell you. I was like, ‘This is the moment you’ve been waiting for your whole life. . . .’ ” she said. “I really, really panicked,” she added. “I was shaking. And I just wanted to get off the phone.... Even now, as I tell you, and have had all these women around saying it’s O.K.,” Sciorra told me, “I'm petrified again.”
Farrow says there are still "many others" too afraid to talk to him.

Daryl Hannah, also interviewed in this article, explains the reluctance to speak:
Hannah said that she had decided to speak publicly about her experiences for the first time, more than a decade after they occurred, because “I feel a moral obligation to support the women who have suffered much more egregious transgressions.” She, like many women who have come forward, still had doubts about the trade-offs she would have to make for speaking openly. “It’s one of those things your body has to adjust to. You get dragged into the gutter of nastiness and pettiness and shame and all of these things, and it sometimes seems healthier and wiser to just move on with your life and not allow yourself to be re-victimized.”
This is the #MeToo that inherently can't be talked about: I decided to do nothing because I didn't want to be dragged into the gutter of nastiness and pettiness, and it seemed healthier and wiser to just move on.

There's also the outright retaliation:
Sciorra said that she felt the impact on her livelihood almost immediately. “From 1992, I didn’t work again until 1995,” she said. “I just kept getting this pushback of ‘We heard you were difficult; we heard this or that.’ I think that that was the Harvey machine.” The actress Rosie Perez, a friend who was among the first to discuss Sciorra’s allegations with her, told me, “She was riding high, and then she started acting weird and getting reclusive. It made no sense. Why did this woman, who was so talented, and riding so high, doing hit after hit, then all of a sudden fall off the map? It hurts me as a fellow-actress to see her career not flourish the way it should have.”

64 comments:

Sydney said...

I have to say, their stories do sound like the stories you hear from other non-celebrity victims of abuse. I'm thinking of battered spouses, child sexual abuse by relatives, situations where the abuser holds power over the abused.

whitney said...

I remember her. From movies in the 90s. she was very beautiful and it did seem like she was going to become a star and then she disappeared.
I see that those sanctimonious pricks, Clooney and Damon's,new movie is doing terrible. Warms the cockles of my heart

Otto said...

Ann trying to go deep. Shit is shit.

richlb said...

Annabella Sciorra was the hot Talia Shire.

BDNYC said...

She was so hot in the Sopranos.

rhhardin said...

It's men's fault that women are wilting flowers, is the story line.

Women are wilting flowers is the key. Need male protection. Men are stronger and can protect them.

These equals in the workplace.

Women see the contradiction but don't care. Call on men to fix it.

rhhardin said...

There ought to be a denouncing app, a step down from a rape whistle and mace, so you don't ruin your career. Make it anonymous.

rhhardin said...

Which side is feminist. The grow up side or the poor pussycat side.

rhhardin said...

The trouble is that women fall into this double think automatically. It's like voting. You have to recognize the dysfunctional woman tendency at certain times and think like a man, instead of diving into woman-fun feeling analysis.

rhhardin said...

Don't let your feelings wander aimlessly. Give them a pilot.

as Lautreamont said somewhere.

rhhardin said...

Man Up (2015) with Lake Bell and Simon Pegg.

tim in vermont said...

I decided to do nothing because I didn't want to be dragged into the gutter of nastiness and pettiness, and it seemed healthier and wiser to just move on.

Sounds like the exact reason Broaddrick wouldn't talk until the threat of prison for lying came into it. But naah! Juanita is just a lying slut!

Ralph L said...

Someone needs to make a timeline for HW accusations.
I'm getting the impression that in the 90's, he abused mostly semi-established starlets, and he later moved to newcomers, who were far from the Hollywood grapevine.

Curious George said...

Even if true, not as bad as Trump.

Right Chuckles?

dreams said...

"Annabella Sciorra was the hot Talia Shire."

Yeah, I remember her in a movie with Rebecca De Mornay and thinking at the time that she was even better looking than Rebecca De Mornay.

MayBee said...

This is the #MeToo that inherently can't be talked about: I decided to do nothing because I didn't want to be dragged into the gutter of nastiness and pettiness, and it seemed healthier and wiser to just move on.

This is true, and it's a valid response.
But you have to move on. If it is going to haunt you are ruin you, you have to do something about it. Because if you don't, you can't expect anybody else to. That may not be fair, but it is the only way to look at it.

Temujin said...

She's one of those actresses I wondered 'what ever happened to...?". She was great, getting top roles, and then...disappeared. What happened, indeed. My problem with this entire thing is that it looks like a complete industry- from the very top to the very bottom- all knew and all did nothing about it. Not just with Harvey, but with everyone (Roman Polanski gets a Meryl Streep standing ovation). Everyone now calls themselves brave for coming out with either a real offense, or a tale of being hit on. In either case, it paints a picture of an industry full of cowards, keeping quiet to get theirs (their dough and/or celebrity). From Jeffrey Katzenberg to Matt Damon- they all knew. And those 'brave' men and women did nothing. Worse, they continued the play. They gave it awards. They lauded it. They bowed down to it. And they accepted its money (Hillary).

These are not good people. None of them brave. None of them the type of person you should ever look up to. It's an industry that made its last good adult movie about 30 years ago and now fights to crank out comic books in a made for movie version, hoping the kids will never grow out of it. So far, it's working for them. The adults let go of Hollywood years ago.

Fuck 'em.

Michael K said...

Nice little career you have there. IT would be a shame if something happened to it.

My youngest daughter worked as a waitress in a very upscale restaurant while she was in college. She saw none of the alleged "rape culture" in college but she was fired because she would not go to bed with the manager of the restaurant. Apparently, the other waitresses did.

I told her she should complain to the CEO of the restaurant company. She said she had heard he was worse than his managers.

tim in vermont said...

I have been reading through the Trump allegations on sexual assault, and I am trying to understand how he reached up a woman's skirt and "grabbed her pussy" in first class on an airline and nobody noticed that the famous billionaire was racing a ruckus! I mean you wouldn't have to have "total recall" to remember that time you were in first class with Donald Trump and he reached up some ladies skirt against her will and felt up her breasts.

Maybe she is the lady who "let him grab her pussy" because he was rich and famous. Who knows? But the idea that she was assaulted in public seems pretty unbelievable. Clinton, on the other hand, sounds a lot like Weinstein, getting his victim to have a "meeting" alone in a hotel room

Ann Althouse said...

"But you have to move on. If it is going to haunt you are ruin you, you have to do something about it. Because if you don't, you can't expect anybody else to. That may not be fair, but it is the only way to look at it."

A problem with moving on — which Hannah recognizes — is that what happened to you may be part of a pattern, and if you move on, the pattern continues. If no one wants to take on the hard work of exposing the guy, he will have many victims with different levels of ability to move on healthily.

I know of a situation where a teacher molested a child whose mother convinced her that it would be better not to get dragged through the nastiness and later the mother realized that the man probably did that to other children too and felt quite guilty about not exposing the teacher at the time. I assume there are many situations like this. A lot of people just don't want to cause trouble and go through all the pain. And they often feel sorry for the perpetrator, the poor man. He has problems, so let's forgive him. But remember, you are abandoning the other victims and all the future victims, if you take the easy/forgiving/"healthy" way out.

Sydney said...

Maybee said:
But you have to move on. If it is going to haunt you are ruin you, you have to do something about it.

This is pretty much the advice Rosie Perez gave Annabella Sciorra according to that New Yorker piece. Only she used a brilliant water metaphor.

Feranandinande said...

Aggressive squirrel reported

Ray said...

Amazing the power Weinstein had.

Sciorra was definitely rape rape.

Poor lady.

Etienne said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Chuck said...

Without judging any of these women individually, from what I know of the film business, there are so many people, many of whom are active competitors, all making different kinds of films and all with different networks of friends, that I just find it hard to believe that Harvey Weinstein had the power to shelve a talented actress simply by bad-mouthing her with his own colleagues, and crossing her off the list of his own projects.

I find it as hard to believe, as I find it hard to believe that Colin Kaepernick is in fact an excellent quarterback who is being conspired against by NFL owners for petty personal/political reasons.

I do not for a moment doubt that Harvey Weinstein may have been a sexual predator. I just have a hard time imagining that he had autocratic power over the entire film business.

Seeing Red said...

Jackson Browne, Hannah.

Etienne said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
tim in vermont said...

I just find it hard to believe that Harvey Weinstein had the power to shelve a talented actress simply by bad-mouthing her with his own colleagues, and crossing her off the list of his own projects.

It's a network, he could cross directors off of his list, producers, agents, casting directors. But that would require you to think a little past your limited way of looking at things.

BJM said...

I don't recall her movies, but Annabella Sciorra was terrific in The Sopranos. I always wondered why she disappeared.

The same with Darryl Hannah, whom I assumed aged-out.

It appears that a percentage of these women were ambitious and driven enough to go along to get what were life changing movie roles. As enablers they really have no moral high ground now.

rhhardin said...

I don't remember much about my Daryl Hannah dvds.

Legal Eagles (?)
Splash (was that the awful mermaid one with Tom Hanks? bailed out)
Too Much (?)
Wall Street (bailed out)
Blade Runner (bailed out)

?=don't remember anything about it

rhhardin said...

Curiously I've been the perfect male employee working with women, almost as if virtue signalling and virtue were opposites.

Discounting the kettle logic joke that got me turned in, but that was a feminist thing not a male awfulness thing.

William said...

It compounds the problem to preach to women about their reaction to being raped. "You did nothing wrong by wearing eyeliner and a short skirt. Do not be ashamed of that. You're not a slut. What you should be ashamed of us is not reporting the rape promptly. You're an enabler. You're in some way responsible for all his subsequent rapes. You're not a slut, but in other ways you're a worthless piece of shit." We all process traumatic events differently. There is no beau ideal of a rape victim.

Freeman Hunt said...

There have been anti-Semitic comments left on this blog in the past, but that bit by Etienne is the worst I've ever seen.

FullMoon said...

My youngest daughter worked as a waitress in a very upscale restaurant while she was in college. She saw none of the alleged "rape culture" in college but she was fired because she would not go to bed with the manager of the restaurant. Apparently, the other waitresses did.

The few waitresses I knew had blue collar construction guy boyfriends who might be inclined to have a talk with a manager like that..

William said...

Some of Harvey's victims were formidable women. You just don't think of them as victims when you see them on screen. In the movies, they're the ones who kick the bad guy's ass.......Harvey's predations were not just on his victims involved but on our illusions about his victims and our illusions about illusions.

Oso Negro said...

@ Etienne - maybe Hitler was right about more than the Bauhas, but his solutions, oy vey!

buwaya said...

There is a new series of articles in Breitbart by Patrick Courrielche "Tinseltown Travelogue" on the methods of social and professional control in the industry.
If accurate it is clear that there are a relatively small number of gatekeepers in that industry, and that this effectively limits the ability of the essential middle rank of technical and creative professionals from straying.
They successfully shut down John Milius even in the 80s-90s, when the control systems were not as developed as today.

Yancey Ward said...

Sciorra is one of those actresses that did vanish from the spotlight very quickly when it appeared that she was going to be a star of some standing. I remember thinking about this when she did the small recurring roll on The Sopranos around 2002-2003 or so. I thought to myself at the time, "Where has she been the last decade?"

Darrell said...

just find it hard to believe that Harvey Weinstein had the power to shelve a talented actress simply by bad-mouthing her with his own colleagues, and crossing her off the list of his own projects.

Hollywood is known as an exclusive club. Weinstein's competitors are just as guilty as he is--they enforced his "shunnings." Weinstein enforced their bannings. Studio executives must stick together, or the whole system falls apart. It's not only sexual. Cliff Robertson was blackballed when he blew the whistle on some studio head forging his signature on residual checks and stealing his money. The guy had been doing it for years. Nobody else would take Cliff's or his agent's phone calls.

buwaya said...

The only way to break such a system is for well-funded external competitors who entirely control the careers of their own middle-ranks to bury the whole industry.

The only reason the system persists is because it is a semi-monopoly guild.

The Chinese or Indians may resolve this problem eventually.

MayBee said...

A problem with moving on — which Hannah recognizes — is that what happened to you may be part of a pattern, and if you move on, the pattern continues. If no one wants to take on the hard work of exposing the guy, he will have many victims with different levels of ability to move on healthily.

I agree completely.
You can't assume someone else is going to take care of it. You have to assume it's going to be you or no one.
But if there's anything we should be learning from this whole episode, including the #metoo on social media, is there is likely to be an ally for you.
If that movement is going to do anything, it has to be that it motivates women to find those allies and report the perpetrator.
It also should motivate women not to go along with something, hoping you will get something out of it, if it isn't something you want to live with. I'm talking about making the choice to sit on a lap. If you don't want to do that, don't.

This #metoo stuff can't teach us that all victims are to be believed, and it can't teach us that women should be in charge. Those would be wrong lessons to learn.
But stand up for yourself and find an ally- that's the right lesson.

MayBee said...

The problem with acting as a career, as demonstrated by all the people who are here to say, "wow, I always wondered whatever happened to her" is that actors and actresses are so easily replaceable. Even the beautiful, bright lights. You will note that her career suffered, but Hollywood went right on making movies with other beautiful actresses. Hollywood didn't really suffer.
That's why it's so easy to ruin someone's career. That's also why so many actresses are willing to give in to the Harvey Weinsteins of the world. A small price to pay to get ahead in such an utterly replaceable world.

MayBee said...

William-
We all process traumatic events differently. There is no beau ideal of a rape victim.

Well, that's true of every crime.
The point is, you can't expect someone else to do something about it if the way you process the traumatic event is to not report it.

We aren't doing victims of any crime any favors if we are so over-understanding that we end up encouraging them to do something that hurts themselves and others in the long run.

Darrell said...

According to recent SAG statistics, the average member earns around $52,000 a year, while the vast majority take home less than $1,000 a year from acting jobs. At the bottom end, SAG-AFTRA scale, now between $65,000 and $75,000. An actor with only a few credits appearing in his or her first big franchise movie — like Gal Gadot in Wonder Woman or Henry Cavill in Man of Steel — can expect to earn between $150,000 and $300,000. They'll make considerably more if there's a sequel. In the middle range, Emma Watson got just $3 million up front for Beauty and the Beast (but ended up pocketing nearly $20 million thanks to her backend). Jessica Chastain got $700,000 for her role in Woman Walks Ahead. A-listers hover around $20 million a picture — like Jennifer Lawrence for Red Sparrow, Will Smith for Netflix's Bright and Dwayne Johnson for Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle — and can take home tens of millions more in backend. The $15 million club is slightly less exclusive but by no means crowded: Harrison Ford reportedly made that much for The Force Awakens as did Robert Downey Jr. for Spider-Man: Homecoming.

Darrell said...

What would you do to get one of those $65,000 paychecks for a few months work? Or one of those $300K paychecks. Or one of those $3 million paychecks. Or to go from the $3 million to $20 million?

Anonymous said...

@Chuck

".............I do not for a moment doubt that Harvey Weinstein may have been a sexual predator. I just have a hard time imagining that he had autocratic power over the entire film business."

What's the difference between a Republican and a pedophile?
Nobody in Hollywood will work with a Republican.

Laslo Spatula said...

Emma Watson got just $3 million up front for Beauty and the Beast (but ended up pocketing nearly $20 million thanks to her backend).

Her Back End is worth $20 million? I'll have to take a closer look at her ass.

I am Laslo.

Oso Negro said...

Is there an under-discussed ethnic angle to this story?

Clark said...

The Gloria Trillo episodes of The Sopranos were some of the best in what was probably the greatest television show of all time. Sciorra performed brilliantly. What a shame she had to go through that and how awful to think that man may have stifled the career of such a talented actress.

Darrell said...

It was a trap, Laslo!

Narayanan Subramanian said...

Compare continuing sexual misbehaving with continuing support in culture for communism/ leftism

Laslo Spatula said...

Darrell said...
"It was a trap, Laslo!"

Dastardly!

I am Laslo.

Darrell said...

Is there an under-discussed ethnic angle to this story?

It's there, but is it relevant?

Zach said...

I know of a situation where a teacher molested a child whose mother convinced her that it would be better not to get dragged through the nastiness and later the mother realized that the man probably did that to other children too and felt quite guilty about not exposing the teacher at the time. I assume there are many situations like this. A lot of people just don't want to cause trouble and go through all the pain. And they often feel sorry for the perpetrator, the poor man. He has problems, so let's forgive him. But remember, you are abandoning the other victims and all the future victims, if you take the easy/forgiving/"healthy" way out.

Did you see Doubt, with Meryl Streep? It covers a lot of the same territory.

Basic plot synopsis: a nun played by Meryl Streep catches a priest played by Phlip Seymour Hoffman molesting a child and resolves to do something about it. Then she's confronted by every single possible reason or rationalization for doing nothing, and has to decide if she's still going to go through with it. Highly recommended.

William Chadwick said...

Obbiously the lovely Miss Sciorra is some kind of "liberal." Someone from the more rational end of the political spectrum, feeling herself in such grave danger, would arm herself with something more effective, like a shotgun, as Joe Biden recommended.

Narayanan Subramanian said...

Think of keeping quiet as honor suicide vs speaking up as career suicide.

Narayanan Subramanian said...

And Meryl did not need to act ... She desisted in real life.

MayBee said...

Zach- sad to think of the movie Doubt now. PSH dead of a heroin overdose, and Streep (I'm guessing) was in a similar real life situation regarding Weinstein.

rcocean said...

Do people not understand that someone grabbing your breasts or pussy, is violating the law and can sued for civil damages?

Or that a manager demanding a waitress sleep with him is violating the corporate HR policy, and Federal law and you can sue the Corporation for damages?

All these women were sexually assaulted by Weinstein, yet only 1 of them went to the police. Crazy.

Kohath said...

Sexual harassment and rape sure have become a big news topic now that the Clintons' political viability no longer needs to be protected.

Abdul Abulbul Amir said...

Baseball bat. Better a dagger if she could not get a rosco.

JTR said...

Her imdb backs her up. She had nothing for two years around the time of the trauma she references in the article even though she was a hot property at the time.

Freeman Hunt said...

"All these women were sexually assaulted by Weinstein, yet only 1 of them went to the police. Crazy."

Because they know he's going to say, "No, I didn't. She's just some crazy, wannabe actress," and they can't imagine how they can possibly prove to the police that he did it.

Martin said...

The Rosie Perez quote made me think that maybe the saddest part of this whole very sad mess is that is highlights how much people let gossip and innuendo guide them.

Weinstein had the power to deny an actress roles in a Weinstein production, but they weren't afraid of just that, they were afraid of being blackballed across the whole industry. And apparently they were correct... because all Weinstein or his minions of flying monkeys had to do was drop a vague reference to "she's difficult" to stop a career, dead. No appeal, not even ever get a straight answer one could respond to. Dead.

And while it has always been thus, it doesn't have to be.