The year since the Weinstein scandal first rocked Hollywood
Posted April 5, 2018 10:31 a.m. EDT
Updated October 4, 2018 5:53 p.m. EDT
(CNN) — Harvey Weinstein, the man once synonymous with Hollywood whose alleged behavior started one of the most important conversations in the industry's history, began his epic fall from power one year ago.
It all started with a few brave women coming forward about mistreatment at the hands of the Oscar-winning producer.
As it stands, the allegations against Weinstein range from harassment to rape, include the stories of more than 80 women and span several decades. (Through a spokesperson, Weinstein has repeatedly denied "any allegations of non-consensual sex.")
He has pleaded not guilty to six sex crime charges in New York, including two counts of rape.
Weinstein remains under investigation by authorities in Los Angeles and London.
The stories about Weinstein's alleged mistreatment snowballed into a movement against abuse that reverberated across industries.
To date, thousands of people have raised their voices to say, "me too." Dozens of once powerful men -- from celebrities to political figures -- have been held accountable for mistreatment. Many continue to vehemently fight charges of misconduct.
One year later, the movement to end mistreatment is larger, stronger and more vocal than ever, with the hope being that at least one industry will never be the same.
Read more: Sexual consent is a worldwide conversation
Below is a timeline of some of the fallout since the Weinstein scandal began.
The New York Times publishes a story detailing numerous accusations of sexual harassment against movie producer Harvey Weinstein. One of Weinstein's accusers is actress Ashley Judd.
"Women have been talking about Harvey amongst ourselves for a long time, and it's simply beyond time to have the conversation publicly," Judd told the Times.
In response, Weinstein issues a statement and announces his leave of absence from The Weinstein Company.
"I appreciate the way I've behaved with colleagues in the past has caused a lot of pain, and I sincerely apologize for it," the statement read in part.
Weinstein is fired by The Weinstein Company, which he co-founded with his brother Bob in 2005. The board cites "new information about misconduct by Harvey Weinstein that has emerged in the past few days" as the reason for his termination.
Weinstein is accused of rape by multiple women in an explosive story by Ronan Farrow for The New Yorker.
The story, 10 months in the making, also included new allegations of harassment and other improper behavior -- along with assertions that people at Weinstein's film company knew about his misconduct.
Later that day, The New York Times publishes a followup story with quotes from Gwyneth Paltrow, Angelina Jolie and other Hollywood actresses with allegations against Weinstein.
Weinstein issues his first of what would be several denials of "non-consensual sex."
Weinstein is ousted from the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences.
In a statement, the Academy said the action was intended "not simply to separate ourselves from someone who does not merit the respect of his colleagues but also to send a message that the era of willful ignorance and shameful complicity in sexually predatory behavior and workplace harassment in our industry is over."
In the coming weeks, the Directors Guild of America, the Producers Guild of America and the British Academy of Film and Television Arts would all take steps to distance themselves from Weinstein.
Alyssa Milano tweets a note reading, "Suggested by a friend: If all the women who have been sexually harassed or assaulted wrote 'Me too' as a status, we might give people a sense of the magnitude of the problem." #MeToo, created more than a decade earlier by civil rights activist Tarana Burke to increase awareness of the sexual abuse of young women of color, becomes a viral campaign.
The Los Angeles Police Department opens an investigation into an alleged 2013 sexual assault involving Weinstein and an accuser who asked to remain anonymous.
Law enforcement in London and New York also investigate alleged sex crimes by Weinstein.
"Game Change" co-author and journalist Mark Halperin is accused of sexual harassment by former female colleagues at ABC News.
"During this period, I did pursue relationships with women that I worked with, including some junior to me," Halperin said in a statement to CNN.
"I now understand from these accounts that my behavior was inappropriate and caused others pain. For that, I am deeply sorry and I apologize. Under the circumstances, I'm going to take a step back from my day-to-day work while I properly deal with this situation."
NBC News, where Halperin was a contributor, would cut ties with him days later.
Actor Anthony Rapp accuses Kevin Spacey of making a sexual advance at him when Rapp was 14 in a report published by Buzzfeed. Spacey responds via Twitter, saying he did not recall the alleged incident with Rapp. He apologizes for what he said would have been "deeply inappropriate drunken behavior."
Spacey was fired from his television series, "House of Cards," and has not spoken publicly since.
Director and producer Brett Ratner is accused of sexual misconduct by Olivia Munn and five other women in a report published by The Los Angeles Times. The allegations range from sexual harassment to assault.
Ratner's attorney Martin Singer says the director "vehemently denies" the allegations.
Comedian Louis C.K. is accused of sexual misconduct by five women in a New York Times report, including allegations that he masturbated in front of them.
Louis C.K. releases a statement in response to the allegations.
"These stories are true. At the time, I said to myself that what I did was okay because I never showed a woman my dick without asking first, which is also true," the comedian wrote. "But what I learned later in life, too late, is that when you have power over another person, asking them to look at your dick isn't a question. It's a predicament for them. The power I had over these women is that they admired me. And I wielded that power irresponsibly."
In August, the comedian performed his first stand-up set since the allegations first surfaced.
CBS and PBS cuts ties with host Charlie Rose after The Washington Post publishes claims of sexual harassment by eight women.
Bloomberg, which aired Rose's eponymous interview program, also ended its business relationship with Rose.
Rose said in a statement that he "deeply apologized" for what he admitted was "inappropriate behavior," but said he did "not believe that all of [the] allegations are accurate."
In December, PBS gave CNN's Christiane Amanpour her own show as an interim replacement for Rose.
Minnesota Public Radio terminates its contracts with Garrison Keillor, a fixture of public radio and the creator of "A Prairie Home Companion," citing allegations of misconduct.
"I've been fired over a story that I think is more interesting and more complicated than the version MPR heard," Keillor said in a statement. "It's some sort of poetic irony to be knocked off the air by a story, having told so many of them myself, but I'm 75 and don't have any interest in arguing about this."
On the same day, Savannah Guthrie announces on the "Today" show that Matt Lauer has been fired by NBC News after an employee filed a complaint about "inappropriate sexual behavior in the workplace," according to the network.
"We are devastated," Guthrie said.
A day after he is fired, Matt Lauer issues an apology.
"There are no words to express my sorrow and regret for the pain I have caused others by words and actions," Lauer said in a statement provided to CNN. "Some of what is being said about me is untrue or mischaracterized, but there is enough truth in these stories to make me feel embarrassed and ashamed. I regret that my shame is now shared by the people I cherish dearly."
On the same day, Russell Simmons announces he is stepping down from his companies in the wake of an accusation of harassment and sexual assault by screenwriter Jenny Lumet in a guest column published by The Hollywood Reporter.
"I know Jenny and her family and have seen her several times over the years since the evening she described. While her memory of that evening is very different from mine, it is now clear to me that her feelings of fear and intimidation are real," Simmons writes in a statement. "While I have never been violent, I have been thoughtless and insensitive in some of my relationships over many decades and I sincerely and humbly apologize."
Time magazine names "The Silence Breakers," representing people who came forward to report sexual misconduct, as its Person of the Year.
"These silence breakers have started a revolution of refusal, gathering strength by the day," read an excerpt from the piece. "Their collective anger has spurred immediate and shocking results: nearly every day, CEOs have been fired, moguls toppled, icons disgraced. In some cases, criminal charges have been brought."
Democratic Sen. Al Franken of Minnesota resigns from Congress following allegations of sexual harassment.
"I, of all people, am aware that there is some irony in the fact that I am leaving while a man who has bragged on tape about his history of sexual assault sits in the Oval Office," Franken says in his resignation speech.
Franken had previously said he was "embarrassed and ashamed."
Celebrity chef Mario Batali steps away from his restaurant business and ABC television show amid allegations of sexual misconduct, following an investigation by online publication Eater.
Batali issues an apology to "the people I have mistreated and hurt."
"That behavior was wrong and there are no excuses," he says. "I take full responsibility and am deeply sorry for any pain, humiliation or discomfort I have caused to my peers, employees, customers, friends and family."
A group of more than 1,000 women in entertainment announce the launch of Time's Up, a comprehensive plan to combat sexual assault, harassment and inequality in the workplace. Director Ava DuVernay, producer Kathleen Kennedy and dozens of actors, including America Ferrera, Emma Stone and Constance Wu, outline the mission of Time's Up in an open letter.
"We want all survivors of sexual harassment, everywhere, to be heard, to be believed, and to know that accountability is possible," the letter read in part.
Black dresses rule the red carpet at the 75th Golden Globe Awards in a show of solidarity for the Time's Up mission.
Oprah Winfrey accepts the Cecil B. DeMille Award at the Globes and gives a rousing speech in support of the #MeToo movement. The media mogul's message came during a ceremony notable for being the first major awards show since Hollywood began addressing sexual abuse in the entertainment industry and beyond.
"I want all the girls watching here, now, to know that a new day is on the horizon," Winfrey tells the crowd. "And when that new day finally dawns, it will be because of a lot of magnificent women, many of whom are right here in this room tonight, and some pretty phenomenal men, fighting hard to make sure that they become the leaders who take us to the time when nobody ever has to say 'me too' again."
The Los Angeles Times publishes a story in which five women allege they experienced inappropriate and sometimes sexually exploitative behavior by actor James Franco.
"If I've done something wrong, I will fix it," Franco says of the allegations.
Aziz Ansari responds to an accusation of sexual assault made by a woman with whom he went on a date the year prior by saying he believed their encounter had been "completely consensual."
The woman, a 23-year-old photographer, had shared her account with the website Babe anonymously, the day prior.
The accusations against Ansari caused disagreement among many, including supporters of the Time's Up and #MeToo movements, with debate around the nuances of consent.
Uma Thurman recounts to the New York Times a series of disturbing incidents involving Weinstein, including an alleged assault in a London hotel room.
Her interview also sparks a conversation about on-set power dynamics, after she recalled an incident in which she was coerced into doing a dangerous stunt by director Quentin Tarantino. She described the event as "dehumanization to the point of death."
Tarantino calls the incident "one of the biggest regrets" of his life in an interview with Deadline.
New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman files a lawsuit against Weinstein and The Weinstein Company, effectively pausing plans for the company's sale to a group of investors led by Maria Contreras-Sweet.
"Weinstein Company leadership was complicit in Harvey Weinstein's wrongdoing," Schneiderman writes on Twitter the day after filing the suit. "They knew what was happening. They knew how pervasive it was. And yet they did nothing."
The Weinstein Company terminates David Glasser, a top executive who had been in charge of running the studio along with Harvey and Bob Weinstein.
Glasser was fired in response to some of the allegations contained in Schneiderman's lawsuit, sources told CNN.
Glasser responds with a wrongful termination claim. In a February statement to Variety, his attorney Eve Wagner said "the board had no grounds to justify his firing."
"Through this lawsuit, we intend to bring to light facts and evidence to demonstrate that the board acted precipitously and with malice. We are confident that a complete airing of all of the evidence will show that our client was scapegoated by the TWC Board of Directors," Wagner added.
The Weinstein Company strikes a $500 million deal to sell its assets to Contreras-Sweet and investors.
Days later, the deal falls apart, and bankruptcy becomes imminent.
Oscars host Jimmy Kimmel caps off a loaded awards season with a monologue that praises the Time's Up movement and roasts Weinstein.
"The only other person to be expelled from the Academy -- ever -- was a character actor named Carmine Caridi," Kimmel says. "In 2004 he was kicked out for sharing screeners. Carmine Caridi got the same punishment as Harvey Weinstein for giving his neighbor a copy of 'Seabiscuit' on VHS."
During the show, Ashley Judd, Salma Hayek and Annabella Sciorra take the stage to talk about the #MeToo movement and praise the survivors of harassment who have come forward.
"The changes we are witnessing is being driven by the powerful sound of new voices, of different voices, of our voices, joining together in a mighty chorus that is finally saying, 'time's up,'" Judd said.
The New York State attorney general announces it will review the Manhattan district attorney's handling of a 2015 sexual abuse case involving disgraced media mogul Harvey Weinstein.
Time's Up had called for an investigation into DA Cyrus Vance and his office over its decision not to prosecute Weinstein for alleged sex abuse crimes against accuser Ambra Battilana.
Later in the day, The Weinstein Company files for bankruptcy and, in the process, releases all former employees from the legal contracts, or non-disclosure agreements, that kept them from speaking out.
"Effective immediately, those 'agreements' end," the company said in a statement. "No one should be afraid to speak out or coerced to stay quiet," it added.
Bankruptcy attorney Robert Marticello told CNN the Weinstein Company's decision to release victims from their NDA's "could be viewed as an attempt to ensure that all of the potential claims are raised and addressed in this bankruptcy case." He added that victims asserting claims could benefit from the sale of the company's assets, after others, including creditors and attorneys, are paid from the proceeds.
The New Yorker magazine and The New York Times newspaper receive one of journalism's highest honors for their reporting on Harvey Weinstein's alleged systemic abuse of women in the entertainment industry.
The pair of publications are awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Public Service for their coverage of Weinstein and the #MeToo movement.
Actress Ashley Judd sues Weinstein, claiming the disgraced former film executive made inflammatory statements about her that hurt her career.
In court documents obtained by CNN, Judd alleges that Weinstein deterred director Peter Jackson, who oversaw the "Lord of the Rings" trilogy, and his producing partner Fran Walsh from working with Judd on the films, a move that not only "torpedoed" her opportunity to star in the Academy Award-winning franchise but also cost her additional work.
"The pathetic reality, however, was that Weinstein was retaliating against Ms. Judd for rejecting his sexual demands approximately one year earlier, when he cornered her in a hotel room under the guise of discussing business," the suit states.
Jackson first revealed Weinstein's comments in an interview back in December 2017, months after Weinstein began facing a host of allegations.
A representative for Weinstein also denied the allegations that he smeared Judd's name.
"The most basic investigation of the facts will reveal that Mr. Weinstein neither defamed Ms. Judd nor ever interfered with Ms. Judd's career, and instead not only championed her work but also repeatedly approved her casting for two of his movies over the next decade," a statement from Weinstein's attorney says.
Weinstein's lawyers later file a motion asking the courts to dismiss the lawsuit, saying it was "rife with speculation and conclusory allegations."
New York Attorney General Schneiderman resigns over assault allegations by multiple women.
Schneiderman contests the allegations by four women who accused him of physical violence in a report by The New Yorker.
"In the last several hours, serious allegations, which I strongly contest, have been made against me," Schneiderman says in a statement. "While these allegations are unrelated to my professional conduct or the operations of the office, they will effectively prevent me from leading the office's work at this critical time. I therefore resign my office."
Later, the Manhattan District Attorney's office announces they have opened an investigation into the allegations against Schneiderman.
Weinstein's estranged wife Georgina Chapman, the co-founder of high-end fashion house, Marchesa, breaks her silence in a Vogue interview.
In the piece, Chapman claims to have had no knowledge of her husband's alleged pattern of abuse before the news reports began in October 2017.
"That's what makes this so incredibly painful: I had what I thought was a very happy marriage. I loved my life." Chapman said. "Absolutely not [did she suspect him cheating]. Never. For one thing, he traveled constantly. And I've never been one of those people who obsesses about where someone is."
Actor Morgan Freeman is accused by eight women of engaging in a pattern of alleged inappropriate behavior and harassment in a CNN investigation.
Several of the women CNN spoke to said Freeman made frequent comments about their bodies and clothing in incidents that took place on movie sets or at his production company, Revelations Entertainment. Two of those eight said they were subjected to unwanted touching by the actor.
After the publication of CNN's story, Freeman released a statement.
"Anyone who knows me or has worked with me knows I am not someone who would intentionally offend or knowingly make anyone feel uneasy," he said. "I apologize to anyone who felt uncomfortable or disrespected -- that was never my intent."
Weinstein turns himself in to authorities and is arrested, charged with rape, committing a criminal sex act, sexual abuse and sexual misconduct.
The charges stem from incidents with two separate women, the NYPD says in a statement, and were the result of a joint investigation between police and the Manhattan District Attorney's office.
Harvey Weinstein's attorney Benjamin Brafman tells media outside of court in New York that his client intends to enter a plea of not guilty.
"Mr. Weinstein has always maintained that he has never engaged in non-consensual sexual behavior with anyone. Nothing about today's proceedings changes Mr. Weinstein's position. He has entered a plea of not guilty and fully expects to be exonerated," attorney Benjamin Brafman says in a statement after the arraignment.
Actress Rose McGowan, one of the first women to publicly accuse Weinstein of assault, tweets her reaction to Weinstein's arrest, saying, "We got you, Harvey Weinstein, we got you."
Weinstein pleads not guilty to three additional sex crime charges in New York.
In all, Weinstein now faces six felony charges relating to three women: two counts of predatory sexual assault, two counts of criminal sexual act in the first degree, and one count each of first-degree rape and third-degree rape. The charges are related to separate incidents in 2004, 2006 and 2013.
"Any suggestion that Mr. Weinstein raped anyone, based on the overwhelming evidence that I have in my possession already, is a ludicrous suggestion, and Mr. Weinstein has of course also vigorously denied that suggestion," Weinstein attorney Benjamin Brafman tells media outside a Manhattan courthouse.
Once again a legendary Hollywood power player is toppled after the publication of a bombshell story by Ronan Farrow.
CBS Corporation announces its longtime chairman and chief executive officer Les Moonves is resigning after additional sexual-harassment charges are leveled against him in a second New Yorker article authored by Farrow.
The New Yorker had published an expose in July in which multiple women accused Moonves of sexual misconduct over several decades.
The network had previously issued a statement on Moonves' behalf saying he denied "any characterization of 'sexual assault,' intimidation, or retaliatory action."
Time's Up announces that former WNBA president, Lisa Borders, will serve as the organization's first president and CEO.
"To disrupt and reinvent the ingrained status quo, we will need all hands-on deck to create and sustain enduring change," Borders says in a statement announcing her new role. "I'm thrilled to lead Time's Up and I am convinced that together, we will shift the paradigm of workplace culture."
CNN's Jason Kravarik contributed to this story.