LOS ANGELES: The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences expelled Harvey Weinstein on Saturday, vowing that the era of “shameful complicity in sexually predatory behavior” in the movie industry was over.
An emergency meeting of its 54-member board of governors, which includes stars such as Tom Hanks, Whoopi Goldberg and Laura Dern, voted “well in excess of the required two-thirds majority,” it said in a statement.
“We do so 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,” the statement read.
An avalanche of sexual harassment, assault and rape accusations against Weinstein have surfaced since the publication last week of an explosive New York Times report alleging a history of abusive behavior by the Hollywood mogul dating back decades.
As Weinstein’s expulsion was announced, the London-based Sunday Times reported on a fifth alleged rape victim, British actress Lysette Anthony, who was said to have reported the 65-year-old to the Metropolitan Police last week.
Anthony, 54, who appeared in Woody Allen’s 1992 film “Husbands and Wives,” told The Times that Weinstein attacked her in the 1980s.
British actress Lysette Anthony has told police that Harvey Weinstein raped her, the Sunday Times reported, becoming the fifth woman to level such accusations against the disgraced Hollywood mogul.
The 54-year-old actress, who currently appears in British soap Hollyoaks, told Metropolitan Police last week that she had originally met Weinstein in New York, and agreed to meet him later at his rented house in London, according to the paper.
“The next thing I knew he was half undressed and he grabbed me. It was the last thing I expected and I fled,” she told the Times.
Anthony, who appeared in Woody Allen’s 1992 film “Husbands and Wives,” said that Weinstein then began stalking her, turning up unannounced at her house.
“He pushed me inside and rammed me against the coat rack,” she said of the attack in the 1980s. “He was trying to kiss me and shove inside me. Finally I just gave up.”
Weinstein has denied all allegations of nonconsensual sex.
On Thursday, American actress Rose McGowan became the fourth woman to accuse the 65-year-old of raping her.
“What’s at issue here is a deeply troubling problem that has no place in our society,” said the Academy, which organizes the Oscars.
“The board continues to work to establish ethical standards of conduct that all Academy members will be expected to exemplify.”
Since the outbreak of the scandal, more than two dozen actresses including Mira Sorvino, Rosanna Arquette, Gwyneth Paltrow, Angelina Jolie and Lea Seydoux have come forward saying they were sexually harassed by the producer.
‘Sick and depraved’
Some of the most recent allegations involved the former Bond Girl Eva Green, whose mother told French radio Weinstein had harassed her daughter for months, and British actress Alice Evans, who penned an essay for The Telegraph claiming she had rejected his advances, and believes it may have harmed her career.
Weinstein has not been seen in public since paparazzi descended upon him as he left his daughter’s home in Los Angeles on Wednesday.
“Guys, I’m not doing OK but I’m trying,” he said in a video obtained by ABC. “I got to get help. You know what, we all make mistakes.”
Celebrity gossip portal TMZ reported that Weinstein later flew to rehab in Arizona, possibly at The Meadows, a facility near Phoenix where golfer Tiger Woods and supermodel Kate Moss have been treated.
Weinstein’s brother and business partner Bob told The Hollywood Reporter in an emotional interview published Saturday that he knew the tycoon was a cheater, but said he was unaware the extent of his “sick and depraved” behavior.
“For me, I thought he was literally just going out there cheating in a pervasive way,” he is quoted as saying.
“It wasn’t like he even had a mistress. It was one after another and that I was aware of. But as far as being in a room and hearing the description in The New York Times? No way.”
Celebrities took to Twitter to celebrate Weinstein’s expulsion, with “Hellboy” actor Ron Perlman declaring how “proud” he was of the decision.
Mia Farrow, who worked with Polanski on “Rosemary’s Baby” (1968) voiced hope that “we are witnessing the end of an awful era” while cautioning that “there are others.”
Weinstein’s films have received more than 300 Oscar nominations and 81 statuettes, according to The Weinstein Company, which he co-founded after selling Miramax.
The studio fired him on Sunday and is exploring a sale or shutdown, according to the Wall Street Journal.