Liberal comedienne Lena Dunham told the New York Times that she warned Hillary Clinton's 2016 presidential campaign about Hollywood producer and Democratic mega-donor Harvey Weinstein's mistreatment of women.
Another actress, Mia Kirshner, told the Times that Weinstein allegedly harassed her in 1994 when she was 19 years old.
"I just want you to let you know that Harvey's a rapist and this is going to come out at some point", Dunham said she told the campaign's deputy communications director, Kristina Schake, according to The Times.
Then Secretary of State Clinton and Weinstein attend the TIME 100 Gala, TIME'S 100 Most Influential People In The World, cocktail party at Jazz at Lincoln Center on April 24, 2012 in New York City.
Apart from that, the article largely expands on what has emerged over the past few months: that Weinstein got people to dig up dirt on women who might report his misconduct, and that his business associates regularly suppressed information on his behalf and tolerated his behavior. Dunham also voiced her concerns to Adrienne Elrod, the Clinton spokeswoman leading efforts with celebrity campaigners.
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Michelle Franklin worked for Harvey in London in 2012 and she was terrified by what she saw "women who appeared emotionally bruised" after directing them to Weinstein for meetings in his hotel suite. Obviously, Weinstein's chummy relationship with Clintons only added to his all-powerful aura.
The Times said that Hillary and Bill Clinton dined with Weinstein and his attorney and trusted advisor David Boies at a restaurant in Harlem days after Clinton's loss in the election.
Though there are disputes about this particular account, it goes without saying that Weinstein did not lose his access to Clinton, nor did he lose his gilded reputation in Hollywood at large-a reputation that has since been destroyed. Speaking with the Times, Dunham, a vocal Clinton advocate, recalled how she felt uncomfortable with the producer's very visible support for the candidate.
This was strongly denied by the Clinton campaign. It's despicable behaviour, and the women that have come forward have shown enormous courage.
Notice the careful wording of this response from the Clinton campaign: "Ms. Elrod and Ms. Schake, through Mrs. Clinton's communications director, denied that Ms. Dunham mentioned rape, while [Robby] Mook said that no one had ever alerted him about the producer". As to claims about a warning, that's something staff wouldn't forget ... In trying to coerce other women to have sex with him, he used Paltrow's Academy Award-winning "First Lady of Miramax" prestige as proof to that he could advance the careers of women who pleased him, she told the Times.