Since the news first broke in October last year, more than 80 silence breakers have come forward with accusations of sexual harassment and assault against Harvey Weinstein. And now Cate Blanchett is one of them.
The actress—who had previously stayed mum about her time working with Weinstein on films like Carol and The Talented Mr. Ripley—spoke honestly with Variety about her own #MeToo moment. After admitting that Weinstein was an unwanted producer on several of her movies, she responded to their inquiries of whether he sexually harassed or acted inappropriately with her for the first time.
“With me, yes. I think he really primarily preyed, like most predators, on the vulnerable,” Blanchett said. “I mean I got a bad feeling from him. … He would often say to me, ‘We’re not friends.'”
But what does him saying “We’re not friends” really mean, exactly?
“Well, I wouldn’t do what he was asking me to do,” she said, opting not to elaborate any further. Instead, she chose to expand on how her experience fits into a larger field. “I’m really interested in the people who have transgressed in ways that are beyond the bounds of offensive, what people like Harvey have done, and there are men across many industries [who have done that]. He’s been held up as an exemplar because he’s unfortunately typical of certain men. I’m interested in those people being prosecuted. We have to set a legal precedent,” she said.
“Part of the mission of Time’s Up is to help those who do not have the capacity to raise the funds to defend themselves and to move toward workplace equality, fairness and safety. When legal precedent is set by people being actually convicted, then other people can benefit from that because those precedents have been set. But me fueling the gossip and accounts? There’s enough out there.”
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Though Blanchett chose not to wax poetic about her specific experiences with Weinstein, her verdict on whether she thinks he could go to jail now is crystal clear.
“Well, I hope so. Statutory rape is a crime, the last time I looked,” she said. “I think it’s really important that people get tried through the judicial system. It’s a really important arm of democracy that we must uphold because it’s under threat from a lot of different quarters.”
Weinstein has repeatedly denied the accusations against him, including those of sexual harassment, assault, and statutory rape.