Molly Ringwald tells her own 'Harvey story' in revealing New Yorker essay
The 'Breakfast Club' actress worked with Weinstein nearly 30 years ago on 'Strike It Rich'
Molly Ringwald is the latest Hollywood actress to come forward with a revealing, personal, and intimate essay about her experiences with disgraced mogul Harvey Weinstein and other predatory men.
In “All the Other Harveys,” Ringwald recounts her first and only experience working with Weinstein on the 1990 film Strike It Back. The low-budget British movie was one of the then-up-and-coming producer’s first efforts, while Ringwald signed on as an established star — a dynamic, the actress writes, which is partly the reason she “wasn’t cajoled into a taxi” or forced “to turn down giving or getting a massage.” (Ringwald is referencing dozens of allegations of sexual misconduct made against Weinstein. Weinstein, through a representative, has denied any allegations of non-consensual sex.)
Instead, Ringwald says she witnessed Weinstein’s “volatile” behavior in other ways — the way he “became testy” towards one of their British colleagues, or gradually snatched control of the film away from the director and writer — and had a financial disagreement unpleasant enough to convince her to stay away from him for good. “My lawyer called to tell me that I had been denied the [gross] percentage owed to me,” she writes. “She asked if it was O.K. if she went after the Weinsteins. I ended up suing them for the money, which I got, and I never worked with Harvey or the company again.”
The amount of women accusing Weinstein of sexual assault or abuse is now more than three dozen, with Lena Headey among the more recent names to come forward. Ringwald’s essay comes in the wake of several actresses providing personal accounts of their own sexist interactions in Hollywood; Lena Dunham, Sarah Polley, and Mayim Bialik are among the prominent women to write essays detailing their general experiences with Hollywood’s sexist culture.
Ringwald, too, describes her “own Harvey story,” in which a director asked an actor to put a dog collar around her neck at an audition. “I don’t even know if the collar ever made it on me, because that’s the closest I’ve had to an out-of-body experience,” she says. “I’d like to think that I just walked out, but, more than likely, there’s an old VHS tape, disintegrating in a drawer somewhere … I sobbed in the parking lot, and when I got home and called my agent to tell him what happened, he laughed and said, ‘Well, I guess that’s one for the memoirs…'”
Ringwald also references an anonymous studio head’s insult about her in a 1995cover story for the now-defunct Movieline magazine. “In that article, the head of a major studio — and, incidentally, someone who claims himself to be horrified by the Harvey allegations — was quoted as saying, ‘I wouldn’t know [Molly Ringwald] if she sat on my face,'” she writes. “I was twenty-four at the time. Maybe he was misquoted. If he ever sent a note of apology, it must have gotten lost in the mail.”
In the profile Ringwald mentions, available on Movieline‘s website, the quote she alludes to appears exactly as quoted and is attributed to Jeffrey Katzenberg. The former Dreamworks chairman, also an Oscar nominee, recently slammed Weinstein at the Wall Street Journal‘s WSJ.D Live conference. “Harvey Weinstein, make no mistake about it, he is a monster,” he said, before adding: “The problem is there’s a pack of wolves. He’s not a lone actor in this.”