Let us never forget how awful Harvey Weinstein is

The lurid tales of media mogul Harvey Weinstein keep coming out. Apart from the abusive way he treated actors, the way he treated his immediate employees is also a scandal. The April 2018 issue of Harper’s Magazine has this little item. It is from a complaint filed in a New York district court against Weinstein by Sandeep Rahal who was employed as his personal assistant from 2013 to 2015, where she describes some of her ‘duties’ in that role.

Listening to his calls
Reading and responding to his emails
Managing his doctors’ appointments
Managing his drivers
Doing his shopping
Getting him clean underwear
Taking dictation of emails from him while he was naked
Maintaining his list of contacts with a special asterisk that identified his sexual partners
Obtaining and setting up an apartment close to the office for sexual liaisons
Purchasing lingerie and gifts for women
Managing the stock of Caverject shots for his erectile dysfunction
Picking up his used Caverject shots
Picking up his used condom
Cleaning up the semen on the couch in his office

What is it with these abusive guys who want to be naked in the presence of others while at work? Apart from anything else, being naked while (say) seated on a chair is actually uncomfortable. Clothing provides a comfortable buffer against the roughness of items that your body comes into contact with. I am surprised that having sex with Weinstein when there was no one else immediately available was also not one of her expected duties.

What is astonishing is that he was able to get away with this kind of behavior for so long. It just shows how money and power can buy silence and complicity.


  1. sonofrojblake says

    What is it with these abusive guys who want to be naked in the presence of others while at work?

    Did you ever have a boss or other person higher up than you who was habitually late for meetings? Who’d wander in an hour and three quarters late to a two hour meeting and expect to be brought up to speed? Who left meetings early as soon as the bit that concerned them was over, even though there was more on the agenda? Who interrupted conversations you were in the middle of to ask or tell you something, with no thought for you or your interlocutor? Who disregarded the workplace dress code? This is the same thing. It’s all about power, and the ostentatious wielding of it. The only reason those colleagues of yours weren’t getting naked was because they’d be fired for it. When a guy can’t be fired, and knows it… you get Weinstein, often enough that I guarantee he’s not the only one called Harvey, much less the only one.

    I am surprised that having sex with Weinstein […] was also not one of her expected duties

    My guess is Ms. Rahal is a 7 or 8 (at least that or she’d never have got the job), and HW would never touch anything less than a 9.

    What is astonishing is that he was able to get away with this kind of behavior for so long

    Not really. The only astonishing thing to me is that anyone is astonished. That this behaviour is common among powerful men, particularly those in the film and television industry, is absolutely universal knowledge isn’t it? The phrase “casting couch” is common parlance, and if you think about what it really means for even a second, its existence as an idiom predicts Weinstein and those like him.

  2. Mano Singham says


    I am fortunate to have never had an abusive boss of the type you describe.

    I do get the whole power thing. I get it when such people yell at subordinates or otherwise humiliate them. What I don’t get is why it manifests itself in getting naked, surely something that makes the boss look ridiculous, not the subordinate.

  3. karmacat says

    His nakedness may be a way of throwing other people off-balance. Either that or thinks he is hot stuff.

  4. birgerjohansson says

    Assholeness coupled with sexism comes in different stripes, as I found out at Ed Brayton’s blog:
    -The spree killer in Toronto is a member of the “incel” movement, a bizarre, awful misogynic internet phenomenon who direct their raw hatred at single women, but also at couples, especially interracial couples.
    He killed a bunch of people because, he claimed, women wouldn’t have sex with him.
    “Toronto Killer was the Canadian Elliott Rodger” http://www.patheos.com/blogs/dispatches/2018/04/25/toronto-killer-was-the-canadian-elliott-rodger/
    Mercifully, his DNA is not likely to be passed on.
    It is as if some individuals colllect negative personality traits the way kids collect Pokemon.

  5. Curious Digressions says

    Re: the naked thing. It’s a thrill for some people because it is naughty and transgressive. It’s getting away with something that is inappropriate. There are other ways to prove that you can get away with anything you want, but that one is pretty big.

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