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Hollywood sex abuse Scandal

Penélope Cruz laments Harvey Weinstein’s unacceptable “abuse of power”

The actress won an Oscar for ‘Vicky Cristina Barcelona,’ a movie produced by his company

For nearly a decade, Penélope Cruz has worked with Harvey Weinstein on films such as Nine and Vicky Cristina Barcelona. The Spanish actress won her first Oscar for Best Supporting Actress with the Woody Allen film, which was produced by The Weinstein Company. “I, of course, have received a lesson in publicity. Harvey is very good at this,” she said in 2009, before winning the award.

Harvey Weinstein and Penélope Cruz, pictured in New York in 2008.
Harvey Weinstein and Penélope Cruz, pictured in New York in 2008. Getty Images

More than 30 women, including actresses, journalists and coworkers, have accused Weinstein of sexual abuse and rape in a scandal that has shocked Hollywood. Police in both New York and London have opened investigations into the allegations made against the filmmaker.

Cruz has released a statement on the matter, adding her voice to those of Meryl Streep, George Clooney, Jennifer Lawrence, Gwyneth Paltrow, Judi Dench and Kate Winslet, who have also spoken out against the producer’s behavior. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Julia Roberts has even offered to help victims with financial resources.

Even if he has been respectful to me, I need to express my support to the women that have had such horrible experiences

Actress Penelope Cruz

“The stories that came out over the last few days about Harvey Weinstein have left me feeling extremely sad and shocked,” Cruz said in her statement. “Obviously I didn’t know that side of him. We have worked together on different films and even if he has been respectful to me and I personally have never witnessed such behavior, I need to express my support to the women that have had such horrible experiences. They have shown great bravery by talking. That kind of abuse of power is absolutely unacceptable. We all, women and men, need to teach future generations about the power of respect and support for one another.”

Weinstein was behind the Madrid native’s first steps into Hollywood, with films such as All the Pretty Horses and Captain Corelli’s Mandolin. He was with her as she rose to stardom with Nine a decade later. The actress, who had already been nominated for Volver, and returned to the Academy Awards the following year with Nine, dedicated her award when she finally won with Vicky Cristina Barcelona to Pedro Almodóvar, Bigas Luna, and Fernando Trueba, before mentioning Weinstein, who considered her one of his young actresses to watch.

More than 30 women have come forward with allegations against the filmmaker

On that year’s red carpet, Weinstein told EL PAÍS: “Penelope grows every day and has given the best performance of the year and deserves the Oscar. She has been a friend of mine for 12 years and she will take the statue to Spain this year.” He was right, showing some of his power, that’s now been curtailed by the numerous accusations of sexual abuse.

English version by Debora Almeida.

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