The 58-year-old actress has decided to reveal the truth she has kept hidden for many years. Julia Ormond announced that Harvey Weinstein sexually assaulted her in 1995.
The British-French actress gained worldwide fame in 1995 when her photograph appeared on the cover of The New York Times with the headline: “When Hollywood Needs a New Star, It Creates One.” Her rapid rise in the entertainment industry was compared to the story of Audrey Hepburn. The article featured a notable quote from the now-disgraced Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein.
Julia had moved from the UK to the US and was earning $3.5 million per film. She appeared in “Legends of the Fall” with Brad Pitt, “First Knight” with Sean Connery and Richard Gere, and “Sabrina” with Harrison Ford. The rising star was often referred to as the future queen of Hollywood.
However, Julia suddenly disappeared from Hollywood’s elite just as quickly as she had risen to fame. It was only after almost 30 years that the reason for her obscurity became known: Ormond had been sexually assaulted by Weinstein eight months after the article was published. The truth came to light after the actress filed a lawsuit against the notorious producer. She also demanded that CAA, The Walt Disney Company, and Miramax be held accountable for covering up the crimes of the influential mogul for many years.
It was revealed that in August 1995, Ormond’s agents had entered into a two-year deal between her production company and Miramax, founded by Weinstein. In December, Harvey invited Julia to a working dinner. “He stated that he was willing to continue the discussion about business and discuss the project only at Ormond’s apartment, which Miramax had provided for her. Ormond reported that he attacked her there,” as stated in the court documents.
Julia told her agents about what had happened, but at the time, Harvey instilled fear in everyone. They urged the actress not to speak out and warned that it would harm her. Later, CAA transferred her to a less experienced agent, and her career took a nosedive.
“The agency not only failed to fulfill these basic obligations but exacerbated the damage when Ormond told her agents Bryan Lourd and Kevin Huvane what Weinstein had done to her. Instead of standing by Ormond and advocating for her interests, they stated that if she reported Weinstein to the authorities, she would not be believed, and he would seriously damage her career. Even worse, shortly after Weinstein’s attack on Ormond and her reporting of it, CAA lost interest in her, and her career suffered a sharp decline. She felt the wrath of Weinstein. She suffered catastrophic damage, both personally and professionally. She virtually disappeared from the public eye. CAA, Miramax, and Disney continued to profit from their close association with Harvey Weinstein for many years after he assaulted Ormond,” Daily Mail quoted excerpts from the lawsuit.
Julia admitted that she had kept this secret all these years. Only after the #MeToo movement emerged in 2017 did she decide to reveal the truth to her close ones. Now, the actress has found the strength to publicly share her ordeal.
“I am coming forward with my story now because I feel that we still need systemic change. I am sure that accountability is needed for those who assisted him. I became a victim of violence, and I acknowledge that this is what happened to me. And I want to achieve justice,” said the star of Nikita Mikhalkov’s film “The Barber of Siberia.”
Harvey Weinstein is currently serving a 23-year sentence for rape in New York, and he also received a 16-year sentence in Los Angeles.