It’s no secret that former Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein is a convicted rapist currently serving a 23-year prison sentence for his crimes. But what’s only coming to light now is that not only was Angelina Jolie one of Weinstein’s alleged victims, but that she locked horns with Brad Pitt over his decision to work with Weinstein on not one, but two films.
In an interview with The Guardian posted this past weekend, Jolie said Weinstein assaulted her during the release of the 1998 dramedy Play by Heart. She was speaking to the Guardian about her upcoming book Know Your Rights and Claim Them: A Guide for Youth, and said she didn’t want to “derail the book into stories about [Harvey Weinstein],” and so she didn’t go into details. But she did say what Weinstein did was “more than a pass,” and something she was forced “to escape.”
Angelina Jolie refused to work with Weinstein again, including taking a pass on a part in the critically acclaimed Martin Scorsese hit The Aviator. While Jolie didn’t say what part she passed on, as Collider notes, in most likelihood she was offered the chance to play either Katharine Hepburn (Cate Blanchett) or Ava Gardner (Kate Beckinale). Apparently, however, when her relationship with Brad Pitt started, her stories about the producer’s assault weren’t enough to stop Pitt from working with him. The actor not only signed on for 2009’s Inglourious Basterds knowing Weinstein was on board, but actually recruited Weinstein to act as producer on the 2012 crime thriller Killing Them Softly. Jolie told The Guardian, “We fought about it. Of course it hurt.”
Brad Pitt’s refusal to pass on Weinstein projects seems even more questionable when you realize the actor was well aware of at least some of the producer’s questionable behavior before Weinstein even met Angelina Jolie. In a 2017 story in the New York Times, Gwyneth Paltrow said it was her boyfriend at the time, Brad Pitt, who confronted Weinstein after the producer puts his hands on Paltrow before shooting started on the 1996 period comedy Emma. In the same story, Jolie said it would be a couple of years before Weinstein made “unwanted advances” toward her in a hotel room.
Weinstein told TMZ that Angelina Jolie’s assault allegations were “brazenly untrue” and suggested the actress made up the story to help publicize her new book. Considering the former producer had to tell TMZ this through an assistant because he’s currently serving a prison sentence counted in decades, it’s unlikely Weinstein’s word means much anymore.
So far there has been no official response from Brad Pitt and Angeline Jolie’s interview with The Guardian. In their report on Weinstein’s response, however, TMZ claims unnamed sources close to Pitt say he never “teamed up” with Weinstein, but simply starred in a Quentin Tarantino film that The Weinstein Company just happened to distribute.
Co-authored with Amnesty International and Geraldine Van Bueren, Angelina Jolie’s book Know Your Rights and Claim Them: A Guide for Youth goes on sale Tuesday, October 5. A month later to the day, on Friday November 5, Jolie will star as the immortal Thena in Marvel’s Eternals.