“I cannot remain silent while Maureen Dowd disparages my daughter, Gwyneth Paltrow, for the manner in which she chose to handle Harvey Weinstein’s attempt at a sexual encounter when she was 22,” Danner wrote in an letter to the New York Times on Wednesday.
In a column on Oct. 15, Dowd, an opinion writer for the Times, wrote that Paltrow “put aside her qualms” about Weinstein to become “the first lady” of his studio Miramax.
In a previous New York Times report, Paltrow claimed that Weinstein sexually harassed her in a hotel room when she was 22 and starring in his film Emma. The encounter allegedly ended with Weinstein placing his hands on her and suggesting a massage. Paltrow said she told her then-boyfriend Brad Pitt about the incident, and that Pitt later threatened Weinstein.
In her column, Dowd resurfaced a quote Paltrow reportedly gave to New York Magazine several years after her alleged encounter, in which she defended Weinstein, saying, “I think that for every bad story you hear about Harvey, there are three great ones. People are complicated, and nobody’s all good or all bad.”
Paltrow continued working with the disgraced mogul (who has denied allegations of nonconsensual sex) after the alleged incident, and went on to win a Best Actress Oscar for her performance in the Weinstein-produced Shakespeare in Love.
Wrote Danner: “Gwyneth did not ‘put aside her qualms to become ‘the first lady of Miramax’ ” back then, as Ms. Dowd would have it. She continued to hold her own and insist that Mr. Weinstein treat her with respect.”
Danner added that her daughter learned from her late father, producer and director Bruce Paltrow, “how to stand up for herself,” writing, “Bruce received the first Diversity Award from the Directors Guild for helping women and minorities in our business. His daughter wasn’t the only woman he taught to fight for herself.”
After noting that she hopes the Weinstein scandal will create positive change for women in all industries, Danner suggested “that the pundits stop casting aspersions on the women who have confronted unwanted sexual advances in the manner each sees fit and concentrate on the constructive ways to prevent this behavior in the future.”