Gwyneth Paltrow details Brad Pitt-Harvey Weinstein showdown as fallen mogul faces federal investigation

Raechal Shewfelt
Editor, Yahoo Entertainment

Gwyneth Paltrow is forever grateful to former fiancé Brad Pitt for the way he defended her from Harvey Weinstein.

Gwyneth Paltrow has accused Harvey Weinstein of sexual harassment. (Photo: Getty Images)

The Oscar-winning actress has accused the former Weinstein Company mogul of sexually harassing her in his room at the Peninsula Hotel in Beverly Hills. On Wednesday, Paltrow recounted new details about what happened when Pitt, her boyfriend at the time, confronted Weinstein, in an interview with Howard Stern on his SiriusXM show.

Paltrow told the New York Times last October that when she was 22, Weinstein had summoned her to a meeting at the Peninsula Hotel. It ended, according to the newspaper, with him “placing his hands on her and suggesting they head to the bedroom for massages.”

Weinstein has always denied any nonconsensual sex took place with any of his dozens of accusers. He has also denied retaliating against women who refused his advances.

The Times story in which Paltrow revealed her experience also reported that “Pitt confronted Weinstein.” Paltrow elaborated the circumstances of that encounter to Stern.

“So what happened was, I told [Brad] right away, and I was very shaken by the whole thing,” said Paltrow.

Gwyneth Paltrow and Brad Pitt attend the 1996 Golden Globe Awards. (Photo: Ron Galella, Ltd./WireImage)

The then up-and-coming actress had already signed on to work with Weinstein again in the future. Later, she and Pitt ran into him at a Broadway show, and Pitt didn’t hide his anger.

“It was like the equivalent of throwing [Weinstein] against the wall, you know, energetically,” Paltrow told Stern. “It was so fantastic,” she said. “What he did was he leveraged his fame and power to protect me at a time when I didn’t have fame or power yet.” She added, “He’s the best.”

Pitt also gave Weinstein a message, Paltrow revealed: “He said, ‘If you ever make her feel uncomfortable again, I’ll kill you,’ or something like that.”

When the Times story came out, a source told People a slightly different version of Pitt’s threat. “Brad threatened Harvey,” the source said. “He got right in his face, poked him in the chest and said, ‘You will not ever do this to Gwyneth ever again.’”

Paltrow and Pitt dated from 1994 to 1997, at a time when he was already a big movie star, with films such as Interview With the Vampire and Se7en, in which Paltrow played his love interest. She didn’t win the Oscar for the Weinstein-produced Shakespeare in Love until 1999.

In the Stern interview, Paltrow also said she had hesitations about talking about her experience when reporters first approached her. In fact, she said that she spoke with Pulitzer Prize–winner Jodi Kantor throughout last summer. Paltrow wasn’t mentioned in the publication’s first story about the accusations against Weinstein.

“Now, it seems like a no-brainer,” Paltrow said, “but at the time, the floodgates hadn’t opened, and not only did the story break, but it changed the culture completely.”

When Stern asked Paltrow if she still had mixed emotions about Weinstein, she said simply that she did not.

On the same day that Paltrow gave her new interview, the Wall Street Journal reported that Weinstein is under investigation of federal prosecutors. Reportedly, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York is looking at whether Weinstein “lured or induced any women to travel across state lines for the purpose of committing a sex crime.”

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