The Oscar-winning actress, 46, who was one of the movie mogul’s biggest stars, turned against him and worked with reporters looking into his history of alleged sex abuse.
“She did play a much more active role than anybody’s ever known,” Jodi Kantor, one of the authors of She Said, told CBS. “But it was hair-raising for her because Harvey Weinstein had been such an important influence.”
She Said details Weinstein’s downfall since October 2017 after articles in The New York Times and the New Yorker magazine exposed him.
More than 80 women have come forward to accuse Weinstein, who is due to go on trial in January accused of a string of sexual assaults and “predatory” sexual behavior.
But in the beginning, it was extremely difficult to persuade anyone to open up said Miss Kantor and Meghan Twohey, another New York Times journalist who co-wrote the book.
Paltrow became a vital early source even though she refused to go on the record until later.
Miss Kantor said: “She did play a much more active role than anybody’s ever known. But it was hair-raising for her because Harvey Weinstein had been such an important influence.”
Paltrow, 46, was hired by Mr. Weinstein to star in a screen adaptation of Jane Austen’s Emma when she was 22. He allegedly summoned her to a hotel in Beverly Hills, placed his hands on her and suggested they give each other massages in his bedroom.
She has said she refused and told her boyfriend, Brad Pitt, who accosted Mr. Weinstein during a premiere and told him never to touch her again.
Mr. Weinstein berated her for this, she said, but she had stood her ground, kept her role in Emma and was later cast in his film Shakespeare in Love, for which she won an Oscar.
Paltrow told the reporters that she was later mortified to learn that Mr. Weinstein had referred to her success when seeking to persuade other young actresses to submit to his demands.
While she did not initially agree to speak out on the record, she helped the reporters to gain interviews with other alleged victims, Twohey told NBC, before the publication of She Said, a book detailing their investigation.
The women also told how the actress rang the journalists, as she hid in her bathroom when Weinstein turned up early at her house for a party she was hosting.
Twohey added, “Gwyneth Paltrow was one of Harvey’s biggest stars, he’d presented himself as a godfather to her. So many people will be surprised to discover that when so many other actresses were scared to tell the truth about what they’d experienced at his hands, Gwyneth was one of the first people to get on the phone and she was determined to help this investigation.”
The fact that Gwyneth was speaking out was worrying to Weinstein, Twohey said: “Harvey Weinstein was extremely aware and extremely scared about what the implications would be if his biggest star went on the record.”
After the story had broken, giving rise to the #MeToo movement, Paltrow’s involvement continued. The book’s epilogue details how some of the women who had accused Weinstein – including Ashley Judd and former Weinstein assistant Laura Madden – met in Paltrow’s home at the beginning of 2019 to discuss the aftermath of speaking out.
Harvey Weinstein still denies all allegations of nonconsensual sex.