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CBS’ former chairman and chief executive Les Moonves will not receive a $120 million severance package after an inquiry into alleged harassment and assault.

CBS said that Les Moonves misled the company over the allegations and failed to work with investigators, meaning ithad grounds to fire him.

Les Moonves stepped down in September following fresh claims he had harassed or assaulted six more women.

He said that the accusations made in The New Yorker magazine were untrue.

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In a statement, CBS said Les Moonveshad displayed “willful and material misfeasance” and failed to co-operate fully with the company’s investigation into the allegations against him.

CBS also said Les Moonves had had violated company policy and was in breach of his employment contract and as a consequence he would not receive any severance payment from the broadcaster.

At the time of Les Moonves’departure as chairman and chief executive at CBS, where he had worked for 23 years, CBS said it had set $120 million aside as possible payment for him pending an investigation.

Actress and writer Illeana Douglas, known for her roles in the filmsGoodfellas and Cape Fear, was oneof the first women to speak publicly about an alleged assault by Les Moonves.

In the first of two articles The New Yorker published on Les Moonves, Illeana Douglas said: “What happened to me was a sexual assault, and then I was fired for not participating.”

The article also said there was a culture of harassment at CBS.

Following an investigation by external law firms, the company said they had concluded “that harassment and retaliation are not pervasive at CBS”.

“However, the investigators learned of past incidents of improper and unprofessional conduct, and concluded that the company’s historical policies, practices and structures have not reflected a high institutional priority on preventing harassment and retaliation.”

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One of the accusers of Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein was told by police to delete any files from her phone that she wanted to keep private, prosecutors have admitted.

Assistant District Attorney Joan Illuzzi-Orbon said the complainant was told by a detective to “delete anything she did not want anyone to see”.

Harvey Weinstein’s lawyer said the development “undermines” the case.

He faces charges involving alleged assaults on two women. The Hollywood producer denies the charges.

Joan Illuzzi-Orbon wrote in a letter to Harvey Weinstein’s lawyer, Ben Brafman: “My office had asked Complainant 2 to produce any and all cell phones that she might have used during the time she interacted with the defendant.”

However, she adds that the woman said she was then advised to remove files “before providing the phones to our office”.

Despite this advice, the woman still provided the phones used to communicate with Harvey Weinstein “without any deletions”, Joan Illuzzi-Orbon said.

Ben Brafman later released a statement in response to the letter, saying the news “further undermines the integrity of an already deeply flawed indictment of Mr. Weinstein”.

The lawyer earlier requested that the entire case be dismissed.

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Last week a charge against Harvey Weinstein by actress Lucia Evans was dismissed by a judge in New York after she was said to have given a differing account of events.

Hervey Weinstein has been accused of assault by more than 70 women.

The accusations against the producer helped awaken the #MeToo movement, which has seen hundreds of women accusing high-profile men in business, government and entertainment of sexual abuse and harassment.

Harvey Weinstein, 66, has agreed to wear a GPS tracker and to surrender his passport.

The film mogul also faces additional investigations in Los Angeles and London, and by the US federal government.

Harvey Weinstein, who has been on $1 million bail since his arrest in May, denies having non-consensual contacts, his lawyers have previously said.

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According to recent reports, Harvey Weinstein is expected to surrender to New York police on May 25 on misconduct charges.

Harvey Weinstein faces arrest following a grand jury investigation, the reports say.

The Hollywood mogul has been hit with numerous allegations, including rape and assault, but has denied non-consensual relation with anyone.

It would be the first time Harvey Weinstein has been charged since the accusations emerged.

The allegations triggered the #MeToo movement which sought to demonstrate and draw attention to the widespread prevalence of abuse and harassment.

The charges will stem from an investigation made by a Manhattan grand jury. They have not been made official and the indictment depends on district attorney Cyrus Vance.

Image source Wikimedia

Annabella Sciorra Accuses Harvey Weinstein of Rape and Daryl Hannah Shares a Story

Natassia Malthe Accuses Harvey Weinstein of Raping Her after BAFTA Awards Ceremony

Harvey Weinstein’s Former Assistant Claims She Was Paid for Silence

According to a New York Times report, the charges relate to an allegation brought by actress Lucia Evans.

The actress detailed her accusations against Harvey Weinstein in an article in the New Yorker in October 2017.

It is not clear if the former producer will face more charges brought by other accusers.

It is known that New York police have been investigating allegations of rape made by actress Paz de la Huerta.

This month Netflix producer Alexandra Canosa files court papers in New York alleging Harvey Weinstein raped, assaulted and verbally abused her over a five-year period.

The statute of limitations will be an issue in some cases but it is not thought to apply in the Evans case. Even if the limitations apply, a judge could still call women to testify to establish a pattern of behavior, as in the recent trial of Bill Cosby.

Harvey Weinstein’s lawyer, Benjamin Brafman, has not commented on reports that his client will imminently turn himself in.

The Times said Harvey Weinstein would surrender on May 25 and be arraigned at Manhattan Criminal Court.

Harvey Weinstein has faced accusations of harassment and assault from dozens of women. Some have alleged rape.

Kate Beckinsale, Lysette Anthony and Gwyneth Paltrow are among the high-profile figures to have spoken out.

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New York Attorney General and #MeToo supporter Eric Schneiderman has announced his resignation following allegations of assault by four women.

The New Yorker magazine published a report quoting the women, two of them his ex-girlfriends, who accused the 63-year-old of hitting them.

Eric Schneiderman has been a vocal supporter of the #MeToo movement against harassment and a fierce opponent of President Donald Trump.

In a statement, Eric Schneiderman, who “strongly contests” the allegations, said: “In the privacy of intimate relationships, I have engaged in role-playing and other consensual s**ual activity.

“I have not assaulted anyone. I have never engaged in non-consensual s**, which is a line I would not cross.”

He also said: “While these allegations are unrelated to my professional conduct or the operations of the office, they will effectively prevent me from leading the office’s work at this critical time.”

Image source Wikimedia

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Eric Schneiderman became attorney general in 2010 and had intended to run for re-election to the post this year.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo had called for his resignation, following the reports.

The governor said: “No-one is above the law, including New York’s top legal officer.

“I do not believe it is possible for Eric Schneiderman to continue to serve as attorney general.”

Andrew Cuomo said he would ask a prosecutor to investigate the allegations.

One of the accusers, Michelle Manning Barish tweeted after the allegations were published: “After the most difficult month of my life – I spoke up.

“For my daughter and for all women. I could not remain silent and encourage other women to be brave for me.”

Jennifer Cunningham, Eric Schneiderman’s ex-wife, released a statement on May 7 saying: “I’ve known Eric for nearly 35 years as a husband, father, and friend… I find it impossible to believe these allegations are true.”

Last month, The New Yorker won a joint Pulitzer Prize with The New York Times for its reporting on harassment in Hollywood.

The reports brought down Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein, who has denied dozens of misconduct allegations.

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Bill Cosby has been found guilty of three counts of assault, each of which carries a potential 10 years in prison.

The 80-year-old actor has been on trial for drugging and assaulting ex-basketball player Andrea Constand 14 years ago.

Bill Cosby, the first major black actor on primetime TV, will remain out of jail until he is sentenced, the judge ruled.

Prosecutors argued he should be denied bail, arguing that he should be held because he is “somebody who has unlimited wealth” and could flee on a private plane.

Bill Cosby accuser Lili Bernard said outside the courthouse: “I feel like my faith in humanity is restored.”

“We are so happy that finally we can say, women are believed, and not only on #MeToo, but in a court of law,” lawyer Gloria Allred added.

It was the second time Bill Cosby had stood trial for the allegations, after an earlier jury failed to reach a verdict in June 2017.

At the start of the retrial in Pennsylvania it was revealed that Bill Cosby had paid Andrea Constand almost $3.4 million in a civil settlement in 2006.

Image source Wikimedia

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Bill Cosby is best known for starring in the 1980s TV series The Cosby Show.

Around 60 women over five decades have publicly accused Bill Cosby of being a predator. But statute of limitation laws mean that only one charge has been brought to trial.

Some of his accusers were present in court, and cried as the guilty verdict was returned.

Bill Cosby’s lawyer Tom Mesereau insisted “the fight is not over”, adding that he believes the actor is innocent and that he plans to file an appeal.

Montgomery County District Attorney Kevin Steele, who brought the charges against Bill Cosby, held a press conference after the verdict.

Kevin Steele said, as Andrea Constand stood beside him: “Money and power or who you are will not stop us from a criminal investigation and prosecuting a case.”

When the attack took place, Andrea Constand was working as director of operations for the women’s basketball team at Temple University, Philadelphia.

She told the court she had gone to the home of her then friend Bill Cosby, to discuss her resignation.

Andrea Constand said he had given her three blue pills to “help take the edge off,” which she believed to be a natural remedy.

Minutes later, she was suffering double vision and quickly lost consciousness.

She awoke to find Bill Cosby assaulting her, she said, adding that the drugs made her physically unable to fight back.

Andrea Constand reported the attack, but the district attorney refused to press charges. The case was reopened in 2015.

Judge Steven O’Neill allowed five of Bill Cosby’s other accusers to serve as “prior bad acts” witnesses during the trial, as the prosecution sought to establish a pattern of misconduct.

Heidi Thomas told the court that Bill Cosby served her spiked wine that made her drowsy for four days in 1984.

Former model Janice Dickinson was among those who testified, alleging that Bill Cosby drugged and raped her at a hotel in 1982, when she was 27 years old.

The case against Bill Cosby was one of the first celebrity assault trials conducted in the light of the #MeToo movement, which has raised awareness of alleged misconduct by a number of powerful media figures.

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Los Angeles prosecutors are reviewing a historical assault accusation against Kevin Spacey, officials confirmed on April 11.

Police have filed evidence about an allegation involving an incident with a man in West Hollywood in 1992.

More than 30 men have come forward with allegations of misconduct against Kevin Spacey in recent months.

The Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department said it began investigating the case in December, and presented it to the Los Angeles District Attorney office for review earlier this month.

No details of the allegation have been released.

It is unclear if California’s statute of limitations on prosecuting criminal assault, which is normally ten years, would apply.

Image source Flickr

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Kevin Spacey, 58, first became embroiled in controversy last November when actor Anthony Rapp accused him of assault in 1986 when he was 14 and Spacey was 26.

The Oscar-winning actor claimed to have no memory of the events, but publicly apologized. He has since issued an “absolute” denial of the other allegations that later emerged.

Meanwhile, London police are investigating three criminal cases against Kevin Spacey.

London’s Old Vic Theater, where Kevin Spacey was artistic director, has said it received 20 complaints of inappropriate behavior against him.

The controversy has led to Kevin Spacey being axed from a number of roles, including from Netflix series House of Cards and the 2017 movie All the Money in the World, which was re-shot without him.

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Monica Lewinsky has said her relationship with former President Bill Clinton constituted a “gross abuse of power” on his part.

The former White House intern was 22 when she became romantically involved with the then president, who was 27 years her senior.

Monica Lewinsky has written an article for Vanity Fair magazine, reflecting on events after the #MeToo movement.

She also revealed that she was diagnosed with PTSD after the scandal.

The condition was caused by being “publicly outed and ostracized” as the affair unraveled in the press and courts, Monica Lewinsky says.

News of Monica Lewinsky and Bill Clinton’s relationship dominated the US news agenda in 1998 and 1999, after the president initially denied it before admitting to “inappropriate intimate physical contact” with the former White House intern.

House Republicans then started impeachment proceedings against President Clinton, arguing he had lied to federal investigators. That effort eventually failed, and Bill Clinton remained in power until 2001.

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Monica Lewinsky, now 44, says she stands by her 2014 comments that their relationship was consensual, but muses about the “vast power differentials” that existed between the two.

She says she had “limited understanding of the consequences” at the time, and regrets the affair daily.

The former White House intern wrote: “The dictionary definition of “consent”? To give permission for something to happen.”

“And yet what did the ‘something’ mean in this instance, given the power dynamics, his position, and my age?…He was my boss. He was the most powerful man on the planet. He was 27 years my senior, with enough life experience to know better.”

In the Vanity Fair essay, Monica Lewinsky also discusses the growing movement of women publicly speaking out against harassment and assault.

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The state of New York is suing The Weinstein Company, alleging that the studio failed to protect staff from Harvey Weinstein.

Harvey Weinstein, 65, is facing dozens of allegations of abuse, including rape, but denies non-consensual acts.

The lawsuit filed by New York prosecutors alleges Harvey Weinstein abused female employees and made verbal threats to kill staff members.

However, Harvey Weinstein’s lawyer said a “fair investigation” would show that many of the allegations were without merit.

The Weinstein Company’s board of directors said it was “disappointed” by the lawsuit.

On February 11, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said that he had filed the suit against The Weinstein Company, as well as Harvey Weinstein and his brother Robert, who co-founded the studio.

Eric Schneiderman is seeking an unspecified sum to cover damages, plus penalties, for victims of alleged abuse by Harvey Weinstein.

The document alleges that Harvey Weinstein harassed and abused women employed by the studio for years.

It accuses senior executives at the company, including Robert Weinstein, of failing to prevent the mistreatment of staff despite being presented with evidence.

Image source Wikimedia

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The suit casts doubt over the sale of The Weinstein Company, which has been battling bankruptcy and is in talks with investors.

Eric Schneiderman said his investigation was continuing, but he had brought the suit out of concern that a possible sale would leave alleged victims without adequate compensation, and could benefit “perpetrators or enablers”.

It is reported that businesswoman Maria Contreras-Sweet has led talks to buy the studio for $500 million.

However, after news of the suit emerged, negotiations are now said to be on hold.

According to Variety, investors baulked at the prospect of the lawsuit adding conditions to the sale.

In October 2017, The New York Times published a story detailing decades of allegations of harassment against Harvey Weinstein.

Since then more than 50 women, among them some of the biggest names in Hollywood, have accused him assault, harassment, abuse and rape.

In the wake of the allegations, Harvey Weinstein was sacked by the board of his company.

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Hillary Clinton has admitted that she should have fired her adviser, Burns Strider, who was accused of harassment during her 2008 presidential campaign.

Burns Strider was initially docked pay and told to seek counseling but was later fired from a campaign group after again being accused of harassment.

He has not commented on the allegations.

Hillary Clinton posted the statement moments before President Donald Trump began his state of the union speech.

Her move has prompted some speculation that she was seeking to bury her apology in the storm of media coverage around the address.

According to New York Times, the 30-year-old woman who made the complaint shared an office with Burns Strider when it broke the story of the claims last week.

The report said that, according to three former campaign officials, she had told a campaign official that Burns Strider had rubbed her shoulders inappropriately, kissed her on the forehead and sent suggestive emails.

When the woman’s complaint was investigated, two advisers, including her campaign manager, recommended Burns Strider be fired, but instead Hillary Clinton moved her to a new role, while Strider stayed in place.

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#MeToo: Steve Wynn Resigns as RNC Finance Chair over Harassment Allegations

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The matter has raised questions about Hillary Clinton’s judgment and stated commitment to women’s advancement.

Hillary Clinton said in a statement posted on Facebook: “I’m being asked as to why I let an employee on my 2008 campaign keep his job despite his inappropriate workplace behavior.

“The short answer is this: If I had it to do again, I wouldn’t.”

The former presidential candidate says she understands the scrutiny of her decision to retain Burns Strider given her work to “support and empower women”.

Hillary Clinton then goes on to explain her reasoning in detail.

She decided to do so, she says, “because I didn’t think firing him was the best solution to the problem.

Hillary Clinton wrote: “He needed to be punished, change his behavior, and understand why his actions were wrong. The young woman needed to be able to thrive and feel safe.

“I thought both could happen without him losing his job.”

Hillary Clinton also says she has “reached out” to the woman in question: “The fact that [she] felt heard and supported reinforced my belief that the process worked – at least to a degree.”

However, she points out that the events took place long before the “seismic shift” in social attitudes towards harassment.

Burns Strider was Hillary Clinton’s faith adviser and has continued to send her scripture readings over recent years, the New York Times reported.

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Steve Wynn has resigned as finance chair of the Republican National Committee (RNC) amid harassment allegations.

A Wall Street Journal report on January 26 alleged that the 76-year-old casino mogul harassed massage therapists and abused one staff member.

Steve Wynn, the son of an East Coast bingo parlour operator, who is now worth an estimated $3.5 billion, according to Forbes magazine, has denied wrongdoing, calling the stories “preposterous”.

RNC chair Ronna McDaniel told media she had accepted his resignation.

Steve Wynn has blamed his ex-wife, whom he is fighting in court, for the “slander”. He has been locked in legal battles with his ex-wife, Elaine Wynn, for more than seven years. The pair co-founded Wynn Resorts.

According to the Wall Street Journal, which said it had interviewed dozens of people who worked with Steve Wynn, he is accused of engaging in a pattern of abuse in which he often harassed massage therapists while alone in his private office.

Image source Wikimedia

#MeToo: Casey Affleck Pulls Out of Oscars Following Harassment Allegations

#MeToo: Michael Douglas Accused of Harassment by Former Employee Susan Braudy

#MeToo: Catherine Deneuve Warns About New Puritanism Sparked by Harassment Scandals

The gambling industry giant paid $7.5 million to one manicurist who alleged she had been abused by Steve Wynn, the paper claims citing court documents.

Female employees would fake appointments in order to avoid seeing him, or enlist others to pretend to be their assistants in order to avoid being alone with him.

Some would even hide in bathrooms or closets if they heard Steve Wynn was coming to their salon, the paper claimed.

Steve Wynn is also a Republican Party donor and fundraiser.

After harassment allegations were made against Hollywood executive producer Harvey Weinstein in 2017, Ronna McDaniel and other leading Republicans called for the Democratic Party to return his donations.

Now some Democrats are asking if the same rules should apply regarding allegations against Steve Wynn.

The Democratic National Committee (DNC) has attacked the RNC for remaining silent.

Last year, Ronna McDaniel said in a statement: “If Democrats and the DNC truly stand up for women like they say they do, then returning this dirty money should be a no brainer.”

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Casey Affleck has decided to pull out of this year’s Academy Awards, his publicist has confirmed.

By tradition, Casey Affleck – who won best actor for Manchester By The Sea in 2017 – would have been expected to present the best actress award this year.

Ben Affleck’s brother was sued by two female crew members for alleged harassment in 2010.

The actor denies the allegations and the lawsuits were settled out of court.

An Oscars spokeswoman confirmed that Casey Affleck would not attend, saying: “We appreciate the decision to keep the focus on the show and on the great work of this year.”

Casey Affleck’s accusers, producer Amanda White and director of photography Magdalena Gorka, say they were harassed during the making of the mockumentary I’m Still Here, which Affleck directed.

Image source Wikimedia

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#MeToo: James Franco Accused of Inappropriate Behavior by Five Women

Amanda White claimed that Casey Affleck had refused to pay her salary because she would not spend the night in a hotel room with him.

Magdalena Gorka alleged that Casey Affleck, who was married at the time, had crawled into bed with her as she slept.

Casey Affleck’s lawyers argued that the allegations were part of a scheme to extort money from the actor.

The claims against Casey Affleck have drawn renewed attention in the months since abuse allegations were leveled against Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein.

The Weinstein allegations sparked the rise of the #MeToo hashtag, which inspired a global movement of women and men to share their stories of sexual abuse and harassment.

More than 300 actresses, writers and directors responded by launching Time’s Up – a project to help fight harassment in the film industry and other workplaces.

The initiative was announced via a full-page ad printed in the New York Times.

This year’s Oscars ceremony will take place on March 4 in Los Angeles.

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Michael Douglas has been accused of harassment more than a week after he issued a pre-emptive denial of the claims.

His former employee, author and journalist Susan Braudy, said the actor’s alleged treatment left her feeling “humiliated”.

Susan Braudy’ claims include that he performed an act in front of her.

Michael Douglas responded by saying: “This is a complete lie, fabrication, no truth in it whatsoever.”

The actor’s statement came 10 days before Susan Braudy’s allegations were published by The Hollywood Reporter.

Michael Douglas explained he “felt the need to get ahead” of the situation and share his concerns about the “nightmare” scenario.

Susan Braudy worked for Michael Douglas’s company Stonebridge Productions in the late 1980s.

She claims he used inappropriate language in front of her, including openly discussing extra-marital affairs, while she was running the company’s New York office.

Image source Wikimedia

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Susan Braudy also alleges that Michael Douglas commented about her body, which made her then wear loose, dark clothing.

“I realized he thought he could do anything he wanted because he was so much more powerful than I was,” she said, adding that she ran home and vowed to never be alone with him again.

Susan Braudy finished working for the actor in 1989.

Michael Douglas, who originally spoke to Deadline, said: “I pride myself on my reputation in this business, not to mention the long history of my father and everything else.

“I don’t have skeletons in my closet, or anyone else who’s coming out or saying this. I’m bewildered why, after 32 years, this is coming out, now.”

The actor also claimed there is no evidence against him and he feared that such accusations could set back the #MeToo movement that has grown in the wake of the Hollywood harassment scandal.

Michael Douglas said: “Being accused, without a chance [to defend yourself] in court. To not even really have the information in front of you, to be able to argue or defend yourself.

“There is no due process, no chance of seeing evidence in front of me from my accuser. It worries me.”

Susan Braudy told The Hollywood Reporter she was not surprised by the way Michael Douglas had issued his denial.

She claimed the manner in which he did so was “part of the problem, as is his pretext of victimization”.

Susan Braudy added: “These are some reasons why so many women don’t come forward with their stories – Lord knows it’s taken 30 years and a movement for me to gather my courage.”

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Mark Wahlberg has donated $1.5 million to the Time’s Up legal defense fund.

The move comes after it emerged that the actor was paid $1.5 million to reshoot scenes for All The Money in the World.

Mark Wahlberg’s female co-star, Michelle Williams, was paid $80 a day for the extra work.

Scenes had to be reshot after Kevin Spacey was removed from the completed movie following the allegations of assault and inappropriate behavior against him.

The Time’s Up legal defense fund will offer support to people who have experienced harassment, abuse or assault in the workplace.

The campaign is a movement against harassment that was founded at the start of January as a response to recent harassment allegations in the media, film, and broadcasting.

Image source Wikimedia

Kevin Spacey Erased from Completed Movie All the Money in the World

Kevin Spacey Fired from House of Cards

The issue of harassment and abuse has risen in prominence after allegations were made in 2017 against figures such as Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein and Kevin Spacey.

In December 2017, Time magazine named the “Silence Breakers” as its “Person of the Year”.

The “Silence Breakers” were women and men who spoke out against abuse and harassment.

In 2017, the #MeToo hashtag led to women and men from all walks of life opening up on social media about their experiences of these issues.

Last week, at the Golden Globes awards ceremony, stars such as Oprah Winfrey spoke candidly about the discrimination that women face.

The issue of the equal pay and a “gender pay gap” has become a prominent issue across many sectors in recent months.

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Actor James Franco has been accused of inappropriate behavior by five women, including students from his acting school.

Four of James Franco’s former students and an actress who said the actor was her mentor told the LA Times they were victims of “an abuse of power”.

The latest accusations come after claims against James Franco on social media following his best actor win at this year’s Golden Globe awards.

James Franco, 39, said the earlier allegations made on Twitter were “not accurate”.

On January 7, James Franco attended the Globes ceremony wearing a Time’s Up pin on his lapel, signaling his support for an initiative aimed at combating harassment in the film industry and other workplaces.

That prompted accusations of inappropriate behavior against him on Twitter from actresses Sarah Tither-Kaplan and Violet Paley.

On January 11, Sarah Tither-Kaplan told LA Times that James Franco participated in an “abuse of power” on film sets designed to create a “culture of exploiting non-celebrity women”.

Image source Wikimedia

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#MeToo: Catherine Deneuve Warns About New Puritanism Sparked by Harassment Scandals

#MeToo: Craig McLachlan Denies Harassment Allegations

James Franco taught a number of acting classes at two film schools opened in 2014, both named Studio 4.

His attorney, Michael Plonsker, told the LA Times that the actor disputes the allegations.

Actress Ally Sheedy was among those to question James Franco’s appearance at the Globes, where he won an award for his role in The Disaster Artist, which details the making of notorious 2003 film The Room.

Ally Sheedy posted a series of cryptic tweets during the ceremony, one of which asked: “Why is James Franco allowed in?”

“James Franco just won,” another of her now deleted posts read.

“Please never ever ask me why I left the film/tv business.”

Rose McGowan, a prominent campaigner against inappropriate behavior in the entertainment industry, said on Twitter that Hollywood had been “selectively deaf” about James Franco.

This year’s ceremony saw several winners address Hollywood’s abuse scandal in their acceptance speeches.

Many attendees opted to wear black to express solidarity with victims of abuse and harassment.

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In an open letter, Catherine Deneuve and other French women has said that men should be “free to hit on” women.

The veteran actress is one of 100 French women who wrote the letter, warning about a new “puritanism” sparked by recent harassment scandals.

The letter deplores a wave of “denunciations” after claims that Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein has raped or assaulted dozens of women.

Harvey Weinstein has denied all allegations of non-consensual contacts.

However, the mogul has admitted that his behavior has “caused a lot of pain”.

The letter by French women writers, performers and academics was published in France’s Le Monde newspaper on January 9.

The letter said: “Men have been punished summarily, forced out of their jobs when all they did was touch someone’s knee or try to steal a kiss.

“Rape is a crime, but trying to seduce someone, even persistently or clumsily, is not – and nor is men being gentlemanly a chauvinist attack.”

The authors argued that there was a new “puritanism” afoot in the world.

The signatories said that while it was legitimate and necessary to speak out against the abuse of power by some men, the constant denunciations have spiraled out of control.

Image source Wikimedia

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According to the writers, this is creating a public mood in which women are seen as powerless, as perpetual victims.

Catherine Deneuve is by far the most prominent of them.

The other 99 women who signed the document include some well-known figures, such as actress Christine Boisson; conservative journalist Élisabeth Lévy; talk-show host Brigitte Lahaie; Catherine Millet, a writer and magazine editor.

There are also lesser-known names from the worlds of entertainment, the arts, the media, and academia. Most of them, however, are professionals who are not known to the French public.

The letter has stirred debate in France. On January 10, a group of about 30 feminists issued a statement accusing Catherine Deneuve and her co-signatories of seeking to “close the lid” on the scandals uncovered by the Weinstein case, and of “pouring scorn” on victims of harassment.

On social media, many expressed either anger or sadness at the open letter.

The debate has mostly pitted those belonging to the older generation, who view #Metoo and similar campaigns as a threat to the liberation achieved in the 1960s, against younger, activist types who feel that the battle against harassment is the latest stage in the fight for women’s rights.

Catherine Deneuve, 74, is not known as an activist star. However, last year she spoke out against social media campaigns shaming men accused of harassing women.

Women and men from all over the globe who have been harassed have been sharing their stories across social media using the hashtag #MeToo.

In France, Twitter users are using #Balancetonporc (“rat on your dirty old man”) to encourage women to name and shame their attackers.

Catherine Deneuve, an Oscar-nominated actress, has been in more than 100 movies, making her debut in 1957.

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Craig McLachlan has denied allegations of harassment made against him by three women.

The accusations against the 52-year-old Australian actor concern his time performing in a 2014 production of the Rocky Horror Show.

Three cast members accused the former Neighbors actor of inappropriate touching and harassment.

Craig McLachlan stepped down from the Rocky Horror Show‘s current Australian run on January 8, but rejected the allegations as “entirely false”.

The actor wrote in response to allegations published by the Australian Broadcasting Corp: “Frankly, they seem to be simple inventions, perhaps made for financial reasons, perhaps to gain notoriety.”

The three actresses, Christie Whelan Browne, Erika Heynatz and Angela Scundi, said they had come forward to protect other cast members. Craig McLachlan had been reprising his role as Dr. Frank N. Furter in Adelaide.

The allegations, also published by Fairfax Media on January 8, include Craig McLachlan’s inappropriate behavior against Whelan Browne during a performance.

“I think people who know him know that he’s very generous, warm, funny… I saw a very different side come out in him which was terrifying,” Whelan Browne told the ABC.

Image source IMDb

#MeToo: Corey Lewandowski Accused of Assault

#MeToo: Anita Hill to Lead Hollywood Commission Against Harassment

Erika Heynatz, who played Magenta, said she was forcibly kissed by the actor, while Angela Scundi, a chorus member, said she was the subject of unwanted advances.

Two actresses raised concerns with the show’s senior producers but no action was taken, the reports said.

In a statement on January 8, the musical’s production company said it was “shocked” to learn of the accusations.

Gordon Frost Organization said in a statement: “In response, we have spoken to Craig and have mutually agreed that it is not appropriate for him to continue in the current production of the show.”

It said it would co-operate with authorities and conduct and internal investigation.

Craig McLachlan is a veteran of the Australian entertainment industry, having won Australia’s top TV award – the Gold Logie – and starred in programs including Home and Away and the Doctor Blake Mysteries.

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Anti-harassment speeches and powerful statements of unity have dominated this year’s Golden Globe awards.

It was the first major Hollywood awards ceremony since the film industry was hit by harassment scandals, with stars wearing black to honor victims.

Oprah Winfrey summed up the mood, saying “a new day is on the horizon” as she collected an honorary award at the 75th edition of Golden Globes.

The big winner of the night was Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, which took home four awards.

It won the best film drama award, with its star Frances McDormand also picking up a trophy for best actress.

Frances McDormand stars as a grieving mother who challenges police over the fact her daughter’s killer has not been found.

Big Little Lies won the most awards in the TV categories, including honors for its stars Nicole Kidman, Laura Dern and Alexander Skarsgard. It was also named best limited TV series.

Nicole Kidman won the first award of the night for her role as a victim of domestic violence.

She dedicated her win to her castmates, daughters and mother, saying: “Wow, the power of women.”

Image source Flickr

Time’s Up: Hollywood Stars Launch Initiative Against Harassment

Golden Globes 2018: Oprah Winfrey to Receive Cecil B DeMill Award

The Golden Globes are organized by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association and are seen as an indicator of which films are likely to do well at the Oscars, which take place on March 4.

The main focus on the night was on the current atmosphere in Hollywood and campaigns like Me Too and Time’s Up, which are focused on bringing about change for women not only in the entertainment industry but also around the world.

Many winners and presenters at the Beverly Hills ceremony addressed the ongoing scandal – with host Seth Meyers setting the tone with his opening monologue.

It was Oprah whose speech had the biggest reaction, with stars applauding and rising to their feet.

Speaking as she was awarded the honorary Cecil B. DeMille trophy – the first black woman to get the honor – Oprah Winfrey said: “Speaking your truth is the most powerful tool we all have.

“For too long, women have not been heard or believed if they dare speak the truth to the power of those men. But their time is up. Their time is up!”

The theme was echoed by Laura Dern, winner of a best supporting actress for Big Little Lies, who said: “Many of us were taught not to tattle.

“It was a culture of silencing, and that was normalized… May we teach our children that speaking out without the fear of retribution is our culture’s new North Star.”

Barbra Streisand used her presenting slot to express outrage that she remains the only woman to win the best director award at the ceremony – and that was back in 1984.

She said: “Folks, time’s up. We need more women directors and more women to be nominated for best director.”

More than 300 Hollywood A-list women, including actresses, writers and directors, have launched Time’s Up project to help fight harassment in the film industry and other workplaces.

The Time’s Up initiative was announced via a full-page advert printed in the New York Times.

The project is described as a “unified call for change from women in entertainment for women everywhere”.

It comes in the wake of abuse allegations by high-profile actresses against Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein.

In a solidarity letter published on its website, Time’s Up says the “struggle for women to break in, to rise up the ranks and to simply be heard” must end.

It added: “Time’s up on this impenetrable monopoly.”

The letter, which is aimed at “every woman… who has had to fend off s**ual advances”, goes on to say that such harassment can often continue because “perpetrators and employers never face any consequences”.

Image source Wikimedia

#MeToo: Anita Hill to Lead Hollywood Commission Against Harassment

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The Time’s Up campaign, which is backed by hundreds of actresses including Natalie Portman, Reese Witherspoon, Cate Blanchett, Eva Longoria and Emma Stone, has already raised more than $13 million of its $15 million target.

The funds raised will be used as legal support for both female and male victims of harassment at work.

The project is aimed primarily at those who are unable to meet the payments to defend themselves, such as agricultural or factory workers, caretakers and waitresses.

The Time’s Up initiative also calls for “gender inequality and the imbalance of power” to be addressed, stressing the need for more women to gain positions of authority and parity of pay.

Last month, Time magazine named “the Silence Breakers” – women and men who spoke out against abuse and harassment – as its “Person of the Year” for 2017.

2017 also saw the rise of the #MeToo hashtag, which inspired a global movement of women and men to share their stories of abuse and harassment.

The #MeToo hashtag gained momentum after actress Alyssa Milano took to Twitter to ask victims of assault to come forward in a show of solidarity.

Between October and December 2017, #MeToo was used on Twitter and Facebook more than six million times.

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President Donald Trump’s former campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, has been accused of assault by singer Joy Villa.

According to Joy Villa, Corey Lewandowski hit her twice on the backside during an event in Washington last month.

The singer told media she spoke to the police on Christmas Eve, having been persuaded to launch a formal complaint by friends.

Corey Lewandowski has not responded to media’s requests for comment.

The accusations are the latest in a long line of harassment and assault claims linked to celebrities, politicians and companies, which have gathered pace in the past year, particularly following the downfall of film producer Harvey Weinstein.

According to Associated Press, Joy Villa said: “I was initially fearful to come forward with this.”

She said she did not want to embarrass Corey Lewandowski’s family or hers.

Image source Wikimedia

Corey Lewandowski Out as Donald Trump’s Campaign Manager

Corey Lewandowski: Donald Trump’s Campaign Manager Charged with Assaulting Journalist

Joy Villa, who is a vocal Trump supporter and wore a “Make America Great Again” dress to the 2017 Grammy Awards, was at a gathering at Trump International Hotel when she posed for a photograph with Corey Lewandowski, whom, she says, she had never met before.

The singer alleges Corey Lewandowski hit her once on the buttocks, and when she asked him to stop and joked about reporting him for harassment, he did it again. She said he laughed, adding: “I work in the private sector.”

Joy Villa said the hard slaps felt “disgusting and shocking and demeaning”.

Politico first reported on the incident last week, saying they had talked to a witness who spoke out before Joy Villa did.

Joy Villa has previously said she is considering running for Congress – and President Donald Trump has tweeted his support.

Donald Trump fired Corey Lewandowski as campaign manager in June 2016.

Earlier last year, Corey Lewandowski was charged with battery after allegedly yanking a female reporter out of Donald Trump’s way after a campaign event. The charges were later dropped.

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Mira Sorvino said she is “heartsick” after learning she may have lost out on major roles because of Harvey Weinstein.

According to Lord of the Rings director Peter Jackson, both Mira Sorvino and Ashley Judd were “blacklisted” following conversations with Harvey Weinstein’s company.

Both actresses have claimed Harvey Weinstein harassed them.

Harvey Weinstein has denied allegations of misconduct, and of blacklisting the actresses.

The Lord of the Rings trilogy was initially in development with Weinstein’s Miramax company, before being passed to New Line Cinema.

In an interview with Stuff.co.nz this week, Peter Jackson said he was interested in casting both women in the blockbuster franchise.

He told the website: “I recall Miramax telling us they were a nightmare to work with and we should avoid them at all costs. This was probably in 1998.

“At the time, we had no reason to question what these guys were telling us.

“I now suspect we were fed false information about both of these talented women – and as a direct result their names were removed from our casting list.”

“In hindsight, I realize that this was very likely the Miramax smear campaign in full swing,” he said.

Mira Sorvino tweeted: “Just seeing this after I awoke, I burst out crying.”

“There it is, confirmation that Harvey Weinstein derailed my career, something I suspected but was unsure. Thank you Peter Jackson for being honest. I’m just heartsick.”

Image source Wikipedia

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Ashley Judd, meanwhile, recalled how her involvement progressed far enough to be invited by Jackson to see preparation work for the blockbuster trilogy.

She tweeted: “I remember this well.

“They asked which if the two roles I preferred, and then I abruptly never heard from them again. I appreciate the truth coming out.”

In a statement through a publicist, Harvey Weinstein denied the allegations that he was involved in blacklisting Mira Sorvino and Ashely Judd, saying that the casting for Lord of the Rings was carried out by New Line Cinema – not Miramax.

The statement said that Ashley Judd was cast in two other movies by Harvey Weinstein, and that “Sorvino was always considered for other films as well.”

Harvey Weinstein’s denial prompted Peter Jackson to write a further response, carried by Entertainment Weekly, calling it a “deflection from the truth”.

“In the 18 months we developed the Lord of the Rings at Miramax, we had many casting conversations with Harvey Weinstein, Bob Weinstein and their executives,” the director wrote.

“The movies changed hands from Miramax to New Line before casting actually got underway – but because we had been warned off Ashley and Mira by Miramax, and we were naive enough to assume we’d been told the truth, [we] did not raise their names in New Line casting conversations.”

Harvey Weinstein is the central figure of the Hollywood harassment scandal, in which dozens of actresses have accused him of misconduct.

Mira Sorvino and Ashley Judd were among the first women to publicly share her experiences of harassment from Harvey Weinstein back in October.

Harvey Weinstein  has “unequivocally denied” any allegations of non-consensual acts.

Kentucky House Republican Dan Johnson, who defiantly denied allegations that he assaulted a teenage girl in the basement of his home, died in an apparent suicide on December 13, the county coroner said.

According to Bullitt County Coroner Dave Billings, Dan Johnson, 57, died of a single gunshot wound on Greenwell Ford Road in Mount Washington, Kentucky.

Dave Billings said Dan Johnson stopped his car at the end of a bridge in a secluded area, then got out and walked to the front of the car. He said an autopsy is scheduled for December 14.

“I would say it is probably suicide,” he said.

Dan Johnson was elected to the state legislature in 2016, part of a wave of Republican victories that gave the GOP control of the Kentucky House of Representatives for the first time in nearly 100 years. He won his election despite Republican leaders urging him to drop out of the race after local media reported on some of his Facebook posts comparing Barack and Michelle Obama to monkeys.

Image source Fox News

The pastor of Heart of Fire church in Louisville, Dan Johnson sponsored a number of bills having to do with religious liberty and teaching the Bible in public schools.

He was mostly out of the spotlight until December 11, when the Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting published an account from a woman saying the pastor assaulted her in the basement of his home in 2013.

At the time, the woman told police, who investigated the incident but closed the case and did not file charges.

On December 12, Dan Johnson held a news conference in the pulpit of his church, which he began by leading friends and family in singing a portion of the Christmas carol O Come All Ye Faithful. The lawmaker said the allegations against him were “totally false” and said they were part of a nationwide strategy of defeating conservative Republicans. He referenced Republican Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore, who faces assault accusations from multiple women.

On December 13, shortly before 5PM, Dan Johnson posted a message on his Facebook page that asked people to care for his wife. He wrote that PTSD “is a sickness that will take my life, I cannot handle it any longer. It has won this life, BUT HEAVEN IS MY HOME.” The post appears to have been removed.

Arizona Representative Trent Franks has resigned amid an ethics investigation into claims he repeatedly asked female staff to be surrogate mothers.

The announcement came after a congressional panel said it was opening an inquiry into harassment allegations against Republican Trent Franks.

Trent Franks, 60, acknowledged discussing surrogacy with two female aides when he and his wife were facing infertility.

He is the third member of Congress to resign in three days.

One of Trent Franks’ former aides accuses him of offering her $5 million to act as a surrogate mother, repeatedly pressing her to carry his child, the Associated Press reports.

The woman told the AP that another female staff member had also been approached by the congressman about surrogacy.

One of the aides reportedly said Trent Franks retaliated against her after she turned down his alleged surrogacy requests by ignoring her and withholding assignments.

A spokesman for the eight-term congressman – who has a net worth of $33 million – would not comment on whether he had offered aides money to act as surrogates.

Image source Flickr

#MeToo: Senator Al Franken to Resign over Harassment Allegations

George HW Bush Accused of Inappropriately Touching a Woman When She Was 16

Trent Franks said on December 7 his resignation would take effect next month.

However, on December 8 he said he had decided to quit immediately after his wife was admitted to a Washington hospital “due to an ongoing ailment”.

The Republican acknowledged “my discussion of surrogacy with two previous female subordinates, making each feel uncomfortable.

“I deeply regret that my discussion of this option and process in the workplace caused distress.”

Trent Franks said he and his wife, Josephine, had used a surrogate to carry their two twins.

He stood down as the House of Representatives ethics committee opened an inquiry against him into a matter that constitutes harassment.

Republican Speaker of the House Paul Ryan said he had advised the congressman to stand down.

The ethics committee also announced on December 8 it was investigating Texas Republican Blake Farenthold amid claims of harassment against him by a former member of staff.

It was revealed last week that Blake Farenthold used $84,000 of taxpayer money to settle a harassment lawsuit with his former communications director.

Resignations of two Democratic lawmakers have shaken Washington this week.

Democratic congressman John Conyers announced on December 5 that he will step down after multiple aides accused him of harassment.

Hours before Trent Franks’ announcement, Minnesota Democratic Senator Al Franken said he too was resigning over claims of groping after several Democrats called on him to step down.

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Ari Behn, the former son-in-law of King Harald V of Norway, has accused Kevin Spacey of groping him after a Nobel Peace Prize concert.

The Norwegian author, who was married to King Harald’s daughter Martha Louise until 2016, told radio station P4 that it happened after Kevin Spacey had hosted the event in 2007.

“I am a generous person, but this was a bit more than I had in mind,” he said.

Kevin Spacey has been accused of abuse and harassment by a string of men and has been written out of House of Cards.

A spokesman for the Hollywood star said last month that he was “taking the time necessary to seek evaluation and treatment” in the wake of the allegations.

Image source Wikimedia

Kevin Spacey Scandal: Old Vic Has 20 Claims of Inappropriate Behavior Against Actor

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Recalling the alleged incident, Ari Behn said: “We had a great talk, he sat right beside me.

“After five minutes he said, <<hey, let’s go out and have a cigarette>>. Then he puts his hand under the table and grabs me by the b**ls.”

Ari Behn said he put Kevin Spacey off by telling him: “Er, maybe later.”

He added: “My hair was dark at the time, I was 10 years younger and right up his alley.”

Last month, the Old Vic theatre in London said it had received 20 personal testimonies of alleged inappropriate behavior by Kevin Spacey while he was artistic director there.

The actor and producer has faced other allegations too, with the claims leaving his career in ruins.

He has been removed from the sixth season of House of Cards, which will instead focus on his on-screen wife, played by Robin Wright.

Kevin Spacey has also been replaced by Christopher Plummer in the new Ridley Scott movie All the Money in the World.

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Bryan Singer has denied assault after being sued for allegedly raping a 17-year-old boy.

According to court documents revealed by Deadline, Cesar Sanchez-Guzman has alleged he was assaulted by the director on a yacht in 2003.

In a statement, a representative for Bryan Singer said the director “categorically denies these allegations”.

It comes in the same week that Bryan Singer was fired as director of the Queen biopic Bohemian Rhapsody.

According to the court filings, the alleged assault happened when Bryan Singer gave Cesar Sanchez-Guzman a tour of the boat.

Image source Flickr

Bryan Singer set to direct X-Men: Apocalypse

Cesar Sanchez-Guzman is seeking compensation for damages including “emotional distress, mental anguish, physical and mental pain and suffering, a decrease in his ability to enjoy life” as well as past and future medical expenses and legal costs.

Bryan Singer’s representative said: “Cesar Sanchez-Guzman apparently claims that he did not remember this alleged incident from 2003 until now.”

He added: “Bryan categorically denies these allegations and will vehemently defend this lawsuit to the very end.”

The representative said that, “once Bryan prevails”, he will pursue claims for malicious prosecution.

Bohemian Rhapsody production was suspended last week so Bryan Singer could deal with what his representative described as “a personal health matter concerning Bryan and his family”.

Days later, it emerged that Bryan Singer had been fired by Twentieth Century Fox for “unreliable behavior”, and has been replaced by Dexter Fletcher.

Senator Al Franken has said he is planning to quit “in the coming weeks” after string of harassment allegations.

He said from the Senate floor: “I am proud that during my time in the Senate that I have used my power to be a champion of women.”

The Minnesota Democratic senator’s speech came a day after nearly 30 Democrats called on him to resign.

Al Franken would be the most prominent lawmaker to resign amid a wave of misconduct claims against high-profile figures.

Meanwhile, the House of Representatives Ethics Committee launched harassment investigations into two Republican congressmen.

Trent Franks of Arizona announced he was resigning as the inquiry was announced.

The congressman acknowledged having made two female congressional aides “uncomfortable” by asking them about surrogacy when he and his wife faced infertility.

The committee also said it would investigate Blake Farenthold, who used $84,000 of taxpayers’ money to settle a harassment lawsuit with his former spokeswoman.

Image source Flickr

Senator Al Franken Accused of Assault

George HW Bush Accused of Inappropriately Touching a Woman When She Was 16

Kevin Spacey Scandal: Old Vic Has 20 Claims of Inappropriate Behavior Against Actor

Over in the Senate, Al Franken told his colleagues on December 7: “Today I am announcing that in the coming weeks I will be resigning as a member of the United States Senate.

“I may be resigning my seat but I am not giving up my voice.”

The former Saturday Night Live comic and two-term senator has apologized to several women who have accused him of groping and harassment, but he faced mounting pressure to step aside after a new allegation surfaced on December 6.

Al Franken said some of the claims against him “are simply are not true”, but added that women “deserve to be heard and their experiences taken seriously”.

The senator also referenced the harassment allegations that have been leveled against President Donald Trump and Republican Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore.

“I, of all people, am aware that there is some irony in the fact that I am leaving while a man who has bragged on tape about his history of sexual assault sits in the Oval Office, and a man who has repeatedly preyed on young girls campaigns for the Senate with the full support of his party.”

Al Franken is not the only politician to have found himself engulfed by harassment in recent weeks.

On December 5, Michigan Democrat John Conyers announced he would resign amid claims of harassment made by his congressional aides.

Seven women have come forward to accuse Roy Moore, a former Alabama Supreme Court judge, of inappropriate behavior decades ago.

Several Democratic female senators – including some who called for Al Franken’s resignation a day earlier – hugged the lawmaker after his speech.

Senator Bernie Sanders echoed Al Franken’s criticisms of President Donald Trump on Twitter.

He tweeted: “We have a president who acknowledged on tape that he assaulted women. I would hope that he pays attention to what’s going on and think about resigning.”

Fellow Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar thanked Al Franken on Facebook, calling him a “friend to me and many in our state”.

The decision to fill the vacancy left by Al Franken will fall to Democratic Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton, who said in a statement he has not determined who will replace him.