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15th Oct 2017

Chilling video emerges of Courtney Love warning people about Harvey Weinstein over a decade ago

Back in 2005, the singer was asked if she had any advice for young women coming to Hollywood

Rich Cooper

As more victims bravely come forward, more questions will be asked over who knew about Harvey Weinstein’s alleged actions.

His character was well known – aggressive, bullying and extremely powerful – but the rumours around his preying on women were something of an open secret in Hollywood.

Some treated them as a joke, some as attempts to slight a powerful man in the movie business, but for others, they were deadly serious. Knowing what we know now, the ‘casting couch’ jokes about what an actress or actor might have to do to get to the top aren’t so funny now.

Back in 2005, singer Courtney Love was asked if she had any advice for young women moving to Hollywood for the first time. She pauses, looking a little on edge, before saying, “I’ll get libelled if I say it.”

“If Harvey Weinstein invites you to a private party at the Four Seasons, don’t go,” is her advice. It’s no wonder she was nervous about saying it; Weinstein had the power to crush careers if he chose to.

Indeed, she paid a price for it: major Hollywood talent agency CAA “eternally banned” Love for her advice, the singer said in a tweet.

That Love was so nervous about saying it, coupled with the fact that there were real-life ramifications for her as a result, it’s no surprise that victims didn’t feel able to speak out over Weinstein’s actions: he was simply too powerful.

The one glimmer of hope in all of this is that the inherently misogynistic culture embedded in Hollywood and other industries may get rooted out, but it will take the kind of courage displayed by both Love back in 2005 and the victims coming forward now to get there.