News broke in October 2017 that Harvey Weinstein had sexually assaulted and harassed women in Hollywood for decades. Actors Ashley Judd and Rose McGowan went on the record with The New York Times describing what he'd done to them. Five days later, on October 10, Ronan Farrow's tell-all piece on Weinstein's lengthy history of abuse came out in The New Yorker, which added Mira Sorvino and Asia Argento, Italian actor and filmmaker, to the list of famous victims.
In the end, nearly 90 women came forward to confirm that they'd been sexually assaulted or harassed by Weinstein, and many of them had been paid off in a pattern of behavior that lasted throughout his Hollywood tenure. Weinstein and his spokespeople were working to do damage control after the articles were published, and they were fielding requests for comments from the media about the various accusations of wrongdoing.
One such allegation was that Weinstein had groped Jennifer Aniston. It turned out to be a rumor and nothing was published with that claim. But, when he heard about the potential of an Aniston accusation, Weinstein chillingly replied with, "Jen Aniston should be killed," (via Variety).
If you or anyone you know has been a victim of sexual assault, help is available. Visit the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network website or contact RAINN's National Helpline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).
According to The Hollywood Reporter, in October 2017, the National Enquirer was planning to publish a story about Harvey Weinstein inappropriately touching Jennifer Aniston while she was working on the 2005 film "Derailed," and they wanted a response from Weinstein's team. An email was forwarded to him, asking if he'd heard about it and laying out the planned story about how Aniston had reportedly told a friend that Weinstein had made her uncomfortable by pressing against her and staring at her chest.
They were also going to include the quote, "Harvey was infatuated with Jennifer Aniston — He had a massive crush on her and constantly talked about how hot she was." That last part is apparently what prompted Weinstein's disturbing comment about Aniston. The National Enquirer never published the story. And, once news of what Weinstein wrote about Aniston was made public, her publicist, Stephen Huvane, told Variety: "The National Enquirer claims are false. Jennifer has not been harassed or assaulted by Harvey."
The emails were included in hundreds of pages of documents related to Weinstein's sex crimes case that were unsealed shortly before his March 2020 sentencing in New York City. Weinstein has since been convicted of rape and sexual assault in both New York and Los Angeles. He has maintained his innocence, and Weinstein's appeal resulted in an uproar on Twitter.
As it turns out, Harvey Weinstein couldn't have assaulted Jennifer Aniston. While the TV icon did work on "Derailed" with Weinstein, Stephen Huvane, Aniston's publicist, clarified that the disgraced producer "never got close enough to her to touch her. [Aniston] has never been alone with him," per The New York Times. "Derailed" was actually the first movie released by The Weinstein Company, which Harvey co-founded with his brother, Bob Weinstein, and emails between the once-close siblings were a key part of the 1,000 pages of unsealed court documents that contained the Aniston email.
Notably, in one of them, Bob decried Harvey as a "sexual predator," as reported by Variety at the time. While Aniston, thankfully, wasn't sexually harassed by Weinstein, she does have some complaints about him. The "Friends" star described Weinstein, in an interview with Variety, as conducting himself with, "a level of gross entitlement and piggish behavior." Aniston also told the story of how he tried to bully her into wearing a gown by Marchesa, a fashion line his then-wife had recently launched, to the "Derailed" premiere (Aniston didn't wear a Marchesa dress in the end).
The Weinstein news helped propel the Me Too movement against sexual abuse and rape culture into a worldwide conversation. #MeToo was used extensively online to help show the widespread problem of sexual assault and abuse, and several big stars wore black to the 2018 Golden Globes in support of, and to spread awareness about, the movement.