Hollywood is reeling as allegations continue to surface about Oscar-winning producer Harvey Weinstein, the subject of scorching New York Times and New Yorker reports detailing decades of rape, sexual assault and sexual misconduct accusations.
Here's what you need to know about the movie mogul and the disturbing claims made against him.
Q: Who is Harvey Weinstein?
A: Weinstein, 65, has a seemingly endless list of credits to his name, including Pulp Fiction, The English Patient, Good Will Hunting, Silver Linings Playbook and Django Unchained. Gangs of New York earned him a best picture Oscar nomination, a category he won in 1999 with Shakespeare in Love.
With his younger brother, Bob Weinstein, 62, he founded distribution company Miramax in 1979, which Disney acquired in 1993 for $80 million, according to The New York Times. The brothers started The Weinstein Company in 2005.
Weinstein also has political ties. He hosted a fundraising dinner for Hillary Clinton in 2016, and Malia Obama completed an internship with his company this past year.
He has been married to Georgina Chapman, co-founder of the high-end fashion label Marchesa, since 2007. They have two children together: India Pearl, 7, and Dashiell, 4.
In an interview published Thursday, Weinstein told the New York Post his wife is standing "100 percent behind me."
"Georgina and I have talked about this at length. We went out with (civil-right attorney) Lisa Bloom last night when we knew the article was coming out," Weinstein said. "Georgina will be with Lisa and others kicking my (expletive) to be a better human being and to apologize to people for my bad behavior, to say I’m sorry, and to absolutely mean it."
Bloom has since resigned as Weinstein's adviser.
Q: How did the allegations surface?
A: On Oct. 5, The New York Times published a piece in which authors Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey reported that they had learned of legal settlements with at least eight women.
Many of Weinstein's accusers have been young female employees of his production companies, the Times reports. However, they also include actress Ashley Judd, who says Weinstein invited her to his Beverly Hills hotel room for a breakfast meeting some 20 years ago and then suggested he give her a massage or she watch him shower.
Other allegations from the Times report include:
In 2014, Weinstein invited Emily Nestor, who had worked just one day as a temporary employee, to a hotel. He told her that if she accepted his sexual advances, he would boost her career
In 2015, a female assistant said Weinstein badgered her into giving him a massage while he was naked, leaving her “crying and very distraught."
Also in 2015, Italian model Ambra Battilana called the police to report that Weinstein had groped her after inviting her to his New York office to discuss her acting prospects. The Manhattan District Attorney's office did not press charges though in an audio recording, Weinstein seemingly admitted to groping her. She reportedly reached a settlement with Weinstein.
Journalist Lauren Sivan also recounted an incident with Weinstein she says happened a decade ago to HuffPost. Sivan said that Weinstein cornered her in a restaurant and when she rejected his advances, he masturbated in front of her.
Q: How has Weinstein responded?
A: Weinstein issued a statement to the Times in which he attempted to explain his behavior. "I came of age in the ‘60s and ‘70s, when all the rules about behavior and workplaces were different," it reads. "That was the culture then."
His apology continued: "I have since learned it’s not an excuse, in the office — or out of it. To anyone. I realized some time ago that I needed to be a better person, and my interactions with the people I work with have changed.
"I appreciate the way I’ve behaved with colleagues in the past has caused a lot of pain, and I sincerely apologize for it."
In a statement to USA TODAY, Weinstein's attorney, Charles J. Harder, responded to the Times report. "The New York Times published today a story that is saturated with false and defamatory statements about Harvey Weinstein," he said. "It relies on mostly hearsay accounts and a faulty report, apparently stolen from an employee personnel file, which has been debunked by 9 different eyewitnesses.
"We sent the Times the facts and evidence, but they ignored it and rushed to publish. We are preparing the lawsuit now. All proceeds will be donated to women’s organizations."
Times spokeswoman Danielle Rhoades Ha told USA TODAY, “We are confident in the accuracy of our reporting. Mr. Weinstein was aware and able to respond to specific allegations in our story before publication. In fact, we published his response in full.”
Q: What has happened since the news broke?
A: Since The New York Times report, The Weinstein Company has ousted Weinstein from his own company.
Weinstein Company representative Nicole Quenqua sent a statement Sunday to USA TODAY from TWC's board of representatives: "In light of new information about misconduct by Harvey Weinstein that has emerged in the past few days, the directors of The Weinstein Company … have determined, and have informed Harvey Weinstein, that his employment with The Weinstein Company is terminated, effective immediately."
Before this decision, Weinstein began an "indefinite" leave of absence as the board ran a "thorough" investigation into the sexual allegations against him.
On Tuesday, The New Yorker published its own investigative report on Weinstein, which details accusations of rape and sexual assault. The piece, written by Ronan Farrow, includes accounts from three women who say the producer forced them to perform or receive oral sex and forced vaginal sex, as well as four women who told The New Yorker that they experienced unwanted touching that could be classified as assault.
Q: How is Hollywood responding?
A: Lin-Manuel Miranda, Glenn Close, Kate Winslet, Meryl Streep and Judi Dench are just a few of the stars speaking out against Weinstein.
Jessica Chastain, Emmy Rossum, Michael Keaton, Mark Ruffalo and Judd Apatow also shared their criticism.
Designer Donna Karan ignited a Twitter storm Monday with her comments defending Weinstein. In a statement to the Associated Press Monday, she apologized for her remarks and said they were taken out of context.
Q: Why is this such a big deal?
A: The reports are significant because they deal with sexual harassment. The power and influence Weinstein had as a media mogul with a career spanning decades makes the accusations even more astounding. The whisper networks that kept women informed about Weinstein’s inappropriate behavior illustrate how difficult it can be for women to speak out in situations like these.
Q: What's next?
A: Last week, the mogul penned a letter to Hollywood bigwigs pleading for his job, but that attempt was DOA. With allegations of sexual assault and rape now joining the fray, the question becomes how exposed Weinstein is to lawsuits across the U.S. and potentially, Europe.
Chief Assistant District Attorney Karen Friedman-Agnifilo said in a statement provided to USA TODAY, that "while the recording is horrifying to listen to, what emerged from the audio was insufficient to prove a crime under New York law, which requires prosecutors to establish criminal intent."
She continued: "Subsequent investigative steps undertaken in order to establish intent were not successful. This, coupled with other proof issues, meant that there was no choice but to conclude the investigation without criminal charges."
Meanwhile, The Weinstein Company is already workshopping a rebrand and scrubbing his name from its walls, having called major TV networks this week to assure Weinstein's name would be taken off credits of shows like Project Runway and the upcoming Taylor Kitsch limited series, Waco.
Contributing: Andrea Mandell, Cara Kelly and Jayme Deerwester
Harvey Weinstein's opulent Hollywood career