An Ongoing List Of Powerful, Famous Men Who Have Been Accused Of Sexual Harassment Or Assault

It was only last month when the The New York Times broke the story of (in)famous Hollywood producer and media mogul Harvey Weinstein, and detailed nearly three decades of sexual assault and harassment accusations against Weinstein by several women. In addition, the article included multiple accounts of settlements between Weinstein and accusers throughout those three decades.

Since women began to come forward with their accusations against Weinstein, other victims — both men and women from from Hollywood and other industries — have come forward with their accusations about other sexual predators, including actor Kevin Spacey and politician and U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore.

But with all of these victims now coming forward with their heartbreaking stories, it has led to us questioning the culture around sexual assault. Even more, though, since the sexual predators that have been accused appear to be individuals of privileged and powerful positions, is there a link between power and sexual assault and harassment?

According to a recently released study, titled “Sexual Aggression When Power is New: Effects of Acute Power on Chronically Low-Power Individuals,” which Psychology Today reports was inspired by previous research on the topic of power and sexual assault, explains that when individuals are interested in sex, specifically casual sex, and they are given more power, their belief that those inferior to them are sexually interested in them actually increases.

This new study illustrates that newly felt authority increases harassment tendies. Melissa Williams, Deborah Gruenfeld and Lucia Guillory, the authors of the study, say that for those individuals in which “power is compensating for some inadequacy,” they are more likely to abuse their power for sexual advantage. Lauren O’Connor, in a memo addressing sexual misconduct by Weinstein, wrote to executives at the Weinstein Company, “There is a toxic environment for women at this company.” “I am a 28 year old woman trying to make a living and a career. Harvey Weinstein is a 64 year old, world famous man and this is his company. The balance of power is me: 0, Harvey Weinstein: 10,” O’Connor added. Furthermore, when the researchers studied men who were given more power, they tended to “respond with increased hostile sexism” to a woman who rejected their advances. This research only furthers the idea that those in positions of power are more likely to view subordinates as objects, rather than human beings.

But despite all of this, it hasn’t stopped recently accused predators from questioning and damaging the credibility of their accusers. For example, Moore recently took to Twitter to defend himself against the accusations of sexual misconduct, according to The Huffington Post, and ended up attacking the credibility of his accuser. “To think that grown women would wait 40 years... to bring charges is absolutely unbelievable,” Moore said.

It, however, is actually not that “unbelievable” to see victims wait months, years or even decades to be able to come forward with their story and name their abuser. But why? It’s because of the culture surrounding sexual assault and how our society has a tendency to cast the shame and guilt on the victim. As the author of the HuffPost article points out, abusers often attack the victim’s credibility, just like Moore did, and, victims sadly have to see how victims are often portrayed in the media after they share their story.

Furthermore, as the author points out, victims are often inundated with questions rather than support when they do come forward, such as Moore’s “Why did it take so long to speak out?” question, and these questions can be very difficult for the victim and end up hurting them even more. But even more so, as we have seen with perpetrators such as Weinstein, a lot of victims are still in contact with their abusers in some way, such as still having to work together, and this itself can make victims feel trapped, and thus they don’t feel as capable of speaking out.

However, when victims find out that the perpetrator has has other victims and those victims start to speak out (though this is not the only reason for victims wanting to speak out), knowing that they are not alone in this emotionally distressing experience, they are more comfortable in coming forward with their story since they are more likely to be heard and believed. And this is exactly what we have been seeing, especially in all of the #MeToo stories that have been shared on social media; victims have been able to so bravely come forward, and more importantly, it has lead to a paradigm shift: ensuring that perpetrators are held accountable for their actions.

As long as we, as a society, keep supporting victims through movements such as #MeToo, it will change the sexual assault and harassment culture. And to do that, we must also keep calling out the perpetrators. And with that, here is an ongoing list of some of the powerful, famous men who have been accused of sexual harassment and/or assault.

Harvey Weinstein

In early October, The New York Times broke a story detailing Weinstein’s alleged sexual harassment against numerous women, including actresses Ashley Judd, Gwyneth Paltrow, Rose McGowan and Angelina Jolie. According to USA Today, the accusations range from requests for or offerings of massages to rape. Weinstein has denied all of the allegations, but 80 women have now accused Weinstein of inappropriate or criminal behavior. Weinstein was ultimately fired from the Weinstein Company, and his wife, Georgina Chapman, filed for a divorce, CNN reports.

Kevin Spacey

Actor Anthony Rapp revealed that Spacey allegedly made sexual advances at a party in 1986; Rapp was 14 at the time, and Spacey was 26. According to People Magazine, Rapp told People, “I came forward with my story, standing on the shoulders of the many courageous women and men who have been speaking out, to shine a light and hopefully make a difference, as they have done for me.”

Rapp, according to CNN, said that Spacey picked him up and put him on a bed, and then proceeded to lay down on top of him. According to USA Today, Spacey has now been accused by 15 individuals for sexual harassment, assault, or attempted rape. Spacey had released a statement apologizing for his actions, although he did not recall the event, and was later criticized for coming out as a gay man in his apology statement. Even though the decision was made prior to the accusations, Netflix announced that season six of House of Cards, which Spacey plays a lead character in, was going to be its final season; however, Netflix ended up releasing a statement that it would be parting ways with Spacey, TV Line reports. “Netflix will not be involved with any further production of House of Cards that includes Kevin Spacey,” a Netflix spokesperson said in a statement.

Louis C.K.

According to a recent New York Times article, five women have accused Louis C.K. of sexual misconduct. Comedians Dana Min Goodman and Julia Wolov spoke out about a night in 2002 when, after a comedy show, Louis C.K. invited them back to him room for a drink to celebrate the show; after arriving at this room, Goodman and Wolov said that he proceeded to remove his clothes and began masturbating in front of them. Other women have since spoken out, saying that the comedian either asked to masturbate in front of them, or actually did.

Since Louis C.K. often joked about masturbation in his shows, the once public jokes have now been exposed as horrifying private acts. The comedian later released a statement, saying that the stories are true, and that he had “wielded his power irresponsibly,” The New York Times reports.  

Roy Moore

The Washington Post released a report which included interviews with several women who all allege that Moore inappropriately engaged with them when they were teens and Moore was in his 30s. According to CNN, one of women said she was only 14 years old when Moore tried to make sexual contact with her. Since the report, more women have come forward with accusations against Moore, including a woman who accused Moore of sexually assaulting her when she was only 16.

Moore, to this day, has continuously denied any misconduct. According to CNN, politicians on Capitol Hill have called on Moore to remove himself from the Senate race. If Moore does not resign from the race and is elected to the Senate, Senators have toyed with the idea of expelling Moore.

Mark Schwahn

In a joint statement, 18 actors and crew members who worked with Schwahn on the television series One Tree Hill came forward with accusations of sexual harassment, CNN reports. In their letter, they wrote that “many of [them] were, to varying degrees, manipulated psychologically and emotionally by Schwahn.”

Alexandra Park, who stars in Schwahn’s recent show The Royals, released a statement on Twitter saying that she had “been exposed to Schwahn’s reprehensible behavior,” CNN reports. Schwahn has now been suspended from The Royals. “E!, Universal Cable Productions and Lionsgate Television take sexual harassment allegations very seriously, investigate them thoroughly and independently, and take appropriate action. Lionsgate has suspended Mark Schwahn from 'The Royals' as we continue our investigation,” the companies said in a joint statement.

Al Franken

Los Angeles radio host Leeann Tweeden recently accused Senator Al Franken of forcibly kissing and groping her during a USO tour in 2006, ABC News reports. Tweeden alleged that Franken kissed her without her consent during the rehearsal of a skit to entertain U.S. troops in Afghanistan, and also posted a photo on Twitter in which it appears that Franken is groping her while she was asleep on a military plane. According to ABC News, it was Representative Jackie Speier’s account of sexual assault when she was a congressional aide that ultimately moved Tweeden to share her story.

Franken has since apologized for his actions, and during an interview on The View, Tweeden shared a letter that Franken sent to her. “It says, ‘Dear Leeann, I want to apologize to you personally. I don't know what was in my head when I took that picture. But that doesn't matter. There's no excuse. I understand why you can feel violated by that photo. I remember that rehearsal differently. But what's important is the impact on you and you felt violated by my actions, and for that I apologize. I have tremendous respect for your work for the USO. And I am ashamed that my actions ruined that experience for you. I am so sorry. Sincerely Al Franken.'” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell called for an ethics investigation into the accusations against Franken, and Franken said he would cooperate with the investigation, ABC News reports.

George Takei

The Star Trek star was accused by Scott R. Brunton, a former actor and model, of groping him and trying to remove his underwear after passing out while drinking at Takei’s home in Los Angeles 40 years ago, CNN reports. Brunton said he saw Takei again at a booking signing in 1994, where Takei signed a copy of his book for Brunton and gave him home address.

However, Takei has denied the allegations in a series of tweets, saying he was “shocked and bewildered” and that the “events [Brunton] describes back in the 1980s simply did not occur.”

Charlie Rose

The Washington Post dropped a bombshell report on November 20 that TV host and journalist Charlie Rose had allegedly harassed at least eight women who spoke with the paper. 

The women, several of whom spoke on-the-record with the Washington Post, were each employees (or aspiring colleagues) of Rose between the 1990s and 2011 and were between the ages of 21 and 37 when the incidents occurred. The women told the paper that Rose would engage in behaviors like putting a hand on their upper thighs or legs (as though to "gauge their reactions"),  two said that he came out of the shower, naked in front of them while they were working from Rose's house or traveling with him and another said that he groped her at a work party. 

One woman, Reah Bravo, who interned and later worked as an associate producer at Rose's show in the late-2000s said that Rose would harass her and make advances on her.  

“It has taken 10 years and a fierce moment of cultural reckoning for me to understand these moments for what they were. He was a sexual predator, and I was his victim," Bravo said.

Rose has since posted an apology on his Twitter, emphasizing that he's "learned a great deal as a result of these events."

CBS, PBS and Bloomberg, which each broadcasted programs featuring Rose, have reportedly suspended him from their networks following the allegations, according to Reuters.

Matt Lauer

On Wednesday November 29, NBC News announced that their longtime anchor Matt Lauer had been fired for engaging in "inappropriate sexual behavior in the workplace" after another employee submitted a "detailed complaint" on Monday night.

In a memo from NBC News Chairman Andy Lack, he stated that "While it is the first complaint about [Lauer's] behavior in the over twenty years he's been at NBC News, we were also presented with reason to believe this may not have been an isolated incident." His termination also came ahead of a more detailed report on allegations against Lauer from Variety that was published Wednesday afternoon 

According to Variety's report, Lauer — while serving as co-host of "Today" — had multiple incidents of sexual misconduct. He reportedly gave one co-worker a sexy toy as a present with an "explicit note," he dropped his pants "showing [another employee] his penis" and "reprimanded her" when she declined to engage in sexual acts with him and also allegedly quizzed women he worked with about who they'd had sex with and objectified co-hosts with crude "fuck, marry, kill" games at work. 

Among other disturbing details, Variety reports that he outfitted his secluded, private office with a button under his desk that would let him lock his door from the inside without getting up (which women who were allegedly harassed by Lauer said allowed him to make advances without interruption). 

Her Campus will continue to update this story as more develops.