At least 145 people told investigators about sexual misconduct by former Ohio State University sports doctor Richard Strauss, The Associated Press reported Thursday.
The law firm investigating the claims, Perkins Coie, has interviewed 355 people so far, and 145 of them have provided "firsthand accounts" of wrongdoing. Allegations against Strauss date between 1979 and 1997, involving male athletes from at least 16 different university sports, AP reports. Lawyers have interviewed university administrators, athletics department employees, and health center officials, among others, to piece together information about Strauss' alleged abuse over the decades.
The Department of Education is investigating Ohio State to determine whether the school handled athletes' complaints "promptly and equitably." Some former students say officials knew about the alleged abuse but didn't step in to stop it. Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) was once the assistant wrestling coach at the university, and several former wrestlers say he knew about the misconduct, which Jordan denies. Strauss died of suicide in 2005, but his family has said they want the investigation to continue to determine the truth. Read more at The Associated Press. Summer Meza
Actor Jimmy Bennett has accused actress Asia Argento of sexually assaulting him in 2013 when he was 17 and she was 37, and in a statement to The Hollywood Reporter on Wednesday, said he was too "ashamed and afraid" to speak out sooner.
The New York Times reported on Monday that after Bennett accused Argento of sexual assault, she agreed to pay him $380,000 over two years. Bennett told The Hollywood Reporter he "chose to handle it in private with the person who wronged me. My trauma resurfaced as she came out as a victim herself." In October 2017, Argento said she had been raped by disgraced producer Harvey Weinstein, and she became a vocal leader in the #MeToo movement.
Bennett and Argento first met in 2004, when he starred as her son in the film The Heart is Deceitful Above All Things. In his statement, Bennett said he "didn't think that people would understand the event that took place from the eyes of a teenage boy," and he believed there was "still a stigma to being in the situation as a male in our society." Argento has denied any wrongdoing, and said Bennett was "undergoing severe economic problems" when he "unexpectedly made an exorbitant request of money from me." She said it was her late boyfriend Anthony Bourdain's idea to pay Bennett off. Catherine Garcia
In November 2017, a month after The New Yorker published its bombshell exposé of Harvey Weinstein's alleged sexual predation, actor and musician Jimmy Bennett contacted one of Weinstein's accusers, Italian actress and director Asia Argento, through a lawyer, asking for $3.5 million in damages related to a traumatizing sexual encounter in 2013, The New York Times reports, citing documents related to legal a settlement. Argento agreed to pay Bennett $380,000 over two years. Bennett was 17 and Argento was 37 when they had sex in her hotel room in California, the documents say. The age of consent in California is 18.
After accusing Weinstein of raping her, Argento became a prominent voice in the #MeToo movement.
Bennett, who started acting at age 6, was cast as Argento's son in a 2004 movie, The Heart Is Deceitful Above All Things, when he was 7, and they stayed in intermittent contact. "Jimmy's impression of this situation was that a mother-son relationship had blossomed from their experience on set together," his lawyer, Gordon Sattro, wrote in the notice of intent to sue. The documents, including a May 2013 selfie of Argento and Bennett in bed, were sent to the Times by an unidentified party via encrypted emails.
The agreement did not include a nondisclosure clause, as California state law doesn't allow them and Argento declined to get around that by using a New York lawyer, "because you felt it was inconsistent with the public messages you've conveyed about the societal perils of nondisclosure agreements," her lawyer, Carrie Goldberg, wrote to Argento. "Bennett could theoretically tell people his claims against you," though "he is not permitted to bother you for more money, disparage you, or sue." Argento did not respond to numerous requests for a response, directly and through multiple representatives, the Times notes, and Bennett declined to be interviewed via his lawyer. Peter Weber
CBS is investigating allegations of sexual misconduct against CEO Leslie Moonves, after The Hollywood Reporter said a forthcoming article in The New Yorker would outline a pattern of inappropriate behavior from the executive.
The exposé is reportedly written by Ronan Farrow, who won a Pulitzer Prize for his investigation of disgraced movie mogul Harvey Weinstein. Moonves is reportedly accused of "unwanted kissing and touching." CBS shares fell by about 6 percent after the report foreshadowed further allegations, The New York Times reports.
"All allegations of personal misconduct are to be taken seriously," the network said in a statement. "Upon the conclusion of [an] investigation, which involves recently reported allegations that go back several decades, the Board will promptly review the findings and take appropriate action." Read more at The Hollywood Reporter. Summer Meza
Megyn Kelly wants the Miss America swimsuit competition reinstated, and she wants it reinstated now.
The NBC talk show host had a lot to say on her show Monday about the organization doing away with its traditional swimsuit competition, questioning whether Miss America's leadership would be able to survive the backlash for the controversial decision. "The reality is, no one is going to want to watch the pageant [without the swimsuit portion]," Kelly said.
Zerlina Maxwell, a guest panelist for the segment, staunchly disagreed with her host, arguing that doing away with pageants altogether may be the best option. Beauty pageants are "antiquated," Maxwell said, and people should be more concerned with what's inside women's "brains, not whether or not they have abs."
Kelly agreed that a woman's character is important, but argued that one's conduct and one's beauty need not be "mutually exclusive." She added that she finds it inspirational to see fit women, and disagreed that the swimsuit portion of the competition is mere objectification "if the woman wants it." When Maxwell pointed out that no one's obituary lauds their "great abs," Kelly joked, "I hope mine does!"
In June, the Miss America Organization announced it would eliminate the swimsuit competition for the first time in its 96-year history. Miss America chairwoman and Kelly's former Fox News colleague Gretchen Carlson spearheaded the initiative, saying that in order to move forward with our current "cultural revolution," the competition must step away from its origins as a swimsuit pageant to focus on the talent and interview portions.
Watch the discussion on Kelly's show below. Amari Pollard
Kevin Spacey's House of Cards co-star Robin Wright publicly commented on the sexual misconduct allegations against him for the first time Monday in a Today appearance discussing the show's upcoming season.
"I think we were all surprised of course, and ultimately saddened" by the accusations against Spacey, Wright said, but she added that she was not personally close to Spacey outside of work. "We were coworkers, really. Never socialized outside of work. Respectful, professional relationship," Wright explained. "I didn't know the man," she continued. "I knew the incredible craftsman that he is."
Wright said her own experience with Spacey was always professional, and that is all she feels she has "the right to talk about." Spacey has been accused of sexual misconduct by multiple men, and eight House of Cards staffers said Spacey exhibited sexually "predatory" behavior on set. The sixth and final season of the show, filmed without Spacey, is due this fall. Bonnie Kristian
A.J. Baker, the adult son of Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker (R), has been accused of sexual assault by a woman who shared a flight with him Wednesday.
"On June 20, the crew of flight 1354 were notified of an incident between customers shortly before landing in Boston," said the airline, JetBlue. "The aircraft landed at approximately 11 p.m. local time where it was met by local authorities."
The "matter is being handled by the U.S. Attorney's Office," said Massachusetts State Police. Baker's attorneys said he "is fully cooperating and looks forward to a resolution of this matter." Bonnie Kristian
Disgraced Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein pleaded not guilty to three counts of sexual assault Tuesday, CNN reports.
Weinstein was previously indicted on two charges of rape and one charge of a criminal sex act. His prosecution has been highly scrutinized, after dozens of women came forward to accuse Weinstein of sexual misconduct and harassment. Weinstein has continually denied all allegations, saying any sexual contact was consensual.
The former movie mogul was released on $1 million bail and has been monitored by authorities. He is now facing felony charges stemming from two women's allegations — one who said Weinstein forced her to perform oral sex in his Manhattan office in 2004, and another who said Weinstein raped her in 2013 at a Manhattan hotel. The grand jury that indicted Weinstein is still considering additional evidence and could add charges, reports The New York Times. Summer Meza