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The Weinstein ripple effect: Famous men accused of sexual harassment and assault

Key Points
  • Allegations against Harvey Weinstein have set off a ripple effect, empowering people who say they also were victims to come forward with stories of abuse by people in power.
  • Here is a list of some of those accused.
Harvey Weinstein
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For nearly three decades, Hollywood film producer Harvey Weinstein faced allegations of sexual harassment and unwanted physical contact, The New York Times reported on Oct. 5.

More than three dozen women have since publicly accused the entertainment mogul of abuse.

"I appreciate the way I've behaved with colleagues in the past has caused a lot of pain, and I sincerely apologize for it," Weinstein told the Times.

Spike network is also investigating reports of sexual harassment by Harvey Weinstein's brother, Bob Weinstein, against the female showrunner of a series produced by The Weinstein Co. that aired on the network. Weinstein's lawyer Bert Fields denied the allegations in a statement to Deadline.

These allegations have set off a ripple effect, empowering people who say they also were victims to come forward with stories of abuse by people in power.

Here are some of those accused:

Television host Charlie Rose

Charlie Rose
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In a Washington Post article on Monday, eight women accused Charlie Rose, host of interview program "Charlie Rose" on PBS and Bloomberg and co-host of "CBS This Morning," of making sexual advances toward them between the late 1990s and 2011.

The women, all employees or aspiring employees of Rose, were between 21 and 37 years old at the time. The accounts include allegations that Rose made lewd phone calls to them, walked around naked in their presence and groped them.

"I have behaved insensitively at times, and I accept responsibility for that, though I do not believe that all of these allegations are accurate. I always felt that I was pursuing shared feelings, even though I now realize I was mistaken," Rose said in a statement Monday.

CBS fired the host Tuesday.

Rose had also been a contributing correspondent to CBS' "60 Minutes."

"Despite Charlie's important journalistic contribution to our news division, there is absolutely nothing more important, in this or any organization, than ensuring a safe, professional workplace," the company said in an internal memo.

PBS and Bloomberg LP immediately suspended distribution of the "Charlie Rose" show, which Rose produces independently, on Monday following the publication of the Post article.

Bloomberg said: "We are deeply disturbed to learn of these allegations and are immediately suspending the show from airing on Bloomberg TV and Radio."

"PBS was shocked to learn today of these deeply disturbing allegations," the public broadcaster said in a statement.

On Tuesday afternoon, PBS spokeswoman Jennifer Byrne confirmed that PBS will no longer distribute Rose's show.

"In light of yesterday's revelations, PBS has terminated its relationship with Charlie Rose and cancelled distribution of his programs. PBS expects all the producers we work with to provide a workplace where people feel safe and are treated with dignity and respect," Byrne said in a statement Tuesday.

Comedian Louis C.K.

Louis C.K. performs at The Theater at Madison Square Garden last year.
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Five women have accused comedian Louis C.K. of masturbating or attempting to masturbate in front of them.

In one instance, reported in a New York Times article on Nov. 9, comedians Dana Min Goodman and Julia Wolov recalled that C.K. invited them to his hotel room after their show in 2002. There, he took off all his clothes and pleasured himself.

"We were paralyzed," Goodman told the Times.

In a statement released Nov. 10, C.K. confirmed the victims' claims.

"These stories are true. ... I have been remorseful of my actions. And I've tried to learn from them. And run from them. ... I have spent my long and lucky career talking and saying anything I want. I will now step back and take a long time to listen," he wrote.

"I Love You, Daddy," a film starring, directed, produced and written by the comedian and scheduled for release last week was dropped by its production company, The Orchard.

"The Orchard will not be moving forward with the release of 'I Love You, Daddy,'" the company said in a statement Nov. 10.

Meanwhile, Netflix announced it will not produce the second stand-up special in C.K.'s two-project deal with the service.

"Louis's unprofessional and inappropriate behavior with female colleagues has led us to decide not to produce a second stand up special, as had been planned," a spokeswoman for Netflix said Nov. 10.

Film director Brett Ratner

Director Brett Ratner
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Six women, including actress Olivia Munn, have accused Hollywood filmmaker Brett Ratner of sexual harassment or misconduct.

One accuser, actress and model Natasha Henstridge, appeared Wednesday on NBC's "Megyn Kelly Today." She alleges that Ratner forced her to perform a sex act on him in the early 1990s when she was 19.

"I was alone there with him and tried to leave. … He blocked the door and didn't let me leave. It got really scary from there," she told Kelly.

Ratner's attorney, Martin Singer, denied all of the accusations on his client's behalf.

"I have represented Mr. Ratner for two decades, and no woman has ever made a claim against him for sexual misconduct or sexual harassment," Singer said in a 10-page letter to the Los Angeles Times, where the six accusations first surfaced on Nov. 1. "Furthermore, no woman has ever requested or received any financial settlement from my client."

In September 2013, Ratner's motion picture company, RatPac Entertainment, formed a film investment vehicle that entered a multiyear 75-film co-financing partnership with Warner Bros.

In a statement on Nov. 1, Ratner said:

"In light of the allegations being made, I am choosing to personally step away from all Warner Bros.- related activities. I don't want to have any possible negative impact to the studio until these personal issues are resolved."

Warner Brothers declined to comment to CNBC.

Although RatPac was set to produce "Wonder Woman 2" in the summer, Ratner will no longer be a part of the film, according to actress Gal Gadot, who plays the eponymous character.

"Everyone knew what was the right thing to do," Gadot said Nov. 15 on NBC's "Today" show in regard to rumors that she and others on the production wanted Ratner out.

Actor Kevin Spacey

Kevin Spacey attends the Build Series to discuss his new play 'Clarence Darrow' at Build Studio on May 24, 2017 in New York City.
Daniel Zuchnik | WireImage | Getty Images

Oscar and Tony Award-winning actor Kevin Spacey has been accused of making a sexual advance toward actor Anthony Rapp who was 14 at the time, Buzzfeed reported on Oct. 29.

According to the report, following a party at Spacey's apartment in 1986, the "House of Cards" star and executive producer allegedly picked Rapp up, placed him on his bed, and climbed on top of him, making a sexual advance.

In a statement on Twitter, Spacey wrote that he did not remember the encounter.

"But if I did behave then as he describes, I owe him the sincerest apology for what would have been deeply inappropriate drunken behavior…"

Spacey concluded his statement by revealing that he has previously loved and had "romantic encounters" with men and chooses now "to live as a gay man."

Following Rapp's account, several other men, including eight people who worked on "House of Cards," have accused the actor of sexual harassment or assault.

"Kevin Spacey is taking the time necessary to seek evaluation and treatment," representative Staci Wolfe said in a statement to Variety. "No other information is available at this time."

Wolfe has since dropped Spacey as a client, she confirmed to CNBC. The actor's agency, CAA, also parted ways with him, according to a Buzzfeed report.

On Nov. 3, a Netflix spokesperson released the following statement:

"Netflix will not be involved with any further production of 'House of Cards' that includes Kevin Spacey. We will continue to work with [production company] MRC [Media Rights Capital] during this hiatus time to evaluate our path forward as it relates to the show. We have also decided we will not be moving forward with the release of the film 'Gore,' which was in post-production, starring and produced by Kevin Spacey."

NPR senior vice president of news Michael Oreskes

Mike Oreskes in a March, 2015 file photo.
Chuck Zoeller | AP

Two women said Michael Oreskes, who was until Wednesday senior vice president of news at National Public Radio, suddenly kissed them when they were discussing job prospects with him. The separate alleged events occurred in the late 1990s when he was Washington bureau chief of The New York Times, they said.

A third accuser, Rebecca Hersher, who currently works at NPR, said she filed a complaint about him to the company's human resources department in October 2015, according to an Oct. 31 NPR report.

Hersher was a producer on the radio program "Weekend All Things Considered" when Oreskes reportedly "hijacked a career counseling session into a three-hour-long dinner that delved into deeply personal territory," according to the report.

"I am deeply sorry to the people I hurt," Oreskes wrote in an internal memo, according to CNN. "My behavior was wrong and inexcusable, and I accept full responsibility."

"To my colleagues, I am grateful for every minute I've had to work with each of you. NPR has an important job to do. Public radio matters so much and I will always be your supporter."

Oreskes stepped down from the media company last week.

"We take these kinds of allegations very seriously," an NPR spokesperson said. "If a concern is raised, we review the matter promptly and take appropriate steps to assure a safe, comfortable and productive work environment."

Literary editor Leon Wieseltier

Leon Wieseltier, Literary Editor at The New Republic.
Teresa Kroeger | Getty Images

A former editor at The New Republic, Leon Wieseltier, has been accused of sexual harassment by several women who once worked at the magazine.

Some of the women said Wieseltier kissed them on the mouth; others said he shared details of his sex life and asked about their own intimate relations, according to a New York Times report released Oct. 24.

In an emailed statement to the Times, Wieseltier wrote:

"For my offenses against some of my colleagues in the past I offer a shaken apology and ask for their forgiveness. The women with whom I worked are smart and good people. I am ashamed to know that I made any of them feel demeaned and disrespected."

The prominent editor had planned to unveil a new magazine, backed by the Emerson Collective, this week. However, the organization, which was founded and is run by investor and philanthropist Laurene Powell Jobs, decided to terminate the project.

"Upon receiving information related to past inappropriate workplace conduct, Emerson Collective ended its business relationship with Leon Wieseltier, including a journal planned for publication under his editorial direction," the organization said in a statement on Tuesday. "The production and distribution of the journal has been suspended."

The Emerson Collective declined to comment further to CNBC.

Brookings Institution, where Wieseltier was a senior fellow, fired him on Wednesday, according to Buzzfeed.

"One of my most important responsibilities is to ensure a professional and respectful environment for every member of our community," Brookings President Strobe Talbott said in a memo, Buzzfeed reported. "We will not condone or tolerate harassment. The behavior Leon acknowledged runs counter to the policies, culture, and values that are central to our enterprise."

Journalist Mark Halperin

Mark Halperin
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Veteran journalist Mark Halperin has been accused of sexually harassing five women while working at ABC, according to a CNN report published last week.

"During this period, I did pursue relationships with women that I worked with, including some junior to me," Halperin said in a statement to CNN Wednesday night. "I now understand from these accounts that my behavior was inappropriate and caused others pain. For that, I am deeply sorry and I apologize."

A spokesperson for Halperin declined to comment further to CNBC.

Halperin joined NBC News and MSNBC in March but was fired Monday.

"We find the story and the allegations very troubling," said an NBC News and MSNBC spokesperson.

In a statement to CNN, ABC News said: "Mark left ABC News over a decade ago, and no complaints were filed during his tenure."

Amazon Studios chief Roy Price

Roy Price, director for Amazon Studios.
Peter Foley | Bloomberg | Getty Images

"The Man in the High Castle" producer Isa Hackett accused former Amazon executive Roy Price of making lewd comments toward her and propositioning her while she was promoting the show in 2015, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Price was placed on a leave of absence for five days before he resigned on Oct. 17.

CNBC could not immediately reach Price for comment; Amazon did not respond to calls for comment.

Silicon Valley VC Robert Scoble

Tech blogger Robert Scoble.
Niall Carson | PA Images | Getty Images

Journalist Quinn Norton accused technology evangelist Robert Scoble of touching her inappropriately at an event in the early 2010s.

"I felt one hand on my breast and his arm reaching around and grabbing my butt," she wrote in a blog post on Oct. 19.

Michelle Greer, who worked with Scoble at Rackspace, said he also groped her at a tech conference in 2010, Buzzfeed reported the same day.

Several other women have since come forward to TechCrunch reporting similar assaults.

"Each of the women who have come forward used grains of truth to sell false narrative," Scoble wrote Wednesday in a lengthy blog post.

"I apologize to women in general that I could have been a better man and husband," he added.

Scoble resigned on Oct. 22 from the Transformation Group, an augmented reality consulting firm he co-founded.

"While my heart goes out to him [Scoble], it goes out more deeply to the women he has mistreated, and to his three children and particularly to his wife," the group's co-founder, Shel Israel, wrote in a blog post seen by CNBC on Oct. 25 but now deleted.

Nickelodeon producer Chris Savino

Executive producer Chris Savino.
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Chris Savino, creator of the animated series "The Loud House," has been accused of sexual harassment by up to 12 women, according to the website Cartoon Brew.

Savino reportedly engaged in unwanted sexual advances, explicit text messages, threats of industry blacklisting after the end of consensual relationships with co-workers, and offers of work in exchange for sexual favors, according to the report.

On Facebook, Savino wrote on Oct. 23 that he's "deeply sorry" and "ashamed" that his words and actions "created an uncomfortable environment," which he says was unintentional.

In an internal memo, Cyma Zarghami, president of Viacom's Nickelodeon group, promised employees they would be safe if they spoke up. "In the current climate, it feels necessary to say that if you should encounter an uncomfortable situation at work, or witness one, you are safe to speak up," she wrote, according to Variety.

Nickelodeon said on Oct. 19 that Savino's employment has been terminated.

Vox Media's editorial director Lockhart Steele

Lockhart Steele
Hal Horowitz | WireImage | Haute Magazine

Lockhart Steele, former editorial director at Vox Media, was accused of sexual harassment by a former employee.

According to the Awl, the accuser is web developer Eden Rohatensky. She wrote an Oct. 12 blog post on Medium detailing her accounts of sexual assault at a company she no longer works for but did not specifically identify Vox Media.

"Lock admitted engaging in conduct that is inconsistent with our core values and will not be tolerated at Vox Media. Our investigation into issues raised by a former employee in a post on Medium continues," the CEO wrote to employees in a company Slack channel, according to the Awl.

Steele's employment has since been terminated.

CNBC could not immediately reach him for comment, and Vox did not return calls for comment.

Fidelity stockpicker Gavin Baker

A Fidelity Investments branch.
Nicholas Pfosi | The Boston Globe | Getty Images

Gavin Baker, a former well-known stockpicker at the mutual-fund giant Fidelity Investments, was fired last month for allegedly sexually harassing a junior female employee, The Wall Street Journal reported Oct. 12, citing an attorney for the female employee and other people familiar with the matter.

Other junior employees also have complained to superiors about harassment by Baker, the Journal reported.

A spokesman for Baker said he "strenuously" denies any "supposed" allegations of sexual harassment, according to the report.

"Fidelity's policies specifically prohibit harassment in any form. When allegations of these sorts are brought to our attention, we investigate them immediately and take prompt and appropriate action," Vincent Loporchio, senior vice president of corporate communications, told CNBC.

Celebrity photographer Terry Richardson

Photographer Terry Richardson.
Michael Stewart | GC Images

Celebrity photographer Terry Richardson has been blacklisted from working with Condé Nast — which publishes magazines such as Vogue, GQ, Glamour and Vanity Fair — amid years of allegations of misconduct during photo shoots. The media company declined to provide further comment to CNBC.

One of these alleged cases occurred in 2014 to a writer and stylist named Anna.

She shared details about her experience on website Jezebel.

A representative for Richardson released a statement to E! News following the ban saying: "He is an artist who has been known for his sexually explicit work so many of his professional interactions with subjects were sexual and explicit in nature but all of the subjects of his work participated consensually."

Celebrity chef John Besh

Chef John Besh
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New Orleans celebrity chef John Besh was accused by 25 current and former female employees of fostering an environment that encourages sexual harassment, according to an investigation published the weekend of Oct. 20 by The Times-Picayune and NOLA.com.

The accounts included inappropriate touching and comments by several of the company's male employees and managers, some of whom tried to leverage their power for sex.

The restaurateur stepped down from the company he founded on Oct. 23.

"Two years ago, I deeply hurt those I love by thoughtlessly engaging in a consensual relationship with one member of my team... . [I] sincerely apologize to anyone past and present who has worked for me who found my behavior as unacceptable as I do," Besh wrote in a statement to The Times-Picayune.

A statement from Raymond Landry, Besh Restaurant Group's general counsel, was also published:

"We have learned recently that a number of women in our company feel that we have not had a clear mechanism in place to allow them to voice concerns about receiving the respect they deserve on the job. I want to assure all of our employees that if even a single person feels this way, it is one person too many and that ends now."

Filmmaker James Toback

James Toback
Franco Origlia | Getty Images

More than 35 women have come forward to accuse Hollywood director and screenwriter James Toback of sexual harassment, the Los Angeles Times reported on Oct. 22.

Toback told the Times that he had not met any of the accusers, or that if he did, it "was for five minutes and [I] have no recollection."

Within two days of publication, 200 additional women contacted the paper, recalling similar encounters with Toback, the Times reported.

Toback's agent, Jeff Berg, terminated his relationship with the filmmaker. Northside Services, Berg's Los Angeles firm, declined to provide further comment to CNBC.

Defy Media's senior vice president of content Andy Signore

Andy Signore
Albert L. Ortega | WireImage

Andy Signore, creator of Screen Junkies and the "Honest Trailers" parodies, was accused of sexual harassment by YouTuber April Dawn, in addition to former intern Emma Bowers.

In early October, Bowers took to Twitter to detail explicit comments that Signore allegedly made, specifically that he masturbates to photos of her.

One day later, Dawn also used Twitter to reveal that Signore reportedly tried to assault her multiple times.

Signore was fired by the digital media company on Oct. 8.

"We at Defy Media have no tolerance for harassment or retaliation of any kind," the company said in a statement, according to the Hollywood Reporter. "We have been conducting a thorough investigation into allegations made against Andy Signore and are preparing to respond to those allegations and take appropriate action."

CNBC could not immediately reach Signore for comment.

Fox News host Bill O'Reilly

Television host Bill O'Reilly
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Former Fox News anchor Bill O'Reilly's contract was renewed despite his $32 million settlement of a sexual harassment lawsuit against him by legal analyst and Fox contributor Lis Wiehl.

O'Reilly was granted a four-year contract extension in February that would pay him $25 million a year, according to a report in The New York Times. Documents seen by the newspaper suggested that Rupert Murdoch and his sons, James and Lachlan, senior executives at 21st Century Fox, decided in January to keep O'Reilly as host despite the allegations.

In a statement to the Times, 21st Century Fox said it was not privy to the amount of O'Reilly's settlement and regarded it as a personal issue.

O'Reilly subsequently lost his job in April. His talent agency, United Talent Agency, dropped him as a client on Oct. 23, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

"I have been in the broadcast business for 43 years with 12 different companies," O'Reilly told former Fox host Glenn Beck on Beck's radio program on Oct. 23, "and not one time was there any complaint filed against me. Nothing. Zero. So I think my track record speaks for itself."

— The Associated Press, Reuters, and CNBC's Lucy Handley contributed to this report.

Disclosure: CNBC parent NBCUniversal is an investor in Vox Media and Buzzfeed. NBCUniversal is also parent to NBC News and MSNBC.