Gwyneth Paltrow gave a heartfelt message of thanks to a star-studded room at Variety’s Power of Women L.A. Luncheon on Friday. It marked her first major appearance since accusing powerhouse Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein of sexual harassment.
The actress, 45, took the stage at the intimate event (sponsored by Audi), where Michelle Pfeiffer, Kelly Clarkson, Octavia Spencer, Priyanka Chopra and Wonder Woman director Patty Jenkins were all honored.
“It’s really wonderful to be in a room with so many women who are making a difference and supporting the causes that mean the most to them,” Paltrow said before introducing Pfeiffer.
“As everybody said, it’s especially timely right now,” she added. “I feel very honored to be amongst you all and very honored, after many decades in this industry, to feel the support and coming together of everybody in this industry this week. So thank you very much.”
Paltrow is one of dozens of women who came forward this week to accuse Weinstein of sexual misconduct — including Cara Delevingne, Ashley Judd, and Angelina Jolie. The mother of two told the New York Times that the movie mogul made unwanted advances towards her in a hotel room when she was 22.
The encounter, which she said occurred after Weinstein hired her for the lead role in Emma, allegedly ended with him placing his hands on her and suggesting a massage. Paltrow’s then-boyfriend, Brad Pitt, then confronted Weinstein about the incident at a Hollywood party around 1995, a source told PEOPLE.
After the alleged confrontation, Paltrow told the Times that Weinstein called her and threatened her not to speak to anyone else about it. “I thought he was going to fire me,” she told the paper. “He screamed at me for a long time. It was brutal.”
Paltrow, who would go on to win a Best Actress Oscar in 1999 Shakespeare in Love, which was produced by Weinstein, “feels relieved and pleased to have spoken out,” said the source.
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Prior to Paltrow’s story, eight women spoke out against Weinstein in a bombshell New York Times report accusing the mogul of inappropriate behavior. The paper also reported that Weinstein reached private settlements with eight women, including actress Rose McGowan.
Following the initial report, Weinstein said in a statement that he was working with therapists and planned to “deal with this issue head-on.” He has since been fired from his powerhouse studio, The Weinstein Company, and his wife, Marchesa designer Georgina Chapman, has announced she’s leaving him.
“My heart breaks for all the women who have suffered tremendous pain because of these unforgivable actions. I have chosen to leave my husband. Caring for my young children is my first priority and I ask the media for privacy at this time,” Chapman said in a statement to PEOPLE.
On Tuesday, the The New Yorker revealed — among 13 different women’s accounts of alleged sexual harassment, assault or rape — that the mogul allegedly forcibly performed oral sex on Italian actress Asia Argento two decades ago. Actresses Mira Sorvino and Rosanna Arquette also claimed that after rejecting Weinstein’s unwanted advances, they were removed from or kept from being hired for projects.
In response to the lengthy allegations made against Weinstein in the New Yorker piece, a spokesperson for Weinstein said, “Any allegations of non-consensual sex are unequivocally denied by Mr. Weinstein.”
Paltrow, meanwhile, is keeping her family close. On Wednesday she posted selfie with her 13-year-old daughter Apple, writing a special message of support to her in honor of International Day of the Girl.
—With reporting by MELODY CHIU