Tamron Hall got to know Harvey Weinstein in the wake of her NBC exit last February, building a friendship with the Hollywood producer and even signing a talk-show development deal with The Weinstein Company three months ago.
But as a longtime detractor of crimes against women, the 47-year-old journalist says she found the allegations of decades of sexual misconduct against Weinstein to be “horrifying” — and called him directly to tell him so.
“It’s a woman’s worst nightmare to be in a situation where you believe someone more powerful has control over your life,” Hall told the The Huffington Post on Tuesday, explaining that she was in her home state of Texas visiting Safe Haven Shelter for Women when she found out about the scandal. “I immediately thought about the women who have suffered in silence and were paralyzed by fear; fear that I’ve seen with domestic violence survivors; fear that I’ve seen when I interviewed women who were raped on their college campuses.”
In a bombshell New York Times report last week, eight women — including actress Ashley Judd — spoke out against Weinstein, accusing him of inappropriate behavior. The paper also reported that Weinstein reached private settlements with women including actress Rose McGowan.
Weinstein responded to the allegations in the report, saying he was working with a therapist to address his issues head-on. “I appreciate the way I’ve behaved with colleagues in the past has caused a lot of pain, and I sincerely apologize for it,” he said. “Though I’m trying to do better, I know I have a long way to go.”
His wife, Marchesa designer Georgina Chapman, has since announced she’s leaving him.
Though she admits she never witnessed any bad behavior from Weinstein first-hand, Hall said she still spoke to Weinstein the morning the news broke.
Speaking to him at 5 a.m., she confronted Weinstein with the allegations in a “take no prisoners” style, she told the HuffPo. She added that he apologized to her and told her he needs help.
Hall’s development deal with The Weinstein Company remains active.
“In light of new information about misconduct by Harvey Weinstein that has emerged in the past few days, the directors of The Weinstein Company — Robert Weinstein, Lance Maerov, Richard Koenigsberg and Tarak Ben Ammar — have determined, and have informed Harvey Weinstein, that his employment with The Weinstein Company is terminated, effective immediately,” the Weinstein Company said in a statement.
On Tuesday, a new expose in 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.
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.”
Gwyneth Paltrow and Angelina Jolie added their own accounts of alleged mistreatment — Paltrow told the NYT that Weinstein sexually harassed her in a hotel room when she was 22, and Jolie told the outlet that she had a “bad experience” with Weinstein in a hotel room during the release of Playing by Heart in the late ’90s.
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All of this remains a cause of concern for Hall, she told HuffPo.
“I spent the summer talking to young girls raped on their college campus. They don’t have money or access. They were yelling into the wind with no one listening,” Hall said, reflecting on the advocacy work she’s done in the wake of her sister Renate’s still-unsolved 2004 murder (She also hosts Investigation Discovery’s Deadline Crime, which chronicles stories of crimes against women).
“I hope today they are comforted by [Weinstein accusers] Ashley, Rose, Lauren, Asia, and Mira,” Hall added. “Women who from the outside have everything but inside behind the closed doors suffered in silence.”
On Tuesday multiple sources confirmed to PEOPLE that Weinstein plans to enter a residential treatment facility.