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Blythe Danner Defends Daughter Gwyneth Paltrow Amid Harvey Weinstein Backlash

Gwyneth Paltrow and Blythe Danner
Gwyneth Paltrow and Blythe Danner attend the 11th Annual Golden Heart Awards benefiting God's Love We Deliver on October 16, 2017 in New York City.Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images for Michael Kors

A mother’s love. Blythe Danner is coming to her daughter Gwyneth Paltrow’s defense after a New York Times columnist criticized the Iron Man actress for her sexual harassment allegations against Harvey Weinstein. Danner penned a letter to the editor in response to Maureen Dowd’s story, titled Harvey Weinstein, Hollywood’s Oldest Horror Story, which was published on Saturday, October 14.

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“I cannot remain silent while Maureen Dowd disparages my daughter, Gwyneth Paltrow, for the manner in which she chose to handle Harvey Weinstein’s attempt at a sexual encounter when she was 22,” the Meet the Parents actress wrote in her Tuesday, October 17, letter. “After her initial shock, Gwyneth left the room immediately, and, despite the fact that Mr. Weinstein threatened her if she ever spoke of what happened, she reported it to her agent and to her boyfriend at the time, Brad Pitt, who confronted Mr. Weinstein.”

Paltrow revealed to The New York Times in an interview published on Tuesday, October 10, that she was harassed by Weinstein while shooting Emma in 1996. Weinstein, now 65, allegedly summoned Paltrow to his hotel room at the Peninsula Beverly Hills for a meeting and suggested they give one another massages. “I was a kid, I was signed up, I was petrified,” Paltrow recalled. “I thought he was going to fire me. He screamed at me for a long time. It was brutal…I was expected to keep the secret.”

In her column, Down insinuated that Paltrow, now 45, willingly collaborated with the film producer’s advances and that she even defended him in an interview years after the incident allegedly occurred. Danner’s response? “Gwyneth did not ‘put aside her qualms to become ‘the first lady of Miramax’ back then, as Ms. Dowd would have it. She continued to hold her own and insist that Mr. Weinstein treat her with respect,” she wrote.

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Danner, 74, who has been acting in Hollywood for decades, shared that she recognizes how unfairly women are treated in the industry and hopes that the Weinstein allegations spark a change in all industries. “I suggest that the pundits stop casting aspersions on the women who have confronted unwanted sexual advances in the manner each sees fit and concentrate on the constructive ways to prevent this behavior in the future,” she concluded.

Gwyneth Paltrow and Harvey Weinstein
Gwyneth Paltrow and Harvey Weinstein at the 50th Anniversary Gala of the National Film Theatre on October 20, 2002 at The National Film Theatre, in London. Getty Images

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As previously reported, Weinstein flew to Arizona on Wednesday, October 11, to seek treatment for sex addiction and has denied all allegations made against him. “Any allegations of non-consensual sex are unequivocally denied by Mr. Weinstein,” his spokesperson Sallie Hofmeister said in a statement to Us Weekly. “Mr. Weinstein has further confirmed that there were never any acts of retaliation against any women for refusing his advances. Mr. Weinstein obviously can’t speak to anonymous allegations, but with respect to any women who have made allegations on the record, Mr. Weinstein believes that all of these relationships were consensual.”

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