Georgina Chapman, estranged wife of Harvey Weinstein, speaks out for the first time after his sexual assault allegations
In October, an avalanche of sexual misconduct allegations against Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein began. In the months since, dozens of women have come forward with stories about being abused by Weinstein. But there was one person who had yet to speak out: his estranged wife, Georgina Chapman.
That changed, as Chapman sat for an emotional interview with Vogue, published Thursday. The 42-year-old designer and Marchesa owner opened up about her feelings of shock and betrayal, saying, "There was a part of me that was terribly naive — clearly, so naive." Chapman was "shocked" by the allegations against her husband, she said, adding: "I have moments of rage, I have moments of confusion, I have moments of disbelief!"
Chapman told the magazine that in particular, a big part of her grieving process has been mourning for her two children, 7-year-old India and 5-year-old Dashiell. They adore their father, the designer said, and she worries about what terrible things people will say to them about Weinstein — who despite it all, Chapman said, is an incredible father.
For five months, Chapman refused to be seen in public because she didn't think it was appropriate. "I thought, 'Who am I to be parading around with all of this going on?' It's still so very, very raw." In January, she canceled Marchesa's runway show for its fall 2018 collection and decided to stop offering clothes for awards season because she "didn't feel it was appropriate, given the situation."
But that didn't stop people from supporting Chapman and her work. Scarlett Johansson wore a Marchesa gown to the Met Gala on Monday, and two days later, Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour guest-starred on Stephen Colbert's late-night show and showed her support for Chapman. "Georgina is a brilliant designer, and I don't think that she should be blamed for her husband's behavior,” Wintour told Colbert.
Members of the Trump administration are growing increasingly paranoid about an alleged, unproven theory that the FBI planted "evidence" of the 2016 campaign's ties to Russia as a fail-safe in case Hillary Clinton lost the election, Vanity Fair's Gabriel Sherman reports. "The guy who will end up burning in all this is [former CIA director] John Brennan," said President Trump's close ally, Roger Stone. "If I were him I'd break the capsule and swallow it now. That psychopath is going down."
Trump has demanded that the Justice Department look into whether Obama administration officials coordinated surveillance of his campaign for political reasons, although reports on the matter said there was no evidence that an informant was ever embedded in the campaign, as Trump has repeatedly suggested. On Wednesday, Trump stoked the rumors, tweeting: "Look how things have turned around on the Criminal Deep State. They go after Phony Collusion with Russia, a made up Scam, and end up getting caught in a major SPY scandal the likes of which this country may never have seen before!"
Retiring Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) says President Trump offered him, and he declined, the U.S. ambassadorship to Australia, lending some credence to a report Monday in the The Australian Financial Review that Trump was considering a high-profile senator to assuage the bruised feelings in Canberra that Trump had switched his nominee for ambassador to Australia, Adm. Harry Harris, to the South Korea portfolio. Along with Corker, the Financial Review named Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) and Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) as possible consolation prizes.
"I had a number of conversations with both President Trump and (Secretary of State Mike) Pompeo," Corker told The Tennessean. "At the end of the day though ... it just felt like it wasn't the right step." Hatch said through a spokesman that he isn't interested, either. The 84-year-old senator is looking forward to "a well-deserved retirement filled with early bird specials at all-you-can-eat buffets and long walks through Costco," Hatch spokesman Matt Whitlock said Tuesday. That leaves Flake — though given his frosty relationship with Trump, it seems unlikely Trump would offer him such a plum job. Peter Weber
The Washington Post has documented more than 3,000 false or misleading claims President Trump has made during his time in office, but that hasn't stopped him from frequently attacking news organizations as "fake" and "failing," even as he apparently revels in their attention. 60 Minutes correspondent Lesley Stahl asked Trump about his frequent press-bashing before her interview with him right after the 2016 election, she explained at the Deadline Club Awards in New York on Monday. His answer stuck with her.
Stahl's 13 Emmys didn't prevent Trump from attacking the press, even though there were no cameras on and it was just Stahl and her boss in Trump's office, she explained to PBS NewsHour's Judy Woodruff and the audience. "I said, you know that is getting tired, why are you doing this? You're doing it over and over and it's boring. ... He said, 'You know why I do it? I do it to discredit you all and demean you all, so when you write negative stories about me no one will believe you.' He said that. So put that in your head for a minute." You can watch her comments and the rest of their conversation below. Peter Weber
Prominent Southern Baptist leader Paige Patterson was retired by Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary amid #MeToo furor
On Wednesday, after 13 hours of meeting behind closed doors, the trustees of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas, removed prominent Southern Baptist leader Paige Patterson as president "for the benefit of the future mission of the seminary." Patterson, 75, is at the center of what's being described as a #MeToo moment in the Southern Baptist Convention, America's largest Protestant body. Earlier this month, two recordings emerged of Patterson, one from 2000 in which he talked about counseling a woman being physically abused to stay in the relationship and pray for her "abusive husband," and another, from 2014, in which he discussed a 16-year-old girl in a biblically and morally questionable manner.
The recordings prompted more than 1,400 Southern Baptist women to call for Patterson's resignation, and on Tuesday, The Washington Post reported that Patterson had urged one woman in 2003 to forgive the man who raped her, a fellow student at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, and told her not to report the incident to police, before suspending her for two years.
Kevin Ueckert, chairman of the Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary board, said the trustees had decided to appoint D. Jeffrey Bingham, dean of the seminary's school of theology, as interim president and "appoint Dr. Patterson as president emeritus with compensation, effective immediately." Patters and his wife will also be allowed to retire on campus, on the grounds of the near-complete Baptist Heritage Library, as offered last September.
Washington University's R. Marie Griffith called Patterson's ouster a "turning point moment" for Southern Baptists. "The tide has shifted so strongly on these issues of sexual harassment and assault, all I can think is: Enough leaders knew they'd really be condemned and look terrible if they stood up for him at this point," she told the Post. Peter Weber
On Tuesday, Stephen Colbert revealed that his autism research fundraising offer — spend one taping of The Late Show under his desk — had raised $451,000, and he introduced the raffle winner, Rachel Olmer, who was, in fact, under his desk. Colbert spent much of his monologue on an unfortunate bit of graduation cake censorship by a Publix grocery store, but he let Olmer tell the punch line to a joke about President Trump shunning "anti-virus protection" on his smartphones.
Olmer was joined under Colbert's desk by Jon Stewart, who described the shared quarters as "cozy." But the show had to go on, so Colbert tried to do a bit about Barack and Michelle Obama signing on as Netflix producers — "After the last year and a half I would totally binge-watch a show called A Single Still Image of the Obamas for an Hour," he joked — but finally gave up after Stewart continually upstaged him with apocryphal stories of the royal wedding, a shuriken, and a game of Twister. Watch below. Peter Weber
Stephen Colbert explains why Trump's meddling in the Trump investigation isn't technically a 'constitutional crisis'
Tuesday was another milestone "on Trump's highway to American greatness," because President Trump "has ordered the people investigating him to investigate their investigation of him," Stephen Colbert said on The Late Show. "Some people are calling this a constitutional crisis, but I don't know about that. A constitutional crisis technically requires that one branch of the government push back against another branch of the government. Everybody here is pushing in the same direction, and it's down — with a pillow over the Constitution's face, going 'Shhhhh, it'll be over soon.'"
Colbert ran the story back to May 2016, read Trump's recent tweets about a "spy" in his campaign, and returned to Monday's high-stakes White House meeting with Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and FBI Director Christopher Wray, where Trump pushed them to divulge classified information about a covert U.S. intelligence asset. "And here's the thing: They're gonna do it. They're gonna show the evidence to congressional Republicans — and no Democrats — but it's not political, it's all perfectly innocent, according to Trump lawyer and man seeing the evidence against Donald Trump, Rudy Giuliani."
Giuliani said Trump is acting not in his capacity as subject of the investigation but as president. "Yes, Donald Trump is kind of wearing two hats in this investigation," Colbert said. "One is president, the other is criminal." You can see an image of both hats below.
But The Late Show has one way to short-circuit this crisis — it has found Trump's "mole." Peter Weber
Republican fundraiser Elliott Broidy has subpoenaed The Associated Press over hacked emails it obtained about his apparently successful efforts to sour President Trump on Qatar while Broidy and a partner, George Nader, solicited business with Qatar's Gulf rivals Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. According to the emails, Broidy met with Trump about Qatar on Dec. 2, 2017, and a few days later, the UAE awarded Broidy a five-year, $600 million intelligence contract.
Oddly, on Nov. 30, 2017, as New York's Paul Campos points out, Broidy wired $200,000 to a law firm that transferred it to a lawyer representing former Playboy model Shera Bechard (and also Stormy Daniels), the first installment of a $1.6 million hush agreement he had reached with Bechard through his lawyer in this one case, Michael Cohen. When The Wall Street Journal confronted Broidy about the payment in April, he readily confessed to an extramarital affair with Bechard that ended in pregnancy and an abortion. On Tuesday night, MSNBC's Chris Hayes explained some other strange coincidences.
Two weeks ago, Campos laid out a detailed circumstantial case that it was Trump, not Broidy, who had an affair with Bechard. "If it's difficult to imagine Broidy being willing to take the fall for Trump's affair with Bechard and then paying her a seven-figure sum, it's much simpler to imagine it simply as a perfectly timed and fantastically profitable bribe," Campos wrote Tuesday.
"If I had to guess, I'd say that Cohen, as usual, got the job of dealing with Bechard's demands," Kevin Drum speculated at Mother Jones. "But he didn't want the money to come from Trump, even under a phony name, now that Robert Mueller was scouring every inch of Trump's business. Somehow this reached Broidy's ears — he and Cohen were both deputy finance chairs of the RNC at the time — and he offered to help." We may never know if this is true," he adds, "but it seems pretty plausible." Peter Weber