Jennifer Aniston, 50, told Variety for its Power of Women issue, about her own experience with Harvey Weinstein. Aniston said that Weinstein, who has been accused of misconduct, including rape, by dozens of women, never physically attacked her, but he did behave like a bully. (Weinstein is facing criminal charges in NYC for assault and rape, and has pleaded not guilty. He is set to go to trial in January of 2020).
Aniston said that Weinstein tried to talk the fashion icon into wearing dresses made by his wife, Georgina Chapman. She said he made the request for the premiere of the 2005 film Derailed that she starred in and he produced: “I remember, right when Georgina’s clothing line Marchesa was starting. That’s when he came to visit me in London while we were shooting. He’d be like, ‘Ok, so I’d like you to wear one of these to the premiere.'”
The actress continued: “And I went through the book, and at the time, it wasn’t what it is today. It was not for me. He was like, ‘You have to wear the dress.’ That was my only bullying. And I was like, ‘No, I will not wear the dress.'”
Aniston is co-starring with Reese Witherspoon in Apple+’s The Morning Show, which follows the story of two female news anchors will fill in for their disgraced colleague. She says she researched actual morning news shows that dealt with those very issues, including the Today Show, where host Matt Lauer was fired for alleged misconduct.
That one, she tells Variety, hit her hard.
“I was so devastated,” Aniston says. “It’s such a strange thing; it felt oddly like my dad did something terrible. I trusted him and had been interviewed by him. He was there for so many moments in my life. And when Friends was ending, it was Katie Couric and Matt interviewing us.”
The Morning Show, she tells Variety, is modeled on many of the men—famous and not—who fell during the #MeToo movement: “All fictional, but also kind of highlighting aspects of the archetype of a charming narcissist, of a generation of men that didn’t think that was bad behavior. That’s just the way it works. And men are flirts and women are coy and find it flattering. And thankfully, with the sacrifices of these women who have come forward, this isn’t going to happen anymore. It’s wonderful that you’re accountable and you have to check yourself.”