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Mark Schwahn, One Tree Hill Creator, Accused of Rampant Sexual Misconduct

Over the past few weeks, accusations of sexual harassment have been leveled against numerous powerful men in Hollywood.

But few allegations have been like this:

On Monday night, the female cast and many crew members from One Tree Hill came together to write an open letter that called out series creator Mark Schwahn for years of unchecked sexual misconduct.

The actresses were inspired to take this unusual step after writer Audrey Wauchope (who currently works on Crazy Ex-Girlfriend) Tweeted on Saturday that she and a colleague were sexually harassed years ago during their time writing for an unnamed series.

Wauchope did not cite Schwahn by name in her barrage of Tweets, either.

But she did write the following:

“Female writers would try to get the spot where the showrunner wouldn’t sit as to not be touched. Often men would help out by sitting next to him, thus protecting the women.

“Sometimes we wouldn’t luck out and he’d just squeeze his disgusting body in between us and put his arms around us, grinning.

“He pet hair. He massaged shoulders. I know he did more but not to me so they’re not my stories to share.”

Wauchope went on to say that the showrunner passed around naked photos of an actress he had slept with, unbeknownst to the actress, and that he tried talking a writer out of getting married because he wanted a chance to have sex with her.

It’s now clear that Wauchope was referring to Mark Schwahn.

In a joint statement – signed by One Tree Hill stars such as Sophia Bush, Hilarie Burton and Bethany Joy Lenz – the female cast members of this former CW hit backed up Wauchope’s claims and alleged Schwahn manipulated many of them “psychologically and emotionally.”

Here is what the powerful letter says:

All of the female cast members of One Tree Hill have chosen this forum to stand together in support of Audrey Wauchope and one another.

To use terminology that has become familiar as the systemic reality of sexual harassment and assault has come more and more to light, Mark Schwahn’s behavior over the duration of the filming of One Tree Hill was something of an “open secret.”

Many of us were, to varying degrees, manipulated psychologically and emotionally. More than one of us is still in treatment for post-traumatic stress.

Many of us were put in uncomfortable positions and had to swiftly learn to fight back, sometimes physically, because it was made clear to us that the supervisors in the room were not the protectors they were supposed to be.

Many of us were spoken to in ways that ran the spectrum from deeply upsetting, to traumatizing, to downright illegal. And a few of us were put in positions where we felt physically unsafe.

More than one woman on our show had her career trajectory threatened.

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It continues:

The through line in all of this was, and still is, our unwavering support of and faith in one another. We confided in each other.

We set up safe spaces to talk about his behavior and how to handle it. To warn new women who joined our ranks.

We understood that a lot of it was orchestrated in ways that kept it out of sight for the studio back home. We also understood that no one was fully unaware.

The lack of action that has been routine, the turning of the other cheek, is intolerable.

We collectively want to echo the calls of women everywhere that vehemently demand change, in all industries.

Many of us were told, during filming, that coming forward to talk about this culture would result in our show being canceled and hundreds of lovely, qualified, hard-working, and talented people losing their jobs.

This is not an appropriate amount of pressure to put on young girls.

Many of us since have stayed silent publicly but had very open channels of communication in our friend group and in our industry, because we want Tree Hill to remain the place “where everything’s better and everything’s safe” for our fans; some of whom have said that the show quite literally saved their lives.

But the reality is, no space is safe when it has an underlying and infectious cancer. We have worked at taking our power back, making the conventions our own, and relishing in the good memories.

But there is more work to be done.

And it concludes:

We are all deeply grateful for Audrey’s courage. For one another. And for every male cast mate and crew member who has reached out to our group of women to offer their support these last few days.

They echo the greater rallying cry that must lead us to change: Believe Women. We are all in this together.

The message is signed “With Love and Courage” by:

  • Sophia Bush
  • Hilarie Burton
  • Bethany Joy Lenz
  • Danneel Harris
  • Michaela McManus
  • Kate Voegele
  • Daphne Zuniga
  • India de Beaufort
  • Bevin Prince
  • Jana Kramer
  • Shantel Van Santen
  • Allison Munn

It is also signed by the “Brave Crew And All the rest of the Women We Worked With Who Are Finding Their Voices as We Speak.”

Schwahn currently runs The Royals on E!.

In a statement Monday, the network said it is “monitoring the information carefully” and is “committed to providing a safe working environment in which everyone is treated respectfully and professionally.”

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Weinstein Scandal: Which Powerful Men Are Accused of Sexual Misconduct?

Following accusations of sexual harassment and rape, Harvey Weinstein has lost his job and his family. Given that the LAPD is investigating him, he may even lose his freedom.

What began as a scandal over one mega-producer's alleged sexual misconduct has taken on a powerful life of its own.

Countless women — and men — came forward and shared their #MeToo stories, talking about incidents in childhood or adulthood in which they were sexually harassed or assaulted. In many cases, these individuals had held onto stories, afraid or ashamed to share them, for years or even decades.

The average #MeToo story comes from everyday people and often don't name the people who wronged them. Many don't even know the men's names.

However, a number of celebrities and non-celebrities alike have come forward and their #MeToo stories are naming the names of powerful men.

Directors, producers, and actors who have for years used social pressure, Hollywood culture, wealth, and celebrity status to remain above reproach are suddenly being called out so loudly that even they cannot ignore it.

It's not fun to wonder if someone you once admired might be next, but surely we would all rather know the truth than to live in blissful ignorance.

Some of these powerful men have admitted to having done wrong. Others are fiercely denying the allegations against them, even when it's their word against dozens — or more.

It seems that more accused sexual predators are named every day, so here's a running list of the powerful figures who have been called out for alleged sexual misconduct.

1. Harvey Weinstein

Harvey weinstein snapshot
We of course could not make this list without including the titular figure in the Weinstein scandal. This mega-producer has lost his job and his wife over accusations of sexual harassment and sexual assault. Multiple famous actresses have shared their Weinstein stories. He’s also under investigation by the LAPD. His public downfall has encouraged countless others to come forward.

2. Brett Ratner

Brett ratner photo
Though not the only X-Men director to have been accused of sexual misconduct, Brett Ratner has been accused of sexual harassment and sexual assaults going back decades, and well-known actresses have spoken out and accused him of some very upsetting things.

3. Louis C.K.

Louis ck snapshot
Years ago, rumors sprouted up about an unnamed big-name comedian who seemed to enjoy masturbating in front of women he worked with. Several of those women came forward and named Louis C.K. … and though he didn’t quite say the word “sorry,” Louis did acknowledge that their stories were true.

4. Ed Westwick

Ed westwick snapshot
Former Gossip Girl star Ed Westwick has been accused by two different actresses with frighteningly similar stories. Both allege that they were at his house and invited to sleep in guest beds, only to awaken to Westwick allegedly sexually assaulting them. Both women say that people they considered friends urged them to keep quiet. It’s heartbreaking.

5. Steven Seagal

Steven seagal smiles
Jenny McCarthy says that Steven Seagal encouraged her to disrobe during a casting call … when she was acting out a courtroom scene. Former actress Lisa Guerrero (who is now a journalist) says that Seagal had her audition at his home while he appeared to be wearing only a robe, and that she’s glad that she brought along someone else. And now Portia de Rossi says that Steven Seagal once “unzipped” in front of her. These are very disturbing allegations.

6. Andy Dick

Andy dick tongue out
Andy Dick was fired from a project over allegations of sexual harassment, including genital groping and … licking people. Andy Dick’s defense, a claim that licking people on the face after kissing them is “his thing,” isn’t helping. If “your thing” is making people uncomfortable, you probably should find a new thing.

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Andrew Kreisberg, Major TV Producer, Suspended for Sexual Misconduct

Andrew Kreisberg is the latest big name to be accused of inappropriate sexual behavior.

Warner Bros. TV has suspended the executive producer due to an investigation into numerous allegations of sexual harassment and offensive physical contact.

This is what the production company said in a statement related to the suspension and troubling accusations:

“We have recently been made aware of allegations of misconduct against Andrew Kreisberg.

“We have suspended Mr. Kreisberg and are conducting an internal investigation.

“We take all allegations of misconduct extremely seriously, and are committed to creating a safe working environment for our employees and everyone involved in our productions.”

Kreisberg is a producer on Arrow, Supergirl, The Flash and DC’s Legends of Tomorrow.

Variety broke this piece of news and said it has spoken to 15 women and four men who all claims Kreisberg harassed them in various ways.

To be specific, the publication cites a “pattern of alleged sexual harassment and inappropriate physical contact over a period of years.”

Kreisberg

It goes on to say that Kreisberg “strongly denies” these allegations.

None of the men or women behind the story wanted to reveal their names out of fear of retaliation.

“We were recently made aware of some deeply troubling allegations regarding one of our showrunners,” said Greg Berlanti and Sarah Schechter, who head Berlanti Productions which oversee Kreisberg’s shows.

They add in their statement:

“We have been encouraging and fully cooperating with the investigation into this by Warner Bros.

“There is nothing more important to us than the safety and well-being of our cast, crew, writers, producers and any staff.

“We do not tolerate harassment and are committed to doing everything we can to make an environment that’s safe to work in and safe to speak up about if it isn’t.”

Kreisberg is accused of often touching individuals without their permission.

The alleged victims say he would ask for massages from female staff members… and kiss women without asking. 

Nearly each of the sources also mention sexualized/inappropriate comments about women’s appearances, their clothes, and their perceived desirability.

The producer denies making any sort of advances or unwanted touches, but does acknowledge the following to Variety:

“I have made comments on women’s appearances and clothes in my capacity as an executive producer, but they were not sexualized.

“Like many people, I have given someone a non-sexual hug or kiss on the cheek.”

Kreisberg stands

In response to the charges that he “scares people” and makes the “workplace feel unsafe,” Kriesberg replies:

“I have proudly mentored both male and female colleagues for many years. But never in what I believe to be an unwanted way and certainly never in a sexual way.”

We’ll have more on this story as it develops.

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Kevin Spacey to Seek Vague “Treatment” in Light of Sexual Misconduct Allegations

Kevin Spacey has allegedly admitted he needs help.

It’s just unclear what kind of help.

In the wake of multiple accusations of sexual harassment and/or misconduct against him, the two-time Oscar winner has agreed to talk to a professional…

… about something.

“Kevin Spacey is taking the time necessary to seek evaluation and treatment,” a representative for the actor said in a statement on Wednesday night, mysteriously adding:

“No other information will be available at this time.”

Just a few days ago, Anthony Rapp accused Spacey of trying to force himself on Rapp sexually back in 1986 when Rapp was only 14 years old.

The actor – who currently stars on Star Trek: Discovery – said he finally came out with this admission because he was inspired by other victims of sexual assault.

Over the past few weeks, an endless array of men and women have been speaking up in light of the Harvey Weinstein scandal.

“I came forward with my story, standing on the shoulders of the many courageous women and men who have been speaking out, to shine a light and hopefully make a difference, as they have done for me,” Rapp explained to People Magazine.

After this scandalous story went viral, Spacey didn’t deny Rapp’s charges.

He issued a lengthy statement that served as both a mea culpa and a coming out; Spacey said he’s gay in the statement.

“I have a lot of respect and admiration for Anthony Rapp as an actor,” Spacey wrote, expounding as follows:

“I am beyond horrified to hear his story. I honestly do not remember the encounter as it would have been over 30 years ago.

“But if I did behave then as he describes I owe him the sincerest apology for what would have been deeply inappropriate drunken behavior and I am sorry for the feelings he described having carried with him all these years.”

Inviting more controversy and scorn, he then added:

“This story has encouraged me to address other things in my life…

“I have loved and had romantic encounters with men throughout my life, and I choose now to live as a gay man.”

As you can see above, Spacey has been harshly criticized for adding this second part about his personal life.

Most people have interpreted it as Spacey’s attempt to distract from the allegations against him, while they’ve simultaneously wondered:

So what? What does being gay have to do with any of this right now?

On a professional level, the actor also learned that he will not receive the International Emmy Award in light of the sexual misconduct allegations.

Moreover, Netflix at first announced House of Cards will end after six seasons.

And then announced production has been suspended.

Meanwhile, actor Roberto Cavazos came forward on Tuesday and brought up his own alleged experience fending off Spacey, claiming the Nstar’s inappropriate behavior toward younger actors was “common” practice during his 12-year-run as artistic director at The Old Vic Theatre.

So now Spacey is seeking “treatment.” What kind of treatment?

No one knows.

This seems like another attempt to distract and deflect by Spacey.

After all, what sort of treatment is there for simply being a pompous creep?

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Jeremy Piven “Unequivocally” Denies Sexual Misconduct Claim

Jeremy Piven has issued a statement in response to sexual harassment allegations leveled at him by former reality star Ariane Bellamar.

Earlier today, we reported on a number of disturbing Tweets posted by Bellamar, who guest-starred many years ago on an episode of Entourage.

Piven, of course, is best known for having portrayed super agent Ari Gold throughout the duration of that long-running comedy.

In her barrage of social media messages, Bellamar tagged Piven and reminded him of two alleged times in which he groped her private body parts.

“Hey @jeremypiven! ‘Member when you cornered me in your trailer on the #Entourage set? ‘Member grabbing my boobies on the without asking??” she wrote, later adding a pair of texts that read:

Member when I tried to leave; you grabbed me by the ass, looked at yourself in the mirror, & said what a ‘beautiful couple’ we made?

Jeremy Piven, on two occasions, cornered me & forcefully fondled my breasts & bum. Once at the mansion & once on set.

angrytexts

Bellamar – who appeared as herself on installments of Beverly Hills Nannies and The Millionaire Matchmaker and who has had bit parts in various movies – also referenced “explicit” texts she supposedly received from Piven.

In response to these allegations, the Emmy-winning actor has now said the following:

“I unequivocally deny the appalling allegations being peddled about me. It did not happen.”

Recognizing in general how difficult it is for victims of sexual harassment and assault to come forward, Piven concluded:

“It takes a great deal of courage for victims to come forward with their histories, and my hope is that the allegations about me that didn’t happen, do not detract from stories that should be heard.”

Piven was in New York City on Tuesday to promote his awful CBS drama, Wisdom of the Crowd.

In a statement of its own, the network says it is “aware of the media reports and [is] looking into the matter.”

Over the past few weeks, the topic of sexual harassment in Hollywood has been especially prominent after countless women accused producer Harvey Weinstein of misconduct or even flat out rape.

The courage of the alleged victims who have called Weinstein out for his abhorrent behavior has inspired others to do the same.

Actor Anthony Rapp, for instance, says that Kevin Spacey attempted to sexually assault him at a party back in 1986, a charge Spacey did not deny.

Andy Dick, meanwhile, has been dropped from the independent feature film Raising Buchanan following accusations of sexual harassment and misconduct on set.

“I might have kissed somebody on the cheek to say goodbye and then licked them,” Dick said as a defense of his actions, adding:

“That’s my thing.”

Yeah. Maybe it shouldn’t be.

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Mark Halperin Placed on Leave by MSNBC Amidst Sexual Misconduct Claims

Mark Halperin, a veteran political journalist who has been accused by five women of sexual harassment, has been placed on leave by MSNBC.

The network made the announcement about 12 hours after these damaging allegations were made against Halperin, saying via statement:

“Mark Halperin is leaving his role as a contributor until the questions around his past conduct are fully understood.”

On Wednesday night, shortly after news of these charges went viral, Halperin confirmed in his own statement that he had not always acted appropriately with women in the past.

“During this period, I did pursue relationships with women that I worked with, including some junior to me,” he said in a statement to CNN, adding:

“I now understand from these accounts that my behavior was inappropriate and caused others pain.

“For that, I am deeply sorry and I apologize.

“Under the circumstances, I’m going to take a step back from my day-to-day work while I properly deal with this situation.”

The allegations against Halperin stem from his tenure as political director at ABC News.

While the reporter was vague about what he was owning up to, his accusers claims his propositioned them for sex… touched their breasts… and/or pressed his genitals up against them while clothed.

Halperin is maybe best known for co-authoring the bestselling book “Game Change,” which was made into an HBO movie starring Julianne Moore as Sarah Palin.

He has also anchored a program on Bloomberg TV and was prominently featured in Showtime’s “The Circus,” a series that chronicled the 2016 campaign cycle and the early days of the Donald Trump presidency.

Said ABC News in response to this story:

“Mark left ABC News over a decade ago, and no complaints were filed during his tenure.

These allegations come on the heels of more disturbing information also coming to light regarding Bill O’Reilly and the massive amount of money he paid to alleged sexual harassment victims in exchange for their silence.

According to a new New York Times article, O’Reilly shelled out $ 32 million in a settlement to one accuser alone.

Then, of course, there’s the case of Harvey Weinstein.

The long-time movie producer has now been accused by 54 women of having harassed or assaulted them.

The Times has reported on eight settlements he reached with his accusers, while various actresses and women who have worked in Hollywood have been coming forward with harrowing tales of interactions with Weinstein.

As a contributor to MSNBC, meanwhile, Halperin made regular appearances on Morning Joe and other news programs.

We doubt we see him back on that network again.

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James Toback: 38 Women Accuse Director of Sexual Misconduct

James Toback, an Academy Award-nominated director/writer, has been accused of sexual harassment by 38 different women.

According to The Los Angeles Times, Toback would approach his alleged victims in all sorts of different settings, typically offering up his resume early on in order to impress them.

“In a hotel room, a movie trailer, a public park, meetings framed as interviews or auditions quickly turned sexual,” writes the publication.

It went on to detail how Toback would brag about his Oscar nomination (for the Warren Beatty film Bugsy) and how he claimed to have “invented” Robert Downey Jr. by directing him in a trio of films.

These disturbing allegations come on the heels of producer Harvey Weinstein also being accused of sexual harassment, misconduct and assault.

Referring to Toback, The Los Angeles Times writes:

“He prowled the streets of Manhattan looking for attractive young women, usually in their early 20s, sometimes college students, on occasion a high schooler.

“He approached them in Central Park, standing in line at a bank or drug store or at a copy center while they worked on their resumes.”

Most of the woman who spoke to the newspaper went on the record with their encounters.

Take actress Adrienne LaValley, for example, who outlined a 2008 encounter in a hotel room:

“The way he presented it, it was like, ‘This is how things are done.”

She said Toback tried to rub his crotch against her leg and when she recoiled, he simply masturbated inside his pants.

“I felt like a prostitute, an utter disappointment to myself, my parents, my friends. And I deserved not to tell anyone,” she says now.

Adds Lousie Post, guitarist and singer for Veruca Salt:

“He told me he’d love nothing more than to masturbate while looking into my eyes.”

Altogether, the newspaper spoke to 38 women who leveled similar accusations against Toback; 31 of whom were willing to use their names.

In their retelling, the women said Toback boasted of sexual conquests with celebrities and then asked embarrassing personal questions of them, such as:

How often do you masturbate? How much pubic hair do you have?

He’d tell the woman that he couldn’t get a full erection unless he “jerked off” several times a day.

As described above, he would often then he’d dry-hump them or masturbate right in front of them, ejaculating into his pants or on to their bodies and then walk away.

Contacted by The Los Angeles Times for comment, Toback denied these allegations, saying that he had never met any of these women – or, if he did, it “was for five minutes and have no recollection.”

The director also alleged that it has been “biologically impossible” for him to engage the sort of behavior described here because he had diabetes and a heart condition that required medication.

Toback declined to include more details.

As for Weinstein, over 40 women have come forward against him with stories of inappropriate behavior, ranging from sexual harassment to rape.

Through a spokeswoman, Weinstein has “unequivocally denied” all allegations of rape.

But he’s admitted to other instances of crossing the line and said he will seek professional assistance.

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‘Bachelor in Paradise’ ‘Misconduct’ Investigation Involves Alleged Sexual Assault

“Bachelor in Paradise” was shut down because a field producer filed a complaint that Corinne Olympios seemed so drunk the first day of filming she had no ability to consent to DeMario Jackson’s sexual moves in a swimming pool, and producers…

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‘Bachelor in Paradise’ Production Suspended After Allegations of Misconduct

Production for ‘Bachelor in Paradise’ has been suspended after allegations of misconduct were reported … which puts a halt to filming for the upcoming season indefinitely. Warner Bros. execs for the show said Sunday that they had been alerted to…

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Casey Affleck Breaks Silence, Addresses Sexual Misconduct Allegations

Casey Affleck has finally spoken out about the sexual harassment charges that have plagued him for months.

For years, really, but these allegations have especially come to the forefront for the actor ever since the release (and subsequent critical acclaim) of his latest film, Manchester by the Sea.

Affleck, of course, was awarded with the Best Actor trophy for his role in this drama on Sunday night at the Oscars.

About seven years ago, however, two women who worked with Affleck on the movie I’m Still Here filed separate lawsuits, both of which accused him of “uninvited and unwelcome sexual advances in the workplace.”

Affleck denied the allegations and both cases were settled out of court.

In a statement made at the time, a spokesperson for the star said the dispute had “been resolved to the mutual satisfaction of the parties and the lawsuits are being dismissed.”

But questions have remained.

Many folks have been uncomfortable with the recognition (in the form of positive press and many awards) Affleck has received in the wake of his Manchester by the Sea performance.

Brie Larson, for example, presented Affleck with the Academy Award this week… 

… and then stood around on stage, refusing to clap for him.

Affleck has remained entirely silent on this controversial topic ever since the allegations returned to the spotlight last year.

But he finally addressed them in a post-Oscars interview with The Boston Globe.

This is what he said:

I believe that any kind of mistreatment of anyone for any reason is unacceptable and abhorrent, and everyone deserves to be treated with respect in the workplace and anywhere else.

There’s really nothing I can do about it.

Other than live my life the way I know I live it and to speak to what my own values are and how I try to live by them all the time.

The only other time Affleck addressed these charges was in a chat with The New York Times several months ago.

He made the same sort of general, mostly meaningless statement in early November, too.

“It was settled to the satisfaction of all,” he told the paper, adding:

“I was hurt and upset – I am sure all were – but I am over it. It was an unfortunate situation – mostly for the innocent bystanders of the families of those involved.”

Affleck has said that the terms of his settlement with the alleged victims prohibit him from speaking in detail about the lawsuits.

Which is fair.

But he might as well have saved himself a few words and simply released a shrug emoji as his statement in these cases.

That would have said just as much, really.

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