Column: The bravery of Jennifer Siebel Newsom facing Harvey Weinstein — and facing us all.
Jennifer Siebel Newsom poses for a portrait at the Newseum in Washington, Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2017 Eric Thayer/Reuters
It’s a New-York thing: The only thing worse than being a woman is being a woman who’s been harassed by Harvey Weinstein.
That’s the harsh advice Newsom was given about how to deal with Weinstein during her confirmation hearing two years ago, an account that resurfaced in an interview I conducted with her three months ago. The advice, she said, did not go over well with her.
“I had been warned that Harvey Weinstein is a monster,” she recalled. “Then I was asked at the same time what I was going to do when Harvey Weinstein reached out to me. I had no idea. I didn’t know I might experience this.”
That’s when I remembered another scene in this episode of the “Girls” saga: the time Jennifer tried to end her friendship with her boss, Hanna Marin. She had just turned 30, after all, and had just gotten the job she had wanted since she was in high school. But Marin gave the news to her boss that Newsom had a crush on her — and the two women fought.
“Harvey Weinstein is a monster,” Marin said.
“I felt like I wasn’t alone in this,” Newsom responded. “I felt as if other women were in the room with me.”
Newsom told me she would have turned around and walked out, instead of fighting the bully, but Marin wouldn’t let her. And when Newsom finally left the building a few months later, Marin made sure she never missed a meeting with Weinstein, calling her every day and calling the producer himself, who was the only one in the building who wasn’t a friend.
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At a time, too