Culture

23 Powerful Men Who Were Accused of Sex Crimes

Amid all these news of VIPs being charged with sexual harassment, choose to be a better man.
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One of the most powerful men in Hollywood quickly found himself at rock bottom within two weeks when serious—and numerous—sexual harassment charges against him started to snowbal. After the New York Times revealed Harvey Weinstein's decades-long history of sexual assault (complete with receipts), followed by another expose by the New Yorker, more and more females have come out with their own experiences with the film producer and studio executive. 

Angelina Jolie, Gwyneth Paltrow, Rosanna Arquette, Fil-Italian model Ambra Battilana Gutierrez, and other women have all stepped forward with their own stories about the Miramax co-founder and now former honcho of The Weinstein Company who’s staunchly denying the allegations. 

It's the same old story: the big formidable bully who gets away with everything because he’s the big formidable bully who can ruin you with a snap of his fingers. It's even more of a cliché that the story is happening in show business, an industry infested with sexual predation. We look back at the times these powerful men failed, BIG TIME, at being better men.

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Casey Affleck
On the heels of the success of Manchester by the Sea in late 2016, Casey Affleck was bogged down by news of sexual harassment suits filed by female costars from his 2010 film I’m Still Here. Both cases were settled out of court for an undisclosed amount seven years ago, but the news was still shocking since Affleck had just won a Golden Globe and was primed for an Oscar. When Affleck did win the revered statuette, feminists called out the Academy for glorifying a man charged with sexual assault.

Bill Cosby
Once the most beloved man on television, Bill Cosby’s career came tumbling down when nearly 60 women stepped forward to accuse him of sexual assault. Revelations began in 2005, but allegations dated back to as early as the ‘60s, of him drugging, fondling, and raping women. He first went to trial in 2017, but the jurors ended up in a deadlock. A new trial is set for 2018.

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Vic Sotto, Joey De Leon, and Ritchie D’ Horsie
The case of Pepsi Paloma is one of the most enduring mysteries in Philippine show business. Though the charges were dropped (yet another unexplained mystery), the charges filed by the teenage actress in the ‘80s have tainted the reputation of these three variety show hosts.

According to consistent news reports, the Eat Bulaga hosts took Paloma to a bar, drugged her, then raped her. This was in 1982, when she was only 14 years old. If convicted, the trio would face the death penalty. 

The news of the events afterward, however, gets foggy. Tito Sotto, brother of Vic, allegedly forced the young actress into signing an “Affidavit of Desistance” which signified her intention to drop the rape complaint. Paloma committed suicide three years later, in 1985.

Woody Allen
In 1992, after discovering some very explicit photos, actress Mia Farrow discovered that her partner of 12 years, Woody Allen, was having an affair with her 20-year-old adopted daughter Soon-Yi-Previn. Allen and Farrow separated after.

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On August 4 that same year, after Allen visited their other adopted children, Farrow took their seven-year-old daughter Dylan to a pediatrician where they discovered evidence of sexual abuse. In 2014, Dylan eventually disclosed her experiences via an open letter published in the New York Times that revealed how her adoptive father molested her in a “dim, closet-like attic.”

Meanwhile, Allen and Previn have been married for 20 years.

Roman Polanski
The Rosemary’s Baby director was arrested at Jack Nicholson’s home in March 1977 while shooting 13-year-old Samantha Gailey for Vogue. Polanski took a plea bargain and pleaded to the charge of “Unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor.” However, upon learning that the judge intended to ignore the plea bargain in favor of sentencing the director with 50 years imprisonment, Polanski fled to France. Samantha Gailey (now Samantha Geimer) sued Polanski in 1988 for sexual assault, false imprisonment, and seduction of a minor. It was settled out of court.

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In 2017, another woman, only known as Robin, claimed that the director "sexually victimized" her in 1973.

Baron Geisler
Indie favorite and controversial actor Baron Geisler found himself in hot water when the daughter of his Pinoy Big Brother housemate accused him of sexual harassment in 2008. Patricia Martinez, then 21, alleged that the actor asked her to have sex with him, hugged her, then fondled her breasts. A year later, PEP.ph broke the news that actress Yasmien Kurdi lodged a complained against Geisler before the PNP Women’s Crisis and Child Protection Center. She said that the actor sent her lewd text messages and harassed her in front of the production staff.

In 2010, Julia Clarete stepped forward after a drunk Geisler touched her backside during a performance. Then, in 2011, ABS-CBN reported that veteran actress Cherry Pie Picache also filed a complaint after Geisler (once again drunk) reportedly touched her breasts during a shooting for their soap Noah.

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Willie Revillame
Once upon a time, he was the most powerful noontime variety show host in the Philippines. But Willie Revillame fell from grace after a series of controversies that include on-air tirades against an entertainment writer as well as his employer ABS-CBN, the whole “Jan-Jan” issue which sparked child abuse allegations, as well as sexual harassment cases.

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According to Philstar, in 2005, an entertainment editor filed charges of lasciviousness against Revillame. That same year, one of his Wowowee dancers also accused him of unwelcome sexual advances. Euanne Bautista claimed that the host pushed her into a dressing room, embracing her and trying to kiss her chest. She also detailed that in a separate instance, Revillame threw a blanket over the two of them and let his hand linger on her legs.

Jaime Jose Y Gomez, Basilio Pineda Jr., Eduardo Aquino Y Payumo, and Rogelio Cañal Y Sevilla
These four names may not sound familiar, but they headlined one of the most controversial cases in the 1960s for raping actress Maggie dela Riva. The 25-year-old television star was abducted, brought to the Swanky Hotel in Pasay City, threatened, then raped. She was forced to dance nude and when she passed out twice during the rape, the four men threw water on her face and slapped her.

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The case was all the more sensational since all four rapists came from prominent families.(Newspaper clippings of Manila Times documenting the case can be found here.) According to a report by Cecilio Arillo, Jaime Jose "was the son of a prominent physician" and he owned the Pontiac they used to kidnap dela Riva as well as the Mercedes his friends used to get away. Meanwhile, Basilio's family owned the Swanky hotel. Three of them were eventually sent to the electric chair for the crime. Cañal died of a drug overdose before the execution.

Vhong Navarro
In 2014, the It’s Showtime! host was mauled by six men in a condo in the Fort. The reason? It was supposedly in retaliation for Navarro attempting to rape starlet Deniece Cornejo. Cornejo alleged that the dancer-actor raped her during their first meeting in January 17, 2014 then again in another encounter. The rape cases were dismissed in October that year, but according to an ABS-CBN report, Cornejo filed yet another complaint in 2017. 

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One month after the Cornejo scandal, another complainant, Roxanne Acosta Cabañero revealed that she was raped by Navarro in 2010. Then, in April that same year, a third complainant came out saying that Navarro sexually assaulted her inside an SUV in September 2009 .

Kobe Bryant
Kobe Bryant was arrested in 2003 after a teenage hotel employee accused him of rape. Bryant confessed to the adulterous sexual encounter but denied the rape charge, insisting that what happened was consensual. The employee refused to testify, but filed a separate civil suit that was settled out of court. 

Mario Batali
The food world was shaken up when Eater published an exposé on Crocs-wearing Italian chef Mario Batali. Four women have come out to say that Batali "touched them inappropriately in a pattern of behavior that appears to span at least two decades." Since the revelations, other chefs like Anthony Bourdain and Tom Colicchio have come out to say that they weren't surprised

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According to the Eater feature, Batali was reprimanded for his behavior as early as two months ago. Since then, he's taken time off from handling the day-to-day operations of his businesses and he was also asked to step away from his hosting duties for The Chew. The chef apologized for his behavior in a statement: “I have work to do to try to regain the trust of those I have hurt and disappointed...I know my actions have disappointed many people."


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Donald Trump
Things were heating up for Trump even before he became president. An Access Hollywood tape recorded him talking about his sexual conquests. Several women stepped forward to reveal how he walked in on them changing during beauty pageants as well as groping and kissing them. The accusations died down, until the Harvey Weinstein domino effect.

Nineteen women have already come out, including Summer Zervose, who was a contestant on his show, The Apprentice, as well as People writer Natasha Stoynoff. The U.S. president has firmly denied the allegations, saying that he's never met these women and that the revival of the issue was brought on by Democrats.

Dustin Hoffman
Dustin Hoffman has a reputation for being difficult on set, but it's only recently when allegations of his sexual misconduct emerged. According to Slate.com, a production assistant on Death of a Salesman Anne Graham Hunter admitted that the Academy Award winner gropped her and made sexual remarks towards her as well as other coworkers. Soon after, actress Kathryn Rosseter also revealed that the 80-year-old actor groped her and forced her to giving him massages during the same production.

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Hoffman has since said sorry but clarified that his apology was not an admission of guilt.

Brett Ratner
At some point and despite an outstanding resumé as a producer, Brett Ratner was supposed to go down in history as the man who destroyed the X-Men movie franchise and the director of the worst Hercules film ever. These achievements, however, have been eclipsed by numerous sexual misconduct allegations. At least six women have stepped forward accusing the director of either harassment or misconduct.

Model Natasha Henstridge detailed how, in the 1990s, she fell asleep on Ratner's couch after watching a movie with friends. She woke up alone with the director who began to touch himself in front of her. “He strong-armed me in a real way. He physically forced himself on me,” she said. “At some point, I gave in and he did his thing," she said. Actress Olivia Munn revealed a similar experience with the director in 2004. He allegedly masturbated in front of her in his trailer when she came in to deliver his meal.

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Ratner's lawyer has denied such allegations.

Kevin Spacey
Once upon a time, Kevin Spacey was one of the more beloved figures in Hollywood. He could sing, he could dance, he could do impressions, and he has two Oscars on his mantel. In October, Star Trek: Discovery star Anthony Rapp accused the House of Cards actor of making sexual advances towards him in 1986Rapp was then 14 years old. 

Spacey tweeted an apology, admitting that he does not remember the encounter and blamed it what might have been intoxication. He also chose the opportunity to come out as gay—a move people thought was a distraction from the real issue. 

Since the revelations, Spacey has been kicked off from the Ridley Scott film All the Money in the World, which, by then, had already finished shooting. He was replaced by Christopher Plummer. He has also been booted off Netflix's House of Cards.


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Louis CK
Five women have come out to expose comedian Louis CK's sexually inappropriate behavior. According to an article on the New York Times, comedy duo Dana Min Goodman and Julia Wolov were invited back to his hotel room after a successful show in 2002. While there, Louis CK asked if he could take out his peniswhich he did. He then proceeded to take off all his clothes and started masturbating.

A year later, while on the phone with the comedienne, Abby Schachner reveale that he could hear him masturbating. In 2005, Louis CK also asked another comedienne Rebecca Corry if he could masturbate in front of her.

Ben Affleck
Batfleck's owes much of his career to Harvey Weinstein who bankrolled the film Good Will Hunting, which earned Affleck and his best friend Matt Damon an Oscar for Best Original Screenplay and a fasttrack to Hollywood.

After donating his residual Miramax money and declaring that Weinstein's actions made him "sick," however, allegations against Affleck himself circulations. An old video from back in 2003 resurfaced on social media. It showed Affleck with his arm around actress Hilarie Burton (then 21) and his hand tweaking her left breast. The clip was brought to Affleck's attention, but soon after he apologized on Twitter, another accusation popped up, this time from a make-up artist who claimed that the actor grabbed her during a party in 2014.

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Oliver Stone
The Wall Street director found himself in hot water when actress Melissa Gilbert stepped out to detail her experiences with Stone back when she auditioned for his 1991 film The Doors. When Gilbert performed the line "Do me baby" on all fours, Stone allegedly asked her to stage it. According to Stone, however, hundreds of women tried out for the part and the production team was explicit in saying that it was going to be raunchy, no holds barred type of film. He also reminded people that his casting director Risa Bramon Garcia was there to ensure a safe environment for all the actors.

Garcia herself also published a statement supporting Stone. "Every actor who auditioned came in voluntarily and was aware of the provocative material prior to engaging in their scenes...No actor was forced or expected to do anything that might have been uncomfortable, and most actors embraced the challenge, recognizing Oliver Stone’s vision and the creative process. In my experience, there was no attempt to personally offend any particular actor."

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However, Stone was also previously accused of sexual misconduct by Playboy model Carrie Stevens.

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About The Author
Sasha Lim Uy
Managing Editor, EsquireMag.ph
Sasha eats to live and lives to eat. For five years, she handled SPOT.ph's food section and edited the last two installments of its Top 10 Food books. She also recently participated at the Madrid Fusion Manila as curator.
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