The horrifying sexual harassment and assault accusations against longtime movie mogul Harvey Weinstein have led not only to further awareness about a major problem in Hollywood and beyond, but also many others coming forward with accusations against other powerful men, in a wave of major news stories that’s practically unprecedented.
Following the stories about Weinstein, director James Toback, actor Andy Dick and others, two-time Oscar winner Kevin Spacey has been accused of sexually assaulting actor Anthony Rapp when Rapp was 14 years old, leading within days to the early end of Spacey’s Netflix series House of Cards. And now, another well-known actor has been accused of a bad act in the past.
Actress Ariane Bellamar came forward Monday and accused Piven of having assaulted her, both on the set of Piven’s former HBO show Entourage and also at the Playboy Mansion, Deadline reported, citing the actress’ series of tweets. Bellamar is best known from the 2012 reality series Beverly Hills Nannies and has appeared in such movies as The Hangover Part III and Suicide Squad. In the tweets, Bellamar was very specific about what she says happened, although the year of the alleged assault is unclear:
Both HBO and CBS, the network that airs Piven’s current series Wisdom of the Crowd, both issued statements, with CBS vowing to “look into” the allegation. Meanwhile, Piven responded in a way differently than most of the Hollywood accused of recent weeks have: He completely denied the allegations, in a statement to Deadline:
“I unequivocally deny the appalling allegations being peddled about me. It did not happen… 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.”
What exactly transpired between Piven and Bellamar is almost certainly only known to the two of them. But there’s little doubt that just about every incentive in the world has long acted against women coming forward about such matters, especially against a much more famous and powerful man, and certainly in such bro-intensive environments as the Playboy Mansion and the set of Entourage.
Beyond this particular allegation, it’s very clear that the entertainment industry, among many other industries, has a huge problem with sexual harassment and assault, and that it has a lot of dealing left to do with the problem.
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