Ben Affleck has been dragged into the uncomfortable spotlight of Harvey Weinstein’s sexual assault scandal, with one actress accusing the Oscar-winning actor of groping her, and another stating that she believed Affleck covered up for Weinstein. Affleck and Weinstein have a long history together: the Hollywood producer gave Affleck and Matt Damon their big break when he backed their 1997 film Good Will Hunting, which won the pair their first Oscar. Criticism of the 45-year-old was mounting as he failed to condemn Weinstein – only issuing a statement on Tuesday, five days after the initial bombshell report, to say he was “saddened and angry” about the allegations.
But in response one woman said on Twitter that Affleck had groped the host of MTV show TRL, during an appearance in 2003. “[Affleck] also grabbed Hilarie Burton’s breasts on TRL once. Everyone forgot though.” Burton replied: “I didn’t forget.” On Wednesday night Affleck tweeted: “I acted inappropriately toward Ms. Burton and I sincerely apologize”.
Separately, actress Rose McGowan – who is one of at least eight to have received a settlement from Weinstein for sexual harassment – attacked Affleck, calling him a liar and claiming the actor knew of Weinstein’s behaviour but remained silent. When Affleck tweeted his condemnation of Weinstein, McGowan replied: “@benaffleck ‘GODDAMNIT! I TOLD HIM TO STOP DOING THAT’ you said that to my face. The press conf I was made to go to after assault. You lie.” She confirmed to The New York Times that she was accusing Affleck of being complicit in Weinstein’s actions.