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Jeffrey Epstein and the Myth of the ‘Underage Woman’ - The Atlantic
One more shameful truth Jeffrey Epstein symbolized: a culture that continues to write girls out of its stories
On monday, the new york times columnist James B. Stewart published a remarkable article: a summary of an interview he had conducted last August with Jeffrey Epstein. The two were ostensibly talking together about matters of business—about rumors that Epstein had been doing advisory work for the electric-car company Tesla. But Epstein, in Stewart’s telling, kept guiding the conversation toward the secret that was at that point no secret at all: the fact that Epstein was a convicted sex offender. “If he was reticent about Tesla,” Stewart wrote, “he was more at ease discussing his interest in young women”:
He said that criminalizing sex with teenage girls was a cultural aberration and that at times in history it was perfectly acceptable. He pointed out that homosexuality had long been considered a crime and was still punishable by death in some parts of the world.
It’s an argument that is reminiscent of the glib comments Epstein made following his release from a 13-month semi-incarceration, the result of a shockingly lenient plea deal struck in 2008. (“I’m not a sexual predator; I’m an ‘offender,’” Epstein told the New York Post in 2011. “It’s the difference between a murderer and a person who steals a bagel.”) The 2018 version of the argument added a new element, though: It suggested that consent laws were little more than prudishly narrow accidents of history. It insisted that Epstein himself was that most tragic, and heroic, of figures: a person born in the wrong place, at the wrong time. And it attempted, in all that, a sweeping feat of erasure: Epstein’s claim attempted to undermine the testimonies of the more than 80 women who have come forward to say that Epstein molested them when they were girls. Some of the women say they were as young as 13 when the predations began.
celebrity  crime  epstein  gov2.0  money  politics  sexual_abuse  women  sex 
11 weeks ago by rgl7194
FDNY Reviewed 4chan Post About Jeffrey Epstein’s Death
About 38 minutes before news outlets first reported Jeffrey Epstein's death in prison, a 4chan user published a detailed post about it.
The Manhattan Correctional Center where Jeffrey Epstein was found dead on Aug. 10.
The New York City Fire Department looked into whether an employee posted about Jeffrey Epstein’s death on a notorious internet message board prior to officials announcing it to the public, BuzzFeed News has learned.
After telling BuzzFeed News the post was "under review," an FDNY spokesperson said authorities "determined this alleged information did not come from the Fire Department."
"An investigation is a formal act which brings about a process which includes interviewing witnesses, serving notice, determining credibility of witness statements — and that was not warranted nor did it take place here. This determination was made after a review of the incident. We looked at the information provided by [a BuzzFeed News] reporter and we looked at our own records and there was no match," said FDNY spokesperson Frank Dwyer, who added that the FDNY's Office of Healthcare Compliance conducted the review. "It doesn't match our medical records."
Almost 40 minutes before ABC News first reported Epstein’s death on Twitter, someone posted still-unverified details on 4chan, the anonymous message board popular with far-right trolls and white nationalists.
celebrity  crime  epstein  gov2.0  politics  sexual_abuse  suicide  alt-right  nationalism  forum 
12 weeks ago by rgl7194
Watching 'Law & Order: SVU' for the First Time - The Atlantic
Twenty years into its run, the show has fallen prey to a revealing paradox: As it has grown in relevance, it has lost its urgency.
Here is something that will come as no surprise if you are familiar with Law & Order: Special Victims Unit: The show, as it airs its 21st season on NBC, currently has a character caught in the limbo of a cliffhanger. During SVU’s most recent episode, members of the New York City Police Department’s sex-crimes squad, under the leadership of Captain Olivia Benson, investigate a shady billionaire who lured teenage girls into his orbit, grooming and, finally, sexually abusing them. The story is uncanny in its contours, and the detectives spend the episode steadily building a case against the Jeffrey Epstein–esque mogul and his Ghislaine Maxwell–esque assistant. The conclusion, however, will also come as no surprise if you are familiar with reality: The billionaire buys his way out. The detectives are left to watch as he hosts a party on his yacht—attended by both the victims of his abuse and the power brokers whose loyalty had a purchase price.
But the party isn’t, it turns out, the final scene of the episode. The show instead tacked on one more twist. The father of two of the girls who had been abused by the billionaire tracks down Amanda Rollins, one of the detectives who had been working his daughters’ case. Distraught, desperate, he holds a gun to her head.
“To be continued,” the episode’s intertitle announces, giddily, before the credits roll. Tchung-TCHUNG.
You could read that conclusion as typical of SVU, a show that weaves the aesthetics of the soap opera into the cadences of the police procedural. But you could see something else in it as well: the show’s assumption that to land a full punch to the gut, its retelling of the Epstein story needed to involve a threat to one of the show’s more familiar characters—one of the people to whom, over the course of several seasons, audiences have been used to expanding their empathies.
That is its own kind of plot twist. In the world beyond Law & Order, after all, the Epstein story is notable for not only its outrages—more than 80 women have accused him of assaulting them when they were young—but also the fact that, for years, those outrages were effectively ignored. SVU, for all its melodramas, has claimed to shed light on people who might otherwise be resigned to the shadows. It has claimed to care just as much about the supporting casts as it does about the stars. The gun that is currently aimed at Rollins’s head—a prop so anti-Chekhovian that it reads almost as camp—makes a different claim: The horror of the Epstein story is, for the show’s purposes, not quite horrific enough.
tv  crime_drama  police  sexual_abuse  women 
december 2019 by rgl7194
The Day Jeffrey Epstein Told Me He Had Dirt on Powerful People - The New York Times
Almost exactly a year ago, on Aug. 16, 2018, I visited Jeffrey Epstein at his cavernous Manhattan mansion.
The overriding impression I took away from our roughly 90-minute conversation was that Mr. Epstein knew an astonishing number of rich, famous and powerful people, and had photos to prove it. He also claimed to know a great deal about these people, some of it potentially damaging or embarrassing, including details about their supposed sexual proclivities and recreational drug use.
So one of my first thoughts on hearing of Mr. Epstein’s suicide was that many prominent men and at least a few women must be breathing sighs of relief that whatever Mr. Epstein knew, he has taken it with him.
During our conversation, Mr. Epstein made no secret of his own scandalous past — he’d pleaded guilty to state charges of soliciting prostitution from underage girls and was a registered sex offender — and acknowledged to me that he was a pariah in polite society. At the same time, he seemed unapologetic. His very notoriety, he said, was what made so many people willing to confide in him. Everyone, he suggested, has secrets and, he added, compared with his own, they seemed innocuous. People confided in him without feeling awkward or embarrassed, he claimed.
celebrity  crime  epstein  gov2.0  legal  money  politics  sex  sexual_abuse  suicide  trump  nytimes 
august 2019 by rgl7194
Jeffrey Epstein's Death in Prison Was One of Many - The Atlantic
These stories don’t mention Jeffrey Epstein, but they are about him.
Jeffrey Epstein’s name and face are everywhere following his death. Even as an investigation reveals that the Metropolitan Correctional Center, where he died, was terminally short-staffed and relied on untrained guards who failed to monitor him, conspiracy theories persist. Americans who believe in their justice system assert that it is obvious that he was murdered, and that jailers could not possibly be so incompetent, cruel, or indifferent as to let such a high-profile prisoner commit suicide.
Here, to help you evaluate that claim, are 32 short stories about in-custody deaths or near-deaths in America.
These stories don’t mention Jeffrey Epstein, but they are about him. Epstein was incarcerated in the United States of America, and this is how the United States of America, the mightiest and richest nation there is or ever has been, treats incarcerated people. When you say, “There is no way that guards could be so reckless, so indifferent, so malicious as to just let someone as important as Epstein die,” this is how 32 Americans respond. Many, many more could respond in kind.
crime  epstein  gov2.0  legal  money  murder  politics  sex  sexual_abuse  suicide 
august 2019 by rgl7194
There’s no evidence the Trump administration had a role in Jeffrey Epstein’s death | PolitiFact Facebook fact-checks
The full details of Jeffrey Epstein’s apparent suicide have yet to materialize, but one pro-labor Facebook group wasted no time linking the disgraced financier’s death to President Donald Trump.
The group, Union Thugs, strongly suggested that Trump, through his cabinet, had a hand in coordinating Epstein’s death. 
"DOJ under Barr had jurisdiction over the prison Epstein was in. It's been reported that the security cameras failed at the moment of the alleged suicide," the post reads. "Trump cabinet member Acosta gets Epstein a pass in court previously. Trump is a frequent flyer on Epstein airlines...yeah sure he killed himself."
To be clear: There is no evidence that Trump or his administration had any role in Epstein’s death. And as we’ve previously reported, criminal justice experts say that suicide is endemic in American jails.
This post was flagged as part of Facebook’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Facebook.) 
The New York City chief medical examiner has yet to release a final ruling on how the 66-year-old died. But here we’ll analyze the individual claims contained in the post based on what we now know.
conspiracy_theory  crime  epstein  gov2.0  legal  money  murder  politics  sex  sexual_abuse  suicide  trump  factcheck 
august 2019 by rgl7194
There’s no evidence that the Clintons were involved in Jeffrey Epstein’s death | PolitiFact Facebook fact-checks
It wasn’t long after Jeffrey Epstein was found dead in a Manhattan jail cell Aug. 10 that conspiracy theories started to bloom.
Some social media users baselessly speculated that Epstein, an American financier indicted on sex trafficking charges, was killed at the behest of Hillary and Bill Clinton. Others linked his death to President Donald Trump. And still others falsely claimed that Epstein never died at all.
None of those claims are backed by available evidence — and some are rooted in decades-old, long-debunked conspiracy theories. But social media posts promoting them have amassed tens of thousands of shares on platforms like Facebook and Twitter.
Some of those posts were flagged as part of Facebook’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Facebook.) 
Officials initially said Epstein, who was accused of abusing and trafficking underage girls, hanged himself. The New York City medical examiner's office finished an autopsy soon after he was found but said it needed "further information" to formally conclude a cause of death. Federal investigators are still in the early stages of parsing through the particulars of Epstein’s death out of an "abundance of caution."
Until we get more concrete details about Epstein’s death, we’re not rating claims that speculate about the factors that caused it. But conspiracies about Epstein are rampant on social media, so we wanted to check out the most viral ones and go through the facts.
epstein  conspiracy_theory  crime  gov2.0  hillary  legal  money  murder  politics  sex  sexual_abuse  suicide  factcheck 
august 2019 by rgl7194
Jeffrey Epstein, Accused Of Sex Trafficking, Dead From Apparent Suicide : NPR
Updated at 5:28 p.m. ET
Jeffrey Epstein, the wealthy financier accused of sex trafficking, was found unresponsive in his jail cell from an apparent suicide at approximately 6:30 a.m. Saturday, the Federal Bureau of Prisons said in a statement.
Epstein was transported by EMS from the Metropolitan Correctional Center in Manhattan to a local hospital for treatment of life-threatening injuries. He was subsequently pronounced dead by hospital staff.
The FBI is investigating.
Epstein, 66, was charged with sex trafficking of minors and sex trafficking conspiracy in July and was being held without bail. He pleaded not guilty to the charges and would have faced up to 45 years in prison if convicted.
Last month, he was found unconscious in his cell with marks on his neck. Prison officials were investigating that incident as a possible suicide attempt but had not ruled out the possibility that he was attacked or that he had somehow staged the injuries, New York Times reporter Michael Gold told NPR's Weekend Edition.
epstein  suicide  sex  crime  sexual_abuse  legal  gov2.0  politics  money 
august 2019 by rgl7194
How Epstein Got Rich: Clue Buried in Lawsuit? - WhoWhatWhy
People wondering how Jeffrey Epstein acquired his enormous wealth may find a clue on page 5 of the lawsuit, filed — and later withdrawn — by Katie Johnson against Donald Trump and Epstein for allegedly raping her when she was 13 years old.
Tiffany Doe, a material witness named in the lawsuit, had agreed to provide sworn testimony, “fully verifying the authenticity of the claims” of Johnson. Doe said she had been employed by Epstein for more than 10 years as a “party planner” and had witnessed everything described by Johnson.
In fact, it was her job to witness all the sexual escapades that went on in Epstein’s mansions — and to report to him everything she had overheard. He told her “knowledge was king” in the financial world. From page 5 of the lawsuit:
As a result of these underage sex parties, Defendant Epstein was able to accumulate inside business knowledge that he otherwise would never have been privy to in order to amass his huge personal fortune.
It is clear that Epstein did throw wild parties with young women. Did he learn anything from the pillow talk? From the bragging of men trying to impress each other with their inside knowledge of upcoming secret deals? If “knowledge is king” — what about Epstein’s knowledge of who did what to underage girls at his parties? Did Epstein blackmail any of these men?
Knowledge is king indeed.
sex  crime  money  celebrity  trump  sexual_abuse  legal  epstein  suicide  gov2.0  politics 
august 2019 by rgl7194
Trump's Conspiracy Theory About the Clintons and Epstein - The Atlantic
On Saturday, President Trump spread a conspiracy theory accusing the Clintons of murdering Jeffrey Epstein.
August 10, 1969: SAN CLEMENTE, Calif.—President Nixon accused his predecessor Lyndon Baines Johnson of complicity in the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. Speaking with reporters on the first day of a 10-day stay at his Pacific Ocean vacation home ….
Of course, that never happened. Obviously. How could it, how dare it? But had it happened, such an accusation—by a president, against a former president—would have convulsed the United States and the world. Today, President Trump accused his predecessor, Bill Clinton—or possibly his 2016 campaign opponent, former First Lady and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton—of complicity in the death of the accused sex-trafficker, Jeffrey Epstein.
Many seem to have responded with a startled shrug. What do you expect? It’s just Trump letting off steam on Twitter.
Reactions to actions by Trump are always filtered through the prism of the ever-more-widely accepted view—within his administration, within Congress, within the United States and around the world—that the 45th president is a reckless buffoon, a conspiratorial racist moron, whose weird comments should be disregarded by sensible people.
By now, Trump’s party in Congress, the members of his Cabinet, and even his White House entourage all tacitly agree that Trump’s occupancy of the office held by Washington, Lincoln, FDR, and Eisenhower must be a bizarre cosmic joke, not to be taken seriously. CNN’s Jake Tapper on August 2 quoted a “senior national security official” as saying: "Everyone at this point ignores what the president says and just does their job. The American people should take some measure of confidence in that.”
trump  politics  gov2.0  hillary  conspiracy_theory  murder  SMH  epstein  suicide  sex  crime  sexual_abuse  legal  money 
august 2019 by rgl7194
Brett Kavanaugh and the Information Terrorists Trying to Reshape America | WIRED
The network architecture built in Gamergate helped propel Trump to the presidency and fuel conspiracies like Pizzagate and QAnon. Now it’s backing Brett Kavanaugh.
SINCE THE ADVENT of Donald Trump's candidacy, there's been a ton of focus on botnets and sockpuppets—automated and semiautomated social media accounts that use disinformation to manipulate public opinion.
But the spotlight on bots has overshadowed the importance of the people who often initiate the flood and flow of information, and how the narratives they build over time influence how we see politics, ourselves, and the world around us.
Last month, the attorney of Christine Blasey Ford, the California professor who has accused Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexual assault at a long-ago high school party, revealed that Blasey Ford and her family were in hiding and had hired private security after Blasey Ford received death threats over email and social media. Among those cheering on the hate-trollers were many familiar faces from the sewers of the modern far-right disinformation metropolis: dandified Republican rogue (and likely Mueller investigee) Roger Stone, his alt-media protégés Mike Cernovich and Jack Posobiec, anarchist turned Kremlin propaganda employee turned Bernie backer turned Trump backer Cassandra Fairbanks, and breathless Infowars conspiracist-in-chief Alex Jones. And not surprisingly, alt-right super-troll Chuck Johnson had his own connection to players in the scandal.
terrorism  information  politics  gov2.0  SCOTUS  trump  propaganda  fake_news  sexual_abuse  alt-right 
august 2019 by rgl7194
Catholic Church scandal: Church spent $10.6 million on lobbyists to fight legislation that would benefit victims of child sex abuse - CBS News
A new report released Tuesday reveals that, over the past eight years, the Catholic Church has spent $10.6 million in the northeastern United States to fight legislation that would help victims of clergy sexual abuse seek justice.
"At the most basic level, we were inspired by frustration," says attorney Gerald Williams, a partner at Williams Cedar, one of four law firms that jointly commissioned the report. "We represent hundreds of people, who have truly been victimized by clergymen in the Catholic Church. We've heard a lot about the church's desire to be accountable and turn over a new leaf. But when we turn to the form where we can most help people and where we can get the most justice — the courts of justice — the church has been there blocking their efforts."
In New York, for example, the Catholic Church spent $2,912,772 lobbying against the Child Victims Act, which Governor Andrew Cuomo ultimately signed into law on February 14, 2019. The act gives survivors more time to seek justice against their abusers, increasing the age at which victims are able to sue from 23 to 55.
Similarly, in Pennsylvania — where in 2018 a grand jury report detailed evidence of more than 300 priests credibly accused of sexually abusing more than 1,000 children — the Catholic Church spent $5,322,979 lobbying to keep current restrictions in place on the statute of limitations in which victims can seek criminal or civil charges against their abusers.
church  gov2.0  politics  lobbying  money  sexual_abuse  children  religion 
july 2019 by rgl7194
Why Don’t Police Catch Serial Rapists? - The Atlantic
What new research reveals about sexual predators, and why police fail to catch them
This article is part of our project “The Presence of Justice,” which is supported by a grant from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation’s Safety and Justice Challenge.
Robert spada walked into the decrepit warehouse in Detroit and surveyed the chaos: Thousands of cardboard boxes and large plastic bags were piled haphazardly throughout the cavernous space. The air inside was hot and musty. Spada, an assistant prosecutor, saw that some of the windows were open, others broken, exposing the room to the summer heat. Above the boxes, birds glided in slow, swooping circles.
It was August 17, 2009, and this brick fortress of a building housed evidence that had been collected by the Detroit Police Department. Spada’s visit had been prompted by a question: Why were police sometimes unable to locate crucial evidence? The answer lay in the disarray before him.
As Spada wandered through the warehouse, he made another discovery, one that would help uncover a decades-long scandal, not just in Detroit but across the country. He noticed rows of steel shelving lined with white cardboard boxes, 10 inches tall and a foot wide, stacked six feet high. What are those? he asked a Detroit police officer who was accompanying him. Rape kits, the officer said.
police  women  sexual_abuse  crime  90s  sexism  2000s  2010s 
july 2019 by rgl7194
What the E. Jean Carroll Aftermath Means - The Atlantic
We have become comfortable with the hideous, and are now content to live alongside horrible things.
The accusation landed with a thud in the media, briefly disturbing the public conversation one sunny Friday afternoon the way a spilled glass of wine momentarily disturbs a dinner party. E. Jean Carroll, the longtime Elle advice columnist, had published an excerpt from her forthcoming memoir on the cover of New York magazine, in which she accused President Donald Trump of sexually assaulting her in a Bergdorf Goodman dressing room more than 20 years ago. According to Carroll, the incident likely took place in 1996, when Trump was merely a crass businessman with a thirst for tabloid fame. Two friends she called in the immediate aftermath of the attack confirmed Carroll’s story to New York, then to The New York Times. Carroll did not use the word rape in her account of what happened in the dressing room with the man who would become president, but there was little room for doubt that it fit the legal definition.
The revelation had the quality of déjà vu, not shocking but familiar, probably because we have quite literally been here before. Carroll is at least the 22nd woman to publicly accuse Trump of sexual misconduct, and the second to accuse him of rape—the first was Trump’s first wife, Ivana Trump, the mother of three of his children, who later rescinded her allegation. Carroll’s piece garnered much praise for its elegant style and for the integrity she showed in publishing it, but it generated nothing like shock. Yeah, I thought. That sounds about right.
#MeToo  crime  gov2.0  politics  sexual_abuse  trump 
july 2019 by rgl7194
E. Jean Carroll’s Rape Allegation Against Trump: Attention Fatigue - The Atlantic
The famous writer’s rape accusation against the president fell victim to the familiar workings of attention fatigue.
On Friday, E. Jean Carroll, the journalist and advice columnist, published a new piece of writing: an excerpt from her forthcoming book, What Do We Need Men For? Posted on The Cut, the essay is a meditation on the sexual abuses that have accumulated, like plaque in the artery, over the course of her life; it contains allegations that several culturally prominent men have assaulted her. One of those men is the current president of the United States. In the mid-1990s, Carroll writes, she had a chance encounter with Donald Trump, then known primarily as a real-estate developer, at Bergdorf Goodman; he asked her to help him pick out a gift for, he told her, another woman. The encounter began as a friendly one between two New York City celebrities; it ended, Carroll writes, with Trump cornering her in a dressing room and raping her.
Soon after Carroll’s story was published—soon after her pain was converted, via the alchemies of the internet, into a piece of media—the familiar inertias set in: She had made a claim; he denied it; the world threw up its hands. The New York Times initially relegated this latest allegation that the sitting president of the United States is a rapist to its Books section, mentioning Carroll’s claim in the context of the upcoming literary collection that houses it. (On Saturday morning, per one count, 164 stories were on the Times’ U.S. home page; none of them addressed Carroll’s allegation.) Several other major papers, on Saturday, deemed Carroll’s claim to be unworthy of coverage on their front pages. Over the weekend, the story’s outrages were largely extinguished, its claims consigned to that achingly familiar category of Trump-related news: shocking, but not surprising. “The allegation went largely undiscussed by major TV networks on Sunday morning,” HuffPost noted, “clearing the path for yet another sexual assault allegation against the president to slip into the void.”
#MeToo  crime  gov2.0  politics  sexual_abuse  trump 
july 2019 by rgl7194
E. Jean Carroll’s Trump allegation is devastatingly odd.
Reading E. Jean Carroll’s account in the Cut of her 21 “Hideous Men”—packed as it is with details about Girl Scout knives and cheerleading and jokes and echoes of David Foster Wallace’s story collection of a similar name—it occurred to me that in the contest to be heard and believed, #MeToo allegations were always bound to become literature. They had to. The vehicle through which these incidents are reported would at some point adapt in order to address the formal impossibilities of the things it’s asked to do. Carroll’s essay is just such an expansion. What she produces, instead of a direct account of what was done and by whom, is an arch and experimental essay that keeps nodding at readerly expectations and deciding not to meet them.
Carroll’s piece, an excerpt from her upcoming book, What Do We Need Men For?, is filled with jokes—not just because a writer like Carroll has joked liberally throughout her career as an advice columnist, but also, perhaps, because jokes are how a lot of people deal with trauma. It abounds in incompletions and uncertainties—maybe because that’s how people remember an attack, partially, with certain details writ large and others missing. It replicates the limited perspective in which survivors, too, live their lives. When you’re joking around with a real estate magnate, you’re probably not taking a careful inventory of the layout of that floor of Bergdorf’s. When you’re a kid and a boy penetrates you with an object (a stick or a rock, you don’t remember) then stuffs a cloth of some kind down your underpants to absorb the blood, it might not occur to you until many, many years later that this is what was repeatedly done to him. No one is omniscient, not even about their own sexual assault, and the essayistic approach expresses the confusion—what was that piece of fabric about?—in ways news stories can’t and won’t. Carroll’s response to America’s lax reaction to the 22 women who accused Donald Trump of assault before her was to do things differently. Rather than go straight to the news, she wrote the thing herself. In so doing, she forces the reader to acknowledge her first and foremost—her humor and her boy-craziness and her flaws, but also her centrality, her life experience, and her fame. And presents her story without any trace of self-pity.
crime  gov2.0  politics  sexual_abuse  trump  #MeToo 
july 2019 by rgl7194
Southern Baptist Convention report on sex abuse shines a light on evangelical culture
Sexual abuse was never just a Catholic problem. But unlike the Catholic structure, evangelical churches like the one I grew up in and have spent the past 13 years researching are largely self-governing. This means we’ve mostly lacked the kind of bureaucratic record that might prove systemic abuse the way it’s been documented in Catholic dioceses.
Now, a report on a major evangelical denomination is changing all that.
A joint investigation by two Texas papers, the Houston Chronicle and the San Antonio Express-News, resulted in a three-part report revealing that over 200 Southern Baptist pastors, youth pastors and deacons were convicted or took plea deals for sex crimes over the past 20 years — leaving behind over 700 survivors. When the vast majority of rapes in the United States never lead to a felony conviction, these numbers suggest an astronomical level of violence.
church  religion  sexism  sexual_abuse  crime  sex  report 
march 2019 by rgl7194
Emma Thompson’s letter to Skydance: Why I can’t work for John Lasseter - Los Angeles Times
When Skydance Media Chief Executive David Ellison announced this year that he was hiring John Lasseter to head Skydance Animation, many in and outside the company were shocked and deeply unhappy. Only months earlier, Lasseter had ended his relationship with Pixar — where he had worked since the early ’80s — and parent company Disney after multiple allegations of inappropriate behavior and the creation of a frat house-like work environment. Lasseter had admitted to inappropriate hugging and “other missteps.”
After announcing the hire, Ellison sent a long email to staff, noting that Lasseter was contractually obligated to behave professionally, and convened a series of town halls in which Lasseter apologized for past behavior and asked to be given the chance to prove himself to his new staff. Meanwhile, Mireille Soria, president of Paramount Animation, with which Skydance has a distribution deal, took the highly unusual step of meeting with female employees to tell them that they could decline to work with Lasseter.
But it was Emma Thompson, the politically outspoken newly anointed dame commander of the British Empire who made the first real definitive statement on Lasseter, and one of the most significant decisions in post-#MeToo Hollywood.
In mid-February, it was reported that the two-time Oscar winner had pulled out of Skydance’s highly touted animation feature “Luck,” citing her concerns about Lasseter’s hiring. According to her representatives, from the moment the hire was announced, Thompson began conversations about extricating herself from the project; she officially withdrew Jan. 20.
movies  actress  celebrity  sexism  sexual_abuse  latimes  #MeToo 
february 2019 by rgl7194
The scandal that could force out another Trump cabinet secretary | MSNBC
Alex Acosta has been Donald Trump’s Secretary of Labor for 22 months. In light of yesterday’s developments, I’m hard pressed to imagine how he’ll remain at his post for a 23rd.
The Miami Herald, which has done amazing work on the Jeffrey Epstein story, reported yesterday:
Federal prosecutors, under former Miami U.S. Attorney Alex Acosta, broke the law when they concealed a plea agreement from more than 30 underage victims who had been sexually abused by wealthy New York hedge fund manager Jeffrey Epstein, a federal judge ruled Thursday.
While the decision marks a victory for crime victims, the federal judge, Kenneth A. Marra, stopped short of overturning Epstein’s plea deal, or issuing an order resolving the case. He instead gave federal prosecutors 15 days to confer with Epstein’s victims and their attorneys to come up with a settlement. The victims did not seek money or damages as part of the suit. […]
Marra, in a 33-page opinion, said prosecutors not only violated the Crime Victims’ Rights Act by not informing the victims, they also misled the girls into believing that the FBI’s sex trafficking case against Epstein was still ongoing – when in fact, prosecutors had secretly closed it after sealing the plea bargain from the public record.
gov2.0  politics  trump  legal  sexual_abuse  crime 
february 2019 by rgl7194
20 years, 700 victims: Southern Baptist sexual abuse spreads as leaders resist reforms - Houston Chronicle
20 years, 700 victims: Southern Baptist sexual abuse spreads as leaders resist reforms
Thirty-five years later, Debbie Vasquez's voice trembled as she described her trauma to a group of Southern Baptist leaders.
She was 14, she said, when she was first molested by her pastor in Sanger, a tiny prairie town an hour north of Dallas. It was the first of many assaults that Vasquez said destroyed her teenage years and, at 18, left her pregnant by the Southern Baptist pastor, a married man more than a dozen years older.
In June 2008, she paid her way to Indianapolis, where she and others asked leaders of the Southern Baptist Convention and its 47,000 churches to track sexual predators and take action against congregations that harbored or concealed abusers. Vasquez, by then in her 40s, implored them to consider prevention policies like those adopted by faiths that include the Catholic Church.
religion  corruption  church  sexual_abuse  sexism 
february 2019 by rgl7194
Sexual Abuse of Nuns: Longstanding Church Scandal Emerges From Shadows - The New York Times
ROME — The sexual abuse of nuns and religious women by Catholic priests and bishops — and the abortions that have sometimes resulted — has for years been overshadowed by other scandals in the Roman Catholic Church.
That seemed to change this week when Pope Francis publicly acknowledged the problem for the first time.
“I was so happy,” said Lucetta Scaraffia, the author of an article denouncing the abuse of nuns and religious lay women by priests that was published this month in a magazine, Women Church World, which is distributed alongside the Vatican’s newspaper.
Speaking from her Rome apartment, which she said had essentially been converted into a television studio full of international reporters, Ms. Scaraffia said, “Finally, now many women will have the courage to come forward and denounce their abusers.”
church  pope  religion  sexism  nytimes  corruption  sexual_abuse  nuns  priests 
february 2019 by rgl7194
Pope Francis Acknowledges Sexual Abuse of Nuns by Priests, Bishops - Michael Foust
Pope Francis has acknowledged for the first time the sexual abuse of nuns by priests and bishops, saying he is committed to making the changes to stop it.
The pope made the comments to reporters during a plane ride from Abu Dhabi to Rome. A reporter had asked him about an article in a Vatican magazine about the abuse of nuns.
“It is true ... there have been priests and even bishops who have done this,” Francis said, according to Reuters. “I think it is still going on because something does not stop just because you have become aware of it.
“We have been working on this for a long time. We have suspended some priests because of this. … I can’t say ‘this does not happen in my house.’ It is true. Do we have to do more? Yes. Are we willing? Yes.”
The pope further said that the Vatican was shutting down a female religious order involved in the abuse scandal, according to Reuters.
church  pope  religion  sexism  corruption  sexual_abuse  nuns  priests 
february 2019 by rgl7194
Pope Francis calls sexual abuse of nuns 'a problem' for the first time, - CNN
Aboard the papal plane (CNN)For the first time, Pope Francis has acknowledged the sexual abuse of nuns by priests and bishops as a "problem" in the Catholic Church, saying that "we've been working on this for some time."
The Pope's comments, which came during a press conference aboard the papal plane on a return flight to Rome from the United Arab Emirates, come as the Catholic Church is dealing with sexual abuse scandals on several continents.
"There have been priests and also bishops who have done that," the Pope said of sexually abusing nuns. "And I believe that it may still be being done. It's not a thing that from the moment in which you realize it, it's over. The thing goes forward like this. We've been working on this for a long time."
Francis said the Vatican has "suspended some clerics, sent them away for this" and "dissolved" some orders of nuns "that were very tied up in this, a corruption."
"Must something more be done? Yes. Do we have the will? Yes," he said.
church  pope  religion  sexism  corruption  sexual_abuse  nuns  priests 
february 2019 by rgl7194
Pope publicly acknowledges clergy sexual abuse of nuns
ABOARD THE PAPAL PLANE (AP) — Pope Francis on Tuesday publicly acknowledged the scandal of priests and bishops sexually abusing nuns and vowed to do more to fight the problem, the latest sign that there is no end in sight to the Catholic Church’s abuse crisis — and that it now has a reckoning from the #MeToo movement.
Francis admitted to the problem for the first time in public during a news conference while returning to Rome from the United Arab Emirates. The acknowledgment comes just two weeks before he hosts an unprecedented gathering of bishops to craft a global response to the scandal of priestly predators who target children and the superiors who covered up the crimes.
Francis was asked about priests who target adult women — the religious sisters who are the backbone of the Catholic Church’s education, health care and social service ministries around the globe — and whether the Holy See might consider a similar universal approach to combat that issue.
“It’s not that everyone does this, but there have been priests and bishops who have,” Francis told reporters. “And I think that it’s continuing because it’s not like once you realize it that it stops. It continues. And for some time we’ve been working on it.”
church  pope  religion  sexism  corruption  sexual_abuse  nuns  priests 
february 2019 by rgl7194
Pope Francis Acknowledges Sexual Abuse of Nuns by Priests | National News | US News
It is thought to be the first time the pontiff has openly addressed the issue.
POPE FRANCIS ON TUESDAY acknowledged the sexual abuse of nuns by priests and bishops in what is thought to be the first time he has publicly addressed the issue.
Talking to reporters, Francis said his predecessor, Pope Benedict XVI, shut down a French order after some of its nuns had been subjected to "sexual slavery" at the hands of priests, according to reports.
Francis said the abuse of religious sisters has gone on in the past and continues to happen.
"It's not that everyone does this, but there have been priests and bishops who have," Francis said on his way back home from the United Arab Emirates, the Associated Press reports. "And I think that it's continuing because it's not like once you realize it that it stops. It continues. And for some time we've been working on it."
church  pope  religion  sexism  corruption  sexual_abuse  nuns  priests 
february 2019 by rgl7194
Pope Francis for first time acknowledges sexual abuse of nuns by priests
But scope of problem worldwide remains unclear as victims are reluctant to come forward and church leaders are slow to admit behavior of predator clergy.
Pope Francis for the first time publicly acknowledged that nuns have also been the victims of sexual abuse at the hands of predator priests and bishops.
Vowing to do more to protect vulnerable nuns, the pontiff also credited his predecessor, Pope Benedict, with taking action against a French-based order after some of its nuns were subjected to "sexual slavery.”
“Should we do something more? Yes," Francis told reporters during a press conference on the papal flight back to Rome from his historic two-day visit to the United Arab Emirates. "Is there the will? Yes. But it’s a path that we have already begun.”
"It’s not something that everyone does, but there have been priests and even bishops who have done what you say,” Francis added. “And I think that it’s continuing because it’s not like once you realize it that it stops. It continues. And for some time we’ve been working on it.”
church  pope  religion  sexism  corruption  sexual_abuse  nuns  priests 
february 2019 by rgl7194
Pope Francis confirms Catholic clergy members abused nuns - The Washington Post
Pope Francis has acknowledged that members of the Catholic clergy abused nuns, adding to a string of recent allegations about widespread sexual abuse by priests and coverups by the church hierarchy.
“It’s not that everyone does this, but there have been priests and bishops who have,” Francis told reporters aboard the papal plane on Tuesday, according to the Associated Press. The wire service and other outlets had reported on allegations of nun abuse over the past year, but the pontiff had not confirmed that such abuse took place.
Francis is due to host a gathering of bishops and cardinals in two weeks to address the broader global issue of clergy sexual abuse — including, largely for the first time, adult victims and accountability for those at the top of the church who mismanage and cover it up.
church  pope  religion  sexism  corruption  sexual_abuse  nuns  priests 
february 2019 by rgl7194
Pope admits clerical abuse of nuns including sexual slavery - BBC News
Pope Francis has admitted that clerics have sexually abused nuns, and in one case they were kept as sex slaves.
He said in that case his predecessor, Pope Benedict, was forced to shut down an entire congregation of nuns who were being abused by priests.
It is thought to be the first time that Pope Francis has acknowledged the sexual abuse of nuns by the clergy.
He said the Church was attempting to address the problem but said it was "still going on".
Last November, the Catholic Church's global organisation for nuns denounced the "culture of silence and secrecy" that prevented them from speaking out.
The Pope's comments come amid long-running cases of sexual abuse of children and young men by priests at the Church.
church  pope  religion  sexism  corruption  sexual_abuse  nuns  priests 
february 2019 by rgl7194
Pope Acknowledges Nuns Were Sexually Abused by Priests and Bishops - The New York Times
ABOARD THE PAPAL PLANE — Pope Francis said on Tuesday that the Roman Catholic Church had faced a persistent problem of sexual abuse of nuns by priests and even bishops, the first time he has publicly acknowledged the issue.
Catholic nuns have accused clerics of sexual abuse in recent years in India, Africa, Latin America and in Italy, and a Vatican magazine last week mentioned nuns having abortions or giving birth to the children of priests. But Francis has never raised the issue until he was asked to comment during a news conference aboard the papal plane returning to Rome from his trip to the United Arab Emirates.
“It’s true,” Francis said. “There are priests and bishops who have done that.”
church  pope  religion  sexism  corruption  nytimes  sexual_abuse  nuns  priests 
february 2019 by rgl7194
Pope Francis Acknowledges, For First Time, Sexual Abuse Of Nuns By Priests : NPR
Pope Francis, for the first time, acknowledged the sexual abuse of nuns by priests and bishops, including a case in which some clergy used women as sex slaves. He said on Tuesday that he is committed to ending the problem in the Roman Catholic Church.
His comments came in response to a reporter's question on his flight returning to Rome from Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. The reporter asked the pope about a Vatican magazine article published last week detailing reports of sexual abuse by clerics resulting in nuns having abortions or giving birth to children fathered by priests.
"It is true ... there have been priests and even bishops who have done this," said Francis as quoted by Reuters. "I think it is still going on because something does not stop just because you have become aware of it," he added.
After years of revelations of sexual predation by priests upon children and the growing public attention paid to the #MeToo movement, Francis and the church are being forced to address persistent reports of abuse of members of its own hierarchy: the nuns who serve the church in a secondary capacity to men.
church  pope  religion  sexism  corruption  sexual_abuse  nuns  priests 
february 2019 by rgl7194

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