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Dozens Accuse Media Mogul Harvey Weinstein of Sexual Misconduct; Building a Case Against ISIS; Believing Women. Aired 2-2:30p ET
Aired October 11, 2017 - 14:00:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[14:00:06] NIMA ELBAGIR, CNN HOST: Tonight, on the international day of the girl, we focus on the man who abused power and the brave women standing
up to them.
Renowned civil rights attorney Gloria Allred speaks to us about Harvey Weinstein sexual harassment suite. She is representing his latest accuser.
Plus, the global effort to bring justice to Yazidi women and girls who suffer unspeakably at the hands of the Islamic State. Our harrowing report
from Northern Iraq.
Good evening, everyone, and welcome to the program. I'm Nima Elbagir sitting in for Christiane Amanpour in London.
We begin with the sexual misconduct allegations against entertainment mogul Harvey Weinstein. It's a story we can't stop talking about at home and at
Men are amazed, women rarely surprised. The story highlights the culture of complicity and a system that protects the abuser, not the abused. The
institutional nature of the alleged abuse was driven home last night on CNN by actress and screenwriter Luisa Guise who accuses Weinstein of sexual
harassment at the Sundance Film Festival in 2008.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LOUISETTE GEISS, ACTRESS: I've studied my whole life. I've dedicated my life to being a writer and a producer and a good person, you know, quite
frankly. And what's the point? Because I knew that I couldn't fight them. And they will tell you to your face that if you fight them, they'll get
their lawyers on you and they'll shut you down.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ELBAGIR: The list of women who felt shut down by Weinstein are among Hollywood's most successful and well connected. It includes Angelina
Jolie, Ashley Judd, Gwyneth Paltrow, Rose McGowan, who is seen here with Harvey Weinstein. It's hard to look at these pictures knowing what we
If these women can't protect themselves, what does that say for the rest of us?
Attorney Gloria Allred helped expand the very definition of what constitutes sexual assault. Allred is representing Louisette Geiss in her
claims against Harvey Weinstein.
Ms. Allred, thank you so much for joining us on the program.
GLORIA ALLRED, ATTORNEY: Thank you. Thanks for inviting me.
ELBAGIR: The question that so many women are asking themselves today, I admit it's a question I've been asking myself, if these famous, beautiful,
connected women didn't feel comfortable coming forward, what does that say, what does that say to you?
ALLRED: What that says is that they were concerned and this is my opinion that in fact it would have negative repercussions on their career if in
fact they reported what they say was sexual harassment of them or sexual abuse.
That either, A, they might not be believed or, B, Harvey Weinstein, they might fear would retaliate against them and it could affect their future
advancement as actresses in the industry.
SESAY: I mean in essence, when we stand there and we accuse Gwyneth Paltrow or Angelina Joe of not using the platform that they're given, are
we ourselves complicit? Isn't this also part of the culture that stops women from coming forward?
ALLRED: Well, I don't know what they knew and when they knew it. I don't know if they knew that there were others. Certainly, there have been
rumors circulating for many, many years, but rumors are not the same as evidence. Rumors are not the same as fact.
And, you know, they may have thought that perhaps some of these sexual advances if in fact they took place were welcome. And of course if they
were welcome, that's not sexual harassment. Or maybe they thought some of them were not welcome.
There are reportedly were eight confidential settlements. Settlements by Mr. Weinstein with some women, some alleged victims who alleged sexual
harassment, but these were confidential settlements.
So only the parties and their attorneys, Mr. Weinstein and anyone else involved with him, his lawyers and I don't have any comment on whether the
Weinstein company lawyers were involved, they were the only ones who would know about the settlements.
So, again, I'm not condemning others. Every woman has to make her own best decision as to who she should tell or if she should not tell anyone. I'm
not going to sit here and second guess them. I am going to sit here and be supportive of them.
[14:05:00] ELBAGIR: Well, Mr. Weinstein has said in his response, "Any allegations of non-consensual sex are unequivocally denied. With respect
to any women who have made allegations on the record, Mr. Weinstein believes that all of these relationships were consensual. But I want to
play for our audience, because I know you have heard this.
The audio that was imbedded with "The New Yorker" magazine expose, which where we will hear Ambra Battilana Gutierrez, a Filipina-Italian model
taking part in a 2015 New York Police Department sting operation.
Take a listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
AMBRA BATTILANA GUTIERREZ, MODEL: Please I don't want to do something I don't want to do.
HARVEY WEINSTEIN: Go to the bath -- come here. Listen to me --
GUTIERREZ: I want to go downstairs.
WEINSTEIN: I'm not going to do anything. You'll never see me again after this. OK? That's it. If you embarrass me in this hotel --
GUTIERREZ: I'm not embarrassing you. I don't feel comfortable.
WEINSTEIN: Honey, don't have a fight with me. Please I'm not going to do anything. I swear on my children.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ELBAGIR: I mean, it's just -- the first time I heard that I -- I was speechless. And I know so many women who have had an almost physical
reaction to that because even though in theory perhaps there was no forced in what we heard at least, there was clearly coercion.
And so when you hear something like that, do you question, should he have been charged with a crime when that operation happened?
ALLRED: Well, it appears that today the district attorney's office is pointing their fingers at the police for perhaps not getting as much
evidence as they believe they needed.
It appears that law enforcement is pointing their finger at the district attorney. So --
ELBAGIR: Right back at them.
ALLRED: So we don't know. It's a high burden of proof. There is -- it's necessary for the district attorney to feel that the district attorney can
prove a case beyond a reasonable doubt. That's the highest burden of evidence that is necessary in order to convict in a criminal case and
particularly where does the high profile figure? Sometimes they need more than proof beyond a reasonable doubt in the opinion of the D.A. even though
that's not the law.
So should they have done it? Should they not have done it? What other evidence could they have received? We don't know. So I'm not going to sit
here and say they should have prosecuted or shouldn't, but this is very, very serious conduct and they're definitely should be and should have been
a complete investigation to see what else would be need in order to make a decision.
ELBAGIR: Will you be pushing for access to some of what was gathered in that investigation back in 2015.
ALLRED: Well, what we have done now is to ask Mr. Weinstein to voluntarily agree to a process with a retired judge and with anyone who alleges that
she is a victim of sexual harassment of Mr. Weinstein.
And in that process, which you call an arbitration, which is a private trial, the alleged victims can present their evidence. Mr. Weinstein can
defend. The judge can then decide, whether or not she or he should fine Mr. Weinstein liable for having sexually harassed any of these victims.
If so, the court then could decide should there be damages and if so according to proof at trial. Or if the retired judge decides in favor of
Mr. Weinstein, then Mr. Weinstein could announce to the world that the judge found in his favor.
I think that's a dignified process. Instead of just being, you know, in the court of public opinion where he is now. He would have an opportunity
to have his day in court so to speak. And our clients, the alleged victims would have an opportunity to have their day in court.
For many of them, it's too late. There's a time period set by law during which they had to bring their claims. They did not bring their claims
within that time period. It's too late now. But Mr. Weinstein could voluntarily proceed with this process and say I'm not going to say the
statute of limitations is a defense that these women are barred from an access to justice. And I invite him to do that. We have not heard from
his attorneys yet. But I'm looking forward to hearing from them as to whether they will engage in this process or in a mediation process. And I
think that's something that would be fair for all parties.
ELBAGIR: Very quickly because you have been part of some of the biggest cases brought recently. You've been part of the case against Bill Cosby,
and of course there was the case against Fox News' Roger Ailes and then now of course this.
Do you think we are finally at a tipping point?
[14:10:00] ALLRED: I do think we're at the tipping point. However, I want to also say that Harvey Weinstein is not the beginning and the end of this
issue, because I have been contacted by many accusers who are accusing other high-profile figures in Hollywood as well.
So it is teaching moment for many people in Hollywood. If any of you think that you are entitled to sexually harass women and subject them to
unwelcome sexual advances or language or both, you're wrong. Your days are over.
Women are empowered. They will not be silent anymore. They will assert their rights to be free from sexual harassment in the workplace. And
you're going to need to understand you're going to face serious consequences if you continue to interfere with their right to equal
ELBAGIR: That is hopefully heartening. And we look forward to hearing more from you, Ms. Allred.
Thank you so much for joining us on the program.
ELBAGIR: When we com back, an exclusive report on the people who will prosecute ISIS.
CNN gets special access to the secret location where the war crimes of ISIS are being kept as evidence. That is next.
ELBAGIR: Welcome back to the program.
From sexual slavery to genocide. The depravity of a terrorist group like ISIS knows no boundaries. The question is whether the victims can have any
hope that those responsible will ever be held accountable for the atrocities.
CNN's Jomana Karadsheh had this exclusive report on the international effort to collect evidence of ISIS war crimes.
JOMANA KARADSHEH, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The caliphate ISIS declared three years ago now lies in ruins. Its fighters dead, captured or
on the run. ISIS ravaged much of northern Iraq, but their organized campaign to destroy, kill and torture left behind a trail. Thousands of
documents, phone records and videos.
(On-camera): As ISIS retreated, investigators moved in quietly, combing through the offices of the so-called caliphate like this one. Their goal
to find the evidence that would allow teams of lawyers to build cases against the men who directed the horror.
(Voice-over): For more than two years, a team of western and Iraqi investigators from the Commission for International Justice and
Accountability worked undercover with Kurdish authorities in Northern Iraq. ISIS had left plenty of clues.
Speaking to CNN on the condition, we conceal his identity, one investigator describes the inner workings of ISIS.
The bureaucracy of Islamic state's leadership and its counsel upon counsel upon counsel and it's where very little happens without various people
stumping and signing a document, what enabled them to be so effective is actually helping us to demonstrate the whole structural organizational
chain from the guys that committed the atrocities to the senior leadership.
KARADSHEH: In a secret location in Europe, evidence retrieved in Iraq analyzed, links are made and cases built by international criminal lawyers.
Bill Wiley has worked for more than 20 years in high profile international tribunals.
BILL WILEY, COMMISSION FOR INTERNATIONAL JUSTICE AND ACCOUNTABILITY: The big thing for us is to get basically electronic devices of anything --
anything with a hard drive basically. And these things because obviously the capacity of a hard drive holds so much material.
KARADSHEH: He founded the commission whose work is independent. Its ISIS investigation is funded mostly by the Canadian government.
[14:15:30] WILEY: The key focus for us or certainly in an international criminal prosecution is what -- is on what we call linkage. And that's
establishing the connection between the low-level perpetrators, who are not ultimately of interest for prosecution, running up the linkage that runs up
to the highest level perpetrators. Ultimately, al-Baghdadi, the head of the Islamic State.
KARADSHEH: The commission has two war crimes cases ready for prosecution. They are related to ISIS's assault on Sinjar, home to Iraq's Yazidi
minority. Thousands were captured then executed. Women enslaved and raped.
WILEY: There's a -- if we can put it this way, creativity in their criminality which I have not witnessed anywhere else. I'm quite accustomed
to mass murder. I worked in Rwanda, the Balkans and the Eastern Congo.
So if you will, mainstream routine murder, torture, sexual offences and so forth, myself and my colleagues are quite familiar with it and never seen
in my whole career. I've been in this field for over 20 years. I've never seen organized sexual slavery before.
KARADSHEH: Even ISIS boasted about it. This 2014 video purportedly shows ISIS militants joking about buying and selling Yazidi women. $300 this
fighter says, but he'll pay more if she is younger.
Two dozen ISIS leaders and members with links to the persecution of Yazidis have been identified. According to Wiley, the top level leadership sets
the overall policy, but when it comes to the day-to-day criminality, ISIS's governors are the key players.
Suspects include ISIS's former governor of Mosul Abu Layth believed to have been killed and this man Abu Hamza, a local amir who remains at large.
Witness testimony has been critical. Dozens of rescued Yazidis have been interviewed by investigators. And as the caliphate crumbles, survivors
This 21-year-old rescued just weeks ago from Syria says she was a slave for nearly three years, raped repeatedly by an American ISIS fighter. Afraid
to reveal her identity, she tells us she was sold four times. Yet the hardest thing she injured was being separated from her mother.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): When I got out and didn't find my family, it felt like ISIS had taken me again. I can't stop thinking of
my family. I was liberated, but I don't feel free.
KARADSHEH: She wants ISIS fighters tried and punished as criminals. Even so she tells us --
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Nothing will bring back our families and erase what happened. Nothing will give us back our lives.
KARADSHEH: Whether this evidence will ever be heard in court is tied up in the complex politics of Iraq and the Kurdistan region, both gathering
support for special ISIS prosecutions.
While many ISIS leaders may never face justice for the lawyers pursuing the worst of the worst, this is about holding an organization accountable for
its crimes and telling the world this is what they did.
Jomana Karadsheh, CNN in Northern Iraq.
ELBAGIR: So what hope is there of actually taking ISIS to court?
Philipe Sands is a leading human rights lawyer and law professor who has worked on numerous cases from the Chilean dictator * extradition trial to
Rwanda, Yugoslavia, to Guantanamo. He joins me here in the studio.
ELBAGIR: Thank you, sir. Thank you so much for joining on the program.
Well, you just saw that extraordinary piece that Jomana put together for us there.
I guess the first question is how easy is this going to be? Obviously the will is there.
PHILIPPE SANDS, HUMAN RIGHTS LAWYER: Well, the real question is what do we do? In many ways this is a similar siation to 1945 when the Second World
War was over and the allies had to decide what to do with senior Nazis.
Do we as Winston Churchill wanted to do line them up and shoot them? Or do we find some other way to do, and the decision was taken to have a trial at
So right now the question is the same. Do we just get rid of them in some way as some want, or do we go for a legal process?
ELBAGIR: And also of course we have to take into account what the victims themselves want. You've just spent the last few years working on this
extraordinary sounding film about these two Yazidi girls with the director of "Downton Abbey" -- correct? David Evans.
SANDS: I've been working with a friend, it's a follow-up film that we made. I came to know through remarkable German psychologist Yan Kisselhard
(ph) who is Yazidi-Kurd-German, who lives in Southern Germany. And he's created a program with the support of the German government to bring 1,100
young Yazidi women who have been terribly tortured, raped, horrible facts.
You've just seen some of the things that went on. And he is a psychologist so he's committed to their well-being. One aspect of their psychological
well-being is dealing with justice.
They have different views. So one featured in our film would like justice in an organized way. She wants the perpetrator, to people who raped her
ELBAGIR: She wants the judicial process.
SANDS: She wants the judicial process. She doesn't mind whether it's in Germany, Iraq, or in the Hague, at the international criminal court, she
wants a formal process.
Her friend, on the other hand, looks at me when I say, what about justice? She says you ask me about justice? I have seen members of my family
beheaded in front of me. She says I just want them dead. Just kill them. And between those two different positions, justice formalized and the death
sentence are two possibilities.
One of the things that is important, I think, we don't seem to learn from history. Many people who are charged today with getting the current ISIS,
Daesh, Yazidi situation and other atrocities in the region often don't recall what happened 70 years ago. So it's a continuum. It's a long and
dangerous path to justice.
ELBAGIR: There might be the intent now, but that doesn't translate into action.
SANDS: It follows a very regular pattern, whether it's the 1930s to '40s, whether it's Yugoslavia, Congo, Rwanda, Iraq, Syria, the pattern is the
same. There is atrocity. There is a moment of attention and then there's silence. The silence of trying to forget. The silence of shame.
And then after a generation has passed, people start asking again, huh? What happened? What do we do about it? What should we do?
The function of organized justice, a trial is in part it tells stories. No trial is going to do justice for all the terrible things that have
happened, but it's a way of telling a story and it's a way of putting the focus on what has happened and producing a record it is difficult to
What I know is that what the community wants. The Yazidi community wants is a trial for Genocide. Not just war crimes. Not crimes against
humanity, but the effort to destroy a group in whole or in part.
And I think I've started from a skeptical base and have come to be persuaded that there is a good rationale for doing that.
ELBAGIR: There is a legal basis.
SANDS: There is a legal basis. I think there's no question in my mind that what has happened to the Yazidi community is a genocide and that it
should be prosecuted as a genocide.
And the reason for prosecuting it as a genocide is that it sends a message, which says this group of people, this community of human beings, which
exists as a group has a right to exist and to be protected as a group. That's what a genocide case would signal.
ELBAGIR: That they matter.
SANDS: That they matter and that they matter not only as individual human beings, but also as a group. And that's why a genocide investigation it
seems to me, which is what they want is justifiable.
Nuremberg when Robert Jackson stood up, he said never again. We're going to show the principle and it's never going to happen again. It has
happened again. It happens again time and time again, but it's a way of saying even if these things happen, there is no right for them to happen.
And I think over time that's extremely important.
ELBAGIR: Thank you so much for joining us.
SANDS: My pleasure.
ELBAGIR: From seeking justice to cries for peace. As Liberia bids farewell to Africa's only female president Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, the
nation's women are standing up and taking to the streets to warn the male candidates to preserve the peace the country has maintained.
After a break, imagine a world where women speak up and people actually listen -- next.
[14:26:26] ELBAGIR: And finally tonight, imagine a world that actually believes women.
As news of Harvey Weinstein and the allegations against him spread, the accusations were not just met with horror and shock, but belief in the
woman behind them.
Oscar winner Viola Davis saying in a statement, quote, "To the victims, I see you, I believe you and I am listening."
While Jessica Chastain took to Twitter to say "I believe in you. You are not in this alone."
Throughout the entertainment industry and beyond these messages continue. For the accusers, it's something they may never have thought possible
because sadly we live in a world where victims of sexual abuse are often blamed and shamed into silence.
In the wake of this latest scandal, perhaps we are seeing a change. And as we mark this international day of the girl, let us imagine and hope for a
world that will believe the women they grow up to be.
That is it for our program tonight. Remember you can listen to our podcast and see us online at Amanpour.com.
Thank you as always for watching and good bye from London.