Harvey Weinstein's Wife Speaks Out
In the wake of countless sexual assault allegations against Harvey Weinstein, Vogue has interviewed his soon to be ex Trophy Wife, Georgina Chapman. She’s one half of the brand Marchesa. You know, those tacky tulle gowns Weinstein used to bully actresses into wearing during award season. Press was so bad that Chapman cancelled her fall 2018 runway show and didn’t offer any clothes during awards season. But don’t worry, she reassures us that she still has loyal followers, including problematic feminist Scarlett Johansson, who wore one of her dresses to the Met Gala. It was both off theme and totally tone deaf.
The article is meant to profile the wife of the monster, who’s picking up the pieces after such a devastating revelation. She talks about buying a farm for her children. Her famous friends brag about how “real” and “down-to-earth” she is. She loudly sobs during the interview, to the point where an assistant has to bring her a box of tissues.
Reporter Jonathan Van Meter plays softball with his subject. He doesn’t really challenge her on how much she knew during the marriage. The closest we get to conjecture is this:
When you ask about her fashion inspirations, Chapman cites John Galliano and Alexander McQueen—two of the most theatrical, outré designers imaginable—but there is nothing even remotely edgy about what she does. She is unapologetically romantic, clinging to a decidedly unfeminist ideal that there is no happier moment in a woman’s life than when she finally finds that perfect dress. As one fashion insider puts it, “Georgina puts pretty girls in pretty dresses—and there’s value in that.”
Chapman’s friend Karen Elson claims she knew nothing of Weinstein’s exploits. Chapman, herself says she was shocked when the news broke. Fine. Maybe there was wilful ignorance.
Van Meter asks Chapman’s friends their initial impressions of Weinstein, and they mostly skirt around the attractiveness gap and the fact that he’s uh, really f-cking rich. The only one who sort of cuts the sh-t is Neil Gaiman. He said he was a little worried about their relationship:
One reason is that I watched the person he tried to be when he was around her—which was sort of, at least to some degree, uxorious—which was not the person that he tried to be the rest of the time. But I never felt that there was anything going on other than that Georgina was actually in love with him… He pauses for a long while and says, finally, “She’s a good person who married a bad person. Or, if you want to be less judgmental, she’s a good person who married a person who did some terrible things. And who now has to make a go of it on her own. And I know she can. And I’m sure she will.
Well, obviously she’ll be fine. She’ll get her share of “f-ck you money.” She’ll get her farm in upstate New York and keep making sh-tty dresses and the whole thing will eventually blow over.
But what about all the other women? The sexual assault survivors. Rose McGowan is selling her house so she can pay for her legal fees. Mira Sorvino and Ashley Judd were blacklisted in Hollywood. What about all the others who aren’t famous enough to not be labelled as “opportunists”?
This is similar to the narrative around Melania Trump. Poor Melania, she didn’t sign up for this. Poor Melania, she’s stuck in a miserable marriage. You know who I feel bad for? The women who allegedly had to put up with Donald Trump’s unwanted groping.
So yeah, Chapman’s situation blows. But probably not as much as all her husband’s victims.
Header image credit: Annie Leibovitz, Vogue, June 2018