Is Harvey Weinstein Addicted to Love?

Power monster Harvey Weinstein isn’t after sex, primarily. What does he want?

This post is in response to The 7 hardest addictions to quit – love is the worst! by Stanton Peele

Everyone agrees that Harvey Weinstein is a bully and a power freak. But “sex addiction experts” (whoever they are) agree that his coercing women into having sex wasn’t about sex.

What was it about?

Consider this horrifying story from Ronan Farrow’s piece in The New Yorker. In 1997, age 21, Italian actress Asia Argento encountered Weinstein in his hotel room, where he induced her to massage him. Then:

Argento said that, after she reluctantly agreed to give Weinstein a massage, he pulled her skirt up, forced her legs apart, and performed oral sex on her as she repeatedly told him to stop.

But the rape wasn’t the end of her relationship with Weinstein, just the beginning, and:

she eventually yielded to Weinstein’s further advances and even grew close to him. Weinstein dined with her, and introduced her to his mother. Argento told me, “He made it sound like he was my friend and he really appreciated me.” She said that she had consensual sexual relations with him multiple times over the course of the next five years, though she described the encounters as one-sided and “onanistic.” . . . Years later, when she was a single mother, Weinstein offered to pay for a nanny.

Of course, I don’t mean to imply that Argento was in any way complicit in her rape or its aftermath. Rather, I want to reflect on this question: Do many rapists introduce their victims to their mothers? (Remember, it was in her sacred name that Weinstein dedicated his program for women directors at U.S.C., so that he wouldn’t “disappoint her.”)

Weinstein was married to his first wife throughout this period. And he was married to his second wife in 2010-2011 when, according to People: “Harvey Weinstein allegedly threatened to ‘destroy’ Bond star Eva Green after she refused his sexual advances,” wherein Weinstein pursued Green for years, each time he came to Paris.

What was this 40-50-year-old man seeking from 20-year-olds that his wives didn’t provide him, that he would use all of his physical force, persuasive talent, and power in order to obtain, or else to crush the objects of his perverse desires?

He wanted to be worshiped, to be desired, to be the object of unlimited love (like that his mother perhaps gave him), feelings he wasn’t destined to inspire in his current earthly form, despite his monstrous powers, the way the partner of the 22-year-old Gwyneth Paltrow (whom he pursued), Brad Pitt, took as his birthright. As with any addiction, his own desires were the entire focus of his efforts.

And he couldn’t stop – even after the police investigated him, he paid out $millions, and everyone in the industry knew about his depredations – with ultimately life-destroying consequences, for himself and others.

For, remember, love is the toughest addiction to quit.

Stanton Peele

Dr. Stanton Peele, recognized as one of the world's leading addiction experts, developed the Life Process Program after decades of research, writing, and treatment about and for people with addictions. Dr. Peele is the author of 14 books. His work has been published in leading professional journals and popular publications around the globe.

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