The University of Southern California has rejected a $5 million donation from Harvey Weinstein in response to allegations that Weinstein sexually abused scores of women for decades.
The Hollywood movie producer’s generous $5 million donation would have funded — wait for it — an endowment for women filmmakers at the USC School of Cinematic Arts.
Southern Cal administrators decided to refuse the gift after a USC student, Tiana Lowe, launched a Change.org petition urging the school “to finally muster the moral spine to refuse Harvey Weinstein’s blood money in exchange for its soul.”
“Harvey Weinstein, the Hollywood kingmaker and production pioneer, is not only a serial sexual harasser, but an alleged rapist as well,” the damning petition charges.
“We don’t need this money. What we need is some damn principles,” Lowe also wrote.
“I’m done with respectable institutions readmitting monsters into honorable life. USC tells us to take back the night, and they say that ‘it’s on us.’ That’s easy to say when railing against some vague notion of ‘rape culture’ or a dishonest caricature of Greek life. When confronted with Hollywood royalty and a political ally, that’s a lot harder.”
USC officials confirmed their decision to refuse Weinstein’s cash in a statement obtained by The Hollywood Reporter this week.
“The USC School of Cinematic Arts will not proceed with Mr. Weinstein’s pledge to fund a $5M endowment for women filmmakers,” the statement said.
Weinstein had pledged to fund the endowment for women filmmakers last year.
Allegations of sexual assault — and rape — have streamed continually in recent days after a New York Times bombshell report detailed allegations against the Hollywood studio head from current and former employees, including actress Ashley Judd. The Times uncovered at least eight cases in which Weinstein paid the women a settlement to keep quiet about his behavior.
The countless accusations, detailing Weinstein’s advances came from former assistants, actresses, models and others who have all allegedly reached settlements with the film executive over the years. Most accusers spoke on the condition of anonymity.
A number of women including Gwyneth Paltrow and Angelina Jolie have since spoken out about harrowing experiences they say they endured with Weinstein. (RELATED: Brad Pitt Reportedly Threatened To Give Weinstein ‘Missouri Whoopin’ Over Paltrow)
The University of Southern California is famous because the former dean of its prestigious medical school, Harvard-educated Dr. Carmen A. Puliafito, routinely partied hard with a band of strung-out, drug-addled losers which included a 21-year-old prostitute and a karaoke deejay with a lengthy rap sheet. (RELATED: Southern Cal Cements Epic Party-School Status With Ecstasy-Popping Meth-Head MEDICAL SCHOOL DEAN)
Three weeks before resigning, Puliafito was using illegal drugs with the 21-year-old prostitute, Sarah Warren, in a hotel room at the $249-per-night, Jetsons-esque Hotel Constance in Pasadena.
Warren said she overdosed during the festivities. She was purposefully using gamma-hydroxybutyrate — the date-rape drug — but she had consumed too much.
About six hours after Warren was rushed to a local hospital for overdosing, Puliafito stopped by to retrieve her and the pair “went back to the hotel and got another room and continued the party,” according to an astonishing exposé by the Los Angeles Times.
Videos recorded in 2015 and 2016 show Puliafito using a butane torch to heat up a big glass meth pipe, Puliafito hosting Warren on his lap as she smokes meth, Puliafito preparing a “hot rail” of meth for Warren to snort and Puliafito inhaling meth fumes from Warren’s mouth as she exhales — a practice known among meth heads as “shotgunning.”
Warren said Puliafito spent an inordinate amount of time with her and a merry band of drug buddies. He spent the night with her often. He’d leave for a while, then come back with breakfast.
“He was always with me,” Warren told the Times. “It was as if he had nothing else to do.”
Puliafito’s annual salary at USC was $1.1 million.
A single year of undergraduate tuition, fees and room and board at USC costs $69,209.