When Ambra Gutierrez reported Harvey Weinstein’s sexual misconduct in 2015, she was subjected to a tabloid smear campaign. In an interview with The New York Post (which, incidentally, was among the publications that ran unforgiving headlines about the Italian model), Gutierrez revealed the anguish she felt when her story was doubted, and spoke about how the recent #MeToo movement has helped turn her life around.
Gutierrez came to the United States in an effort to flee another scandal. Back in 2010, she attended a party at the home of Silvio Berlusconi, who was the prime minister of Italy at the time, and became embroiled in a national scandal over his notorious sex “Bunga Bunga” parties. Once in New York, Gutierrez began working as a model. She met Weinstein at a theater reception at Radio City Music Hall in 2015.
After the party, Weinstein reportedly brought Gutierrez to his office in Tribeca, groped her and tried to put his hand up her skirt. Gutierrez reported the assault to the NYPD, and worked with detectives to secretly record a follow-up conversation with Weinstein. When Gutierrez confronts the producer about his behavior, he does not deny it. “Oh, please. I’m sorry,” he says. “I’m used to that.”
The recording of their interaction was only made public this year in a report published by The New Yorker. Listen to the harrowing audio below.
But the details of Gutierrez allegations came to light in 2015. She was not believed. Publications claimed that she was trying to blackmail Weinstein for a movie part, pointing out that she had previously accused other men of sexual assault.
“I didn’t have the power to defend myself,” Gutierrez told the Post. “It really broke my heart.”
The model said she was ostracized professionally and abandoned by friends, which caused her to develop an eating disorder. Eventually, she relocated to the Philippines, where she started to model once again and further busied herself with volunteer work. “I started feeling like myself again,” Gutierrez said. “I began making new friends.”
After The New York Times published its watershed report detailing multiple sexual misconduct allegations against Weinstein, reporters started contacting Gutierrez in an effort to listen to her story — not refute it. Online, she was praised for trying to stand up to the powerful producer.
“It’s crazy how much [The New York Times piece] changed my life,” Gutierrez told the Post. “I have people saying so many nice things, saying that I’m brave … It feels like I’m starting to get two years of my life back.” Watch a clip of the interview with Gutierrez below.
Read the full story and see the complete interview at The New York Post.