The new film by Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga, A Star is Born, may be enthusiastic at the festival circuit, but behind the scenes a new #MeToo scandal is brewing.
Warner Brothers is now trying to distance itself from producer Jon Peters amid accusations of sexual harassment from several women and one man.
The company, which will release A Star Is Born next month, said on Tuesday it had a contractual obligation to recognize Peters as a producer of the film.
"Jon Peters' attachment to this property dates back to 1976," he said in a statement. "Legally, we had to fulfill the contractual obligation to make this film."
Peters, who calls himself the "Hollywood Trump", had to shell out more than $ 3.3 million in 2011 to his former personal assistant Shelly Morita, who claimed he was exposed in front of her and her two-year-old daughter .
Morita spoke about the incident this week with Jezebel, saying that the incident was the last one he would endure after a year of harassment by the producer.
Warner Brothers, the studio behind A Star Is Born, is now trying to distance itself from producer Jon Peters (pictured) amid reports unearthed of numerous allegations of sexual harassment
"I was a single mother, I was nervous about giving up," she said. "I think I would have left and I would never have done anything."
"But he crossed the line with my daughter, that's what deactivated me, I was like," I'm not going to put up with this. "
Morita filed her lawsuit in December 2006, alleging that Peters frequently "grabbed her breasts, buttocks or legs, and hugged and kissed her."
She also claimed that her former boss would make "discourteous, sexual and derogatory comments," and that she once went to bed with her and refused to leave during a work trip.
Morita claimed that once, accidentally, she met a naked Peters while waiting for a massage, and then chased her and gave her a "bear hug".
She testified that, during a trip to Australia in 2005 for the filming of Superman Returns, she refused to smoke a joint with Peters.
"He leaned down, put his face in my mouth and blew smoke," he told the court. I pushed him out. He laughed and thought it was funny.
The company, which will release the film, starring Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga next month, said on Tuesday it had a contractual obligation to give Peters credit.
A Star is Born is currently advertised as & # 39; Jon Peters / Bill Gerber / Joint Effort Production & # 39; in its advance
In December of that year, Morita said that Peters exposed himself and his daughter to his ranch in Santa Barbara and then joked about it with his colleagues.
He also said Peters' business manager, Lester Knispel, threatened to withhold his $ 25,000 bonus if he did not sign a confidentiality agreement.
Peters denied the allegations, but a jury in Los Angeles discovered that he had subjected Morita to "severe and widespread harassment" and to a "hostile or abusive" work environment.
It was not about money, it was about standing up and saying: & # 39; What you did was wrong & # 39;
Morita and Peters signed a later agreement that annulled the trial in the case. The terms were not disclosed.
"It was not about money," Morita told Jezebel. & # 39; It was about standing up and saying: & # 39; What you did was wrong & # 39; "
& # 39; It was about saying: & # 39; Hey, I'm not afraid of you, and I'm not going to take what you did to me. "
Peters, who has produced hits like Batman, Rainman and Flashdance, had an ascent to Hollywood that has become a legend.
The Los Angeles native began as a hairdresser on Rodeo Drive, beginning a relationship with Barbara Streisand after he made a wig for one of his films in 1974.
That year he produced his album Butterfly and obtained a production credit in his new version of A Star is Born in 1976.
He would continue as the head of Sony Pictures Entertainment for two years after he led the field study, and $ 3 billion in debt, with Peter Guber.
Peters, who began in Hollywood as a hairdresser, was dating Barbara Streisand (pictured together in 1977) when he obtained a credit for the production of his revival of A Star Nace
Many said Peters' power in Hollywood made him believe he was untouchable, a reputation that drove him from the sets of Christopher Nolan and Steven Spielberg, despite getting credits as a producer of Man of Steel and The Color Purple.
"My reputation scares these guys," Peters told The Hollywood Reporter in 2017 as he talked about how Nolan would throw him off the Man of Steel set.
But Morita was not the only employee of Peters who was not afraid to file accusations of sexual harassment.
In 1999, Colleen Bennet, who served as the financial vice president of Peters Entertainment for two years, filed a $ 50 million lawsuit against her former boss.
She alleged that Peters tried to kiss her, grabbed her body against her will, held meetings in underwear and exposed herself to her, according to Variety.
Bennet also claimed that he fired her shortly after he failed to convince her to suspend his wedding. The case was dismissed in 1999.
Blanca Hernández, former producer's housekeeper, filed a lawsuit against Peters in 2007.
She alleged that he had "sexually harassed her" almost every day during the year she worked with him in 2005, TMZ reported at the time.
She claimed that Peters tried to put her in a bed while he was naked, touched her "breasts, buttocks and waist," called her breasts "pillows" and offered to pay him for having sex.
Peters, who calls himself the "Hollywood Trump", had to shell out more than $ 3.3 million in 2011 to his former personal assistant Shelly Morita, who claimed he was exposed in front of her and her two-year-old daughter . He is represented here with his fourth wife Mindy in 2007
Hernandez claimed that Ronald Grigg, Peter's associate, fired her and threatened to kill her and her daughter if she publicly complained about the producer.
The case was dismissed with prejudice in 2008 after Hernandez returned to his claims and told his lawyer: "You have harmed me and I can not get a job because of you, and I do not want you to represent me." .
"I do not want to hurt Mr. Peters, he's a very good man and he was very good to me."
That same year, Peters was sued for sexual harassment by Brian Quintana, co-producer of Man of Steel and former senior vice president of Peters Entertainment.
This has happened in this city for years, but nobody said anything. Things come and go, but everyone kept their mouths shut.
Quintana, who died in 2015, claimed that he was repeatedly "physically and sexually persecuted" & # 39; by Peters, who said he would fight & # 39; and I would mistreat him & # 39; in a sexual way & # 39;.
He also claimed that Peters would "caress himself" & # 39; in front of him, he would place his hand on Quintana's leg in a sexual way & # 39; and & # 39; would play & # 39; his buttocks, according to the New York Post.
Quintana also claimed that Peters would tell other male individuals to touch him.
He said the producer also threatened to break his legs after Quintana refused to sign documents claiming that Peters completed community service for a DUI.
Peters went on to file a counterclaim against Quintana and an agreement was reached in 2010.
Morita said she was rejected in Hollywood after speaking against Peters.
"This has happened in this city for years, but nobody said anything," he said. & # 39; Things come and go, but they all kept their mouths shut & # 39;
Brian Quintana (pictured), who once worked as senior vice president at Peters' entertainment company, claimed that his former boss repeatedly harassed him physically and sexually.
But now, as the spotlight continues to shine in A Star is Born, once again shines the harsh glow in the name of Peters following the #MeToo movement.
A Star is Born is currently billed as a & # 39; production by Jon Peters / Bill Gerber / Joint Effort & # 39; in his trailer.
And the decision of Warner Bros. to distance himself from Peters has surprised some, who noticed that co-producer Bill Gerber praised him last year.
"There were a lot of complicated deals in Star is Born, a lot of heavy-hitters," he told the Hollywood Reporter in the same feature film about the producer.
"And Jon could not have been more useful to put everything in line."
On Tuesday, the Producers Guild of America also revealed that it decided that Peters' work in the film was not enough to guarantee a "producer brand."
In the credits of the film, the name of Peters does not include the & # 39; p.g.a. & # 39; label of a producer brand.
That has potential ramifications for Peters during the awards season, where A Star is expected to be a heavyweight contender.
It is likely that Peters is not among the producers on the list, for example, if the film is nominated for the best film.
And, if A Star was born to win the Academy Award for Best Picture, he would not get an Oscar.