In other developments, Harvey Weinstein was reportedly investigating 91 people with knowledge of his alleged bad behavior and Vice News has appointed an all-female committee to improve its workplace environment.
Al Franken Faces Second Accuser
A second woman has come forward with allegations of inappropriate behavior from Senator Al Franken. Lindsay Menz claimed to CNN that the "Saturday Night Live" alum grabbed her bottom during a photo op in Minnesota in 2010. Franken has represented that state in the Senate since 2009.
The woman described the incident as happening while her husband was taking the photo, alleging Franken "pulled me in really close, like awkward close, and as my husband took the picture, he put his hand full-fledged on my rear. It was wrapped tightly around my butt cheek.”
Franken issued a statement Sunday: "I take thousands of photos at the State Fair surrounded by hundreds of people, and I certainly don’t remember taking this picture. I feel badly that Ms. Menz came away from our interaction feeling disrespected."
In response to the initial allegation, PBS had already made the decision to excise Franken's appearance from tonight's broadcast of the Kennedy Center's Mark Twain Prize ceremony in honor of David Letterman.
In a statement, the network said, "PBS and WETA, the producing station, felt that the inclusion of Senator Franken in the broadcast at this time would distract from the show’s purpose as a celebration of American humor."
The edited program, which was recorded Oct. 22, airs tonight at 8 p.m. ET on PBS.
Kevin Spacey Accuser's Mother Says She's Heard From Eight Other Victims
Heather Unruh, the mother of one of Kevin Spacey's accusers, said on "Megyn Kelly Today" Monday morning that she has heard from "at least eight other alleged Spacey victims," adding that she believes there are more who have not yet come forward.
Unruh alleged that her son was assaulted by the former "House of Cards" star last July at a bar where he worked. Her son has filed a police report against the actor he alleges assaulted him multiple times that evening "out of nowhere." Unruh's son was 18 years old at the time.
"There is evidence and there are witnesses," Unruh said, declining to comment further due to the ongoing investigation. "I think he’s run out of using his celebrity. So, I think, we’re not going to stop until he pleads guilty."
Spacey faces multiple allegations of sexual assault, which started pouring in after "Star Trek: Discovery" actor Anthony Rapp came forward to allege Spacey made a sexual advance on him when he was just 14. Eight male "House of Cards" employees have also come forward with sexual harassment or misconduct allegations. Netflix has severed ties with him. Spacey has denied all allegations, according to his rep, and is seeking unspecified treatment.
Watch highlights from the interview below:
Ryan Seacrest Preemptively Denies Allegation
Even before any allegations went public, Ryan Seacrest publicly denied inappropriate behavior with a stylist a decade ago at E! News. The anonymous accuser was seeking a "substantial amount of money to keep quiet," according to a Deadline report.
Rather than face implications, the "American Idol" host came forward with a statement on Friday. "I dispute these reckless allegations and I plan to cooperate with any corporate inquiries that may result," he said. "I treat all my colleagues with kindness, dignity, and understanding, as this is a principle that’s core to who I am ... I’m distraught that anyone or any situation would call that into question."
E! is conducting an internal investigation into the matter.
Harvey Weinstein Allegedly Had 91 People Under Surveillance
The Guardian reported a list of 91 names that Harvey Weinstein had private investigators exploring to see what they knew and what they planned to do with that information. According to the report, this investigation was underway before the Oct. 5 New York Times expose that kicked off the current, ongoing Hollywood harassment scandal.
Investigators made contact with those on the list under varying guises to extract information about their knowledge and intentions so they could report back to Weinstein and his lawyers. The Guardian did not detail any of the names beyond those who have already publicly come forward with allegations against Weinstein.
Ronan Farrow, who broke the story on Nov. 6 in the New Yorker that Weinstein employed a network of spies, tweeted that the list The Guardian obtained is one of several he used for his own piece.
This was reported - based on several versions of the list, including this very one, which I obtained - in **The New Yorker** a week ago: https://t.co/lPJM0cPc5n (Including the backstory of how the lists were made, and how they were used by private investigators.) https://t.co/2I0Ag9FSy0— Ronan Farrow (@RonanFarrow) November 19, 2017
The Weinstein Company Bidder Seeks Majority Female Board
The first bidder has come forward for the beleaguered Weinstein Company, and she comes with a $275 million offer, which would be enough to keep the company out of bankruptcy. Maria Contreras-Sweet is the former head of the UA Small Business Administration under President Obama, and her plan for TWC includes a majority-female leadership, and has earned the blessing of Gloria Allred.
Contreras-Sweet has four financial backers in her fully-funded bid, with the female-led board concept seen as a key component in helping the company recover from its tarnished association with the ongoing scandal against co-founder Harvey Weinstein. Her bid also comes in much higher than the already-rejected $150-175 million bid Colony Capital offered. The company was seeking offers around $300 million.
The full bid can be read at Deadline.
Vice Forms All-Female Advisory Panel
As an investigation continues into allegations of inappropriate conduct at the youth-centric news organization, with one prominent executive already suspended, Vice has appointed a new all-female committee on conduct and inclusivity. Gloria Steinem is one of the appointees.
She is joined by several notable luminaries from legal and political circles. The committee has been tasked with instituting policies and procedures to improve the cultural environment at Vice currently, as well as find ways to stave off any future incidents.
Of the two men accused of sexual misconduct, Jason Mojica has been suspended, while Kaj Larsen had already left the company.