Nine women—eight of whom are Black and one of whom is Asian-American—accused Vincent Cirrincione, an entertainment manager who represented some of the country’s most famous Black actresses, of sexual harassment and misconduct. The Washington Post first reported on their allegations on Friday (February 2).
The Post reports that several of the women described Cirrincione, a White man who included Halle Berry and Taraji P. Henson among his clients, “as an important gatekeeper for Black actresses in an industry notoriously difficult to break into—one whose path is even more narrow for [people of color].” They said that he used his position to prey on young actresses and models of color looking to break into the entertainment industry.
The accusations against Cirrincione include indecent exposure and quid pro quo propositions, in which he promised representation or other career help in exchange for sex. The Post says that all the women interviewed feared backlash or being ignored if they spoke out.
“Any kind of sexual misconduct or harassment that’s talked about from women is automatically suspect,” actress and director Tamika Lamison, one of the few accusers to reveal her name, told The Post. “For Black women, it seems like we are even more marginalized when it comes to something like that. Historically, how we have been treated and looked at—and to some degree oversexualized—makes it difficult.”
Berry and Henson responded to the allegations as well, with Henson telling The Post that she didn’t know about or experience any of the alleged behavior. Berry said in an Instagram post that she was “saddened” and “deeply hurt” by the reported harrassment.
A post shared by Halle Berry (@halleberry) on Feb 2, 2018 at 6:24pm PST
Cirrincione also spoke to The Post, saying, “I take responsibility for my part in the situation and I am not here to diminish anyone’s feelings or experiences.”
“I apologize to these women, my past and present partner, my clients and employees for the pain this is bringing them,” he added.