A long-time Hollywood agent has spoken with disgust of the "sickness" that permeates the industry, enabling Harvey Weinstein to sexually harass and assault women with impunity for decades.

Alan Somers - who has worked in the business for 42 years and represented Drew Barrymore, Courteney Cox and Jessica Alba - said the producer was one of many executives and studio bosses who exploit their position for sex.

Somers told news.com.au that several powerful figures were known for deviant behaviour, but because they were connected to the Academy and threw huge parties, no one would criticise them. "You want to be on that list," he said.

As the list of female actors alleging they have been sexually harassed by Weinstein continues to grow, Somers says the producer's behaviour is "common" in Hollywood, and that he regularly hears stories about inappropriate sexual relationships or S&M parties - and had even seen a dungeon in a well-known actor's home.

Advertisement

"I've always looked at movies and TV sets as like camp for actors," said the agent. "Relationships happen quickly, bonds happen very quickly, stuff happens. That's definitely Hollywood.

"It's just part of this business. With a sick industry like Hollywood, it's bad. There's some real sick people in this business."

Somers, who first met Weinstein when one of his clients appeared in Pulp Fiction, said: "There's something about him I just didn't want to get close to."

Years later, the agent saw the producer again in Cannes, hosting one of his annual afterparties at the Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc - where New Zealand model Zoe Brock claims he once trapped her in his room and stripped naked.

"He was holding court, a good half were actors and actresses," said Somers. "I wanted to ask a question and he didn't want to hear it, he knew who he was focused on. It was a small afterparty where he could hold court, impress people. And he's not an unimpressive person.

New Zealand model Zoe Brock claims Weinstein once trapped her in his room and stripped naked. Photo / Focus
New Zealand model Zoe Brock claims Weinstein once trapped her in his room and stripped naked. Photo / Focus

"If his goal is, as they say, to get laid and get a girl up to his place, that's what his goal is. He's got the ability to offer things you know he's not going to give. That runs in the business - people at a party say, you've got to call me, and you call and there's nothing there. It's just Hollywood bullshit."

The agent said the stories of Weinstein's enabling assistants were unsurprising. "These people are accomplices,' he explained.

"It's like the guy who drives the car at a bank robbery. If you're an executive, somebody who has assistants, it's get me this person's number, set up my lunch, drinks, dinner.

"They must have been paid a lot of money, and they are. A couple of hundred thousand a year I'm sure. She knew she was on his gravy train, and maybe they don't have ethical boundaries.

"I've seen assistants move up in business very quickly and you don't know what's going on behind the scenes ... they could be sleeping together or they're the pimp for their boss.

"There are so many Hollywood stories. I've seen it over the years."

Weinstein, whose wife Georgina Chapman has left him as the stories of his predatory behaviour pour forth, is accused of serious sexual harassment and assault. But Somers insists: "It goes both ways. There are women and men attracted to being close to the director."

Despite that, he thinks directors are typically too engrossed in their projects, and that it's typically producers, studio executives and casting directors who "use the casting couch."

Somers said these powerbrokers knew they could pay people off or give them a certain opportunity to ensure they stayed quiet. "[Weinstein has] paid off women and had it go through company, that's not completely uncommon. It's not uncommon at all," he said.

"People with power and influence use that influence to attract people, who think they're going to get ahead.

"You see actors or actresses who want to get ahead, it's a very tough business. This is the sad thing. Breaking in is very tough.

"There's probably someone I need to meet or know, people in power take advantage of that ... it's wrong.

"I've seen women move up the ladder very fast. You think: 'Wow, how did that happen?', and it's because they don't have moral or ethical boundaries, they're willing to do things.

Angelina Jolie (left) and Gwyneth Paltrow (right) have both revealed they were harassed by Weinstein. Photo / AP
Angelina Jolie (left) and Gwyneth Paltrow (right) have both revealed they were harassed by Weinstein. Photo / AP

"Every contract I negotiate for actors has a clause about ethics. Did you ever hear about anyone being fired for non-ethical behaviour?"

After four decades in the business, Somers mainly represents experienced actors through his agency Pure Arts, but he says Hollywood desperately needs cleaning up. His comment comes as the noose tightens on the industry in the wake of the Weinstein allegations.

Actors and actresses have now spoken out to condemn Weinstein and the tolerance of such behaviour in the business. Ben Affleck even apologised on Twitter to actress Hilarie Burton, who alleged he groped her breasts when she was hosting at MTV.

Somers says going to parties is "part of it, you do meet people who can get you ahead", but aspiring stars need to beware.

"Every young ingenue actress I can think of - and I mostly have older actors who come to my business - they're prey," he said. "These people [the predators] kind of feel it when they're in the room.

"They're sociopaths, they haven't been raised well, I don't know.

"I think this and [Bill] Cosby and probably a number of other things have got to be looked at. "And don't discount OJ as one of these. What is it that you're given all this privilege and all of a sudden you don't have boundaries any more?

"For Harvey Weinstein to masturbate in front of actresses is beyond the pale. Where did that come from? It's pathological. That's sickness. He needs to look deeply in himself.

"There's plenty left who do that - executives, producers, actors who get whatever they want.

"You heard it when [Donald] Trump walked out of the trailer - I can grab anything I want. It's a sickness.

"But they get allowed to achieve their sick goal and that's why they continue to do it."