Harvey Weinstein has been a regular fixture in the news since The New York Times published an in-depth story alleging "over three decades" of sexual abuse and harassment on Weinstein's part towards women. (Charles Harder, his attorney, said at the time that the film executive is planning to sue the New York Times for "false and defamatory statements.") Now, according to TMZ, on Thursday, Nov. 2, Weinstein wore a "disguise" to a restaurant. The photos published of Weinstein show him wearing a blonde wig and a black baseball cap to Chestnut restaurant in Phoenix, something TMZ is referring to as a "disguise." His motivation for doing so is speculated at in the article, in which the gossip site claimed, "We're told he asked for a private room... problem was, the room was all glass so people in the restaurant could see him." TMZ also reported he was there with one other man. (Bustle has reached out to Weinstein's representative for comment on the story, but did not receive an immediate response.)
TMZ previously reported on Oct. 12 that Weinstein is in Arizona to receive sex addiction treatment at the Phoenician Resort. Though they reported that he completed a one-week program "treating various psychological issues," the site further claimed on Oct. 20 that Weinstein had decided to stay for another month of treatment. In their initial report, they claimed that he was out for dinner in the state at Uncle Sal's restaurant with three men and a woman that "we're told [they] are part of his medical team," so potentially his dinner companion may have been someone else involved with his treatment.
The original New York Times report claimed that Weinstein asked women working in the entertainment industry to meet him in his hotel room for a meeting and then asked them for sexual favors in exchange for advancing their careers. (Sallie Hofmeister, a spokesperson for Weinstein, said in a statement on Oct. 10, "Any allegations of nonconsensual sex are unequivocally denied by Mr. Weinstein.")
Actors Ashley Judd and Rose McGowan were among the women the article claimed were harassed or assaulted by the film producer. And, since then, Teen Vogue has released a list of the names of every woman who has accused Weinstein of sexual harassment. The list includes Angelina Jolie, Asia Argento, Cara Delevingne, Gwyneth Paltrow, Heather Graham, Kate Beckinsdale, Lena Headey, and Lupita Nyong'o, to name a few. On Oct. 5, Weinstein responded to the allegations in a statement in The New York Times, in which he said he “came of age in the 60’s and 70’s, when all the rules about behavior and workplaces were different. That was the culture then.” However, he acknowledged that this wasn't an excuse and said, “I appreciate the way I’ve behaved with colleagues in the past has caused a lot of pain and I sincerely apologize for it.” He also explained he would be seeking help to "conquer my demons."
There's nothing more specific about his next steps in his statement, but, if he is, as reported by TMZ, in Arizona for treatment for sexual addiction, this in itself is controversial to some members of the medical community. NBC reported that psychiatrists decided not to include the disorder in the latest Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders and quoted psychologist Holly Richmond in denying that such a disorder exists. While the Los Angeles-based family therapist supported the idea of him seeking help, she explained, "saying it is sex addiction is a misnomer. There is no such thing as sex addiction." In The Guardian, doctor of neuroscience Dean Burnett argued that the topic is a complicated one, and there's no clear conclusion. He stated that increases in libido are often categorized as a symptom of sex addiction, when, in fact, the correct term is hypersexuality, which is usually just one aspect "of a bigger problem, often a personality disorder or side effect of medications like hormone replacement therapy."
The Phoenix restaurant is one of Weinstein’s few public appearances since the allegations began to come to light, and it remains to be seen how the claims and case against him will develop.