Taraji P. Henson has released a statement, addressing reports that her longtime Hollywood manager, Vincent Cirrincione, has been accused of sexual harassment by nine different minority actresses. See her statement below.
Prior to her statement on social media, the “Proud Mary” actress stated:
“I’ve never had any issue with this on any level. He totally respected me.”
She said she has regarded Cirrincione as a “father figure” who would at times pay for her rent, child-care fees and her son’s school tuition when she couldn’t afford to herself.
“He saw a single mother trying to make her dreams come true, and he nurtured that. He wrote checks and wouldn’t ask for anything in return. It wasn’t coming from a creepy place. If anything, it empowered me. Like this man believes in me. I love him for that.”
Actor Jussie Smollett, who stars in EMPIRE with Taraji, tweeted his reaction.
Halle Berry was also managed by Vincent. See her response.
According to the Washington Post, nine women claim Cirrincione displayed unwanted sexual advances toward them, over a period of two decades. The women say that since he was associated with the careers of Halle Berry and Taraji P. Henson he was considered “as an important gatekeeper for black actresses” and that he would:
“Prey upon young women of color seeking an entry into Hollywood.”
The nine women include eight African Americans and one Asian American. One of the women, Tamika Lamison, says she was a 27-year-old New York stage actress in 1996 when an audition with Cirrincione ended when he grabbed her, kissed her and said he’d accept her as a client in exchange for sex. Lamison pushed him away and left. Three of the women say he demanded sex as a condition for representing them.
They allege that when they refused, he did not take them as clients. A fourth said Cirrincione offered to advance her career for monthly sex, and a fifth said he masturbated in front of her. In his office during the years he managed her. The allegations span 1993 to 2011. Cirrincione has released the following statement:
“We live in a time where men are being confronted with a very real opportunity to take responsibility for their actions. I support this movement wholeheartedly. I have had female clients and employees my entire career in this industry. I have built a reputation for advancing the careers of women of color. I have had affairs while in committed relationships, ones I am now ashamed to say are coming to light and shading my past and my reputation.”
“I can say without a doubt that I have never used favors, sexual or otherwise, as a reason for managing anyone. I want to make it clear that not one of those relationships were anything but consensual. 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. I was under the impression I was living my life as a supportive man to women. It is with a heavy heart that I see now I was wrong.”
None of the nine women make accusations of rape or other criminalallegations.