Vincent Cirrincione, a longtime Hollywood manager and producer who helped shape the careers of Halle Berry and Taraji P. Henson, has been accused of sexual misconduct by nine women, according to an investigative report by The Washington Post. The earliest claim is from 1993, and the most recent one is from 2011. The allegations vary. Three of the women, per the Post, say he asked for sex in exchange for representation. Another says he offered to “help advance her career” if she agreed to have monthly sex with him. A fifth woman “said he masturbated in front of her in his office during the years he managed her.”
In a statement to the Post, Cirrincione said he supports women coming forward in this post-Harvey Weinstein era, but denied asking for sexual favors or having relationships that were “anything but consensual.”
Cirrincione has built a reputation in the industry for working mainly with black actresses, guiding them in an industry dominated by white actors and execs. Eight of the women accusing him of misconduct are African-American; one is Asian-American. All of them claim that he had a pattern of preying on nonwhite actresses. One of them says he used his successes with Berry and Henson as a tool to proposition aspiring actresses.
One of the women, Tamika Lamison, spoke on the record about her alleged incident, claiming that Cirrincione sexually propositioned her in 1996. She was a 27-year-old aspiring actress at the time and says she met Cirrincione at a Tony Awards dinner. She claims that he invited her up to his hotel suite to audition for him, and during their meeting, she says he took a phone call from Berry—putting it on speaker so Lamison could listen. Afterwards, Lamison says she began performing a poem for Cirrincione. Halfway through the performance, she claims that he grabbed her and kissed her, then allegedly said he would take her on as a client, but only if he “would get to see her for sex whenever he wanted,” the Post writes. “She said she pushed him away and left.”
Cirrincione responded to the allegations at length to the Post, saying he did pursue sexual relationships with actresses. However, he denies asking for sexual favors and non-consensual acts.
“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.”
In a statement to the Post, Berry said she ended her working relationship with Cirrincione more than three years ago, after hearing a woman on a radio program say that he was her “worst casting-couch experience ever.”
“That news literally stopped me in my tracks,” she writes. “I immediately confronted Vince about it, and he denied it completely. But even with his denial, something didn’t feel right in my spirit, and with the possibility that it could be true, I immediately ended our over-25-year relationship.”
She says she is “saddened” to hear about the allegations, adding that Cirrincione was never inappropriate with her.
In response, Cirrincione told the Post he does not recall Berry confronting him. “I never heard that from Halle. We never had a discussion. I’m totally shocked. It’s not like she left me abruptly,” he said in an interview.
Aside from his work with Berry, Cirrincione has been Henson’s manager for two decades. Cirrincione’s girlfriend, Pam Sharp, is Henson’s publicist. When reached by the Post, Henson says Cirrincione is like a “father figure” to her, a supporter who helped her throughout her career, even paying her rent and her son’s school tuition at times. “I’ve never had any issue with this on any level,” she told the Post. “He totally respected me.”
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