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This week:

Why women are getting arrested in Iran, your questions for Melinda Gates, and Uma Thurman on Harvey Weinstein.

Famed Hollywood manager accused of sexual harassment

Vincent Cirrincione and Halle Berry in 2005. (Kevin Winter/Getty)

Nine minority women told The Washington Post that Hollywood manager Vincent Cirrincione made unwanted sexual advances toward them over a period of two decades. Cirrincione is well known for managing Halle Berry and Taraji P. Henson, and some viewed him as an important gatekeeper for black actresses in an industry notoriously difficult to break into, especially for minorities. In exchange for representing them, some of the women said, Cirrincione asked for sexual favors. One actress said he masturbated in front of her in his office during meetings, and another said he groped her breasts on multiple occasions. Cirrincione denies the allegations.

Berry told The Post that she ended her longtime working relationship with Cirrincione more than three years ago after learning of a misconduct allegation against him. A day after the story was published, Berry posted a public statement on Instagram.

Henson, an Oscar-nominated actress whose career Cirrincione has managed for two decades, said in an interview with The Post that she has never heard of nor witnessed any inappropriate behavior by Cirrincione toward women.

On Sunday, Henson posted on Instagram that news about her manager has “shocked, hurt, offended and yet again put professional women in a position to not trust the men they work with.” Her “Empire” co-star Jussie Smollett was the first of Cirrincione’s roster of more than two dozen clients to publicly announce that he has “severed all ties with Cirrincione & associates” after reading The Post story.

Women arrested for protesting Iran’s dress code

A shop displaying scarves on mannequins in the downtown district of the capital Tehran. (Behrouz Mehri/AFP/Getty)

Police have arrested 29 women in Iran for protesting the conservative Muslim country’s mandate that all women wear hijabs, Iranian officials announced Thursday. The rule that women must wear headscarves has been in effect since the Islamic Revolution in 1979.

Over the past few weeks, Iranian women have been taking off their headscarves and holding them on sticks while standing on busy streets. While women have objected to the restrictions before, these peaceful demonstrations are being played out on social media, where the rest of the world can see photos of women in protest.

Trump administration nominees withdraw from consideration

The White House withdrew its controversial nominee to head the Council on Environmental Quality, Kathleen Hartnett White, the Trump administration confirmed Sunday. Hartnett White has stirred controversy because of her statements on climate change. Testifying in the fall before the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, she said that while humans probably contribute to current warming, “the extent to which, I think, is very uncertain.”

On Friday, K.T. McFarland, President Trump’s onetime deputy national security adviser, withdrew from consideration to be the U.S. ambassador to Singapore. McFarland has been under scrutiny in the special-counsel probe into alleged ties between the Trump campaign and Russia.

After six months on the job, Brenda Fitzgerald resigned as director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Wednesday, citing “complex financial interests.” Anne Schuchat is now the CDC’s acting director.

Humane Society CEO resigns

(Andre Chung for The Washington Post)

Facing sexual harassment allegations, Wayne Pacelle stepped down as CEO of the Humane Society of the United States on Friday. Pacelle’s resignation came one day after the board voted to keep him in his job after an internal investigation identified three complaints of sexual harassment against him. Seven board members resigned in protest immediately after the decision Thursday.

How the father of three Nassar victims reacted in court

On Friday, Lauren and Madison Margraves testified at Larry Nassar’s third sentencing hearing. After his daughters finished, Randall Margraves addressed the court. He asked if he could have time alone in a locked room with Nassar, but the judge said no. Then, Randall Margraves rushed toward Nassar. The convicted sex offender ducked as bailiffs restrained Randall Margraves, and both men were removed from the courtroom.

When Margraves returned, he apologized to the court, noting that he didn’t know what his daughters were going to say in their statements. Lauren and Madison Margraves shared detailed accounts of abuse, and their sister, Morgan Margraves, had also experienced sexual assault at the hands of Nassar. “I realize they may never trust a man again,” Randall Margraves said.

‘State of Our Union’

(Getty; Marvin Joseph/The Washington Post; courtesy of Tarana Burke/Strange Bird Productions; Lily illustration)

Instead of attending the State of the Union as invited guests, female activists led a “State of Our Union” event in Washington last Tuesday. Organizers included Tarana Burke of Girls for Gender Equity and the #MeToo movement, Ai-Jen Poo of the National Domestic Workers Alliance and Mónica Ramirez, president of Alianza Nacional de Campesinas. The event was live-streamed and included speeches from Alicia Garza, co-founder of Black Lives Matter, and Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.).

Slightly more than 40 percent of undergraduate women say they have experienced a sexual assault since enrolling at Tulane, according to survey results made public by the university Wednesday. For male undergraduates, the rate was 18 percent. Those shares appear somewhat higher than what many other schools have reported in recent years, although comparisons are difficult because survey methods vary.

Questions for Melinda Gates

(Alain Grosclaude/AFP/Getty Images; iStock)

Do you have a pressing question for philanthropist Melinda Gates? Write to with your thoughts, and it may be answered in a future story. Gates’s activities are far-reaching, and include efforts to improve health care, reduce extreme poverty worldwide and get more women involved in technology.

(Community FoodBank of New Jersey)

Debra Vizzi’s childhood was “horrific,” she says. As a kid growing up in New York City’s foster-care system, she experienced physical and sexual abuse and faced food insecurity. Now the president and CEO of the Community Food Bank of New Jersey, Vizzi has a masters degree in social work and is able to use her past to inform her work, her staff and the people she serves.

Why did you decide to go into social work?
My pseudo-parents were social workers, and they were the very thing that helped protect me. In the most severe of my situations, a social worker came to my home and got me out. They were protecting me. I remember thinking, this is what I want to do when I grow up. I want to be able to keep kids safe and do something worthwhile.

The profession of social work does so much for so many. And sometimes there are these unsung heroes who plant a seed. I remember in my own career, I started working as a social worker at a hospital. I remember a young woman came in, and she was the neighbor of an elderly gentleman who was in the ICU. She had befriended him, but she wasn’t allowed to see him because she wasn’t a family member. So I allowed her to visit with him. He was important to her, and she was important to him.

Years later, I was at a friend’s, and she wanted to introduce me to a social worker. Lo and behold, that social worker was the same woman I let see that man. She had been in a different profession, and she was so taken by the experience that she decided to change professions.

How does your upbringing inform your work?
I often see things that perhaps my staff doesn’t see, or perhaps hungry people don’t see. This past Thanksgiving, I shared with my staff a little bit of my story, and the fact that I had once gotten a donated turkey. I was living in a shelter, and I had no cooking appliances. Thousands and thousands of people, out of the goodness of their heart, donate these turkeys. But we’re not necessarily asking, how is a person who is homeless or in a shelter going to cook this thing?

I’ve even talked to people who work with children. We tend to want to put our arms around them, pat them on the head, or [playfully] bat them on the shoulder. But we need to think about their experiences. I know for myself, if anyone put their hand on me, I didn’t see that as friendly.

What is one of your favorite food bank programs?
We’ve been popping up with farmers markets throughout the state of New Jersey. Ours are free. As a holistic strategy for the food bank, we’re working on health and food as a prescription.

We’ve been dealing with health issues, but I think what’s on the horizon for us is to deal with culture. You and I go to the supermarket and pick things that appeal to us based on our taste and culture. I’m a Latina. I buy my rice and beans. But if I’m going to a food pantry, I’m not afforded that dignity. I get what I get in a bag. That’s what I think, as a nation, we have to fine tune. It’s definitely a challenge.

In an interview published over the weekend, Uma Thurman told the New York Times that Harvey Weinstein was sexually aggressive with her on multiple occasions. After an incident in a London hotel room, Weinstein threatened to derail her career. Weinstein was an executive producer on “Pulp Fiction,” “Kill Bill: Vol. 1” and “Kill Bill: Vol. 2,” which Thurman starred in.

“The complicated feeling I have about Harvey is how bad I feel about all the women that were attacked after I was,” Thurman told the Times. “I am one of the reasons that a young girl would walk into his room alone, the way I did.”


‘We’re Going to Need More Wine,’ read by Gabrielle Union

After hearing a podcast episode featuring Gabrielle Union, I decided to listen to her book, “We’re Going to Need More Wine,” on Audible. She speaks with clarity about harrowing life experiences, including how her dad reacted after she was raped in a Payless ShoeSource, watching her friend die of cancer, and her experience with multiple miscarriages. Union’s voice makes this book easy to listen to while cleaning or cooking, and it also satisfied my love for celebrity insider knowledge: She touches on tension over a prenup with now-husband Dwyane Wade and attending her first Prince party.
—Ashley Nguyen, Lily digital editor

(The Lily is part of The Washington Post, which is owned by Amazon chief executive Jeffrey P. Bezos. Amazon owns Audible.)

*Have an idea for a news-inspired baiku? Send your creation to lily [at] washpost [dot] com, and you might see it in the next Lily Lines. We follow 5-7-5.

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