I got sweet taste for men who're older.
It's always been so it's no surprise.
Harvey's in the sky with diamonds
And it's making me crazy.
All he wants to do is party with his pretty baby.
Come on baby, let's ride.
We can escape to the great sunshine.
I know your wife and she wouldn't mind.
We made it out to the other side.
-Lana del Rey, “Cola”
It wasn’t shocking to me that Harvey Weinstein went to prison for sexually assaulting the beautiful women he kept in his Hollywood menagerie. He’s a horrible man, yes, even when he only went so far as to coerce women to have sex with him in exchange for roles in films. I’m not defending him, either, when I say that some women, like Lana del Rey were willing accomplices to a mutual degradation – And so is Weinstein’s wife.
However, the press pretends that the connection between Weinstein and del Rey is nothing more than an acquaintanceship and that her name-dropping is only an allusion to a philandering “type of man” because (and just because) Lana del Rey said so and wanted it left at that. But, really?
It’s no secret that del Rey’s brand is that of a troubled young woman who loves not only “men who’re older,” but she proudly sings, “I want money. I want power,” in the song called, well, “Money Power, Glory.” This is a woman who glorifies affairs with older men more than once in songs and videos while admitting to Hollywood’s degenerative effect on her (“But what would I be without that touch?” she asks in her lyrics about Hollywood.).
Lana del Rey has made a career out of serenading men and women about the fierceness not only of female sexual prowess but a woman’s broken sexuality especially. She’s not so much a femme fatale as she is a self-conscious corporate whore who makes a killing with her slutty image in a slut-shaming world. She’s a gorgeous paradox!
Back to Harvey Weinstein and my point: In the song “Cola” del Rey not only sings about Weinstein, but she also lays bare her daddy issues as she segues into thanking her own father “for showing me everything he knows.” Lana del Rey (real name Elizabeth Grant) has a powerful father, a very successful businessman. I will just throw it out there that he’s probably not very different from Harvey Weinstein. Do we not repeatedly sleep with our father figures when we are broken? Wasn’t giving it up just business (if she did indeed sleep with Weinstein)?
It was October 2017 when everyone was rushing around to dig into Harvey Weinstein’s personal life that light was shed on del Rey’s controversial lyrics in “Cola,” years after she’d penned them. Vanity Fair’s superficial probe into the matter was headlined What Can a Five-Year-Old Lana Del Rey Song Tell Us About Harvey Weinstein? Probably nothing. But Page Six is determined to make it so. The problem is that even deeper probing proves Vanity Fair wrong. The song “Cola,” del Rey’s catalogue of work, and photographs of the two attending a 2012 pre-Oscar dinner together (without Weinstein’s wife?) tell a different story. Earlier that year they’d also been seen at a highly publicized lunch in Paris.
Without substantiating it, Vanity Fair makes a claim that Weinstein promised to make del Rey a starlet and didn’t “make good on [the promise].” However, a titular song for a Tim Burton film and the song “Young and Beautiful” for The Great Gatsby (not mentioned in the article) are opportunities neither the starlet nor your average reader would sneeze at.
I’m not taking shots at Lana if she slept with Weinstein to get ahead. I’ll leave that to her ex-bestie Azealia Banks, who recently revived this topic and made awful comments about the relationship, claiming that del Rey wanted a role in Gatsby but that Weinstein “probably said her pussy is whack and stuck her on the soundtrack instead,” as if that wasn’t the achievement del Rey was after.
Azealia Banks’ grotesquely misogynist comments are sexually abusive. Consider that 1 out of 4 American women gets raped and that many women who’ve had a history of sexual trauma go on to be hyper sexual and sexually dysfunctional. For good and for bad (it gets us in trouble with sexually insecure men) many of us survivors have a heightened sense of sexuality and a penchant for exhibitionism. This is why so many sex workers and porn stars have histories filled with stories of sexual trauma, as children and as adults. What’s sleeping with a Hollywood mogul to get ahead compared with what women go through when they can’t make ends meet?
I’m a staunch fan of del Rey, and I appreciate the fact that she glorifies sexual dysfunction and women’s sexual power. Why? Because when you’re already dysfunctional, why not celebrate the delicious fallout of it: It’s the stuff of rock and roll.
Lana del Rey is the blood and guts kind of artist we haven’t seen in years. I don’t believe that Harvey Weinstein raped her either. I think if anything happened between them it was with full consent and she got exactly what she wanted. If anything, she proves that Weinstein and his twisted ways may have been tolerable if he saved his appetite for creatures of del Rey’s ilk. She goes to prove that not every woman he was involved with would say he raped her. Some accepted this monster on his terms and consented to an unspoken sexual contract. Let’s just be honest.