Weinstein, the co-founder of Miramax, co-chairman of The Weinstein Company, and producer of such films as Pulp Fiction, Gangs of New York, and The Lord of the Rings, has reached at least eight settlements with women, according to the Times. Among his accusers: actress Ashley Judd, who went on the record for the article.
As a young actress, Judd said Weinstein propositioned her in a Beverley Hills Hotel during what was expected to be a business breakfast meeting. Instead, according to Judd, Weinstein appeared in a bathrobe and asked if he could give her a massage or she could watch him shower.
“Women have been talking about Harvey amongst ourselves for a long time, and it’s simply beyond time to have the conversation publicly,” Judd told The Times.
Actress Rose McGowan was also subjected to Weinsten’s advances, leading to a $100,000 settlement, according to the Times.
In the Times investigation, an internal memo emerged from Weinstein’s colleague Lauren O’Connor, alleging that “There is a toxic environment for women at this company,” a message addressed to several Weinstein Company executives.
“In interviews, eight women described varying behavior by Mr. Weinstein: appearing nearly or fully naked in front of them, requiring them to be present while he bathed or repeatedly asking for a massage or initiating one himself,” the Times alleges. “The women, typically in their early or mid-20s and hoping to get a toehold in the film industry, said he could switch course quickly — meetings and clipboards one moment, intimate comments the next. One woman advised a peer to wear a parka when summoned for duty as a layer of protection against unwelcome advances.”
Reached for comment, Weinstein acknowledged that “the way I’ve behaved with colleagues in the past has caused a lot of pain, and I sincerely apologize for it. Though I’m trying to do better, I know I have a long way to go.”
He added that he was working with therapists and planning to take a leave of absence to “deal with this issue head on.”
Update: Weinstein’s full statement has been published by The New York Times, and it’s really something else. In it, he quotes JAY-Z’s 4:44 and goes after the head of the NRA. Read it in full below. Weinstein’s lawyer says he plans to sue the New York Times for “false and defamatory statements,” and “all proceeds will be donated to women’s organizations.”
“I 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.
I have since learned it’s not an excuse, in the office – or out of it. To anyone.
I realized some time ago that I needed to be a better person and my interactions with the people I work with have changed.
I appreciate the way I’ve behaved with colleagues in the past has caused a lot of pain, and I sincerely apologize for it.
Though I’m trying to do better, I know I have a long way to go. That is my commitment. My journey now will be to learn about myself and conquer my demons. Over the last year I’ve asked Lisa Bloom to tutor me and she’s put together a team of people. I’ve brought on therapists and I plan to take a leave of absence from my company and to deal with this issue head on. I so respect all women and regret what happened. I hope that my actions will speak louder than words and that one day we will all be able to earn their trust and sit down together with Lisa to learn more. Jay Z wrote in 4:44 ‘I’m not the man I thought I was and I better be that man for my children.’ The same is true for me. I want a second chance in the community but I know I’ve got work to do to earn it. I have goals that are now priorities. Trust me, this isn’t an overnight process. I’ve been trying to do this for 10 years and this is a wake-up call. I cannot be more remorseful about the people I hurt and I plan to do right by all of them.
I am going to need a place to channel that anger so I’ve decided that I’m going to give the NRA my full attention. I hope Wayne LaPierre will enjoy his retirement party. I’m going to do it at the same place I had my Bar Mitzvah. I’m making a movie about our President, perhaps we can make it a joint retirement party. One year ago, I began organizing a $5 million foundation to give scholarships to women directors at USC. While this might seem coincidental, it has been in the works for a year. It will be named after my mom and I won’t disappoint her.”
You can read the full article here.
This is a developing story…