Movie mogul Harvey Weinstein is taking a leave of absence from The Weinstein Company following the publication of a New York Times article depicting the film producer as a sexual harasser.
Weinstein issued an apology for his past behavior after the allegations of decades of inappropriate sexual advances broke on Thursday (05Oct17).
In a statement to the Times, he wrote:
“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.”
“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.”
The producer also revealed he has hired therapists to deal with his issues, adding, “My journey now will be to learn about myself and conquer my demons.”
The journalists behind the Times report alleged Weinstein had quietly settled with at least eight women, who made allegations of sexual misconduct. His lawyer Lisa Bloom has denied many of the accusations in the article, calling them “patently false”.
Among the accusers he allegedly settled with are an unnamed actress and an unidentified Italian model.
Sources tell the Times that actress Rose McGowan may have been one of the accusers Weinstein paid off, while Ashley Judd went on the record to accuse Harvey of sexual harassment.
She told the Times that Weinstein acted inappropriately when she agreed to meet him for breakfast in his hotel suite at the beginning of her career, claiming he asked her if she’d like to watch him take a shower.
The Divergent actress told the publication, “I said no, a lot of ways, a lot of times, and he always came back at me with some new ask. It was all this bargaining, this coercive bargaining.”
She has since discovered Weinstein allegedly made a habit out of appearing “nearly or fully naked” in front of women, requesting they “be present while he bathed”.
She added, “Women have been talking about Harvey amongst ourselves for a long time, and it’s simply beyond time to have the conversation publicly.”
The movie mogul behind hit films like Pulp Fiction, Gangs of New York, The English Patient, and Django Unchained, has been married to actress Georgina Chapman, his second wife, since December, 2007. The couple has two children.
Harvey also has three kids from his 17-year marriage to Eve Chilton Weinstein.