Academy Award-winning film producer, Harvey Weinstein is under fire after a story from The New York Times emerged Thursday, alleging that the Hollywood fixture used his position of power to sexually harass women in the industry.
The Times goes on to report that he has reached legal settlements with at least eight women over the course of 20 years for unwanted physical contact and harassment. The investigation also found “legal records, emails, and internal documents from the businesses he has run, Miramax and the Weinstein Company,” alleging multiple cases of misconduct.
One of the actresses with whom Weinstein reached a settlement with, was actress Rose McGowan, who was 23 at the time in 1997, starring in Miramax’s Scream. Weinstein had reportedly paid $100,000 in order to “avoid litigation and buy peace.”
Ashley Judd spoke to the Times on the record, stating how Weinstein acted inappropriately with her at a breakfast meeting nearly 20 years ago. The actress goes on to share that he summoned her to his room, greeted her with a bathroom and asked if she’d like “a massage” or to “watch him shower.”
Weinstein’s lawyer, Lisa Bloom said in a statement to the Times that her client “denies many of the accusations as patently false.”
In a lengthy statement to the Times, Weinstein writes he “came of age in the ‘60s and ‘70s, 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 appreciate the way I’ve behaved with colleagues in the past has caused a lot of pain, and I sincerely apologize for it.”
Weinstein added he will be taking a “leave of absence” from his company, and will be working with therapists as his attorney Bloom states, to “conquer” his demons.