Harvey Weinstein is one of the most successful film producers in Hollywood. But the mega liberal announced on Thursday that he’s taking a leave of absence from his movie business on the heels of a New York Times report that reveals he sexually harassed numerous females, including top name actresses for decades.
The NY Times report includes the revelation that Harvey Weinstein settled out of court with at least eight women.
Weinstein co-founded Miramax, but then moved on to launch a production company bearing his last name.
A year rarely passes without a Weinstein picture being nominated for an Oscar. He has produced Academy Award-winning films such as Pulp Fiction, Chicago, The English Patient and Shakespeare in Love.
Weinstein recently announced a film project with documentarian Michael Moore. The film will be about President Trump. He also made an announcement two years ago that he was producing a film about the NRA that would make the organization wish they never existed.
Harvey Weinstein is also known for his temper and, the Times story says, his inappropriate behavior toward women has been discussed within his companies for years. The story begins with actress Ashley Judd being invited to what she thought was a business breakfast with Weinstein at the Peninsula Hotel in Los Angeles. Instead, she says, she was sent to his room where he asked her to give him a massage or watch him shower.
“How do I get out of the room as fast as possible without alienating Harvey Weinstein?” Judd is quoted as saying in the article.
Weinstein released a statement in response to the allegations:
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.
At the same time, one of Weinstein’s lawyers, Lisa Bloom, released a statement saying “he denies many of the accusations as patently false.”
Weinstein had a close relationship with President Barack Obama, visiting the White House complex on 13 occasions during the Obama presidency, according to visitor records.
Nine of his visits were with President Obama himself, including some events together with first lady Michelle Obama.
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