Former New York Times reporter Sharon Waxman claimed in a report published by The Wrap on Sunday, October 8, that she investigated a story about Weinstein’s alleged behavior for the newspaper in 2004. Waxman said that her story was never published because she received phone calls from Damon, 47, and Russell Crowe at the behest of Weinstein and then-Miramax executive Fabrizio Lombardo.
“My recollection was that it was about a one minute phone call,” the Good Will Hunting actor told Deadline on Tuesday, October 10, of his conversation with the reporter. “Harvey had called me and said, ‘They’re writing a story about Fabrizio … and it’s really negative. Can you just call and tell her what your experience with Fabrizio was?’ So I did, and that’s what I said to her. It didn’t even make the piece that she wrote. As I recall, her piece just said that Russell and I had called and relayed our experience with Fabrizio. That was the extent of it and so I was very surprised to see it come back. I was never conscripted to do anything.”
Damon was recently criticized on social media by actresses including Rose McGowan and Jessica Chastain for not responding to Waxman’s claims nor the allegations against Weinstein. “Hey @mattdamon what’s it like to be a spineless profiteer who stays silent?” McGowan, 44, tweeted on Monday, October 9.
“Look, even before I was famous, I didn’t abide this kind of behavior. But now, as the father of four daughters, this is the kind of sexual predation that keeps me up at night,” the Bourne Identity actor told Deadline in response to the actress. “This is the great fear for all of us. … We know this stuff goes on in the world. I did five or six movies with Harvey. I never saw this. I think a lot of actors have come out and said, everybody’s saying we all knew. That’s not true. This type of predation happens behind closed doors and out of public view. If there was ever an event that I was at and Harvey was doing this kind of thing and I didn’t see it, then I am so deeply sorry, because I would have stopped it. And I will peel my eyes back now, farther than I ever have, to look for this type of behavior. Because we know that it happens. I feel horrible for these women and it’s wonderful they have this incredible courage and are standing up now.”
Reiterating his earlier comments, Damon concluded, “For the record, I would never, ever, ever try to kill a story like that. I just wouldn’t do that. It’s not something I would do, for anybody.”
Weinstein has been under fire for days following blistering reports of allegations published by The New York Times and The New Yorker. He was fired from The Weinstein Company on Sunday evening. “Any allegations of non-consensual sex are unequivocally denied by Mr. Weinstein,” his rep said in a statement to Us Weekly on Tuesday. “Mr. Weinstein has further confirmed that there were never any acts of retaliation against any women for refusing his advances. He will not be available for further comments, as he is taking the time to focus on his family, on getting counseling and rebuilding his life.”
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