“I knew enough to do more than I did,” the 54-year-old director told The New York Times in an interview published on Thursday, October 19. “There was more to it than just the normal rumors. The normal gossip. It wasn’t secondhand. I knew he did a couple of these things.”
The Oscar winner explained that he regrets not having spoken out about the disgraced Miramax producer, 65, in the past. “I wish I had taken responsibility for what I heard,” he said. “If I had done the work I should have done then, I would have had to not work with him.”
Tarantino admitted that he knew about Weinstein’s alleged encounter with his own former girlfriend, Mira Sorvino, and he was also aware that Rose McGowan had reached a settlement with the producer after she claimed he sexually harassed her.
“I was shocked and appalled,” Tarantino said upon discovering that Weinstein had allegedly assaulted Sorvino. “I couldn’t believe he would do that so openly. I was like, ‘Really? Really?’ But the thing I thought then, at the time, was that he was particularly hung up on Mira. I thought Harvey was hung up on her in this Svengali kind of way. Because he was infatuated with her, he horribly crossed the line.”
“What I did was marginalize the incidents,” he explained, noting that he continued to work with Weinstein for years and wrote off the allegations as minor misbehaviors. “Anything I say now will sound like a crappy excuse.”
The Pulp Fiction director added that, when he first read the sexual misconduct accounts published by The Times against Weinstein, he wasn’t surprised. “Everyone who was close to Harvey had heard of at least one of these incidents,” he said. “It was impossible they didn’t.”
Tarantino said he didn’t take the second or thirdhand accounts he heard too seriously. “I chalked it up to a ‘50s-‘60s era image of a boss chasing a secretary around the desk,” he said. “As if that’s OK. That’s the egg on my face right now.”
The filmmaker then encouraged other men in Hollywood who knew about Weinstein’s alleged behavior to come forward. “I’m calling on the other guys who knew more to not be scared. Don’t just give out statements,” Tarantino urged. “Acknowledge that there was something rotten in Denmark. Vow to do better by our sisters. What was previously accepted is now untenable to anyone of a certain consciousness.”
As previously reported, NYT published an exposé on Thursday, October 5, detailing nearly 30 years of sexual misconduct allegations against the Oscar winner, who was fired from his own company amid the scandal and left by his estranged wife, Georgina Chapman. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ board held an emergency meeting on Saturday, October 14, and voted to revoke the studio boss’ membership.
Weinstein has since denied all allegations made against him. “Any allegations of non-consensual sex are unequivocally denied by Mr. Weinstein,” his spokesperson Sallie Hofmeister said in a statement to Us Weekly. “Mr. Weinstein has further confirmed that there were never any acts of retaliation against any women for refusing his advances. Mr. Weinstein obviously can’t speak to anonymous allegations, but with respect to any women who have made allegations on the record, Mr. Weinstein believes that all of these relationships were consensual.”
The filmmaker reportedly flew to Arizona on Wednesday, October 11, to seek treatment for sex addiction.
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