As previously reported, the studio head, 65, was fired from his own company on October 8, a few days after The New York Times published a report detailing decades of sexual harassment allegations. Claims of his improper behavior were made by several women, including actress Ashley Judd, and the Times reported that he had reached legal settlements of between $80,000 and $150,000 with at least eight women, including Rose McGowan.
The Oscar-winning producer announced on October 5 that he was taking a leave of absence from The Weinstein Company “to conquer my demons.”
His attorney said that Weinstein was preparing to sue the Times. “The New York Times published today a story that is saturated with false and defamatory statements about Harvey Weinstein,” Charles Harder told Us Weekly. “It relies on mostly hearsay accounts and a faulty report, apparently stolen from an employee personnel file, which has been debunked by nine different eyewitnesses. We sent the Times the facts and evidence, but they ignored it and rushed to publish. We are preparing the lawsuit now. All proceeds will be donated to women’s organizations.”
A few days after the Times‘ report, the Weinstein Company board of representatives released a statement announcing that they had “terminated” his employment with the company that he had founded with his brother, Bob Weinstein, in 2005, “effective immediately.”
The New Yorker then published its own exposé that included several accusations of sexual assault. In response to that investigative story, Weinstein’s spokesperson released a statement denying the allegations.
“Any allegations of non-consensual sex are unequivocally denied by Mr. Weinstein,” Sallie Hofmeister told Us on October 10. “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. Mr. Weinstein has begun counseling, has listened to the community and is pursuing a better path. Mr. Weinstein is hoping that, if he makes enough progress, he will be given a second chance.”
Winslet, who won a Best Actress Academy Award in 2009 for her role in The Weinstein Company’s The Reader, condemned the producer in a statement to Variety on October 9.
“The fact that these women are starting to speak out about the gross misconduct of one of our most important and well regarded film producers is incredibly brave and has been deeply shocking to hear. The way Harvey Weinstein has treated these vulnerable, talented young women is NOT the way women should ever EVER deem to be acceptable or commonplace in ANY workplace,” Winslet said in her statement.
“I have no doubt that for these women this time has been, and continues to be extremely traumatic. I fully embrace and salute their profound courage, and I unequivocally support this level of very necessary exposure of someone who has behaved in reprehensible and disgusting ways. His behavior is without question disgraceful and appalling and very, very wrong. I had hoped that these kind of stories were just made up rumors, maybe we have all been naïve. And it makes me so angry. There must be ‘no tolerance’ of this degrading, vile treatment of women in ANY workplace anywhere in the world.”, maybe we have all been naïve. And it makes me so angry. There must be ‘no tolerance’ of this degrading, vile treatment of women in ANY workplace anywhere in the world.”