UPDATE 4:45 P.M. EST: Weinstein is now suing The New York Times, claiming many of the accusations reported to be false. The publication is standing firm, asserting their confidence in their reporting.
Harvey Weinstein is one of Hollywood’s biggest producers — and, apparently, one of its biggest misogynists too!
As we previously reported, the indie movie mogul hired an army of attorneys and crisis managers in order to combat two scandalous pieces, by The New York Times and The New Yorker, which paint him as a culprit of sexual harassment.
On Thursday, the Times expose, by investigative reporters Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey, dropped and revealed that Weinstein has allegedly caused “decades of sexual harassment” and has “reached at least eight settlements with women.” Ashley Judd even went on the record to accuse Harvey of sexual harassment.
Two decades ago, when Miz Judd was merely an ingenue, it’s reported Weinstein invited her up to his hotel room at the Peninsula Beverly Hills. Ashley initially thought she was arriving for a breakfast meeting, however, upon her arrival she says she discovered Harvey in a bathrobe requesting a back massage. It’s also said he asked if she’d watch him in the shower. Gross.
The Divergent actress revealed:
“I said no, a lot of ways, a lot of times, and he always came back at me with some new ask. It was all this bargaining, this coercive bargaining.”
Ugh. To make matters worse, it would seem this wasn’t the only time that Harvey’s done this to women in the industry. Apparently, Weinstein made a habit out of appearing “nearly or fully naked” in front of women and would require them “to be present while he bathed” or repeatedly asked for “a massage.” In some instances, he’d just initiate the massage himself.
“Women have been talking about Harvey amongst ourselves for a long time, and it’s simply beyond time to have the conversation publicly.”
According to the investigative piece, one of the eight settlements was made between Weinstein and actress Rose McGowan. The payout came in 1997 after an incident in Harvey’s hotel room at the Sundance Film Festival. The report added that the $100,000 payment came with a document which stated that the check was “not to be construed as an admission” but rather to “avoid litigation and buy peace.”
Other payments have ranged between $80,000 and $150,000.
At first, it seemed like Weinstein was preparing for a legal fight with the publication, but he’s since offered up a mea culpa via a statement to the newspaper. The industry vet wrote:
“I 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 realized some time ago that I needed to be a better person and my interactions with the people I work with have changed.”
“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.”
In a shocking turn, the famed producer went on to quote JAY-Z‘s 4:44:
“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.”
The powerhouse then went on to vow to channel is time and energy into taking down the NRA. A nice gesture, we guess…
Harvey’s legal team is certainly downplaying the scandal. Attorney Lisa Bloom, who recently represented Blac Chyna and Mischa Barton in revenge porn cases, defended that the the mogul is just “an old dinosaur learning new ways.” The lawyer also noted that the businessman “denies many of the accusations as patently false.”
Be sure to read the Times‘ FULL expose on Weinstein for yourself HERE!
[Image via WENN.]