Harvey Weinstein Fires Back At Sexual Harassment Report
Movie mogul Harvey Weinstein is in damage control mode after a scathing report by The New York Times on Thursday chronicled decades of sexual harassment allegations.
“I have got to change, I’ve got to grow, I’ve got to deal with my personality, I’ve got to work on my temper, I have got to dig deep,” he told the New York Post.
Weinstein has produced a long list of films, including Gangs of New York, The Lord of the Rings, Kill Bill and made-in-Toronto movies like Chicago, 54, and Killshot. He is also executive producer of TV's Project Runway.
“I know a lot of people would like me to go into a facility, and I may well just do that – I will go anywhere I can learn more about myself. I want to be able to look at the people I have hurt and say, ‘I am sorry, I have changed and I’ve progressed.’
Weinstein added: “I am terribly embarrassed for my company, my staff and the only person who could fix this is me. I am going to fix myself, I am going to fix how I deal with women and how I deal with my temper and power.”
Despite these words, the producer — a frequent guest of the Toronto International Film Festival — vows to sue the Times for what he calls “reckless reporting.”
Weinstein has hired Charles Harder, the lawyer who famously won a $140 million U.S. case against Gawker for wrestler Hulk Hogan. The Post claims Harder will be seeking $50 million from the Times.
Weinstein explained: “I bear responsibility for my actions, but the reason I am suing is because of the Times’ inability to be honest with me, and their reckless reporting. They told me lies. They made assumptions.
“The Times had a deal with us that they would tell us about the people they had on the record in the story, so we could respond appropriately, but they didn’t live up to the bargain.”
He alleged the newspaper has a “vendetta” against him and is focused “on trying to bring me down.”
The Times investigation detailed harassment claims from women who worked for Weinstein, including actresses Ashley Judd and Rose McGowan.
“I came of age in the ’60s and ’70s, when all the rules about behaviour and workplaces were different,” Weinstein told the Post. “In the past I used to compliment people, and some took it as me being sexual, I won’t do that again. I admit to a whole way of behaviour that is not good.
“I can’t talk specifics, but I put myself in positions that were stupid, I want to respect women and do things better.”
The Times reported on settlements paid to at least eight women who complained about harassment. Weinstein fired back: “No company ever talks about settlements, and neither does the recipient, so I don’t know how the Times came to this conclusion, but it is pure conjecture, the reporters have made assumptions.”
The Times has said its reporting is accurate and that Weinstein “was aware and able to respond to specific allegations in our story before publication.”