Harvey Weinstein, whose alleged behavior ignited the #MeToo movement, has been accused of sexual misconduct by dozens of women since 2017. Yet the 67-year-old Hollywood producer told the New York Post on Friday that his advocacy and support of women in the industry has been eviscerated by the allegations.
For example, Gwyneth Paltrow in 2003 earned $10 million making “View from the Top,” a movie Weinstein produced at Miramax, he told the Post, noting that Paltrow was the highest-paid actress in an independent film.
Among others, the Weinstein Company also released Felicity Huffman’s “Transamerica” in 2005, and “Paris is Burning” in the early 90s, both films with impactful social justice agendas.
“This was a company that took social issues and tackled them,” Weinstein added. “I want this city to recognize who I was instead of what I’ve become.”
Weinstein agreed to Friday’s interview, his first in more than a year, at New York-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center, following a three-hour spinal surgery to treat injuries sustained in a car accident in August.
The goal, he said, was not to boast about his accomplishments or comment on the upcoming criminal case, but to clarify his medical condition and put to rest rumors that circulated last week about his use of a walker at a Manhattan courthouse to garner sympathy.
The Post published the interview Sunday, igniting immediate reactions, many from his accusers.
A list of 23 women, including Katherine Kendall and Caitlin Dulany, as well as actresses Ashley Judd and Rose McGowan, signed a statement according to ABC News, saying in part, “He says in a new interview he doesn’t want to be forgotten. Well, he won’t be. He will be remembered as a sexual predator and an unrepentant abuser who took everything and deserves nothing. He will be remembered by the collective will of countless women who stood up and said enough.”
What Harvey Weinstein has said in the @nypost on #PageSix is a classic example of DARVO.— ashley judd (@AshleyJudd) December 17, 2019
Denying. Attacking. Reversing. Victim. Order.
It is a predatorial strategy that seeks to shift attention away from his criminal behavior and put his toxic shame onto survivor victims.
Kendall, in a statement to ABC News, said, “He seems disturbingly out of touch. What he did shattered countless women’s lives. It’s time now to listen to the women, it’s time for us to reclaim our power.”
Dulany called Weinstein’s interview “self-promotion gone terribly bad.”
Lawyer Gloria Allred, who represents several Weinstein accusers, said in a statement to ABC News: “Whatever he has done professionally for women may or may not be relevant at the time of sentencing if he is convicted. For now, any attempt by him to recast his tattered reputation or to appear to ask for sympathy will only serve to trigger many of those who allege that they are victims of Mr. Weinstein.”
Weinstein is set to go on trial on sex-crimes charges in Manhattan Supreme Court on Jan. 6, stemming from allegations of sexual assault in 2006 and the rape of another woman in 2013. The native of Queens, N.Y., has denied all wrongdoing.
He has been free on $1 million bail since his arrest last year. His bail was raised last week, pursuant to New York’s new criminal justice statutes.
Last week, the New York Times also reported that Weinstein and his former film studio reached a tentative $47 million settlement, of which about $25 million will compensate women who choose to participate and have accused him of sexual misconduct.
The agreement garnered public attention and criticism, and it prompted questions about Weinstein’s pending criminal trial and legal recourse for his accusers.
Attorney Douglas Wigdor, who represents three of Weinstein’s accusers, including Wedil David who turned down the terms of the deal, told The Washington Post that the settlement “is not a fair settlement for anyone.”
“We reject the notion that this was the best settlement that could have been achieved on behalf of the victims,” he said. “It precludes further liability for other women not participating in the settlement, like my client."