Harvey Weinstein said he is “sorry” for his “bad behavior” but denied Ashley Judd’s accusations of sexual harassment leveled – along with others – against him Thursday.
Saying that he “bear[s] responsibility for my actions,” the powerhouse film executive, 65, gave his first interview following the controversy, telling the New York Post that his wife, Marchesa fashion designer Georgina Chapman, is supporting him.
“She stands 100 percent behind me. Georgina and I have talked about this at length,” Weinstein said. “We went out with [attorney] Lisa Bloom last night when we knew the article was coming out. Georgina will be with Lisa and others kicking my ass to be a better human being and to apologize to people for my bad behavior, to say I’m sorry, and to absolutely mean it.”
In a revealing exposé by The New York Times Thursday, eight women, including actress Judd, spoke out against Weinstein, who allegedly reached at least eight settlements with women after claims alleged Weinstein behaved inappropriately during work meetings.
Bloom said in a statement that her client “denies many of the accusations as patently false.”
“I also have the worst temper known to mankind, my system is all wrong, and sometimes I create too much tension. I lose it, and I am emotional, that’s why I’ve got to spend more time with a therapist and go away,” Weinstein told the Post about his leave of absence, which he announced Thursday in a statement to the NYT.
“My temper makes people feel intimidated, but I don’t even know when I’m doing it. 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 behavior 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 Oscar-winning film producer added.
However, Weinstein denied Judd’s allegations.
Though he declined to explain the specifics about what claims were true or false, he did discuss reading Judd’s memoir, All That Is Bitter and Sweet, in which she opened up about being a victim of sexual abuse and depression as a child.
“I never laid a glove on her,” Weinstein said. “I know Ashley Judd is going through a tough time right now, I read her book. Her life story was brutal, and I have to respect her. In a year from now I am going to reach out to her.”
Weinstein did not mention actress Rose McGowan, who was also named in the NYT piece, as one of the women he had reached a settlement with.
McGowan reportedly reached a $100,000 settlement with Weinstein after an encounter in a hotel room with the executive producer in 1997 during the Sundance Film Festival.
The $100,000 payout was “not to be construed as an admission” by Weinstein, but intended to “avoid litigation and buy peace,” according to a legal document reportedly reviewed by the NYT.
While he is making some apologies, the Hollywood heavyweight still plans to sue the NYT for $50 million. Along with Bloom, Weinstein is also being represented by lawyer Charles Harder. In May 2016, Harder won a $140 million settlement for Hulk Hogan against Gawker.
Weinstein told the Post he is suing “because of the Times’ inability to be honest with me, and their reckless reporting. They told me lies. They made assumptions.”