Ben Affleck has joined the growing list of Hollywood stars condemning Harvey Weinstein.
Affleck released a statement Tuesday following the publication of a New Yorker story in which The Weinstein Company co-founder was accused of sexual assault.
“I am saddened and angry that a man who I worked with used his position of power to intimidate, sexually harass and manipulate many women over decades,” Affleck wrote in the statement, which was shared on his Facebook page. “The additional allegations of assault that I read this morning made me sick. This is completely unacceptable, and I find myself asking what I can do to make sure this doesn’t happen to others. We need to do better at protecting our sisters, friends, co-workers and daughters. We must support those who come forward, condemn this type of behavior when we see it and help ensure there are more women in positions of power.”
Affleck has worked with Weinstein numerous times over the years, including on Good Will Hunting, which won Affleck and costar Matt Damon a best screenplay Oscar and was released by Weinstein’s previous company, Miramax. Affleck also starred in other Miramax-released projects including Shakespeare in Love, Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back, and his feature directorial debut, Gone Baby Gone.
The New Yorker story came less than a week after The New York Times published its own investigation, detailing “decades” of alleged sexual misconduct. Weinstein has since been fired from The Weinstein Company. Last week, he released a statement to the Times, saying in part, “I appreciate the way I’ve behaved with colleagues in the past has caused a lot of pain, and I sincerely apologize for it. Though I’m trying to do better, I know I have a long way to go.” In a separate statement, Weinstein’s lawyer Charles Harder said he was preparing a lawsuit against the Times. “The New York Times published today a story that is saturated with false and defamatory statements about Harvey Weinstein. 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.”
In a statement to the New Yorker, a representative for Weinstein denied the allegations presented in the new story.
“Any allegations of non-consensual sex are unequivocally denied by Mr. Weinstein,” the statement read. “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.”