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Maureen Lee Lenker
October 19, 2017 AT 03:31 PM EDT

In the wake of numerous sexual misconduct allegations against disgraced movie mogul Harvey Weinstein, select anonymous members of the Weinstein Co. staff have released a joint statement stating they were unaware of Weinstein’s alleged behavior as a “serial sexual predator” and expressing their support for the women who have come forward.

The statement also acknowledged that its very existence is a violation of the non-disclosure agreements in the employees’ contracts. But that Weinstein’s alleged behavior also violates their contracts’ promise to provide a safe place to work.

“We came to work at this company because we love movies. We grew up watching Miramax films, and came to associate that name, and later the name Weinstein, with great storytelling,” the statement read. “All of us were excited to get the job, proud to be working for a company with such an illustrious history. We all knew that we were working for a man with an infamous temper. We did not know we were working for a serial sexual predator. We knew that our boss could be manipulative. We did not know that he used his power to systematically assault and silence women. We had an idea that he was a womanizer who had extra-marital affairs. We did not know he was a violent aggressor and alleged rapist.” (Weinstein through his representative has denied any claims of non-consensual sex.)

In the statement, the employees — reportedly numbering near 30 — added that any expression of “shock and surprise” makes them “part of the problem.” It stated, “Our company was built on Harvey’s unbridled ambition – his aggressive deal-making, his insatiable desire to win and get what he wanted, his unabashed love for celebrity – these traits were legendary, and the art they produced made an indelible mark on the entertainment industry. But we now know that behind closed doors, these were the same traits that made him a monster. He created a toxic ecosystem where his abuse could flourish unchecked for decades.”

“We have nothing to hide, and are as angry and baffled as you are at how Harvey’s behavior could continue for so long,” it continued. The employees requested the company release them from their NDAs to allow transparency as investigations continue.

The Weinstein Co. employees also expressed solidarity with the women who have come forward to accuse Weinstein. “We unequivocally support all the women who have come forward, many of whom we count among our own friends and colleagues. Thank you for speaking out. When the New York Times and The New Yorker articles broke, we wept,” they wrote. “We see you, we admire you, and we are in this fight alongside you.”

Employees also rejected any insinuation that members of the staff assisted Weinstein in his alleged abuse. “And while we can only speak for the people represented in this statement, none of us ever knowingly acted as a so-called ‘honeypot.’ That is disgusting and renders us all victims of Harvey’s disgraceful behavior,” it stated. They also add that most staff have never met the board or even know their names, excepting Bob Weinstein.

Read the full statement below.

The Weinstein Company

Weinstein has been accused of sexual misconduct, including sexual harassment and sexual assault, by more than 40 women — including stars Gwyneth Paltrow, Angelina Jolie, Rose McGowan, and Ashley Judd. In a statement released to the New Yorker earlier this month, Weinstein — who has since been fired from The Weinstein Co. — denied any allegations of non-consensual sex: “Any allegations of non-consensual sex are unequivocally denied by Mr. Weinstein. 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.”

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