Matt Damon says he knew about Harvey Weinstein’s alleged sexual harassment of Gwyneth Paltrow because he had heard the story from friend Ben Affleck.
Speaking to NBC’s TODAY on Tuesday, Damon said he knew “the Gwyneth story” but never talked about it with her during production on The Talented Mr. Ripley, a Weinstein production. “But Ben had told me about it. At that point, Harvey was, like, incredibly respectful of her, always,” Damon said.
Asked if “there was some part of you that wished you had called him out,” Damon said, “I don’t know what I would have done. I heard from Ben who heard from Gwyneth that this happened. I don’t know how that would have happened. I never saw anything in front of me. I mean, look, he was a bully. He was intimidating. That was part of who he was. I’ve been reading these stories, because I am racking my brain, did I see something, did I know something, is there something I could have done?”
Damon’s comments about Paltrow echo remarks he made during Good Morning America on Monday. “I knew that story, but I was working with Gwyneth, with Harvey, on [The Talented Mr. Ripley] … I never talked to Gwyneth about it. Ben told me, but I knew that they had come to whatever agreement or understanding they had come to. She had handled it. She was the First Lady of Miramax, and he treated her incredibly respectfully. Always.”
Earlier this month, in the wake of bombshell accusations of sexual misconduct against Weinstein, Paltrow came forward with her own allegations of sexual harassment against the now-disgraced producer. Speaking to the New York Times, Paltrow claimed Weinstein asked her for a massage and that she relayed the story to her then-boyfriend, Brad Pitt, who confronted Weinstein about the alleged incident.
In a statement released shortly after the Weinstein scandal broke, Affleck — who dated Paltrow after Pitt — said he was “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 added, “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 made no mention of Paltrow’s accusations in his statement.
More than 50 women have come forward with claims of sexual misconduct, including sexual harassment and sexual assault, against Weinstein. Through his lawyer, Weinstein has denied any allegations of non-consensual sex.