Hillary Clinton is breaking her silence on the sexual misconduct allegations against Harvey Weinstein.
On the heels of blistering reports by The New Yorker and The New York Times with numerous actresses coming forward with reports of harassment and assault, the former Democratic presidential nominee released this statement via her communications director:
Weinstein was fired two days ago by the board of directors of The Weinstein Company after an initial round of reports accused him of harassment. New reports have been published Tuesday against Weinstein containing on-the-record allegations from stars such as Angelina Jolie, Gwenyth Paltrow, Rosanna Arquette, Mira Sorvino, and several others. Actress Asia Argento claimed Weinstein raped her by forcibly performing oral sex on her, one of three women to allege assault in the New Yorker story.
In a statement provided to the New Yorker, Weinstein denied the claims. “Any allegations of non-consensual sex are unequivocally denied by Mr. Weinstein,” a representative for Weinstein said. “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.”
Weinstein is a longtime supporter of Hillary Clinton and her husband, Bill, and hosted a series of fundraisers for Clinton and former president Barack Obama over the years, along with contributing to many other Democratic candidates. Former First Lady Michelle Obama once said of Weinstein, “I want to start by thanking Harvey Weinstein for organizing this amazing day. Harvey. This is possible because of Harvey. He is a wonderful human being, a good friend and just a powerhouse.”
In the wake of the initial reports against Weinstein, numerous elected officials from the Democratic party donated contributions Weinstein made to their campaigns and offices in the past.