Former President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle say that they are "disgusted" by the reports surrounding Harvey Weinstein.
“Any man who demeans and degrades women in such a fashion needs to be condemned and held accountable, regardless of wealth or status,” they wrote in a joint statement on Tuesday.
Weinstein allegedly harassed women for decades and paid settlements to at least eight women, according to a report from The New York Times. Some of the most recent allegations come from actresses Gwyneth Paltrow and Angelina Jolie. Jolie said she “had a bad experience” with the producer when she was younger.
The New Yorker also published reports of three women who claimed Weinstein raped them, and four others who said he forced himself on them.
The Obamas continued their statement by highlighting the bravery of the women who shared their “painful stories” about Weinstein and emphasized the need to change how children are educated.
“We all need to build a culture – including by empowering our girls and teaching our boys decency and respect – so we can make such behavior less prevalent in the future,” they said.
The Obamas and Harvey Weinstein have had a long and public relationship.
Weinstein helped usher in thousands of dollars towards the former president’s campaigns and even gave his daughter, Malia, an internship at the Weinstein Company in New York before she started college this year.
Mrs. Obama also referred to Weinstein as a “wonderful human being” and “a good friend” at a 2013 event at the White House for high school students.
Hillary Clinton, who was also a recipient of Weinstein’s political support and donations, also came out Tuesday against Weinstein, saying she was “shocked and appalled by the revelations.”
So far, neither the Clintons nor the Obamas have announced plans to return or donate the funds, like some of their Democratic colleagues.