Published October 06, 2017
One of Hollywood's biggest power players is being accused in a New York Times report of sexually harassing movie stars, including Ashley Judd, over his decades-long reign over Tinseltown.
Harvey Weinstein, the movie magnate behind such films as "Pulp Fiction," "Scream," "Shakespeare in Love" and "Good Will Hunting," is the subject of an investigative report detailing inappropriate behavior with women over the last 30 years. Judd described being lured to Weinstein's hotel room, only to find him wearing a bathrobe and requesting sexual favors.
“How do I get out of the room as fast as possible without alienating Harvey Weinstein?” Judd, who was working on the 1997 film "Kiss the Girls" at the time, recalled thinking at the time.
Immediately after the Times' report was published online, Weinstein, who had hired attorney Lisa Bloom days earlier, released as statement claiming he was being "tutored" in approprate behavior. The statement, which blamed his behavior on the culture of his youth, then pivoted to attacks against President Trump and the National Rifle Association.
“I came of age in the 60's and 70's, when all the rules about behavior and workplaces were different. That was the culture then,” Weinstein wrote. “I have since learned it's not an excuse, in the office - or out of it. To anyone. I realized some time ago that I needed to be a better person and my interactions with the people I work with have changed.”
The movie magnate vowed to channel his energies toward new endeavors.
“I’ve decided that I’m going to give the NRA my full attention. I hope Wayne LaPierre will enjoy his retirement party. I’m going to do it at the same place I had my Bar Mitzvah. I’m making a movie about our President, perhaps we can make it a joint retirement party.”
Judd came forward after previously revealing to Variety that a then-unnamed major studio executive harassed her.
“Women have been talking about Harvey amongst ourselves for a long time, and it’s simply beyond time to have the conversation publicly,” she said.
The report details encounters Weinstein allegedly had with other women working for the Weinstein Company, as well as official settlements from people associated with him, including actress Rose McGowen, who was issued a $100,000 settlement that Weinstein specifically said was not an admission of guilt.
“Harvey is not going to demean or attack any of the women making accusations against him, although he does dispute many of the allegations,” his lawyer, Lisa Bloom said in a separate statement to Fox News. “Instead, he is going to use this as a painful learning experience to grow into a better man. I will continue to work with him personally for as long as it takes.”
On Thursday, Weinstein announced he would sue the Times, with any settlement or damages proceeds going to women's organizations.
Fox News' Diana Falzone contributed to this report