Hollywood film producer Harvey Weinstein has issued an apology after the New York Times published an article describing a number of sexual harassment allegations.
The article revealed decades of allegations against Mr Weinstein, the film producer responsible for Oscar-winning movies such as Pulp Fiction and The Kings Speech.
Weinstein has now issued an apology, and will take a leave of absence from work.
Speaking to the New York Times, he said: “I appreciate the way I’ve behaved with colleagues in the past has caused a lot of pain, and I sincerely apologize for it. Though I’m trying to do better, I know I have a long way to go.”
However his lawyers, on behalf of Weinstein, said he “denies many of the accusations as patently false.” Charles Harder, one of the lawyers, released the following statement:
“The New York Times published today a story that is saturated with false and defamatory statements about Harvey Weinstein,” the statement read.
“It relies on mostly hearsay accounts and a faulty report, apparently stolen from an employee personnel file, which has been debunked by nine different eyewitnesses.
We sent the Times the facts and evidence, but they ignored it and rushed to publish.”
According to the report, Weinstein had reached a private settlement with at least eight different women over sexual misconduct.
Actress Ashley Judd told the Times that two decades ago, Weinstein invited her to a breakfast meeting, which he held in his hotel room at the Peninsula Beverly Hills.
At the meeting, he walked into the room in a towel and asked Judd to massage him or watch him take a shower. Weinstein told the New York Post that his wife, Marchesa fashion designer Georgina Chapman is supporting him through the ordeal and denied Ashley Judd’s claims.
“I never laid a glove on her,” Weinstein said.
“Georgina and I have talked about this at length,” Weinstein continued. “We went out with [attorney] Lisa Bloom last night when we knew the article was coming out. Georgina will be with Lisa and others kicking my ass to be a better human being.”
He also admitted to having an ‘ugly’ temper, and that his leave of absence would be related to working on resolving his anger issues.
In other allegations, Scream actress Rose McGowan was named in the Times after reaching a previously undisclosed settlement with Weinstein after an incident in a hotel room during Sundance Film Festival.
After being named in the Times piece, actress Rose McGowan tweeted:
“Anyone who does business with __ is complicit. And deep down you know you are even dirtier. Cleanse yourselves.”
Hollywood film producers, agents and actresses have taken to social media in response to the allegations.
“Just flipped through some contracts to make sure I’m legally allowed to say Harvey Weinstein is the worst person in the film business,” tweeted film producer Keith Calder.
I took meetings at Weinstein. With other female execs. But every single time I’d hear “as long as you aren’t meeting with Harvey, you’ll be fine.” That’s our reality.
— Stephanie Mickus (@smickable) October 5, 2017