Casting couch mogul says wife will ‘be kicking my ass’
Harvey Weinstein says his British fashion designer wife is standing by him “100%” and “will be kicking my ass to be a better human being”, after he was accused of decades of sexual harassment.
Georgina Chapman, the 41-year-old founder of the Marchesa label, married Weinstein, 65, in 2007 and the pair have two children. She declined to comment after the New York Times detailed allegations against the Hollywood movie mogul.
Weinstein told the New York Post: “She stands 100% behind me. Georgina and I have talked about this at length. Georgina will be kicking my ass to be a better human being and to apologise to people for my bad behaviour; to say ‘I’m sorry,’ and to absolutely mean it.”
Bikini screen test
The New York Times published a litany of allegations about behaviour that had been going on for decades, including that Weinstein appeared naked before his staff in hotel rooms and asked them for massages and that they watch him take a shower.
Actresses Ashley Judd (Divergent) and Rose McGowan (who played a witch in the TV series Charmed) were among those who accused the film-studio executive of inappropriate behaviour.
Jessica Hynes, who stars in the BBC comedy series W1A, claimed this week that she lost a role after refusing to wear a bikini.
“I was offered a film role at 19. Harvey Weinstein came on board and wanted me to screen test in a bikini. I refused & lost the job,” she tweeted, adding: “I’m sure there are many more . . .”
As Weinstein faced being ostracised in Hollywood, he also looked set to become a political pariah.
A high-profile supporter of the Democratic Party, the mogul has given an estimated $1.4-million (R19-million) to candidates and campaigns since 1990. That included $25 000 to Hillary Clinton and a five-figure sum to former president Barack Obama.
At least four Democrat senators, including Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, who received $5 000 for her 2012 political campaign, said they were now giving the donations to charity.
Despite apologising for “bad behaviour”, Weinstein is now threatening to sue the New York Times for $50-million. He has hired Charles Harder, the Los Angeles lawyer who forced the closure of gossip website Gawker after winning a $140-million verdict for wrestler and actor Hulk Hogan when the site posted a sex tape.
Weinstein issued a contrite statement after the newspaper published its story. “I appreciate the way I’ve behaved with colleagues in the past has caused a lot of pain, and I sincerely apologise for it,” he said. “Though I’m trying to do better, I know I have a long way to go.” But he then accused the New York Times of “reckless reporting”, and confirmed that he was suing.
“What I am saying is that I bear responsibility for my actions, but the reason I am suing is because of the Times’s inability to be honest with me, and their reckless reporting,” he said.
“They told me lies. They made assumptions. The Times had a deal with us that they would tell us about the people they had on the record in the story, so we could respond appropriately, but they didn’t live up to the bargain.”
The newspaper claimed the producer had reached at least eight settlements with women. Weinstein told the Post: “No company ever talks about settlements, and neither does the recipient, so I don’t know how the Times came to this conclusion, but it is pure conjecture.”
Producer Harvey Weinstein and his wife Georgina Chapman.