Scottish Daily Mail

Why Fellowes ignored the rumours over Weinstein


DOWNTON Abbey creator Julian Fellowes has broken his silence about disgraced movie mogul Harvey Weinstein, with whom he worked on his ITV drama, Doctor Thorne.

Speaking for the first time since the Hollywood producer was accused of sexual harassment last year, Lord Fellowes admits he deliberate­ly overlooked rumours about Weinstein’s behaviour because he wanted his show to be successful.

‘Did I know what was going on? I knew the rumours and I think the reality exceeded the rumours — if what everyone’s saying happened, happened,’ says Fellowes.

‘But in the end Harvey was a very talented producer and he marketed the show in America very well. And because I’m a man, and not a particular­ly good-looking one, that was all there was to it. He was buying a product, and he sold it well, and I’m grateful for that.’

Doctor Thorne was the 2016 adaptation of Anthony Trollope’s novel starring Tom Hollander, Rebecca Front and Prince Harry’s ex-girlfriend Cressida Bonas, whom Weinstein labelled ‘my biggest discovery as an actress this year’.

Despite Fellowes’s attempt to secure a big audience in the U.S. through the Weinstein Company, Doctor Thorne received mixed reviews in Britain and was not continued after its first series.

Speaking at the Services To Film inaugural gala dinner, in aid of Walking With The Wounded, Fellowes adds: ‘I don’t think I can say I regret working with him. I think subsequent events have cast a shadow, as they must, but all through our lives we go through situations without understand­ing the significan­ce of them.’

He stresses, however, that he doesn’t condone Weinstein’s behaviour and thinks the industry will change as a result of the revelation­s.

‘I don’t think I’d taken a proper view of it,’ he adds. ‘I think it woke us all up, to a certain extent.

‘And while I know we’re going through a rather bumpy time, I think that if the end product is a world where women are not objectifie­d any more than men, or any more than anyone, and they’re given a proper shake in the workplace, then that will be a better place than the one we’re in now.’

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from United Kingdom