After The New York Times published a scathing article on Oct. 5 documenting three decades of sexual harassment by Harvey Weinstein, his attorney Lisa Bloom, said in a statement that “he denies many of the accusations as patently false.” A second attorney, Charles Harder, claimed the women's accusations are “false and defamatory.”
Thursday was a day of mixed messages from Weinstein's camp. Weinstein apologized after Ashley Judd and other actresses came forward detailing instances in which the Hollywood executive asked women to give him masssages, watch him in the shower or see him in various states of undress.
"I said no, a lot of ways, a lot of times, and he always came back at me with some new ask," Judd told the NYT. "It was all this bargaining, this coercive bargaining."
“I appreciate the way I’ve behaved with colleagues in the past has caused a lot of pain, and I sincerely apologize for it,” the movie magnate said in a statement to The New York Times. “Though I’m trying to do better, I know I have a long way to go,” he said, explaining that he's currently working with therapists to “deal with this issue head-on.”
Nevertheless, Harder released a statement to The Hollywood Reporter saying Weinstein planned to sue The Times. "The New York Times published today a story that is saturated with false and defamatory statements about Harvey Weinstein," the attorney wrote in an email to THR. "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. We are preparing the lawsuit now. All proceeds will be donated to women’s organizations."
According to The New York Times report, Weinstein, 65, has settled eight cases of sexual harassment and "unwanted physical contact." The payments reportedly ranged from $80,000 to $150,000. One of the settlements was with actress Rose McGowan.
Weinstein dismissed his actions by saying that the culture was different years ago. "I came of age in the '60s and '70s," he said, "when all the rules about behavior and workplaces were different. That was the culture then."
He may believe that was "the culture then" but countless women could still come forward with allegations and lawsuits.
Many took to Twitter to defend Judd and the other women who came forward. Lena Dunham led the way, saying: “The woman who chose to speak about their experience of harassment by Harvey Weinstein deserve our awe. It’s not fun or easy. It’s brave.”
Some of the tweets are below:
The woman who chose to speak about their experience of harassment by Harvey Weinstein deserve our awe. It's not fun or easy. It's brave.
— Lena Dunham (@lenadunham) October 5, 2017
Very brave of @ashleyjudd to tell her story of harassment by Harvey Weinstein to the NYT. No upside except making the world a better place.
— Jake Tapper (@jaketapper) October 5, 2017
Stand with @AshleyJudd or give your legs to someone else. What she and others have just done is painful and difficult and triumphant.
— Amber Tamblyn (@ambertamblyn) October 5, 2017
.@AshleyJudd's bravery will save an untold number of young women from being sexually harassed and worse. We stand with you, Ashley. ❤️❤️
— Molly Knight (@molly_knight) October 5, 2017
Are you surprised it took so long for these stories to emerge? Let us know your take in the comments section below!