The entertainment industry has been rocked by yet another scandal, with a New York Times report published today, alleging that The Weinstein Company chairman Harvey Weinstein engaged in unwanted sexual harassment and misconduct that went unchecked for decades. A number of prominent figures in the entertainment industry have spoken about about these allegations, but now, just hours after the report was published, Harvey Weinstein is preparing a lawsuit against the New York Times for publishing the report. It was also confirmed that Harvey Weinstein will be taking a leave of absence from the company he started with his brother Bob Weinstein, although it isn't clear how long this leave of absence will be for. Here's what Harvey Weinstein's lawyer, Charles Harder, had to say in a brief statement about the New York Times report.
"It relies on mostly hearsay accounts and a faulty report, apparently stolen from an employee personnel file, which has been debunked by 9 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."
There were reports yesterday, before the report was published, that Harvey Weinstein was already preparing for a legal battle, as was the newspaper. New York Times' deputy general counsel, David McCraw wrote a letter to Harder, which was obtained by the Los Angeles Times, where the attorney defended the publication's story, stating that the accusations Harvey Weinstein was treated unfairly was false, and that, "you can be sure that any article we do will meet our customary standards for accuracy and fairness." The original report revealed that Harvey Weinstein reached settlement agreements with at least eight woman over the years from sexual harassment claims. Here's what Harvey Weinstein had to say in a statement to the Los Angeles Times, which is quite similar to the statement he gave earlier today.
"I so respect all women and regret what happened. I hope that my actions will speak louder than words. Trust me, this isn't an overnight process. I've been trying to do this for 10 years, and this is a wake-up call. I cannot be more remorseful about the people I hurt and I plan to do right by all of them."
Attorney Lisa Bloom is another attorney representing Harvey Weinstein, and she is also performing a, "comprehensive review of his company's policies and practices regarding women in the workplace." The attorney specializes in sexual harassment cases, and defended model Janice Dickinson in her case against Bill Cosby. The Los Angeles Times report also reveals that The Weinstein Co. is developing a television project based on Bloom's book Suspicion Nation. This news also comes after sexual harassment claims have been levied against a number of prominent entertainment figures over the past few years, such as Bill Cosby, former Fox News Chairman Roger Ailes and former Fox News host Bill O'Reilly, along with harassment claims against a notable online film bloggers such as Devin Faraci from Birth.Movies.Death and Ain't It Cool News founder Harry Knowles. Head on over to The Los Angeles Times for their full report.