Harvey Weinstein apologises for using Meryl Streep and Jennifer Lawrence to defend himself
Harvey Weinstein has publicly apologised for attempting to use Meryl Streep and Jennifer Lawrence to ward off a lawsuit.
The Hollywood mogul is currently facing a class action lawsuit against his alleged sexual misconduct against dozens of women.
In his legal action defence, Weinstein’s lawyers tried to use the fact that he never abused Streep and Lawrence as a defence.
They quoted Lawrence as saying Weinstein has “only ever been nice to me”, but excluded the later part of her statement where she said, “except for the moments that he wasn’t”.
Streep called the defence “pathetic”, while Lawrence said that Weinstein had taken her comments on his conduct “out of context”.
Lawrence said in a full statement: “Harvey Weinstein and his company are continuing to do what they have always done which is to take things out of context and use them for their own benefit. This is what predators do, and it must stop.
“For the record, while I was not victimised personally by Harvey Weinstein, I stand behind the women who have survived his terrible abuse and I applaud them in using all means necessary to bring him to justice whether through criminal or civil actions.”
Lawyers cited Streep’s comments after the scandal unfolded.
She had said at the time that Weinstein was “respectful with me in our working relationship, and with many others with whom he worked professionally”.
However, the lawyers failed to note that Streep had gone on to condemn Weinstein’s behaviour which she coined “inexcusable” and an “abuse of power”.
Streep said: “Harvey Weinstein’s attorneys use of my (true) statement – that he was not sexually transgressive or physically abusive in our business relationship – as evidence that he was not abusive with many other women is pathetic and exploitative.
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“The criminal actions he is accused of conducting on the bodies of these women are his responsibility, and if there is any justice left in the system he will pay for them – regardless of how many good movies, made by many good people, Harvey was lucky enough to have acquired or financed.”
A spokesperson for Weinstein later apologised to the two actors, insisting that he “acknowledges the valuable input both Meryl Streep and Jennifer Lawrence have contributed to this conversation and apologises.”
Six women are bringing the legal action against Weinstein and the “Weinstein Sexual Enterprise”, which include his brother Bob and the film studio they created together – The Weinstein Company.
The plaintiffs in the case say that the “enterprise” concealed the alleged sexual misconduct, which Weinstein has denied.
As well as attempting to use misguided versions of Streep and Lawrence’s statement to get the lawsuit dismissed, Weinstein’s lawyers have tried to argue that the lawsuit was too broad and “would include all women who ever met with Weinstein, regardless of whether they claimed to have suffered any identifiable harm as a result of that meeting.”