Harvey Weinstein has issued an official statement in reaction to an article published by The New York Times on Thursday in which a handful of former employees and associates accused the media mogul of sexual abuse that spans decades.
One of the accusers is actress Ashley Judd, who revealed Weinstein had asked her to watch him take a shower in a hotel room. “Women have been talking about Harvey amongst ourselves for a long time, and it’s simply beyond time to have the conversation publicly,” she told The Times. A former assistant, meanwhile, says she gave Weinstein a massage while he was naked, and that’s one of many allegations against the mogul in the article.
Weinstein told the NYT that he will be taking a leave of absence from The Weinstein Company in order to attend therapy, and he released an official statement to the newspaper that is downright bizarre. Weinstein expresses an inability to learn about his mistakes over decades, citing how different the times were when he “came of age” in the 1960s and 70s. He even quotes a Jay Z lyric: “I’m not the man I thought I was and I better be that man for my children.”
“I want a second chance in the community but I know I’ve got work to do to earn it,” Weinstein writes. “I have goals that are now priorities. 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.”
The statement’s final paragraph oddly finds Weinstein vowing to find a place to channel his anger. Read Weinstein’s official statement given to The New York Times below:
I came of age in the 60’s and 70’s, when all the rules about behavior and workplaces were different. That was the culture then.
I have since learned it’s not an excuse, in the office – or out of it. To anyone.
I realized some time ago that I needed to be a better person and my interactions with the people I work with have changed.
I appreciate the way I’ve behaved with colleagues in the past has caused a lot of pain, and I sincerely apologize for it.
Though I’m trying to do better, I know I have a long way to go. That is my commitment. My journey now will be to learn about myself and conquer my demons. Over the last year I’ve asked Lisa Bloom to tutor me and she’s put together a team of people. I’ve brought on therapists and I plan to take a leave of absence from my company and to deal with this issue head on. I so respect all women and regret what happened. I hope that my actions will speak louder than words and that one day we will all be able to earn their trust and sit down together with Lisa to learn more. Jay Z wrote in 4:44 “I’m not the man I thought I was and I better be that man for my children.” The same is true for me. I want a second chance in the community but I know I’ve got work to do to earn it. I have goals that are now priorities. 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.
I am going to need a place to channel that anger so I’ve decided that I’m going to give the NRA my full attention. I hope Wayne LaPierre will enjoy his retirement party. I’m going to do it at the same place I had my Bar Mitzvah. I’m making a movie about our President, perhaps we can make it a joint retirement party. One year ago, I began organizing a $5 million foundation to give scholarships to women directors at USC. While this might seem coincidental, it has been in the works for a year. It will be named after my mom and I won’t disappoint her.
The Weinstein Company is currently gearing up to release “The Current War” this November.