The fallout over The New York Times’ bombshell exposé revealing decades-worth of sexual abuse allegations against Harvey Weinstein is only expected to grow in the coming days, but the media mogul has wasted no time in speaking his mind to the press. Weinstein released an official statement to the newspaper yesterday in which he bizarrely quoted Jay-Z and admitted he has “work to do” in order to earn a second chance in the film community. The NYT’s report included a handful of women accusing Weinstein of sexual abuse, including actress Ashley Judd and former assistants.
Weinstein granted an exclusive interview with the New York Post’s Emily Smith just hours after the exposé’s publication in which he criticized the newspaper for “reckless reporting” and confirmed that he’ll be suing the newspaper over its “inability to be honest” with him.
“I bear responsibility for my actions, but the reason I am suing is because of the Times’ inability to be honest with me, and their reckless reporting,” Weinstein said. “They told me lies. They made assumptions. The Times had a deal with us that they would tell us about the people they had on the record in the story, so we could respond appropriately, but they didn’t live up to the bargain.
“The editors were so fearful they were going to be scooped by New York Magazine and they would lose the story, that they went ahead and posted the story filled with reckless reporting, and without checking all they had with me and my team,” he continued.
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According to Weinstein, the Times based their entire report on a 2014 memo written by employee Lauren O’Connor, which accused the mogul of sexual harassment and other misconduct. “It was withdrawn two days after it was written, O’Connor withdrew her complaint, and withdrew her claims made in the memo,” he said. “The document doesn’t stand up.”
Weinstein also cited his negative history with The New York Times as another stimulus for the exposé. Just a week ago, the newspaper published a scathing report detailing his shady dealings with amfAR just a week ago and he’s convinced the Times has a vendetta against him.
“They never wrote about the documentary I did with Jay-Z about Rikers Island, they never write that I raised $50 million for amfAR, nor my work with Robin Hood — instead they focus on trying to bring me down,” Weinstein said. “This is a vendetta, and the next time I see [Times executive editor] Dean Baquet, it will be across a courtroom.”
For more from Weinstein’s interview, including his thoughts on Ashely Judd’s participation in the report, head over to the New York Post.