Harvey Weinstein ‘sincerely apologises' following sexual harassment claims
Film producer Harvey Weinstein has “sincerely apologised” for his past behaviour following allegations of sexual harassment.
The 65-year-old plans to “take a leave of absence” from his business as he works with therapists, according to a statement shared by his publicist.
His words follow previous claims from women he has worked with, many of which he has denied.
In a statement shared on Thursday, he said: “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.”
He continued: “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 (lawyer Lisa Bloom) to learn more.
“Jay Z wrote in 4:4 ‘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.”
The Academy Award-winner is known for co-founding film firms Miramax, which has produced independent big screen hits such as Pulp Fiction, and The Weinstein Company.
In his statement, he promised to “channel” his “anger” into other causes and said he has been organising a $5 million foundation to provide scholarships to female directors.
He said: “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.”
Bloom followed Weinstein’s statement with a comment of her own, in which she described him as a “dinosaur” who needs to “evolve to a higher standard”.
She said: “Harvey Weinstein and I have had many wide ranging conversations over the last year about rumors and allegations against him. He denies many of the accusations as patently false.
“Nevertheless, I have explained to him that due to the power difference between a major studio head like him and most others in the industry, whatever his motives, some of his words and behaviors can be perceived as inappropriate, even intimidating.
“As a women’s rights advocate, I have been blunt with Harvey and he has listened to me. I have told him that times have changed, it is 2017, and he needs to evolve to a higher standard.
“I have found Harvey to be refreshingly candid and receptive to my message. He has acknowledged mistakes he has made.
“He is an old dinosaur learning new ways. He wants to reach out to any of the women who may have issues with him to talk to them in a respectful, peaceful way, with me present if that is acceptable to them.”