Harvey Weinstein Reportedly Offered Roles In Exchange For Sex
Weinstein's lawyer is now in damage control over the published quote.
A new interview with Harvey Weinstein appears to show the disgraced movie producer admitting he offered roles in exchange for sex, but his lawyer, who was present in the interview, denies that quote, and the journalist in question has since retracted the quote.
However, after more than 12 hours, the piece remains published and unchanged.
The interview -- Weinstein's first since being accused of widespread sexual misconduct, as well has having various sexual assault charges laid against him -- was with Weinstein's friend, the controversial Spectator columnist Taki Theodoracopulos.
It's a defensive interview, and one that seems to boast at any opportunity Theodoracopulos' reputation as a 'playboy'.
Here's the quote in question:
"You were born rich and privileged and you were handsome. I was born poor, ugly, Jewish and had to fight all my life to get somewhere. You got lotsa girls, no girl looked at me until I made it big in Hollywood. Yes, I did offer them acting jobs in exchange for sex, but so did and still does everyone. But I never, ever forced myself on a single woman.”
Weinstein's team is now in damage control over the damning quote, despite giving his only interview to a highly sympathetic columnist.
Shortly after the interview was published, Weinstein's lawyer Ben Brafman claimed that his client was "misquoted", and Theodoracopulos offered the following retraction in a statement:
“After 41 years as a Spectator columnist without a single retraction, I believe that I may have misrepresented Harvey Weinstein's conversation with me in New York last month. It was my mistake. We were discussing Hollywood and I may have misunderstood certain things about the methods of that place. I had nothing to do with the headline of my article and I hope I have not damaged his case. It was, after all, a social visit."
However, the piece is still live on The Spectator, with no retraction or update.
It's hardly an objective piece. Theodoracopulos, who says he "believes" Weinstein's denial of all rape charges (he's been accused of multiple), also argues that Weinstein has already paid the price by losing his business, reputation and family.
It also includes an anecdote from Weinstein as he tries to smear his two most vocal accusers: Rose McGowan and Asia Argento.
Theodoracopulos recounts how Weinstein claims the open relationship between Argento and Anthony Bourdain, who died by suicide last month, was "made up", which even the highly sympathetic Theodoracopulos finds hard to believe.
"Harvey made a sketch of the twisted story for me and I couldn’t help feel sorry for him. He was, to use a terrible cliché, clutching for straws."
After the piece went live, both McGowan and Argento called Weinstein a liar and a rapist.
"I understand now who is behind the horrifying trolling and bullying directed against me and Rose McGowan," Argento tweeted. "Weinstein, you fucking monster rapist, still trying to damage and hurt us. Not for long. You'll go to jail."
"Rapists are liars," tweeted McGowan, before adding: "Being that I was in the middle of my second film for his company, having NEVER met him before the morning of my rape, and never worked for him again, this is a clear lie. Nice try, rapist."