Harvey Weinstein to take ‘leave of absence’ amid harassment claims

Film producer apologises for past behaviour with which caused ‘a lot of pain’ to colleagues

 Harvey Weinstein is reported to have reached private settlements over several decades with at least eight women over accusations of sexual misconduct. File photograph: Elizabeth Lippman/The New York Times

Harvey Weinstein is reported to have reached private settlements over several decades with at least eight women over accusations of sexual misconduct. File photograph: Elizabeth Lippman/The New York Times

 

Film producer Harvey Weinstein has issued an apology for his past behaviour and said he is preparing to take a leave of absence from work after a bombshell report on Thursday accused him of sexual harassment over decades.

Weinstein made a statement to the New York Times, which broke news of the claims, with the media mogul saying: “I appreciate the way I’ve behaved with colleagues in the past has caused a lot of pain, and I sincerely apologise for it. Though I’m trying to do better, I know I have a long way to go.”

The report alleged he had created a toxic working environment through decades of inappropriate sexual advances, and claimed he had made settlements after allegations from a number of women over the years.

Weinstein, through his lawyer Lisa Bloom, “denies many of the accusations as patently false”.

Weinstein is reported to have reached private settlements over several decades with at least eight women over accusations of sexual misconduct. Among the accusers who allegedly reached settlements are two former assistants, an actor, and an Italian model.

The accusations against Weinstein span several decades and come from big-name stars to employees at the lowest rungs in his vaunted production company.

Actor Ashley Judd claims that two decades ago, Weinstein invited her to a breakfast meeting, which he held in his hotel room, and used the occasion to ask her to give him a massage or watch him shower.

Guardian service