LOS ANGELES — Producer Harvey Weinstein is taking a leave of absence from The Weinstein Co. following a bombshell report in the New York Times about sexual harassment accusations dating back decades.
The Times cited “dozens” of current and former employees who reported inappropriate sexual behavior on Weinstein’s part. The paper also reported that Weinstein reached confidential settlements with at least eight women, including actress Rose McGowan.
Weinstein told the New York Times, “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.”
The story cites a memo drafted by Lauren O’Connor, a former Weinstein Co. employee, which raised alarms about allegations over a two-year period.
Another incident involved a temporary employee named Emily Nestor, who was invited to Weinstein’s hotel room in 2014 and told he could help her career in exchange for sexual advances.
While Weinstein disputes some of the specific allegations, he is working with a therapist to address his behavior, the Times reported.
The story quotes actress Ashley Judd, who spoke to Variety in 2015 about being sexually harassed by an unnamed mogul. Variety reported Wednesday that Weinstein, perhaps best known as co-founder of Miramax, was readying a team of lawyers to deal with the accusations, and Weinstein said Wednesday he was not aware of the allegations.
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The Weinstein Company’s films include Oscar-winners such as “The Artist” and “The King’s Speech,” as well as box office hits such as “Silver Linings Playbook” and “Django Unchained.”