LOS ANGELES (CBSLA/AP) — Oscar-winning Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein issued a bizarre, rambling apology Thursday in which he said he will be taking a leave of absence from his own company after a report alleging decades of sexual harassment against women, including employees and actress Ashley Judd.
Thursday’s piece in the New York Times included several first-person accounts of Weinstein’s alleged conduct. Two company officials say at least eight women have received financial settlements, including actress Rose McGowan, the Times reported.READ MORE: Teen Captures Close Encounter With Great White Shark In Santa Barbara County
The report also includes Judd’s account an incident from two decades ago in which she was asked to meet Weinstein in his hotel room.
In a disjointed statement to the Times, Weinstein acknowledged he behaved inappropriately with colleagues but did not address any specific allegations in the Times piece. He said that celebrity attorney Lisa Bloom will “tutor” him moving forward.
He quoted lyrics from rapper Jay-Z: “I’m not the man I thought I was and I better be that man for my children.”
He mentioned giving the National Rifle Association “his full attention” and holding a retirement party for Wayne LaPierre — former executive vice president of the NRA – at the same “place where I held my bar mitzvah.”
He also claimed to be making a movie about President Donald Trump.
Weinstein’s attorney Charles Harder said in a statement that the Times story included false and defamatory accounts, but did not provide specifics.READ MORE: Tory Carlon, Firefighter Killed In Agua Dulce Fire Station Shooting, To Be Remembered In Memorial Service At The Forum
Read the full statement below:
“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. Over the last year I’ve asked Lisa Bloom to tutor me and she’s put together a team of people. 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 to learn more. Jay Z wrote in 4:44 “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.
“I am going to need a place to channel that anger so I’ve decided that I’m going to give the NRA my full attention. I hope Wayne LaPierre will enjoy his retirement party. I’m going to do it at the same place I had my Bar Mitzvah. I’m making a movie about our President, perhaps we can make it a joint retirement party. One year ago, I began organizing a $5 million foundation to give scholarships to women directors at USC. While this might seem coincidental, it has been in the works for a year. It will be namedMORE NEWS: 10 Pounds Of Military Explosives Recovered, 6 Months After Disappearing From Twentynine Palms Marine Corps Base
after my mom and I won’t disappoint her.”
(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)