Harvey Weinstein takes leave of absence in wake of sexual harassment allegations

Published: 06 October 2017 Image credit: Reuters

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Oscar-winning movie producer Harvey Weinstein has announced he will be taking a leave of absence from his company to receive therapy, in the wake of sexual harassment allegations.

The New York Times reported that Weinstein, 65, had reached eight previously undisclosed legal settlements with women who claimed he had sexually harassed them.

The newspaper’s report has not been confirmed, however New York Times spokeswoman Danielle Rhoades Ha said Weinstein “was aware and able to respond to specific allegations in our story before publication.” She said she was confident about the accuracy of the paper’s report.

Weinstein has not been charged with any crimes.

The producer later threatened to sue the publication; his attorney Charles J Harder said the story was defamatory because it relied primarily on “mostly hearsay accounts and a faulty report.”

The alleged victims include an actress, a model and two assistants, and their allegations span almost 30 years, the newspaper reported.

Double Jeopardy actress and singer, Ashley Judd, claimed an incident occurred in a hotel room with Mr Weinstein almost 20 years ago, where he allegedly asked her to give him a massage or watch him shower, the newspaper said.

Reuters was provided with the statement Weinstein’s lawyers gave to The New York Times, which said, “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.”

“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.”

Weinstein and his brother Bob co-own The Weinstein Company, which they set up in 2005 after selling Miramax.