Harvey Weinstein told the NY Post‘s Page Six tonight that he “bears responsibility” for his alleged bad behavior but claimed he was a victim of “reckless reporting” by The New York Times. He also hinted that he might check into an unspecified treatment facility.
In his first extensive comments on the New York Times report that he subjected women to sexual harassment for decades, Weinstein blamed the newspaper for a “vendetta.” He said Thursday that plans to file a lawsuit against the Times.
“What I am saying is that I bear responsibility for my actions, but the reason I am suing is because of the Times’ inability to be honest with me and their reckless reporting,” he told Emily Smith of the Post. “They told me lies. They made assumptions. The Times had a deal with us that they would tell us about the people they had on the record in the story, so we could respond appropriately, but they didn’t live up to the bargain.”
He continued: “The Times editors were so fearful they were going to be scooped by New York magazine and they would lose the story, that they went ahead and posted the story filled with reckless reporting, and without checking all they had with me and my team.”
Weinstein lamented that The New York Times never wrote about the documentary he did with rapper Jay-Z on Rikers Island or other good works. “They never write that I raised $50 million for amfAR, nor my work with Robin Hood – instead they focus on trying to bring me down. This is a vendetta, and the next time I see Dean Baquet (the Times Executive Editor) it will be across a courtroom.”
The Times story was based on a 2014 memo by Weinstein employee Lauren O’Connor, alleging sexual harassment and other misconduct by Weinstein. He claimed the memo was “withdrawn two days after it was written. O’Connor withdrew her complaint, and withdrew her claims made in the memo. The document doesn’t stand up.”
He added that Ashley Judd, one of his accusers in the Times piece, is “going through a tough time right now.” Weinstein said he would reach out to her “in a year from now.”
Asked about allegations in the story that he has reached at least eight settlements with women, including with actress Rose McGowan, he told the Post, “No company ever talks about settlements, and neither does the recipient, so I don’t know how the Times came to this conclusion, but it is pure conjecture, the reporters have made assumptions.”
Weinstein did admit he needed to change. “I’ve got to grow, I’ve got to deal with my personality, I’ve got to work on my temper, I have got to dig deep. I know a lot of people would like me to go into a facility, and I may well just do that – I will go anywhere I can learn more about myself. I want to be able to look at the people I have hurt and say, ‘I am sorry, I have changed and I’ve progressed.’ His wife, Marchesa fashion designer Georgina Chapman, stands 100 percent behind him, Weinstein added.