UPDATE, 2:35 pm Harvey Weinstein is floating legal action against actress Uma Thurman just hours after Thurman went public in The New York Times with allegations of sexual assault. The disgraced producer’s attorney Ben Brafman fired the latest salvo at the actress in a statement almost identical to Weinstein’s earlier response today (see below).
“Ms. Thurman’s statements to the Times are being carefully examined and investigated before deciding whether any legal action against her would be appropriate,” said Brafman in a statement that could be potentially hollow if no less ugly.
While the threat of legal action is a typical response for many of the men accused of sexual misconduct in recent months, an actual lawsuit could put the producer himself into court and under rules of discovery.
Already facing a barrage of lawsuits personally and corporately arising from allegations of sexual harassment and assault, Weinstein is scheduled to sit for a deposition in April in his own lawsuit against The Weinstein Company.
Previous, 12:08 pm Harvey Weinstein has responded to Uma Thurman’s claim of a sexual attack by releasing a series of photos that his team says “demonstrate the strong relationship Mr. Weinstein and Ms. Thurman had had over the years.”
In a statement that claims Weinstein made an “awkward pass” at Thurman “after “misreading her signals,” Weinstein’s team of publicists insists that there “was no physical contact during Mr. Weinstein’s awkward pass and Mr. Weinstein is saddened and puzzled as to ‘why’ Ms. Thurman, someone he considers a colleague and a friend, waited 25 years to make these allegations public, noting that he and Ms. Thurman have shared a very close and mutually beneficial working relationship where they have made several very successful film projects together.”
The statement, released by Weinstein’s spokesperson Holly K. Baird, reads in full:
We have pulled a number of images that demonstrate the strong relationship Mr. Weinstein and Ms. Thurman had had over the years and we wish the New York Times would have published them.
Mr. Weinstein acknowledges making an awkward pass 25 years ago at Ms. Thurman in England after misreading her signals, after a flirtatious exchange in Paris, for which he immediately apologized and deeply regrets. However, her claims about being physically assaulted are untrue. And this is the first time we have heard those details.
There was no physical contact during Mr. Weinstein’s awkward pass and Mr. Weinstein is saddened and puzzled as to “why” Ms. Thurman, someone he considers a colleague and a friend, waited 25 years to make these allegations public, noting that he and Ms. Thurman have shared a very close and mutually beneficial working relationship where they have made several very successful film projects together.
This is the first time we are hearing that she considered Mr. Weinstein an enemy and the pictures of their history tell a completely different story.
There will be more are detailed response later from Mr. Weinstein’s attorney, Ben Brafman.
To read about Thurman’s accusations against Weinstein, go here.
The photographs released by Baird depict Weinstein in party surroundings with Thurman and others. One shows Weinstein and Thurman, along with John Travolta and Quentin Tarantino at a 20th anniversary party for Pulp Fiction. Whether the images bolster the disgraced producer’s latest claims or merely demonstrate stop-at-nothing damage control is a decision we’ll leave to our readers: