EXCLUSIVE: Meryl Streep won one of her Oscars for playing Margaret Thatcher in The Iron Lady and, like the late British Prime Minister, the acclaimed actor is not for turning — at least when it comes to Harvey Weinstein using her name to get a sexual misconduct class-action suit thrown out.
“Harvey Weinstein’s attorneys use of my (true) statement — that he was not sexually transgressive or physically abusive in our business relationship — as evidence that he was not abusive with many OTHER women is pathetic and exploitive,” the three-time Oscar winner told Deadline today after Weinstein on Tuesday filed a motion to dismiss the RICO Act-citing federal suit of late last year from Louisette Geiss, Katherine Kendall, Zoe Brock, Sarah Ann Masse, Melissa Sagemiller and Nannette Klatt.
“The criminal actions he is accused of conducting on the bodies of these women are his responsibility, and if there is any justice left in the system he will pay for them — regardless of how many good movies, made by many good people, Harvey was lucky enough to have acquired or financed,” Streep added.
With that, The Post star left it very clear how she felt about her name being dragged into the muck of the much accused, much sued and investigated Weinstein.
While not the first time Streep has commented on Weinstein and his alleged vile actions since the New York Times published its initial exposé of October 5, today’s remarks by the actor are the most cutting.
Then again, Streep has good cause after the way Weinstein’s team tried to use her as a wedge to see the class action dropped.
In a 26-page memorandum of law accompanying yesterday’s motion of dismissal, lawyers from Los Angeles’ Kupferstein Manuel LLP and New York City’s Morrison Cohen LLP wrote “these proposed class definitions are fatally overbroad as to be not ascertainable.” They went on to float the names of not one but two Oscar winners as part of their argument, incurring Streep’s wrath.
“As drafted, they would include all women who ever met with Weinstein, regardless of whether they claimed to have suffered any identifiable harm as a result of that meeting,” the memo says. “Such women would include, presumably, Jennifer Lawrence, who told Oprah Winfrey she had known Weinstein since she was 20 years old and said ‘he had only ever been nice to me,’ and Meryl Streep, who stated publicly that Weinstein had always been respectful to her in their working relationship.”
Clearly, Streep did not think that was very respectful at all — and that’s putting it politely.