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Oscar winners George Clooney and Matt Damon on Monday further condemned producer Harvey Weinstein, their former mentor who had a hand in launching their careers in the 1990s.
The "Suburbicon" director and the film's star have been sucked into the Weinstein narrative since the scandal broke earlier this month. On Monday, instead of promoting their film during an interview on "Good Morning America," they spoke of the scandal that has dominated Hollywood and of the mogul's reputation as a bully.
"You had to spend about five minutes with him to know that he was a bully, he was intimidating. That was his legend. That was his whole M.O.: Could you survive a meeting with Harvey?" Damon explained, speaking to Weinstein's reputation since the days he ran his first studio, Miramax, before touching on the scores of allegations of sexual assault levied against the disgraced producer.
"When people say 'everybody knew' – yeah, I knew he was an asshole," Damon said. "He was proud of that. That's how he carried himself. And I knew he was a womanizer."
What Damon didn't know, which he said in earlier rebukes of the producer, was the "level of criminal sexual predation."
Damon, who co-wrote and starred in Miramax's "Good Will Hunting" and went on to win Oscar gold for the screenplay, said he knew of actress Gwyneth Paltrow's encounter with Weinstein through writing partner Ben Affleck but never discussed it directly with her. (Paltrow was among the numerous A-listers who came forward to accuse Weinstein of sexual misconduct.)
Meanwhile, Clooney said there had to be "a comeuppance for all of this."
"We have to make it safe for people to feel that they can talk about this. And in doing that, I think that'll scare away that kind of behavior," Clooney said.
The actor-director added that he witnessed Weinstein bragging of affairs with actresses who were friends of his, but he never believed him.
"I didn't really think that they were going to have affairs with Harvey, quite honestly. And clearly they didn't," he added. "But the idea that this predator, this assaulter ... was out there silencing women like that, it's beyond infuriating."
As the story unfolds now, Clooney said, he insisted that he wants to know "all of it." He also said that men who sexually harass people should know that it won't be tolerated and that they "will be outed."
"You'll be out of the business. And more than that, you might be prosecuted," he said.