Former movie mogul Harvey Weinstein has developed a reputation as one of Hollywood’s most reviled alleged sexual predators, accused by more than 90 women of sexual harassment, assault and/or rape. But according to him, he deserves credit for advancing women’s careers.
“I feel like the forgotten man,” the 67-year-old told the New York Post in a recent interview in which he was characterized as whining and “clueless.”
“I made more movies directed by women and about women than any filmmaker, and I’m talking about 30 years ago. I’m not talking about now when it’s vogue. I did it first! I pioneered it!”
Weinstein’s comments, made just weeks before his upcoming rape trial, sparked immediate backlash, including a formal statement signed by 23 of his accusers. Their brief open letter rejects his latest claims and assures the producer that he’ll be remembered forever — but not for the reasons he’d hoped.
“Harvey Weinstein is trying to gaslight society again,” the women say in the statement, provided to the Los Angeles Times. “He says in a new interview he doesn’t want to be forgotten. Well, he won’t be. He will be remembered as a sexual predator and an unrepentant abuser who took everything and deserves nothing. He will be remembered by the collective will of countless women who stood up and said enough. We refuse to let this predator rewrite his legacy of abuse.”
Two of Weinstein’s most high-profile and vocal alleged survivors, actresses Rose McGowan and Ashley Judd, penned their names in resistance.
The other signatories were Rosanna Arquette, Jessica Barth, Zoe Brock, Rowena Chiu, Caitlin Dulany, Dawn Dunning, Lucia Evans, Louisette Geiss, Louise Godbold, Larissa Gomes, Dominique Huett, Katherine Kendall, Jasmine Lobe, Sarah Ann Masse, Emily Nestor, Tomi-Ann Roberts, Erika Rosenbaum, Melissa Sagemiller, Lauren Sivan, Melissa Thompson and Paula Williams.
“It all got eviscerated because of what happened. ... My work has been forgotten,” he continued. “I want this city to recognize who I was instead of what I’ve become.”
The Weinstein Co. co-founder, who was interviewed while recuperating at the hospital where he recently underwent spinal surgery, reportedly agreed to the sit-down to prove his need for medical attention to skeptics. He was discharged Sunday, the Post said.
In a separate statement, a lawyer for three additional accusers — Wedil David and two Jane Does — also dismissed the producer’s complaints and promised to continue pursuing civil cases against him, undeterred by the controversial $47-million settlement he reached earlier this month with his former film studio’s board and several women who had accused him of sexual misconduct.
“One cannot feel sorry for Mr. Weinstein while he sits perched in an executive private hospital suite and asks New Yorkers to recognize his prior accomplishments which [justifiably] have been overshadowed by his horrific actions, his complete failure to accept responsibility, and his recent efforts to force survivors to accept an inadequate and paltry civil settlement,” attorney Douglas Wigdor said in a statement to The Times.
“Mr. Weinstein’s latest public relations stunt on the eve of his criminal trial provides even more motivation to continue to prosecute the claims that will expose him for who he is.”
For the remainder of his ill-received interview, Weinstein continued to highlight the accomplishments of the Weinstein Co. and Miramax while also taking credit for actress Gwyneth Paltrow’s financial success. In 2017, Paltrow said the producer tried to force himself on her when she was 22 and had just been cast in “Emma.”
“Gwyneth Paltrow in 2003 got $10 million to make a movie called ‘View From the Top,’” the producer said, referring to a Miramax romcom. “She was the highest-paid female actor in an independent film. Higher-paid than all the men.”
Weinstein’s next court date, when he will face charges of predatory sexual assault, criminal sex acts and rape, is set for Jan. 6.
Out of the $47 million in last week’s settlement, which is expected to be paid by insurance companies on behalf of the Weinstein Co., $25 million is earmarked for the accusers.