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Q&A: Donna Karan says she regrets Harvey Weinstein comments

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Donna Karan
(Lexie Moreland / WWD)

Donna Karan has remained in Los Angeles since her role in the Weinstein story erupted. On Friday afternoon, she spoke on the phone with WWD’s executive editor Bridget Foley. She couldn’t fully explain the “asking for it” comment, saying that she can’t believe those words came out of her mouth. That they did is now Donna’s albatross to bear.

Here are excerpts from the interview.

What were you asked about Harvey exactly?

What did I think about what happened to Harvey. And I was confused by the question. I mean, I hadn’t been paying attention to any of the news, and you hear little stories here and a little story there. And quite honestly, it wasn’t my place to say anything. Sometimes the press can kind of gear you on, and I didn’t feel it was appropriate.

But you did say something.

I talked in general that under no circumstances, absolutely none, whether it’s Harvey, whether it’s any man, [no one] has any right whatsoever to touch a woman, to — I mean it’s unacceptable. I mean, certainly from me. That’s just who I am as a woman, as a mother.

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But that’s not what you said. So let’s go back. I understand that you’re used to people throwing questions at you on the red carpet. But, “What do you think about what’s going on with Harvey Weinstein?” If you didn’t know what was going on, why didn’t you ask for clarification of the question?

Because I heard a little bit of rumor. It was not like I had heard the entire story. It was like a complete rumor that I had heard and I didn’t want to comment on it. So I kind of weaved my way around it. I know Georgina [Chapman, Weinstein’s wife and principal designer of the Marchesa brand], I know Harvey, and I didn’t think it was appropriate for me to be commenting on it, so I wiggled my way out of it. However, what I did comment on was sexual harassment.

But what you said…

D.K.: It didn’t come out [the right] way.

To read the full interview — in which Karan opens up about women “asking for it,” talking to her granddaughters after the controversy and what she says to her fans and Weinstein’s alleged victims — click here.

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