Ben Affleck has spoken out against Harvey Weinstein amid allegations of three decades of sexual harassment and rape.
In a statement posted on Facebook Tuesday, Affleck, 45, said he was “saddened and angered” by Weinstein’s alleged actions.
“I am saddened and angry that a man who I worked with used his position of power to intimidate, sexually harass and manipulate many women over decades,” he said. “The additional allegations of assault that I read this morning made me sick. This is completely unacceptable, and I find myself asking what I can do to make sure this doesn’t happen to others. We need to do better at protecting our sisters, friends, co-workers and daughters. We must support those who come forward, condemn this type of behavior when we see it and help ensure there are more women in positions of power.”
Weinstein famously championed Affleck and Matt Damon’s 1997 film Good Will Hunting, which he produced and distributed through his former company Miramax. Affleck and Damon two took home an Oscar for the film, which they wrote and starred in together.
Affleck’s comments come just days after The Wrap founder Sharon Waxman claimed Damon and Russell Crowe meddled in a 2004 story about Weinstein’s alleged behavior. Waxman claimed Damon and Crowe called her “directly” to refute reports. The story was ultimately killed. Both actors have yet to comment on the allegations.
On Tuesday, a new expose in The New Yorker revealed — among 13 different women’s accounts of alleged sexual harassment, assault and rape — that the mogul allegedly forcibly performed oral sex on Italian actress Asia Argento two decades ago.
Actresses Mira Sorvino and Rosanna Arquette also claimed that after rejecting Weinstein’s unwanted advances, they were removed from or kept from being hired for projects.
In response to the lengthy allegations issued against Weinstein in the piece, a spokesperson for Weinstein said, “Any allegations of non-consensual sex are unequivocally denied by Mr. Weinstein.”
“Mr. Weinstein has further confirmed that there were never any acts of retaliation against any women for refusing his advances. Mr. Weinstein obviously can’t speak to anonymous allegations, but with respect to any women who have made allegations on the record, Mr. Weinstein believes that all of these relationships were consensual. Mr. Weinstein has begun counseling, has listened to the community and is pursuing a better path. Mr. Weinstein is hoping that, if he makes enough progress, he will be given a second chance.”
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On Sunday, Weinstein was removed from his powerhouse film studio in the wake of the publication of the allegations in a New York Times report.
In the Times article, eight women — including actress Ashley Judd — spoke out against Weinstein, accusing him of sexual harassment and inappropriate behavior. The Times also reported that Weinstein reached private settlements with eight women, including actress Rose McGowan.