Harvey Weinstein Smiles While Leaving N.Y.C. Townhouse After Bombshell Sexual Harassment Claims
Harvey Weinstein appeared to be in good spirits while leaving his West Village townhouse in New York City on Friday, a day after apologizing for his “bad behavior” in the wake of the New York Times bombshell report about allegations of sexual harassment made against him.
The 65-year-old powerhouse film executive was photographed smiling in a black T-shirt and blue jeans as he walked from his home while carrying a stack of papers and what looked to be an iPad. His wife, Marchesa fashion designer Georgina Chapman, was also spotted leaving the townhouse separately.
On Thursday, The New York Times published a revealing exposé in which eight women, including actress Ashley Judd, spoke out against Weinstein, accusing him of sexual harassment and inappropriate behavior.
Weinstein responded to the allegations in the report, saying he was working with a therapist to address his issues head-on. “I appreciate the way I’ve behaved with colleagues in the past has caused a lot of pain, and I sincerely apologize for it,” he said. “Though I’m trying to do better, I know I have a long way to go.”
Weinstein’s attorney Lisa Bloom said in a statement that her client “denies many of the accusations as patently false,” but Weinstein said he “bear[s] responsibility for my actions” in an interview with The New York Post on Friday.
He told the Post that his wife —who presented her brand’s bridal collection as the story dropped — is supporting him.
“She stands 100 percent behind me. Georgina and I have talked about this at length,” Weinstein said. “We went out with Lisa Bloom last night when we knew the article was coming out. Georgina will be with Lisa and others kicking my ass to be a better human being and to apologize to people for my bad behavior, to say I’m sorry, and to absolutely mean it.”
Weinstein also said he’s had several “tough conversations” with his family and that he’s working to prove he’s still “worthy” of them.
“I have had tough conversations with my family, really tough ones but my family is standing with me,” he later told the Daily Mail. “I have a journey and I have to prove to every person that’s out there that I’m worthy of them and I have to prove to my family the same thing,”
The Weinstein Company said Friday it had hired an independent law firm to investigate the allegations of sexual harassment against Weinstein at the company. In the meantime, the Shakespeare in Love producer will be taking an “indefinite leave of absence” from all business.
“I also have the worst temper known to mankind, my system is all wrong, and sometimes I create too much tension. I lose it, and I am emotional, that’s why I’ve got to spend more time with a therapist and go away,” Weinstein told the Post about his leave of absence.
“My temper makes people feel intimidated, but I don’t even know when I’m doing it. In the past I used to compliment people, and some took it as me being sexual, I won’t do that again. I admit to a whole way of behavior that is not good. I can’t talk specifics, but I put myself in positions that were stupid, I want to respect women and do things better,” the Oscar-winning film producer added.
Weinstein didn’t directly address the veracity of Judd’s claims, but did discuss reading Judd’s memoir, All That Is Bitter and Sweet,in which she opened up about being a victim of sexual abuse and depression as a child.
“I never laid a glove on her,” Weinstein told the Post. “I know Ashley Judd is going through a tough time right now, I read her book. Her life story was brutal, and I have to respect her. In a year from now I am going to reach out to her.”
He also told the Daily Mail that he needs to “earn her forgiveness.”
RELATED VIDEO: Ashley Judd and Multiple Women Accuse Movie Mogul Harvey Weinstein of Sexual Harassment as He Announces Leave of Absence
Weinstein did not mention actress Rose McGowan, who was also named in the NYT piece as one of the women he had reached a settlement with.
McGowan reportedly reached a $100,000 settlement with Weinstein after an encounter in a hotel room with the executive producer in 1997 during the Sundance Film Festival.
The $100,000 payout was “not to be construed as an admission” by Weinstein, but intended to “avoid litigation and buy peace,” according to a legal document reportedly reviewed by the NYT.
While he is making some apologies, the Hollywood heavyweight still plans to sue the NYT for $50 million. Along with Bloom, Weinstein is also being represented by lawyer Charles Harder. In May 2016, Harder won a $140 million settlement for Hulk Hogan against Gawker.
Weinstein told the Post he is suing“because of the Times’ inability to be honest with me, and their reckless reporting. They told me lies. They made assumptions.”
Meanwhile on Friday, another woman stepped forward to accuse Weinstein of misconduct.
Lauren Sivan told the Huffington Post that Weinstein allegedly masturbated in front of her at Cafe Socialista, a Cuban-themed club and restaurant that Weinstein was an investor in about a decade ago, when she was a TV anchor at the time.
Sivan claims Weinstein took her to the restaurant’s kitchen, where the Hollywood producer and studio co-chairman proceeded to dismiss two staffers and attempted to kiss her, causing her to pull away and tell him she was in a relationship.
She told the outlet Weinstein answered with, “Well, can you just stand there and shut up.” She added Weinstein was blocking her exit through the kitchen, saying she was “trapped by [his] body and was intimidated.”
After the incident, Sivan claimed that Weinstein called her office the next day to tell her he “had a great time last night.” She said he invited her to meet with him again, but she reiterated her earlier statement of being in a relationship and ended the call.
Sivan claims she has had no further contact with Weinstein since the incident.
PEOPLE has reached out to Bloom and Harder regarding Sivan’s claims.