Oliver Stone Says Harvey Weinstein 'Shouldn't Be Condemned' But Later Clarifies: 'I'm Appalled'
The Snowden director, 71, told reporters Friday at the Busan International Film Festival that he believes people are innocent until proven guilty.
“I’m a believer that you wait until this thing gets to trial,” he said, according to The Hollywood Reporter. “I believe a man shouldn’t be condemned by a vigilante system.”
Stone continued, “It’s not easy what [Weinstein is] going through, either. During that period he was a rival. I never did business with him and didn’t really know him.”
“I’ve heard horror stories on everyone in the business,” Stone adds. “So I’m not going to comment on gossip. I’ll wait and see, which is the right thing to do.”
Stone later walked back the controversial remarks he made in a Facebook post, adding that he was dropping out of a TV series he had planned with Weinstein’s former production company.
“I’ve been traveling for the last couple of days and wasn’t aware of all the women who came out to support the original story in the New York Times,” Stone wrote on Facebook. “After looking at what has been reported in many publications over the last couple of days, I’m appalled and commend the courage of the women who’ve stepped forward to report sexual abuse or rape. I’ll therefore recuse myself from the Guantanamo series as long as the Weinstein Company is involved.”
The New York Police Department launched a criminal investigation into Weinstein stemming from an assault allegation 13 years ago, PEOPLE confirmed Thursday.
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The NYPD is looking into claims that the embattled movie mogul sexually assaulted the victim in 2004, a police spokesperson told PEOPLE.
A police official told PEOPLE that the NYPD is also “conducting a review to determine if there are any additional complaints relating to the Harvey Weinstein matter.”
“No filed complaints have been identified as of this time and as always, the NYPD encourages anyone who may have information pertaining to this matter to call the CrimeStoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS,” the spokesperson added.
Officials would not release additional information on the alleged assault or the investigation. However, Lucia Stoller, now Lucia Evans, told the The New Yorker that Weinstein forced her to perform oral sex on him in 2004.
“I tried to get away, but maybe I didn’t try hard enough. I didn’t want to kick him or fight him,” she told the magazine. “He’s a big guy. He overpowered me.”
In response to several allegations made against Weinstein, including Evans’, in the New Yorker piece, a spokesperson for Weinstein said, “Any allegations of non-consensual sex are unequivocally denied by Mr. Weinstein.”
News of the investigation comes as the 65-year-old finds himself in the midst of an ongoing sexual harassment and abuse scandal with actresses including Cara Delevingne, Ashley Judd, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Angelina Jolie speaking out against Weinstein’s alleged behavior.