“I heard a whisper, but there were whispers all over,” Karan, 69, said of the sexual misconduct allegations during an interview with ABC News which aired Monday on Good Morning America. “It wasn’t until a day and a half after the I truly heard about it.”
She added: “That’s my honest truth. I didn’t know.”
The fashion industry vet sparked outrage earlier this month after calling Weinstein a “wonderful” person in a Daily Mail interview and suggesting women may be “asking for it” by dressing provocatively.
She backtracked days later, issuing an apology and declaring that her statements did “not represent my actual views.”
She apologized again in the recent interview, declaring, “I made a huge, huge mistake.” She admitted, “what I said is so wrong and not who I am.”
“I was exhausted. I had just come from a 14-hour plane trip,” Karan explained. “I walked into a situation that I wasn’t prepared for in any circumstances whatsoever.”
“I love women. I absolutely adore women,” she added. “I care about them. I’m a mother. I’m a grandmother, you know? And I’ve never done this before and I will never ever do it again.”
Actress Rose McGowan, who reportedly reached a settlement with Weinstein after an alleged inappropriate incident and was one of the first to come forward with her story of harassment, was quick to call out Karan for her comments.
“Donna Karan you are a DEPLORABLE Aiding and abetting is a moral crime. You are scum in a fancy dress,” McGowan tweeted.
As she faced the media storm, the designer said in a statement to PEOPLE that her comments had been taken out of context and she was “truly sorry to anyone” she offended.
In a bombshell New York Times report earlier this month, eight women accused Weinstein, 65, of acting inappropriately. The paper also reported that Weinstein reached private settlements with eight women, including actress Rose McGowan.
Harvey Weinstein’s Horrific History of Bullying: ‘He Was Aggressive On All Kinds Of Levels’
In accounts in the New York Times, the New Yorker and elsewhere, more than 40 women have spoken out against the movie mogul, with allegations including rape, forced oral sex, groping and harassment.
In response to the lengthy allegations made against Weinstein, a spokesperson for the producer 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.”