Harvey Weinstein issues apology amid sexual harassment accusations

The renowned film and TV producer has been accused of “decades of sexual harassment”

Harvey Weinstein issues apology amid sexual harassment accusations

File photo Harvey Weinstein attends the 2017 Tribeca Film Festival in New York City, 28-04-2017. Image: Dennis Van Tine/Geisler-Fotopres/DPA/PA Images

American film producer Harvey Weinstein has apologised for his past behaviour following accusations of sexual harassment.

It comes after the New York Times published an article accusing him of “decades of sexual harassment.”

Weinstein, 65, plans to take a "leave of absence" and work with therapists, according to a statement released by his publicist.

He has previously denied many of the allegations and has not been charged with any crimes.

Harassment

According to the New York Times, the allegations against him go back nearly three decades – with settlements reached with at least eight women.

A number of high-profile actresses, including Rose McGowan and Ashley Judd are allegedly among his accusers.

Judd said she attended what she thought was a business meeting with him, only for him to greet her in a bathrobe and ask her if he could give her a massage or if she could watch him shower.

Actors Rose McGowan (left) and Ashley judd (right). Image: AP Photo/File

Apology

In a statement on Thursday, he said: "I came of age in the 60's and 70's, when all the rules about behaviour and workplaces were different. That was the culture then.

"I have since learned it's not an excuse, in the office or out of it, to anyone.

"I realised some time ago that I needed to be a better person and my interactions with the people I work with have changed.

"I appreciate the way I've behaved with colleagues in the past has caused a lot of pain, and I sincerely apologise for it.

"Though I'm trying to do better, I know I have a long way to go. That is my commitment. My journey now will be to learn about myself and conquer my demons."

He continued: "I've brought on therapists and I plan to take a leave of absence from my company and to deal with this issue head on. I so respect all women and regret what happened.

"I hope that my actions will speak louder than words and that one day we will all be able to earn their trust and sit down together with Lisa (lawyer Lisa Bloom) to learn more."

Weinstein added that he "cannot be more remorseful about the people hurt and I plan to do right by all of them."

An old dinosaur

Ms Bloom described him as "an old dinosaur learning new ways", adding that the two of them had talked about "rumours and allegations against him."

She said: "He denies many of the accusations as patently false.

"As a women's rights advocate, I have been blunt with Harvey and he has listened to me.

"I have told him that times have changed, it is 2017, and he needs to evolve to a higher standard."

Academy Award winner Weinstein and his brother Bob formed independent movie studio Miramax in 1979, selling it in 1993 and setting up The Weinstein Company in 2005.

His Oscar-winning films include Shakespeare in Love and Chicago.

In 2004, he was made an honorary CBE for his contribution to the British film industry.