Harvey Weinstein Blasts N.Y. Times, Ashley Judd in Unleashed Interview
publish date: 2017-10-05
In Thursday's damning New York Times exposé -- an in-depth investigation by Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey titled "Decades of Sexual Harassment Accusations Against Harvey Weinstein" -- the movie mogul admitted he has issues and, thus, would be taking a leave of absence to deal with them while consulting with therapists and lawyers.
However, because this is Harvey Weinstein, the outspoken executive who plays by his own rules, he's not about to retreat from the spotlight quietly. In fact, he's chasing his own story.
Hours after the Times piece broke, Weinstein granted an interview to Page Six editor Emily Smith that is nearly as incendiary as the day's earlier news. While he admitted some responsibility for his misconduct, he doubled down on his threats to file a lawsuit against the Times, which was reported earlier by The Hollywood Reporter. He also claims that he's made nice with both Ashley Judd and Rose McGowan, two high-profile stars named in the story for having endured hotel room incidents with Weinstein.
“What I am saying is that I bear responsibility for my actions, but the reason I am suing is because of the Times’ inability to be honest with me, and their reckless reporting. They.told me lies. They.made assumptions," Weinstein told Smith and Page Six. “The Times had a deal with us that they would tell us about the people they had on the record in the story, so we could respond appropriately, but they didn’t live up to the bargain. The Times editors were so fearful they were going to be scooped by New York Magazine and they would lose the story, that they went ahead and posted the story filled with reckless reporting, and without checking all they had with me and my team."
Weinstein mentions New York Magazine, but according to sources, it was The New Yorker that had been prepping a similar investigative piece about alleged misconduct to be written by Ronan Farrow.
Weinstein goes on to chalk the investigative piece up as a "vendetta" against him. He says the Times has frequently ignored his accomplishments such as Time: The Kalief Browder Story, a documentary he executive produced with Jay-Z, his work with AIDS charity amfAR and the New York-based philanthropic organization for the homeless Robin Hood. The Times recently published another in-depth investigation by Twohey about his questionable activities with amfAR, which fueled Weinstein's fire.
"This is a vendetta, and the next time I see Dean Baquet [the executive editor of the Times] it will be across a courtroom," Weinstein says in the interview, adding that he will be seeking $50 million in his suit.
The 65-year-old Weinstein then attempts to counter some of the Times reporting by responding to sections of the story which include actresses Judd and McGowan.
Judd went on the record for the Times piece, telling a story about an encounter she had with Weinstein at a hotel room at Peninsula Beverly Hills approximately two decades ago. The story confirmed what many had long suspected: that Judd's interview with Variety's Ramin Setoodeh — in which she alleged that she had been sexually harassed by an unnamed studio mogul — was about Weinstein.
“[The New York Times] spent six months researching this article then they gave us just 24 hours to answer it. They.did tell us that Ashley Judd was on record, but we thought it would be along the lines of what she told Variety," Weinstein continued to Page Six. “But she changed her story when giving it to the Times. I know Ashley Judd is going through a tough time right now, I read her book [All That Is Bitter and Sweet: A Memoir], in which she talks about being the victim of sexual abuse and depression as a child. 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 adds that his company worked with Judd on two movies after the hotel room encounter, citing 2002's Friday and 2009's Crossing Over. "I even set her up on a date with my brother Bob," he claimed.