Harvey Weinstein will take a leave of absence from his eponymous film company after the publication of a news report detailing decades of sexual harassment accusations against him.
The story, published by the New York Times on Thursday, said Weinstein has over the years reached at least eight legal settlements with women over alleged harassment.
The allegations were levied by actresses including Ashley Judd and Rose McGowan, and former employees of Weinstein Co. and the executive’s former company, Miramax.
In a statement to the Los Angeles Times, Weinstein, 65, reiterated some comments made to the New York Times, apologizing for behavior “with colleagues in the past has caused a lot of pain” and said he would take a leave to deal with his issues “head on.”
“I so respect all women and regret what happened. I hope that my actions will speak louder than words,” said Weinstein, who also cited a lyric by rapper Jay Z about needing to be a better person.
Weinstein, a powerhouse in the indie film world who co-founded Miramax in 1979, is known for producing, alongside brother Bob, Academy Award-winning films including “Shakespeare in Love” and major hits such as “Chicago,” which grossed more than $300 million worldwide.
In a statement, Weinstein’s attorney, Lisa Bloom, said her client denied many of the accusations in the New York Times story “as patently false.” Bloom said Weinstein had asked her to perform a “comprehensive review of his company’s policies and practices regarding women in the workplace.”
Representatives for Judd and McGowan did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
NOBEL PRIZE WINNER
Thursday’s Nobel Prize announcement came as a surprise. The author of “The Remains of the Day” and “Never Let Me Go,” though a critically acclaimed and respected novelist, had been on no one’s shortlist.
But then Kazuo Ishiguro, the 2017 Nobel Laureate in Literature, has always been surprising.
Ever since the 1989 publication of “The Remains of the Day,” winner of England’s prestigious Booker Prize and adapted into an Oscar-nominated film starring Anthony Hopkins and Emma Thompson, Ishiguro has regularly landed on U.S. best-seller lists.
Ishiguro had no advance warning of the award and was at home in London answering email when he got the news, which at first he thought was a hoax. “It’s a ridiculously prestigious honor,” he said in a phone interview with the Swedish Academy that was uploaded to YouTube.
Will Butler of Arcade Fire is 35 … Actor Jeremy Sisto is 43 … Bassist Tommy Stinson (The Replacements, Guns N’ Roses) is 51 … Actress Elisabeth Shue is 54 … Singer-guitarist Thomas McClary (The Commodores) is 68 … Actress Britt Ekland is 75.