Embattled film producer Harvey Weinstein is speaking out about damaging reports that he sexually harassed young actresses and settled out of court eight times to buy their silence.
Weinstein made headlines over the summer when former President Obama’s daughter, Malia, interned with his film company in New York City.
The paper quoted actress Ashley Judd who said Weinstein invited her to his hotel room for a meeting and then asked her to give him a massage and watch him shower naked.
“I said no, a lot of ways, a lot of times, and he always came back at me with some new ask. It was all this bargaining, this coercive bargaining,” Judd said.
She recalled thinking to herself: “How do I get out of the room as fast as possible without alienating Harvey Weinstein?”
The damning report also alleged the Oscar-winning film producer paid 44-year-old actress Rose McGowan $100,000 after he sexually harassed her when she was 24.
Weinstein said he owned up to his mistakes and that he had “really tough conversations” with his wife Georgina Chapman, 41, the mother of his 2 youngest children, ages 4 and 7.
Weinstein also has 3 grown daughters by his first wife.
“My family is standing with me,” the disgraced mogul told the Mail.
The father-of-5 suggested he may have sexually harassed men, too.
“I’m very remorseful to women and to men, everybody that I’ve offended,” he said.
Hollywood celebrities tweeted their disgust and outrage over allegations that the powerful Hollywood mogul sexually harassed women for decades.
“I’m sick to death of apologies,” tweeted actress Ellen Barkin.
And Judd Apatow tweeted, “Wealthy people buy silence.”
The New York Times said Weinstein settled out of court at least eight times with his victims, including McGowan, pictured above, who accused the film mogul of harassing her before her breakthrough role in the 1996 slasher movie Scream.
On Sunday McGowan tweeted: “Anyone who does business with _____ is complicit… And deep down you know you are even dirtier. Cleanse yourselves.”
She didn’t name Weinstein in her tweet which was sent prior to the publication of the New York Times’ article.
On Thursday Weinstein announced he was filing a $50 million lawsuit against the Times, saying their reporting was “not right.”
He retained the same attorney who successfully sued the now-shuttered liberal blog Gawker.com after the blog published a sex tape of disgraced wrestler Hulk Hogan.
Weinstein accused the paper of rushing to beat New York magazine’s scoop. He said he and his legal team had an agreement with the Times which they violated without warning him.
“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,” he told the NY Post. “They told me lies. They made assumptions.”
He added: “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.”
The Democrat who helped raise funds for presidential candidate Hillary Clinton accused “Republicans” of “trying to finance a number of stories against me.”
He said he was “terribly embarrassed” for his company and staff, and he might consider admitting himself into a rehab facility.
He also blamed his “terrible temper” for causing his sexist behavior.
“I came of age in the ’60s and ’70s, when all the rules about behavior and workplaces were different,” said Weinstein, 65.
“I also have the worst temper known to mankind, my system is all wrong, and sometimes I create too much tension. I lose it, and I am emotional, that’s why I’ve got to spend more time with a therapist and go away.”
He denied settling eight times and he hinted that someone may have violated his or her non-disclosure agreement.
He told Page Six: “No company ever talks about settlements, and neither does the recipient, so I don’t know how the Times came to this conclusion, but it is pure conjecture, the reporters have made assumptions.”
He seemed to blame actress Ashley Judd for being a lifelong abuse victim.
“Here’s what I feel about Ashley. She wrote a story in Variety [that did not name Weinstein but described the incident] that was one way, now she’s remembering this way. My feeling is I read her book [the memoir ‘All That is Bitter and Sweet’] about being abused as a child. Whatever Ashley wants to say about me, I’m going to be supportive. I need to earn her forgiveness. I thought we had a relationship at one time, the goal is to get that back. I salute her like everybody else does… In a year from now I am going to reach out to her.”
Judd, 49, said she never worked with Weinstein again after the incident in his hotel room.
Photos by Z.Tomaszewski/WENN, Joseph Marzullo/WENN.com, Fayesvision/WENN.com, 247PAPS.TV / Splash News