For the first time ever, Harvey Weinstein admitted in an interview that he “offered acting jobs in exchange for sex” — but according to him, “so does everyone.”
“Yes, I did offer [women] acting jobs in exchange for sex,” the disgraced movie mogul told The Spectatorin an interview published Friday. “But so did and still does everyone.”
But hours after the story was published, the writer backtracked and said he “may have misunderstood” the disgraced movie mogul.
“After 41 years as a Spectator columnist without a single retraction, I believe that I may have misrepresented Harvey Weinstein’s conversation with me,” wrote longtime Spectator columnist Taki Theodoracopulos in a statement.
“It was my mistake.”
The article, however, remained unchanged on the Spectator website Friday afternoon.
In the story, Taki claimed that Weinstein confessed to offering actresses movie roles in exchange for sex.
“Yes, I did offer [women] acting jobs in exchange for sex,” said the pervy producer, according to Taki. “But so did and still does everyone.”
The columnist claimed that Weinstein told him he “never, ever” forced himself on “a single woman” — but often had to use his Hollywood prowess to get girls.
“You were born rich and privileged and you were handsome,” he said, according to Taki.
“I was born poor, ugly, Jewish and had to fight all my life to get somewhere. You got lotsa girls, no girl looked at me until I made it big in Hollywood.”
Weinstein was joined by his lawyer, Ben Brafman, during the interview, which took place in New York last month. Brafman admitted that he was there, but claimed the statements published in the Spectator were never uttered.
“I was present for the conversation,” he said. “It was not an interview, but a social meeting between old friends. Harvey and Taki did not discuss the case, nor would I allow him to. They talked about old Hollywood and the contrast to European culture, and I think Taki sees Harvey in that older light. Mr. Weinstein never said anything about trading movie roles for sexual favors. You have my word that Harvey did not say that.”
In his story, Taki claimed that Weinstein attempted to defend himself during the sit-down. He said that the award-winning producer accused at least two of his alleged victims, Rose McGowan and Asia Aregento, of lying.
Taki said he told him that McGowan once alleged that Argento and her late boyfriend, celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain, had an open relationship.
“It was obviously not true, says Harvey, but dead men tell no tales,” Taki wrote. “So the girls made it up.”
In response to his claims, McGowan took to Twitter on Friday to blast Weinstein for his “clear lies.”
“Rapists are liars,” the actress tweeted, linking to the Spectator piece.
“Being that I was in the middle of my second film for his company, having NEVER met him before the morning of my rape, and never worked for him again, this is a clear lie,” she said. “Nice try, rapist.”
Weinstein was reportedly the one who initiated the interview with Taki, though it’s unclear when it took place exactly.
“I’ve got a world exclusive for you, are you interested?” the columnist recalled him saying over the phone.
The pair got together at Weinstein’s office across from Grand Central station, Taki said.
“The last time we met I had gone to his downtown office where many of the alleged sexual assaults had taken place,” the columnist wrote. “He used to ring me via his assistants and make me wait on hold … This time there was no wait.”
Describing his personal feelings about Weinstein, Taki said: “Call me naïve or stupid, but in a funny way I believe him.”
The writer added, “I’ve seen Harvey in action during my annual Christmas party, the one I throw every year in New York with Michael Mailer. He hits on every young woman but in a naïve way. ‘Will you give me your address and I’ll make you a star,’ is the theme of the pickup. Some say yes, some say no. His reaction was always the same. Smile and laugh and hit on the next one.”
Weinstein has been indicted on felony charges of first-and third-degree rape, first-degree criminal sex act and predatory sexual assault.
More than 75 women have come forward and accused him of sexual misconduct or harassment. The allegations helped spark the #MeToo and “Time’s Up” movements in Hollywood last year.
Weinstein has insisted for months that he’s innocent, as has his legal team.
“The suggestion that Mr. Weinstein raped anyone, just based on what I’ve seen, just based on the evidence I’ve seen, is just a preposterous allegation,” Brafman told reporters last week. “So far, everything he has told us to look for we have found. And his denials are in my judgment being confirmed everyday by a lot of evidence we are finding that is independent of Mr. Weinstein.”
The longtime producer has forfeited his passport and is currently wearing an electronic monitoring bracelet to track his every move. He’s been ordered to stay away from the three women whose claims led to criminal charges. His next court date is Sept. 20.
Source: Page Six (Chris Perez)
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