After numerous women came forward to accuse Harvey Weinstein of sexual harassment in a slew of incidents spanning almost three decades, the Hollywood producer and liberal icon released a statement blaming his old-timey upbringing for instilling him with skewed values about women.
“I came of age in the 60’s and 70’s, when all the rules about behavior and workplaces were different,” Weinstein said. “That was the culture then. I have since learned it’s not an excuse, in the office – or out of it. To anyone.”
“I realized some time ago that I needed to be a better person and my interactions with the people I work with have changed,” he continued. “I appreciate the way I’ve behaved with colleagues in the past has caused a lot of pain, and I sincerely apologize for it.”
Weinstein, a self-proclaimed feminist whose film repertoire includes six best-picture Oscars, stands accused of sexually harassing at least eight women, including actress Ashley Judd, the New York Times reported. Judd claimed that Weinstein lured her to a hotel for what she thought was a business meeting before appearing in a bathrobe and asking her to watch him shower.
Another accuser, Emily Nestor, said that Weinstein promised to further her career if she had sex with him.
“She said he was very persistent and focused though she kept saying no for over an hour,” read a internal document compiled by the Weinstein Company. “She was disappointed that he met with her and did not seem to be interested in her resume or skill set.”
Most of Weinstein’s accusers claimed that the powerful producer invited them to a hotel for a so-called business meeting only to attempt to pressure them into sexual situations under the promise of career advancement. Multiple women described Weinstein appearing naked in front of them and being required to watch as he bathed.
Although Weinstein did not address the allegations directly in his statement, he hinted at a struggle for self-improvement.
“Though I’m trying to do better, I know I have a long way to go. That is my commitment,” he said. “My journey now will be to learn about myself and conquer my demons.”