It took a while but, finally, Matt Damon and George Clooney are speaking out against Harvey Weinstein. Maybe they needed some time to wrap their heads around this scandal… maybe they were waiting to see if any women were going to accuse them of misconduct like Ben Affleck (who is now back in rehab to deal with his issues).
Whatever the case, Weinstein helped launch the careers of the two actors so many expected them to know more about his predatory behavior but Clooney and Damon claim they had no idea.
In an interview with Good Morning America, Damon told host, Michael Strahan: “When people say like, ‘Everybody knew,’ Like, yeah, I knew he was an a——. I knew he was … a womanizer. I wouldn’t want to be married to the guy. But … the criminal sexual predation is not something that I ever thought … was going on. Absolutely not.”
Clooney, who is married to renowned human rights attorney, Amal Alamuddin Clooney, chimed in and said Weinstein claimed to have had affairs with “some actresses who were friends of mine… I didn’t really think that they were going have affairs with Harvey, quite honestly. And clearly they didn’t but the idea that this predator, this assaulter … was out there silencing women like that … it’s beyond infuriating.”
The actors, who were promoting their film, Suburbicon, didn’t hold back on the topic with Damon explaining that he first worked with Weinstein on Good Will Hunting which was shot “20 years ago this year. And I did five movies in quick succession. He signed me up for a three-picture deal. I didn’t work with him again after that.”
Damon went on to describe what it was like to interact with the producer saying, “You had to spend about five minutes with him to know that he was a bully. He was intimidating. Miramax was the place, really the place, that was making great stuff in the ’90′s. And it was like, ‘Could you survive Harvey?’”
Still, he had no idea that Weinstein was targeting women in a sexual way. ”I knew the story about Gwyneth from Ben,” Damon added, referring to the recently revealed story about Weinstein making unwanted advances toward Gwyneth Paltrow (her boyfriend at the time, Brad Pitt, reportedly threatened to whoop his ass). “I never talked to Gwyneth about it. Ben told me … but I knew that … they had come to whatever, you know, agreement or understanding that they had come to, she had handled it. She was, you know, the first lady of Miramax. And he treated her incredibly respectfully.”
Meanwhile, Clooney made the point that Weinstein is not the only bad guy out there and that this is all part of a bigger problem.
“The fact that the story is coming out now and the more it comes out, I want know all of it,” he said. “I would have done something about that. It makes me very angry to see that. Where did he spend his advertising dollars for the people who didn’t print that story?”
At the same time, Damon was adamant that he never saw that sexual harassment and explained, ”If he did … if there was ever an event or something that I was at in public with Harvey, and he was doing this kind of thing … I missed it… and I somehow missed it, then I’m sorry… I never saw it. I never saw that. That darkness was his … he did that in private.”
The interview and exchange was pretty lengthy but, ultimately, Clooney had a message for anyone in Hollywood who is behaving like Harvey Weinstein: ”You will be outed and you’ll be out of the business. And more than that, you might be prosecuted.”