Fashion designer Donna Karan is in damage control mode after she implied that the victims of Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein were inviting sexual assault by “presenting themselves the way they do.”
The 69-year-old DKNY founder made the uncomfortable remarks during a red carpet interview given to the Daily Mail just after the allegations began to surface earlier this month.
“How do we display ourselves, how do we present ourselves as women, what are we asking?” she wondered aloud. “Are we asking for it, you know, by presenting all this sensuality and all the sexuality?”
“I don’t think it’s only Harvey Weinstein,” Karan continued. “You look at everything all over the world today, and how women are dressing, and what they’re asking by just presenting themselves the way they do. What are they asking for? Trouble?”
Actress Rose McGowan, one of Weinstein’s most vocal accusers, blasted Karan as “scum in a fancy dress.” The jab apparently prompted Karan to offer an unspecific apology that did not specifically reference Weinstein or McGowan.
Now, Karan is trying to get ahead of the controversy before things get any worse.
“I love women. I absolutely adore women. I care about them, I’m a mother, I’m a grandmother, and I’ve never done this before and will never, ever do it again,” she told ABC News.
“What Harvey did, what any man does is completely unacceptable,” Karan continued. “I heard a whisper but there were whispers all over. It was truly just a whisper. It wasn’t until a day and a half after that I truly heard about. That’s my honest truth. I didn’t know.”