Harvey Weinstein’s lawyers are busy denying the bombshell New York Times report about decades of sexual-harassment allegations against the producer. Lisa Bloom — known for representing Blac Chyna and Kathy Griffin — is also repping the producer, amid a deal with him to turn her book about Trayvon Martin into a movie. In a statement, Bloom promises that Weinstein, who says he will sue the Times over the story, really is doing better at treating women with respect. “He is an old dinosaur learning new ways. He wants to reach out to any of the women who may have issues with him to talk to them in a respectful, peaceful way, with me present if that is acceptable to them,” Bloom wrote in a long statement via The Hollywood Reporter. “He has been working on a major foundation with USC with one of the largest grants for female directors, which started well over a year ago. And as we work together on a project bringing my book to the screen, he has always been respectful toward me.”
The Times reported stories from a number of former Weinstein Company employees and talent — including Ashley Judd — accusing the producer of sexual harassment over two decades. On Thursday Weinstein told the Times he plans to take a leave of absence from his company. Bloom, in her statement, promised to work with him personally, and said that although he “disputes many of the allegations,” he will use this as a learning experience. Read Bloom’s full statement, below:
Harvey Weinstein and I have had many wide ranging conversations over the last year about rumors and allegations against him. He denies many of the accusations as patently false. Nevertheless, I have explained to him that due to the power difference between a major studio head like him and most others in the industry, whatever his motives, some of his words and behaviors can be perceived as inappropriate, even intimidating.
As a women’s rights advocate, I have been blunt with Harvey and he has listened to me. I have told him that times have changed, it is 2017, and he needs to evolve to a higher standard. I have found Harvey to be refreshingly candid and receptive to my message. He has acknowledged mistakes he has made. He is reading books and going to therapy. He is an old dinosaur learning new ways. He wants to reach out to any of the women who may have issues with him to talk to them in a respectful, peaceful way, with me present if that is acceptable to them. He has been working on a major foundation with USC with one of the largest grants for female directors, which started well over a year ago. And as we work together on a project bringing my book to the screen, he has always been respectful toward me.
He is deeply bothered by his some of his emotional responses. He has been working on his temper for over ten years and is chagrined the issue still plagues him. He recognizes he needs time off to focus on this issue and has much to learn. He wants to reach out to teachers with expertise in this area.
Harvey is not going to demean or attack any of the women making accusations against him, although he does dispute many of the allegations. Instead, he is going to use this as a painful learning experience to grow into a better man. I will continue to work with him personally for as long as it takes.
In addition, Harvey has asked me to do a comprehensive review of his company’s policies and practices regarding women in the workplace. I will make recommendations to ensure that gender equality and zero tolerance for workplace misconduct aren’t just goals, but a reality.