FOR the first time ever, Harvey Weinstein has admitted in an interview that he offered “acting jobs in exchange for sex” — but according to him, “so does everyone.”
“Yes, I did offer them acting jobs in exchange for sex,” the disgraced movie mogul told the Spectator in an interview published on Friday.
“But so did and still does everyone.”
Weinstein, 66, pleaded not guilty to rape and criminal sex act charges last month after being accused by dozens of women.
Dressed in a dark suit and tie on Monday, the co-founder of the Miramax film studio was brought handcuffed into a Manhattan courtroom to face the latest charges.
The disgraced producer claimed in the Spectator interview, which was conducted by longtime columnist Taki Theodoracopulos, that he “never, ever” forced himself on “a single woman” — but admitted that he often had to use his Hollywood prowess to get women.
“You were born rich and privileged and you were handsome,” he told 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.”
Joined by his lawyer Ben Brafman, Weinstein attempted to defend himself during the sit-down — claiming that at least two of his accusers, Rose McGowan and Asia Argento, were caught lying.
He told Taki 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 in his column.
“So the girls made it up.”
Weinstein was subdued throughout his recent court hearing, pleading “not guilty” and responding “yes, sir” when the judge told him to stay away from his accusers. He walked to the courthouse with a copy of A Talent for Trouble, the 1997 biography of Ben-Hur film director William Wyler, according to CNN.
“Mr Weinstein is not a predator, he is not a rapist and I believe when this case is over we will ultimately see him to be exonerated,” defence lawyer Benjamin Brafman told journalists after Monday’s hearing.
Brafman said that prosecutors may file additional charges against Weinstein. Prosecutor Joan Illuzzi said the number of Weinstein accusers “shows the breadth of the criminality here”.
Prosecutors contend Weinstein forcibly performed oral sex on the woman in 2006. The latest charges carry a maximum life sentence.
Earlier charges included two counts of rape and one count of criminal sexual act. Weinstein was charged after a months-long investigation by the New York Police Department.
More than 70 women, mostly young actresses and other women employed in the movie business, have accused Weinstein of sexual misconduct, including rape, in a series of incidents dating back decades.
The accusations against Weinstein sparked the #MeToo movement that has seen hundreds of women publicly accuse powerful men in business, politics and entertainment of sexual harassment and abuse, lifting a shroud that had long shielded such behaviour.
After Weinstein was accused, his eponymous company Weinstein Co fired him and filed for bankruptcy, and he was expelled from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
Through his company and Miramax, Weinstein won plaudits and awards for movies including Shakespeare in Love, Pulp Fiction, Sex, Lies and Videotape, The Crying Game and The King’s Speech.
Part of this article originally appeared on the New York Post and has been republished with permission.