Harvey Weinstein on Indefinite Leave as Sexual Harassment Investigation Begins
The board’s move came in response to a New York Times investigation published Thursday that found complaints of sexual harassment by Mr. Weinstein stretching back decades and at least eight settlements paid to women. The investigation has rocked the entertainment company, with employees and business partners demanding swift action by the board.
Earlier Friday, a lawyer advising Mr. Weinstein said in a television appearance that he had acted inappropriately and agreed with an interviewer who had characterized Mr. Weinstein’s reported actions as illegal.
The acknowledgment by the lawyer, Lisa Bloom, came during an interview with George Stephanopoulos on the ABC News program “Good Morning America” in which he asked her about the report.
“This is a real pattern over 30 years; this is like textbook sexual harassment,” Mr. Stephanopoulos said, after describing the allegations.
“It’s gross, yeah,” Ms. Bloom replied.
“It’s illegal,” Mr. Stephanopoulos said.
“Yes. You know, I agree,” Ms. Bloom said. “See, you have to understand that, yes, I’m here as his adviser. I’m not defending him in any sexual harassment cases — there aren’t any sexual harassment cases. I’m working with a guy who has behaved badly over the years, who is genuinely remorseful, who says, you know, ‘I have caused a lot of pain.’”
Reached by The Times for additional comment on Friday, Ms. Bloom said: “The New York Times allegations if true would constitute sexual harassment. However, Mr. Weinstein denies many of them and was not given a fair opportunity to present evidence and witnesses on his side.”
Mr. Weinstein apologized for his behavior, acknowledging in a statement on Thursday that it had “caused a lot of pain” and vowing to “do better.” He later said in an interview with The Wrap that he intended to sue The Times for failing to give him enough time to respond to the allegations in the report.