Harvey Weinstein has issued a formal apology to actresses Meryl Streep and Jennifer Lawrence for using statements of theirs in his motion to dismiss a sexual assault lawsuit filed against him by six women. According to court documents obtained by Page Six, Weinstein’s lawyers are going after the wording in the lawsuit that claims the six women are part of a class defined by “all women who met with Harvey Weinstein in person to audition for or to discuss involvement in a project to be produced or distributed by either The Weinstein Company Holdings or Miramax.” To refute that, they are citing any remark made by a woman that was not an outright condemnation of the disgraced producer.
The motion references a Hollywood Reporter interview where Lawrence told Oprah Winfrey that the allegations against Weinstein hit her hard because in the seven years she had known him, he was “paternal” and “always nice to me.” Lawrence responded to his use of her name as a defence by calling it predatory and saying just because he didn’t assault her, doesn’t mean he didn’t assault anyone.
“Harvey Weinstein and his company are continuing to do what they have always done, which is to take things out of context and use them for their own benefit,” she told E! News, “This is what predators do, and it must stop.
“For the record, while I was not victimized personally by Harvey Weinstein, I stand behind the women who have survived his terrible abuse and I applaud them in using all means necessary to bring him to justice whether through criminal or civil actions,” she continued, “Time’s Up.”
The document goes on to reference a statement made by Meryl Streep at the time the Weinstein allegations first came out. The motion says that Streep “stated publicly that Weinstein had always been respectful to her in their working relationship.” Meryl was also not pleased with Weinstein using her name and individual experience as a defence against other women’s accusations.
“Harvey Weinstein’s attorneys’ use of my (true) statement — that he was not sexually transgressive or physically abusive in our business relationship — as evidence that he was not abusive with many OTHER women is pathetic and exploitive,” Streep told Deadline Wednesday, “The criminal actions he is accused of conducting on the bodies of these women are his responsibility, and if there is any justice left in the system he will pay for them — regardless of how many good movies, made by many good people, Harvey was lucky enough to have acquired or financed.”
Weinstein’s motion also denies and attempts to discredit the allegations made against him by Gwyneth Paltrow by suggesting that they could not have happened since she continued to work with him after the time she alleges they occurred. Her section reads, “Paltrow was not so offended that she refused to work with Weinstein again, nor did her career suffer as a result of her rebuffing his alleged advances.” Paltrow has not responded to Weinstein’s mention of her.
In a statement to The Hollywood Reporter Thursday afternoon, Weinstein apologized for using Streep and Lawrence’s names and said he would not use specific actresses as part of his defence in the future.
“Mr. Weinstein acknowledges the valuable input both Meryl Streep and Jennifer Lawrence have contributed to this conversation and apologizes,” said his representative, “Moving forward, Mr. Weinstein has advised his counsel to not include specific names of former associates and to avoid whenever possible, even if they are in the public record.”