“I’ve known Harvey Weinstein for a very long time, I’m not at all surprised to see it,” President Trump told reporters outside the White House.
His comments came after the New York Times published a bombshell report earlier this week which alleged Weinstein, whose company produced such hits as “The King’s Speech” and “Django Unchained,” preyed on young women hoping to break into the film industry.
The scandal was pounced on by Republicans because Weinstein has been a major backer of Democrat candidates.
Many Democrat lawmakers have since vowed to turn over their contributions from Weinstein to charity.
Trump faced his own sex scandal last year when video emerged of him using lewd language to describe groping women.
Asked about the tape on Saturday, Trump dismissed it “locker room talk,” as he has done in the past.
Lisa Bloom, one of Weinstein’s lawyers who specializes in sexual harassment cases, said Thursday that her 65-year-old client “denies many of the accusations as patently false.”
“He has acknowledged mistakes he has made,” she wrote. “He is reading books and going to therapy. He is an old dinosaur learning new ways.”
His accusers, the Times said, were mainly young women hoping to break into the film industry and include celebrities such as Rose McGowan and Ashley Judd.
The accusers say Weinstein forced them to massage him, watch him naked and promised to help advance their careers in exchange for sexual favors.
Rose McGowan and Ashley Judd.AAP
Meanwhile overnight the Weinstein Company launched an internal probe over the harassment claims against co-chairman Harvey Weinstein, confirming he has taken an “indefinite” leave of absence.
The revelations prompted three of the company’s nine board members to resign, according to The New York Times.
“We strongly endorse Harvey Weinstein’s already-announced decision to take an indefinite leave of absence from the company, commencing today,” said a statement signed Friday by four board members: Bob Weinstein, Tarak Ben Ammar, Lance Maerov and Richard Koenigsberg.
“As Harvey has said… it is important for him to get professional help for the problems he has acknowledged.
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