Movie mogul takes leave amid harassment claims

The Weinstein Company’s board of directors said in a statement: “We strongly endorse Harvey Weinstein’s already announced decision to take an indefinite leave of absence from the Company, commencing today.

“As Harvey has said, it is important for him to get the professional help for the problems he has acknowledged.

“Next steps will depend on Harvey’s therapeutic process, the outcome of the board’s independent investigation and Harvey’s own personal decisions.”

The announcement came a day after The New York Times reported that the co-chairman of the Weinstein Co has over the years reached at least eight legal settlements with women over alleged harassment.

Weinstein, 65, has previously denied many of the allegations and has not been charged with any crimes.

Queen Elizabeth II meets Harvey Weinstein during the Dramatic Arts reception at Buckingham Palace on February 17, 2014
Image:The Queen meets Harvey Weinstein at Buckingham Palace in 2014

In a statement on Thursday, he said: “I came of age in the 60s and 70′, when all the rules about behaviour and workplaces were different. That was the culture then.

“I have since learned it’s not an excuse, in the office – or out of it. To anyone.

“I realised some time ago that I needed to be a better person and my interactions with the people I work with have changed.

“I appreciate the way I’ve behaved with colleagues in the past has caused a lot of pain, and I sincerely apologise for it.

“Though I’m trying to do better, I know I have a long way to go. That is my commitment. My journey now will be to learn about myself and conquer my demons.”

He continued: “I’ve brought on therapists and I plan to take a leave of absence from my company and to deal with this issue head on. I so respect all women and regret what happened.”

Academy Award winner Weinstein and his brother Bob formed independent movie studio Miramax in 1979, selling it in 1993 and setting up The Weinstein Company in 2005.

His Oscar-winning films include Shakespeare in Love and Chicago.

In 2004, he was made an honorary CBE for his contribution to the British film industry.

The twice-married father of five is a high-profile Democrat supporter, with gun control and universal healthcare among his causes.

Weinstein and his family have given more than $1.4m (£1.1m) in political contributions since the 1992 election cycle, according to the nonpartisan Centre for Responsive Politics.

Nearly all of it went to Democratic politicians, candidates and their allies.

© 2017, Vale of Glamorgan Broadcasting CIC T/A: Bro Radio & Sky News.

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Nathan Spackman

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