Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein says that he “bears responsibility for his actions” after reports surfaced that he routinely sexually harassed women for decades. The producer, however, also claims that the stories against him are based on shoddy reporting, and he’s now planning to sue the New York Times for $50 million.
The stories of sexual harassment outlined in a bombshell report by the New York Times include several women’s recollections of Weinstein harassing them. Ashley Judd claims that he asked her to watch him shower. Another woman says that he told her that he could boost her career in exchange for sexual favors. The Times’ story clearly paints a picture of a systemic problem at Weinstein’s production company, and in a statement, he told the paper, “I appreciate the way I’ve behaved with colleagues in the past has caused a lot of pain, and I sincerely apologize for it.”
But now, Weinstein is lawyering up. He enlisted Charles Harder — the same attorney that Peter Thiel and Hulk Hogan used to bankrupt Gawker and is planning to sue the Times for as much as $50 million, Page Six reports.
Weinstein claims that the Times had a deal with him that they would essentially run the story by him before going to press. But, he claims, the paper was fearful of being scooped by New York Magazine and rushed their piece.
When asked about Judd, Weinstein said, “I know Ashley Judd is going through a tough time right now…in a year from now, I am going to reach out to her.” Weinstein also said that his wife, fashion designer Georgina Chapman, stands behind him. The Times says they’re “confident in the accuracy” of their reporting.