Meryl Streep jokingly referred to Harvey Weinstein as "God" at the 2012 Golden Globes, but on Monday, the Oscar winner publicly distanced herself from the Hollywood producer amid multiple claims of sexual assault on his behalf. On Sunday, three days after The New York Times published an exposé about his alleged behavior, the Weinstein Company's board of directors fired him, citing "new information about misconduct" that had "emerged in the past few days."
Streep, who has worked with Weinstein on August: Osage County and The Iron Lady, joins a growing list of actresses to condemn Weinstein, following Lena Dunham, Brie Larson, Rose McGowan and Amber Tamblyn. The 68-year-old actress issued a statement to The Huffington Post via her longtime publicist, saying, "The disgraceful news about Harvey Weinstein has appalled those of us whose work he championed, and those whose good and worthy causes he supported. The intrepid women who raised their voices to expose this abuse are our heroes."
"One thing can be clarified. Not everybody knew. Harvey supported the work fiercely, was exasperating but respectful with me in our working relationship, and with many others with whom he worked professionally. I didn't know about these other offenses: I did not know about his financial settlements with actresses and colleagues; I did not know about his having meetings in his hotel room, his bathroom, or other inappropriate, coercive acts," Streep said in her statement. "And if everybody knew, I don't believe that all the investigative reporters in the entertainment and the hard news media would have neglected for decades to write about it."
"The behavior is inexcusable, but the abuse of power familiar," she said, adding that "each brave voice that is raised, heard and credited" in the media "will ultimately change the game."
Streep wasn't the only one to come out against Weinstein Monday.
"Whilst there is no doubt that Harvey Weinstein has helped and championed my film career for the past twenty years, I was completely unaware of these offences which are, of course, horrifying," 82-year-old actress Judi Dench said in a statement, according to The Sun. "I offer my sympathy those who have suffered, and wholehearted support to those who have spoken out."
Alleged victim Ashley Judd was among those who spoke on the record to The New York Times, saying, "Women have been talking about Harvey amongst ourselves for a long time and it's simply beyond time to have the conversation publicly." In a statement to E! News last week, Weinstein said he has accepted "responsibility" for his past behavior. In separate interviews with The Daily Mail and The New York Post, Weinstein announced plans to sue The New York Times for what he called "reckless reporting." The newspaper, however, stands by its reporting.
In a statement given to E! News last week, Weinstein's attorney, Charles J. Harder, said the article by Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey is "saturated with false and defamatory statements."