Harvey Weinstein is facing some major allegations surrounding sexual assault.
The New York Times conducted an investigation in which several women came forward and claimed sexual misconduct allegations against the Hollywood producer. The Times said the allegations were collected through interview, emails, legal records and internal documents that stretch over three decades among current and former employees of Weinstein as well as film industry workers.
One of the women who came forward was actress Ashley Judd. She claims she was asked to meet Weinstein for a breakfast meeting at the Peninsula Beverly Hills Hotel some 20 years ago. She said the meeting turned into him inviting her up to his hotel room and claimed he asked to give her a massage and watch him shower.
"How do I get out of the room as fast as possible without alienating Harvey Weinstein?" Judd told the Times recalling the incident.
Another woman who worked as a temporary employee for The Weinstein Company disclosed a similar situation in which she claimed he asked her to meet him in his hotel room after which she said he proceeded to coerce her into giving him a massage as he laid there naked, promising to help boost her career.
The Times goes on to claim that, over the span of nearly 30 years, Weinstein reached at least eight settlements with various women, which they said was revealed by two company officials speaking on the condition of anonymity.
The publication reported that one of those previously undisclosed settlements was with Rose McGowan in 1997. The then 23-year-old actress allegedly faced an episode with Weinstein during the Sundance Film Festival. The Times obtained the legal documents, which stated a $100,000 settlement was reached but "not to be construed as an admission" by Mr. Weinstein. Rather, the doc says it was intended to "avoid litigation and buy peace."
Weinstein has assembled a team of powerful attorneys—including Lisa Bloom and Charles Harder—to represent him as he continues to battle the most recent set of allegations.
Harder released a statement to E! News calling the allegations "false and defamatory" and revealed he's prepping a lawsuit against The Times. However, Weinstein released his own statement that seemed to take a bit of a different stance, almost to the point of admitting fault.
"I came of age in the 60's and 70's, when all the rules about behavior and workplaces were different. That was the culture then," Weinstein said. "I have since learned it's not an excuse, in the office - or out of it. To anyone. I realized some time ago that I needed to be a better person and my interactions with the people I work with have changed."
He continued. "I appreciate the way I've behaved with colleagues in the past has caused a lot of pain, and I sincerely apologize for it.
Though I'm trying to do better, I know I have a long way to go. That is my commitment."
He also told the NY Times that he plans to take a leave of absence as he works a treatment program to help him move forward.
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"My journey now will be to learn about myself and conquer my demons," he said. "Over the last year I've asked Lisa Bloom to tutor me and she's put together a team of people. 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. I hope that my actions will speak louder than words and that one day we will all be able to earn their trust and sit down together with Lisa to learn more."
In a bizarre twist, he also quoted Jay-Z, saying, "Jay-Z wrote in 4:44 'I'm not the man I thought I was and I better be that man for my children.' The same is true for me. I want a second chance in the community but I know I've got work to do to earn it. I have goals that are now priorities. Trust me, this isn't an overnight process. I've been trying to do this for 10 years and this is a wake-up call. I cannot be more remorseful about the people I hurt and I plan to do right by all of them."
Bloom also released a statement to E! News saying, "Harvey Weinstein and I have had many wide ranging conversations over the last year about rumors and allegations against him. He denies many of the accusations as patently false. Nevertheless, I have explained to him that due to the power difference between a major studio head like him and most others in the industry, whatever his motives, some of his words and behaviors can be perceived as inappropriate, even intimidating."
She continued, "As a women's rights advocate, I have been blunt with Harvey and he has listened to me. I have told him that times have changed, it is 2017, and he needs to evolve to a higher standard. He has acknowledged mistakes he has made. He is reading books and going to therapy. He is an old dinosaur learning new ways. He wants to reach out to any of the women who may have issues with him to talk to them in a respectful, peaceful way, with me present if that is acceptable to them."
For more about the investigation, read the full Times article here and be sure to tune into E! News tonight at 7 and 11 p.m. for any new developments.