Susan Haas, USA TODAY
Published 7:29 p.m. ET Dec. 15, 2019 | Updated 10:00 a.m. ET Dec. 16, 2019
The flood of sexual harassment and assault allegations against him brought on the tide of the #MeToo movement.
“I feel like the forgotten man,’’ Weinstein told The New York Post in an interview Friday at New York-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center, where he had surgery the day before to remove bone plates compressing his vertebrae.
The disgraced movie mogul told The Post he should be remembered for doing more than anyone else to advance the careers of women, angering his many of accusers who responded in a blistering statement.
“I made more movies directed by women and about women than any filmmaker, and I’m talking about 30 years ago. I’m not talking about now when it’s vogue,” Weinstein said. “I did it first! I pioneered it!”
“It all got eviscerated because of what happened,’’ Weinstein added. “My work has been forgotten.’’
During the interview, his first in more than a year, The Post said Weinstein refused to speak about the allegations against him and threatened to end the discussion at questions he didn’t like.
Weinstein is facing trial in New York Jan. 6 on five sex crime charges, including rape and sexual assault. His bail was raised last week from $1 million to $5 million after allegations he mishandled his electronic ankle monitor, which his lawyers blamed on “technical glitches.”
Weinstein has pleaded not guilty to the charges against him. He has been free on $1 million bail since his arrest in May 2018.
In response to Weinstein’s interview, 23 women, including Ashley Judd, Rosanna Arquette and Rose McGowan, are sharing their thoughts in a joint statement sent to USA TODAY on Sunday.
“Harvey Weinstein is trying to gaslight society again. He says in a new interview he doesn’t want to be forgotten. Well, he won’t be. He will be remembered as a sexual predator and an unrepentant abuser who took everything and deserves nothing,” the group, The Silence Breakers, stated. “He will be remembered by the collective will of countless women who stood up and said enough. We refuse to let this predator rewrite his legacy of abuse.”
In a statement to USA TODAY Monday, lawyer Gloria Allred, who represents multiple accusers, also reacted to Weinstein’s interview.
“Everything that Harvey Weinstein has done professionally for women is overshadowed by the serious allegations of sexual misconduct made by more than 60 women,” Allred’s statement read. “He states, ‘I feel like the forgotten man.’ He is not forgotten. He is a defendant in a high-profile criminal case in which he is charged with serious crimes against women including rape, criminal sexual assault and allegations of predatory sexual assault.”
She continued, “Whatever he has done professionally for women in the film industry is not the focus of attention now. He states, ‘It all got eviscerated because of what happened.’ He is right. The issues and charges in the criminal case should be the sole focus at this time… Whining at this point by Mr. Weinstein is revolting. He needs to ‘woman up,’ meaning that he should act appropriately and just respond in court to the charges against him.”
Last week, The New York Times and Variety reported Weinstein was close to a $25 million settlement deal over civil suits with more than 30 of his accusers under terms in which he won’t have to pay nor admit to wrongdoing.
During the interview, Weinstein talked about his charity work – “This was a company that took social issues and tackled them” – and his humble beginnings in Flushing, Queens.
“I want this city to recognize who I was instead of what I’ve become,” he said.
Contributing: Maria Puente
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