George Clooney and Matt Damon Reveal What They Knew About Harvey Weinstein’s Behavior
On Monday George Clooney and Matt Damon joined ABC News to discuss their new film, Suburbicon, but the conversation quickly turned to the story dominating Hollywood: The sexual assault and harassment allegations surrounding Harvey Weinstein.
The actors—who've worked on various projects with Weinstein in the past—went into detail about what they knew about his behavior.
“When people say like, ‘Everybody knew,’ like, yeah, I knew he was an asshole,” Damon told Michael Strahan in the video interview (watch it below). “He was proud of that, you know what I mean? That’s how he carried himself. I knew he was a womanizer. I wouldn’t want to be married to the guy. That’s not my business really. But this level of criminal sexual predation is not something that I ever thought was going on. Absolutely not.”
“He didn’t do it out in the open,” Damon added, though he admits he did know about Weinstein’s alleged sexual harassment of actress Gwyneth Paltrow. “I knew the story about Gwyneth from Ben [Affleck] because he was with her after Brad [Pitt]. So I knew that story, but I was working with Gwyneth with Harvey on [The Talented Mr.] Ripley. I never talked to Gwyneth about it. Ben told me. But I knew that they had come to whatever agreement or understanding that they had come to, she had handled it, and she was, you know, the First Lady of Miramax and he treated her incredibly respectfully always,” he said.
Earlier this month Clooney described his past with Weinstein: "I've known Harvey for 20 years. He gave me my first big break as an actor in films on From Dusk Till Dawn, he gave me my first big break as a director with Confessions of a Dangerous Mind."
In the new interview, the actor said that Weinstein would often brag about his sexual exploits, but that he didn’t always believe him. “Harvey would talk to me about women that he had had affairs with. I didn’t necessarily believe him, quite honestly, because to believe him would be to believe kind of the worst of some actresses who were friends of mine. And I didn’t really think that they were going to have affairs with Harvey and clearly they didn’t. But the idea that this predator, this assaulter, was out there silencing women like that, it’s beyond infuriating, and the fact that the story is coming out now and the more it comes out, I want to know all of it,” Clooney told ABC News.
“We have to make it safe for people to feel that they can talk about this, and in doing that, I think that will scare away that kind of behavior,” the actor said, revealing that his wife Amal has faced sexual harassment in her career as a human rights lawyer.
"Many, if not most, women have at some point in their life faced this kind of behavior. I think that's a little bit of a surprise to some of us. That it's this big," Clooney said. "Maybe that's something else that's good that comes out of this, is that ... we're going to have these discussions. We're going to have this conversation. And again we're going to make it harder for it to happen.”