Georgina Chapman has broken her silence.
The estranged wife of Harvey Weinstein gave her first interview to Vogue following the New York Times and New Yorker exposés, published in October, which revealed her movie producer husband as the alleged perpetrator of dozens of counts of sexual assault and harassment.
Chapman, a public figure in her own right as the co-founder and co-designer behind a Hollywood favorite fashion label, Marchesa, told Vogue’s Jonathan Van Meter that she had not set foot in public in the five months since the scandal broke. With paparazzi stalking her New York home, where she lives with her two children with Weinstein—India, 7, and Dashiel, 5—we can’t say we blame her.
“I was so humiliated and so broken . . . that . . . I, I, I . . . didn’t think it was respectful to go out,” she says. “I thought, Who am I to be parading around with all of this going on? It’s still so very, very raw.”
In the weeks following the first allegations against Weinstein (which were followed, it seems, by an endless tide of more accusations), Chapman announced her plans to leave the movie producer.
“I lost ten pounds in five days,” she said of her first reaction to the news. She added that she had initially believed the stories were limited to Weinstein's distant past, a time before she knew him. "And then the stories expanded and I realized that this wasn’t an isolated incident," she continues. "And I knew that I needed to step away and take the kids out of here.”
In the wake of the scandal, the fashion community was weary of announcing their support. Some tabloids accused Chapman of complicity (“how could she not know”). The Huffington Post's Yarshar Ali has spoken with more than a dozen of Weinstein's accusers, all of whom, he reports, believed Chapman aware at the very least of his misogynistic commentary.
Others pointed out that the 42-year-old’s brand directly profited from Weinstein’s Hollywood connections—and his intimidation tactics. Felicity Huffman, for example, told reporters that Weinstein had bullied her into a Marchesa gown while promoting a Weinstein-affiliated film, Transamerica, back in 2005.
"There was a part of me that was terribly naive—clearly, so naive," she says. "I have moments of rage, I have moments of confusion, I have moments of disbelief!”
As for her children, she adds, “I have moments when I just cry for my children. What are their lives going to be? What are people going to say to them?” Van Meter writes that she sobbed as she admitted, “It’s like, they love their dad. They love him … I just can’t bear it for them!”
In January, Marchesa canceled its fall 2018 presentation at New York Fashion Week, and Chapman revealed that it was her decision to not to send any gowns out during awards season.
However, on Monday evening at the Met Gala—fashion’s biggest night of the year—Marchesa made its grand return. Scarlett Johansson stepped out in a burgundy gown by the fashion house, and vocalized her support for Chapman. “I wore Marchesa because their clothes make women feel confident and beautiful and it is my pleasure to support a brand created by two incredibly talented and important female designers,” said Johansson.
Anna Wintour and Diane von Furstenberg, speaking as the president of the Council of Fashion Designers of America, have also issued messages of support for Chapman’s return, noting that women should not be punished for the crimes of an abuser.
Now, Chapman says she's trying to figure out life post-Weinstein. “At first I couldn’t [see a therapist], because I was too shocked,” she says. “And I somehow felt that I didn’t deserve it. And then I realized: This has happened. I have to own it. I have to move forward.”