Harvey Weinstein was released on bail earlier this month after pleading "not guilty" to multiple sexual assault charges including rape. But now, the producer has been thrust into the spotlight once more.
Weinstein allegedly told The Spectator's Taki Theodoracopulos, a Greek journalist and personal friend, that he did proposition actresses for sex in exchange for work.
“You were born rich and privileged and you were handsome. I was born poor, ugly, Jewish, and had to fight all my life to get somewhere," Weinstein reportedly told Theodoracopulos. "You got lotsa girls, no girl looked at me until I made it big in Hollywood ... Yes, I did offer them acting jobs in exchange for sex, but so did and still does everyone. But I never, ever forced myself on a single woman.”
Now, Weinstein’s lawyer Ben Brafman is denying that the 66-year-old ever uttered those words. In a statement to Vulture, both Brafman and Theodoracopulos claim that the original story was not accurate.
“I was present for the conversation; it was not an interview, but a social meeting between old friends,” Brafman said. “Harvey and Taki did not discuss the case, nor would I allow him to. They talked about old Hollywood and the contrast to European culture, and I think Taki sees Harvey in that older light. Mr. Weinstein never said anything about trading movie roles for sexual favors. You have my word that Harvey did not say that.”
Brafman also included the following statement from Theodoracopulos: “After 41 years as a Spectator columnist without a single retraction, I believe that I may have misrepresented Harvey Weinstein’s conversation with me in New York last month,” he said. “It was my mistake. We were discussing Hollywood and I may have misunderstood certain things about the methods of that place. I had nothing to do with the headline of my article and I hope I have not damaged his case. It was, after all, a social visit.”
Dozens of women have come forward with allegations of sexual harassment and assault against the disgraced producer following a New York Times exposé in which multiple women—among them Ashley Judd—alleged that Weinstein had propositioned them during meeting which they believed to be related to business.
The case against Weinstein is ongoing.