Harvey Weinstein’s attorneys’ use of my statement — that he was not sexually transgressive or physically abusive in our business relationship — as evidence that he was not abusive with many other women is pathetic and exploitive,” Meryl said in a statement.
She is firing back at the American producer after the disgraced film mogul’s lawyers used her name and one of her statements in an attempt to dismiss a sexual misconduct lawsuit against him, The Hollywood Reporter confirmed on Wednesday.
“The criminal actions he is accused of conducting on the bodies of these women are his responsibility, and if there is any justice left in the system he will pay for them — regardless of how many good movies, made by many good people, Harvey was lucky enough to have acquired or financed,” she added.
On Tuesday, Harvey asked a New York federal judge to dismiss a racketeering lawsuit filed by six women who said they were sexually assaulted or harassed by him. Lawyers for Louisette Geiss, Katherine Kendall, Zoe Brock, Sarah Ann Masse, Melissa Sagemiller and Nannette Klatt argued that “the Weinstein Sexual Enterprise” was essentially a criminal organisation given the “hundreds” of women who have alleged misconduct by Weinstein.
Weinstein’s lawyers on Tuesday filed a motion to dismiss, arguing that the women were restricted from pursuing their claims by statutes of limitation and that the class-action status of the allegations was invalid because the claims would apply to “all women who ever met with Weinstein, regardless of whether they claimed to have suffered any identifiable harm,” including Meryl, which the motion mentioned by name. The motion also mentioned that in a recent statement, the actress said that Weinstein “had always been respectful to her in their working relationship.” The two have worked in successful films like The Iron Lady and August: Osage County.
The Weinstein Co, is facing more than 60 allegations of sexual misconduct since The New York Times and New Yorker reported on the claims in October. Following the first wave of allegations against Weinstein, Meryl released a statement saying, in part, “One thing can be clarified. Not everybody knew. Harvey supported the work fiercely, was exasperating but respectful with me in our working relationship, and with many others with whom he worked professionally.”
This isn’t the first time the award winning actress has issued a statement clarifying her relationship to Harvey. In an open note to alleged victim Rose McGowan released in December, the actress claimed she did not know of rumours that Weinstein abused women. “Not every actor, actress, and director who made films that HW distributed knew he abused women, or that he raped Rose in the 90s, other women before and others after, until they told us. We did not know that women’s silence was purchased by him and his enablers,” she wrote.