Harvey Weinstein says he offered acting jobs ‘in exchange for sex’ in since-retracted interview

Harvey Weinstein arrives at the 1st Precinct in Manhattan in New York on May 25, 2018.

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Harvey Weinstein arrives at the 1st Precinct in Manhattan in New York on May 25, 2018.
source
Reuters

  • Disgraced movie mogul Harvey Weinstein was quoted saying that he offered acting jobs in exchange for sex in a bombshell interview with The Spectator on Friday.
  • Weinstein’s lawyer said his client was misquoted and that he and Spectator columnist Taki Theodoracopulus had met for a “social meeting.”
  • The interview has since been retracted by Theodoracopulus, who said he “may have misrepresented Harvey Weinstein’s conversation.”

Disgraced movie mogul Harvey Weinstein was quoted saying that he offered acting jobs in exchange for sex in an explosive interview that has since been retracted by The Spectator, a British magazine.

In a story published on Friday, Weinstein discussed the sexual assault allegations against him with columnist Taki Theodoracopulus.

He was quoted saying: “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.”

“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.”

His quoted comments provoked a strong reaction among women who have accused him of sexual assault. Rose McGowan, who has alleged she was raped by Weinstein in 1997, slammed Theodoracopulos’s column, saying the movie mogul’s comments were “clearly lies.”

Asia Argento, who has also alleged Weinstein raped her, spoke out against the column, calling Weinstein a “monster rapist.”

Weinstein is facing life in prison over multiple charges of rape and sexual assault. He is out on $1 million bail and is due back in court in New York in September. His lawyer has said he has “never engaged in non-consensual sexual behavior with anyone.”

In the column, which was the first quoted interview of Weinstein since criminal charges against him arose, Theodoracopulos says he and the former Hollywood tycoon spoke at a New York office near Grand Central Station.

Theodoracopulos said Weinstein’s lawyer, Ben Brafman, was present at the time of their chat.

Shortly after the column was published on The Spectator, Brafman said Weinstein was misquoted and that the pair had met for a “social meeting.”

“I was present for the conversation; it was not an interview, but a social meeting between old friends,” Benjamin Brafman said in a statement to Deadline.

He added: “Harvey and Taki did not discuss the case, nor would I allow him to. We 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,” he said.

Theodoracopulos, who initially called the interview a “world exclusive,” later retracted the interview, saying he “may have misrepresented Harvey Weinstein’s conversation.”

He said: “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. It was my mistake.”

“We were discussing Hollywood and I may have misunderstood certain things about the methods of that place,” he added. “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.”