— -- Movie stars Kate Winslet, George Clooney, Jennifer Lawrence and Ben Affleck are the latest to weigh in on the allegations that studio owner Harvey Weinstein sexually harassed multiple women over three decades.
Weinstein has been accused by several women, including actress Ashley Judd, of sexual harassment or unwanted touching, dating back decades. Though he immediately admitted to misconduct and apologized for any inappropriate behavior, his former adviser Lisa Bloom stated last week that the movie mogul "denies many of the allegations as patently false" and his attorney Charles Harder claimed that he was preparing a lawsuit against The New York Times, the outlet that published the initial story.
In the immediate aftermath of the women coming forward with their allegations, Weinstein was terminated by The Weinstein Company.
"The way Harvey Weinstein has treated these vulnerable, talented young women is NOT the way women should ever EVER deem to be acceptable or commonplace in ANY workplace," Winslet said in a statement to Variety.
Winslet, who won a best actress Oscar in 2009 for her role in The Weinstein Company's film "The Reader," added that Weinstein's behavior is “without question disgraceful and appalling and very, very wrong."
"It makes me so angry," she added.
In an interview with The Daily Beast, Clooney called Weinstein's actions "indefensible."
After noting Weinstein's help in getting his movie and directing career started, Clooney said, "I’ve never seen any of this behavior -- ever.” He went on to note that while it was known Weinstein "had a tendency to hit on young, beautiful women," he said, "I had no idea that it had gone to the level of having to pay off eight women for their silence, and that these women were threatened and victimized."
"I don’t think that people were looking the other way; I think that people weren’t looking, because in some ways, a lecherous guy with money picking up younger girls is unfortunately not a news story in our society," he continued. "I feel very bad for the victims."
Jennifer Lawrence, who won an Oscar for her role in The Weinstein Company's "Silver Linings Playbook," told Variety, “I was deeply disturbed to hear the news about Harvey Weinstein’s behavior. I worked with Harvey five years ago and I did not experience any form of harassment personally, nor did I know about any of these allegations. This kind of abuse is inexcusable and absolutely upsetting. My heart goes out to all of the women affected by these gross actions. And I want to thank them for their bravery to come forward."
Fashion designer Donna Karan seemed to initially defend Weinstein in an interview with The Daily Mail, calling him "wonderful" and questioning the way women "present ourselves." She later walked back her comments in a statement obtained by Variety.
"My statements were taken out of context and do not represent how I feel about the current situation concerning Harvey Weinstein. I believe that sexual harassment is NOT acceptable and this is an issue that MUST be addressed once and for all regardless of the individual," she said. "I am truly sorry to anyone that I offended and everyone that has ever been a victim.”
Ben Affleck, whose career was launched after he won an Oscar for the 1997 Weinstein-produced film "Good Will Hunting," posted a statement on Twitter Tuesday afternoon.
"I am saddened and angry that a man who I worked with used his position of power to intimidate, sexually harass and manipulate many women over decades," Affleck wrote, adding, "we need to do a better job protecting our sisters, friends, co-workers and daughters.
October 10, 2017
Hillary Clinton also spoke out Tuesday afternoon about the allegations. Weinstein, a prominent Democratic donor, once held a fundraiser in his Manhattan home for Clinton.
"I was shocked and appalled by the revelations about Harvey Weinstein," Clinton said in a statement posted on Twitter through her spokesman Nick Merrill. "The behavior described by women coming forward cannot be tolerated. Their courage and the support of others is critical in helping to stop this kind of behavior."