Update: Harvey Weinstein has apologised for including statements from Meryl Streep and Jennifer Lawrence in his attempt to dismiss a sexual misconduct lawsuit against him.
“Mr. Weinstein acknowledges the valuable input both Meryl Streep and Jennifer Lawrence have contributed to this conversation and apologises," his rep said in a statement to The Hollywood Reporter. “Moving forward, Mr. Weinstein has advised his council to not include specific names of former associates; and to avoid whenever possible, even if they are in the public record."
Original story was published below at 12:15 p.m.
Meryl Streep and Jennifer Lawrence are firing back after Harvey Weinstein's lawyers used statements from the actresses in an attempt to dismiss a sexual misconduct lawsuit against the producer. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Weinstein asked a New York federal judge to dismiss a racketeering lawsuit, which was filed by six women who claim they were sexually assaulted or harassed by him. In the motion to dismiss, Weinstein's lawyers reportedly named Streep and included a recent statement in which she said the movie mogul "had always been respectful to her in their working relationship," and TMZ reports that they also quote Lawrence as saying "He had only ever been nice to me." The two women are having none of it.
"Harvey Weinstein’s attorneys’ use of my (true) 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," Streep said in a statement to The Hollywood Reporter. "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."
"Harvey Weinstein and his company are continuing to do what they have always done which is to take things out of context and use them for their own benefit. This is what predators do, and it must stop," Lawrence told TMZ. "For the record, while I was not victimised personally by Harvey Weinstein, I stand behind the women who have survived his terrible abuse and I applaud them in using all means necessary to bring him to justice whether through criminal or civil actions. Time's up."
Weinstein's lawyers recently used an email from Ben Affleck in a similar manner following an accusation from actress Rose McGowan. "Ben Affleck expressed the following in an email to Mr. Weinstein, 'She never told me nor did I ever infer that she was attacked by anyone. Any accounts to the contrary are false. I have no knowledge about anything Rose did or claimed to have done'" Weinstein's lawyer Ben Brafman said in a statement, according to Deadline.
In October, Affleck condemned Weinstein's actions on Facebook, writing "I am saddened and angry that a man who I worked with used his position of power to intimidate, sexually harass, and manipulate women over decades. This is completely unacceptable."
This is also not the first time Streep has been dragged into the Weinstein controversy, who has been accused of sexual assault or harassment by over 80 women (Weinstein denies all accusations of nonconsensual sex). Rose McGowan slammed the actress by name in a now-deleted tweet, accusing her of being complicit in Weinstein's behaviour because she was once friendly with the producer.
"Actresses, like Meryl Streep, who happily worked for The Pig Monster, are wearing black @GoldenGlobes in a silent protest. YOUR SILENCE is THE problem. You’ll accept a fake award breathlessly & affect no real change. I despise your hypocrisy. Maybe you should all wear Marchesa," she wrote. Shortly after this tweet, graffiti with the words "she knew" started appearing in L.A. over a photo of Weinstein and Streep.
"It hurt to be attacked by Rose McGowan in banner headlines this weekend, but I want to let her know I did not know about Weinstein’s crimes, not in the 90s when he attacked her, or through subsequent decades when he proceeded to attack others," Streep responded in a statement to the Huffington Post. "I wasn’t deliberately silent. I didn’t know. I don’t tacitly approve of rape. I didn’t know. I don’t like young women being assaulted. I didn’t know this was happening."
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