Disgraced movie producer Harvey Weinstein opened up to Greek journalist Panagiotis “Taki” Theodoracopulos in a “world exclusive,” detailing how offering sex for movies is and always been common in Hollywood.
“You were born rich and privileged and you were handsome,” Weinstein was quoted saying to Theodoracopulos, who said the embattled producer’s attorney, Ben Brafman, was also present during the interview. ” 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,” Harvey Weinstein said, adding, “But I never, ever forced myself on a single woman.”
The interview was published just days after the former Weinstein & Co. boss pleaded not guilty to multiple charges of sexual assault.
“Mr. Weinstein maintains that all of these allegations are false and he expects to be fully vindicated,” Brafman said in a statement last week.
His sit down with Taki was, however, the first on-the-record interview since the New York Times published its bombshell report last October detailing decades of allegations of sexual abuse, harassment, and rape against Weinstein.
The 66-year-old, now charged with predatory sexual assault, is facing life in prison if convicted.
Theodoracopulos has retracted his article and issued the following statement, according to the Hollywood Reporter:
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. 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.
Harvey Weinstein’s lawyer, Ben Brafman, said his client was misquoted in Theodoracopulos’s article. Brafman issue a statement to THR:
I was present for the conversation; it was not an interview, but a social meeting between old friends. 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.