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Harvey Weinstein Mentions Jay-Z, NRA in Bizarre Apology After New York Times Report

On Thursday, the New York Times published a bombshell report that cited “dozens” of allegations detailing inappropriate sexual behavior by producer Harvey Weinstein.

Weinstein responded to the allegations by telling the Times that he would take a leave of absence, and also issued a lengthy apology statement quoting Jay-Z (though the excerpt Weinstein pulled from Jay-Z’s “4:44” isn’t actually a Jay-Z quote) and promising to turn his attention to the NRA. He also claims to be taking advice from high-profile lawyer Lisa Bloom.

Among the women who came forward in the Times’ exposé is actress Ashley Judd, who detailed an experience where she arrived at what she thought was a breakfast meeting to find Weinstein in only a bathrobe. He then asked if she could watch him shower, according to the report (Judd previously described such an encounter in an interview with Variety in 2015, but did not name Weinstein at the time).

The report also says that Weinstein has reached confidential settlements with at least eight women, including actress Rose McGowan. A former Weinstein Co. employee, Lauren O’Connor, detailed some of the allegations over a two-year period in a memo cited by the Times report.

Read Weinstein’s full statement below.

I came of age in the ’60s and ’70s, when all the rules about behavior and workplaces were different. That was the culture then.

I have since learned it’s not an excuse, in the office — or out of it. To anyone.

I realized some time ago that I needed to be a better person, and my interactions with the people I work with have changed.

I appreciate the way I’ve behaved with colleagues in the past has caused a lot of pain, and I sincerely apologize for it.

Though I’m trying to do better, I know I have a long way to go. That is my commitment. My journey now will be to learn about myself and conquer my demons. Over the last year, I’ve asked Lisa Bloom to tutor me, and she’s put together a team of people. I’ve brought on therapists, and I plan to take a leave of absence from my company and to deal with this issue head on. I so respect all women, and regret what happened. I hope that my actions will speak louder than words and that one day we will all be able to earn their trust and sit down together with Lisa to learn more. Jay Z wrote in 4:44 “I’m not the man I thought I was, and I better be that man for my children.” The same is true for me. I want a second chance in the community, but I know I’ve got work to do to earn it. I have goals that are now priorities. Trust me, this isn’t an overnight process. I’ve been trying to do this for 10 years, and this is a wake-up call. I cannot be more remorseful about the people I hurt, and I plan to do right by all of them.

I am going to need a place to channel that anger, so I’ve decided that I’m going to give the NRA my full attention. I hope Wayne LaPierre will enjoy his retirement party. I’m going to do it at the same I had my Bar Mitzvah. I’m making a movie about our President, perhaps we can make it a joint retirement party. One year ago, I began organizing a $5 million foundation to give scholarships to women directors at USC. While this might seem coincidental, it has been in the works for a year. It will be named after my mom, and I won’t disappoint her.

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