In a bizarre statement addressing the New York Times’ exposé on sexual harassment allegations against him, Harvey Weinstein ostensibly quoted Jay-Z’s track “4:44” off his latest album of the same name in an apparent expression of contrition.
The statement reads, “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.” However, the quote in question does not appear anywhere throughout the “4:44” album. The closest approximation are the following lyrics from the song “4:44:” “And if my children knew / I don’t even know what I would do. If they ain’t look at me the same / I would prob’ly die with all the shame.”
Weinstein, who has five children, announced that he would be taking a leave of absence amid the growing scandal. Celebrities including Lena Dunham, Amber Tamblyn, and Rose McGowan have spoken out following the report, which details allegations from “dozens” of women dating back decades. The Times also reported that Weinstein reached confidential settlements with at least eight women, including McGowan.
Many of the incidents took place in hotels such as the Peninsula in Los Angeles or Savoy in London, according to the report. While Weinstein disputes some of the specific allegations, he is working with therapists to address his behavior, per his statement.
The story also quotes actress Ashley Judd, who spoke to Variety in 2015 about being sexually harassed by an unnamed mogul. Weinstein has retained a team of lawyers including Lisa Bloom — typically known for working with victims of sexual misconduct, and whose book Weinstein’s company is adapting to television — to defend him, and is preparing to sue the Times over the report.