Harvey Weinstein’s attorney said Friday that his client was misquoted in an interview published Friday, and that he did not admit to trading movie roles for sex.
Weinstein was quoted by Taki Theodoracopulos, a columnist for the Spectator, as saying “Yes, I did offer them acting jobs in exchange for sex, but so did and still does everyone. But I never, ever forced myself on a single woman.”
Weinstein’s attorney, Ben Brafman, said he was present for the conversation and that Weinstein did not make the quoted remark.
“I was present for the conversation; it was not an interview, but a social meeting between old friends,” Brafman said. “Harvey and Taki did not discuss the case, nor would I allow him to. We 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.”
The statement included a comment from Theodoracopulos, in which the columnist acknowledged he “may” have misstated Weinstein’s remark.
“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,” Theodoracopulos said. “I[t] 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. [I]t was, after all, a social visit.”
The headline was simply the quote from the column: “Harvey Weinstein: ‘I offered acting jobs in exchange for sex, but so does everyone – they still do’.”
Theodoracopulos describes Weinstein as a “buddy” and an “old friend,” and has repeatedly defended him in his column. Shortly after the scandal broke last fall, he wrote that the New York Times “had a plan to destroy Weinstein.” He has compared the #MeToo movement to the Spanish Inquisition, and in late June, he attacked Rose McGowan, one of Weinstein’s most outspoken accusers. He added, “In America today, a woman can make an accusation and the man instantly gets the death sentence.”