In a statement sent to Huffington Post exclusively by Meryl Streep’s longtime publicist Leslee Dart, Streep says she did not know that Harvey Weinstein― with whom she has collaborated for years on films like “August: Osage County” and “The Iron Lady” ― was engaging in “inappropriate, coercive acts” or that he had paid financial settlements to at least eight women after they accused him of harassment and assault.
Streep’s statement comes four days after a report in the New York Times which detailed decades of allegations of sexual harassment and abuse. On Sunday, the board of directors of the Weinstein Company terminated him.
Meryl Streep’s full statement is below:
“The disgraceful news about Harvey Weinstein has appalled those of us whose work he championed, and those whose good and worthy causes he supported. The intrepid women who raised their voices to expose this abuse are our heroes.
One thing can be clarified. Not everybody knew. Harvey supported the work fiercely, was exasperating but respectful with me in our working relationship, and with many others with whom he worked professionally. I didn’t know about these other offenses: I did not know about his financial settlements with actresses and colleagues; I did not know about his having meetings in his hotel room, his bathroom, or other inappropriate, coercive acts. And If everybody knew, I don’t believe that all the investigative reporters in the entertainment and the hard news media would have neglected for decades to write about it.
The behavior is inexcusable, but the abuse of power familiar. Each brave voice that is raised, heard and credited by our watchdog media will ultimately change the game.”
While Meryl has been closely connected with Weinstein for many years, it’s important that those close to Harvey speak out against these horrible allegations–and Streep is brave for doing so. Many others in the industry have also spoke out in support of Ashley Judd and others who came forward like Lena Dunham, Brie Larson, and America Ferrera.