There might only be a few who do not know about the disgraced producer, Harvey Weinstein. The events which led to his downfall started in 2017 and he was sentenced to 23 years in prison for his crimes in 2020. This year, the producer has been sentenced to an additional 16 years as he was found guilty of r*ping an actress back in 2013. Well, it’s safe to say that he will be spending the rest of his life behind bars.
After his crimes came to light, many celebrities spoke against the producer, Matt Damon and George Clooney included. Both Matt Damon and George Clooney have, at some point in their careers worked with Harvey Weinstein. His company, Miramax, helped launch both actors to stardom. Here’s what they had to say in 2017 about everything that was going on in the entertainment industry.
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Harvey Weinstein’s Crimes were Hidden from the Two Actors
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During a press tour for the George Clooney-directed film Suburbicon which starred Matt Damon, both the actors appeared on ABC’s Good Morning America and talked about the incidents involving Harvey Weinstein. They stated that while they knew he was an “a**hole” and a “womanizer” they thought that was the end of the story. Of course, now we know it wasn’t.
The decades of harassment by Weinstein were documented by The New York Times and The New Yorker which led to the world getting to know about the producer’s crimes, and eventually his conviction. Damon stated that you would only need to spend about five minutes with the guy before you realized that he was a bully. He also added that Weinstein found pride in being an “a**hole”. However, Damon and Clooney clarified that they had no idea what was going on behind closed doors. Damon elaborated that while he knew Weinstein was no saint, he was not aware of the criminal s*xual predation.
“When people say everybody knew, yeah, I knew he was an a**hole. He was proud of that. That’s how he carried himself. I knew he was a womanizer. I wouldn’t want to be married to the guy but that’s not my business really. But this level of criminal s*xual predation is not something that I ever thought was going on. Absolutely not.”
Clooney, on the other hand, stated that Weinstein had told him all about the affairs he was having with women, but Clooney didn’t believe a word he said. The actor stated that if he believed Weinstein’s words then that would mean believing the worst of actresses he was friends with.
“…because to believe him would be to believe kind of the worst of some actresses who were friends of mine. I didn’t really think they were going to have affairs with Harvey, quite honestly. And clearly, they didn’t. But the idea that this predator, this assaulter was out there silencing women like that, it’s beyond infuriating. And the fact that the story is coming out now? The more it comes out, I want to know all of it.”
Clooney further talked about how victim-blaming should end and people should make the environment safe for them so they can freely speak up about the injustice that has happened to them. He added that difficult discussions need to happen so that it becomes harder for people to commit crimes.
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Matt Damon Talks about Gwyneth Paltrow’s Allegations
Gwyneth Paltrow was one of the first women who spoke up against Weinstein’s disgusting crimes. She told Times that during the earlier days of her career, he had made unwanted progressions towards her and called her to his hotel room. She also stated that Weinstein wanted them to move to the bedroom for massages. Damon revealed that while he had heard about Paltrow’s allegations from Ben Affleck, he thought that she had handled the situation and the two had come to some understanding.
“I knew the story, but I was working with Gwyneth, with Harvey, on [The Talented Mr. Ripley]…I never talked to Gwyneth about it. Ben told me, but I knew that they had to come to whatever agreement or understanding they had come to. She handled it. She was the first lady of Miramax and he treated her incredibly respectfully, always.”
In the end, Weinstein is currently serving a 23-year sentence and an additional sentence of 16 years. He is held at the Twin Towers Correctional Facility in Los Angeles. However, Weinstein has maintained his innocence and stated that he did not r*pe the victim. He is eligible for parole in New York in 2039.
Source: ABC’s Good Morning America