Meryl Streep and Dame Judi Dench are speaking out about the allegations of sexual harassment against Harvey Weinstein, calling the news disgraceful, and making clear they were not aware of his reported conduct.
On Monday, in a statement to the Huffington Post, the 68-year-old actress said, “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.”
The statement went on, explaining that while there had apparently been rumours about Weinstein’s behaviour for decades, Streep was not personally aware of it.
“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,” Streep said. “I didn’t know about these other offences: 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.”
Weinstein and Streep had collaborated on many films over the years, including “August: Osage County”, and “The Iron Lady”, for which she won an Academy Award for Best Actress.
The statement concluded: “The behaviour 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.”
Dench, who also worked with Weinstein several times, including oh her Oscar-winning performance in “Shakespeare in Love”, also released a statement Monday.
The Sun showbiz editor Simon Boyle shared Dench’s statement on Twitter.
“Whilst there is no doubt that Harvey Weinstein has helped and championed my film career for the past twenty years,” Dench’s statement read, “I was completely unaware of these offences which are, of course, horrifying and I offer my sympathy to those who have suffered, and whole hearted support to those who have spoken out.”
Streep and Dench’s statements came a day after Weinstein was booted from The Weinstein Company over the accusations from a number of women, including actress Ashley Judd, of many years of sexual harassment and abused behaviour toward actresses and female employees.