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Hollywood mogul Weinstein apologizes after sex harassment claims
LOS ANGELES,Oct 7: Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein issued an apology Thursday and announced he was taking leave after the New York Times published a bombshell report accusing him of sexual harassment over several decades.
"I appreciate the way I've behaved with colleagues in the past has caused a lot of pain, and I sincerely apologize for it," the movie mogul said in a statement to the Times after its damning story was published. Weinstein added that he had hired therapists and planned to take a leave of absence "to deal with this issue head on."
Lisa Bloom, one of Weinstein's lawyers who specializes in sexual harassment cases, separately said in a statement sent to AFP that her 65-year-old client "denies many of the accusations as patently false."
'DINOSAUR LEARNING NEW WAYS'
"He has acknowledged mistakes he has made," she wrote. "He is reading books and going to therapy. He is an old dinosaur learning new ways."
Another attorney, Charles Harder, said his firm was planning to sue the New York Times over their story, claiming it was "saturated with false and defamatory statements."
According to the Times, Weinstein's allegedly inappropriate behavior goes back nearly three decades and he has reached private settlements with at least eight women.
His accusers, the Times said, were mainly young women hoping to break into the film industry and include celebrities such as actresses Rose McGowan and Ashley Judd.
Judd recalled in an interview with the paper being invited to Weinstein's suite at a posh Beverly Hills hotel two decades ago expecting a breakfast meeting to discuss business.
Instead, the actress said, Weinstein appeared in a bathrobe and asked if she could give him a massage or watch him shower.
Two former assistants and an Italian model made similar accusations and allegedly reached settlements.