Meryl Streep slams 'disgraceful' Harvey Weinstein

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Meryl Streep has finally spoken out about Harvey Weinstein in a lengthy statement released early Monday.

‘The disgraceful news about Harvey Weinstein has appalled those of us whose work he championed, and those whose good and worthy causes he supported,’ said Streep.

‘The intrepid women who raised their voices to expose this abuse are our heroes.’

She went on to say in the statement, which was first obtained by Huffington Post: ‘One thing can be clarified. Not everybody knew.’

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Speaking out: Meryl Streep has released a lengthy statement four days after a bombshell report detailed Harvey Weinstein's decades of sexual harassment (pair above in 2012)

Speaking out: Meryl Streep has released a lengthy statement four days after a bombshell report detailed Harvey Weinstein’s decades of sexual harassment (pair above in 2012)

Denouncement: 'The disgraceful news about Harvey Weinstein has appalled those of us whose work he championed,' said Streep (The Trumps above with Weinstein and wife Georgina Chapman in 2009)

Denouncement: ‘The disgraceful news about Harvey Weinstein has appalled those of us whose work he championed,’ said Streep (The Trumps above with Weinstein and wife Georgina Chapman in 2009)

Streep also revealed that she had no idea about the incidents of sexual harassment described by woman in the Times piece.

‘Harvey supported the work fiercely, was exasperating but respectful with me in our working relationship, and with many others with whom he worked professionally,’ said Streep.

‘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.

She continued: ‘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.’

Streep closed out by one again denouncing Weinstein’s actions and applauding the women who spoke.

‘The behavior is inexcusable, but the abuse of power familiar,’ said Streep.

‘Each brave voice that is raised, heard and credited by our watchdog media will ultimately change the game.’

This statement comes after four days of silence during which few celebrities were willing to voice public support for Rose McGowan and Ashley Judd.

The two Hollywood stars were revealed to be victims of Weinstein’s harassment in a New York Times piece released last week.

Streep’s statement seemed to be the push many stars were waiting for, as soon after its release many began to raise their voices.

‘The “old dinosaur” explanation doesn’t cut it. DECADES of using power to intimidate women for sexual gain is reprehensible and inexcusable,’ wrote Emmy Rossum.

‘I applaud all women for speaking up. It’s scary to be the first one to speak out against something or someone. But you’re not solo for long.’

Over the weekend, Mark Ruffalo, who received an Oscar nomination for playing one of the ‘Boston Globe’ reporters who uncovered the scope of the Catholic church’s abuse of children, wrote: ‘To be clear what Harvey Weinstein did was a disgusting abuse of power and horrible. I hope we are now seeing the beginning of the end of these abuses.’

Susan Sarandon also commented, writing: ‘Huge respect for @AshleyJudd and all the women who broke their silence for the article on Harvey Weinstein. Brave.’

Judd individually thanked those two and others who spoke out in support of her and McGowan.

Heralding the brave: 'The intrepid women who raised their voices to expose this abuse are our heroes,' added Streep, applauding their 'brave voices' (Ashley Judd above with Weinstein and Vince Vaughn in 1997, months after he harassed her inside a hotel room)

Heralding the brave: ‘The intrepid women who raised their voices to expose this abuse are our heroes,’ added Streep, applauding their ‘brave voices’ (Ashley Judd above with Weinstein and Vince Vaughn in 1997, months after he harassed her inside a hotel room)

Support system: Judd began to thank those who had spoken up in support of her and McGowan over the weekend (above)

It was a big shift from last week, when less than 10 American actresses of note had publicly and directly spoken out against Weinstein or shown support for Judd, including: Amber Tamblyn, America Ferrera, Brie Larson, Brooklyn Decker, Patricia Arquette, Jessica Chastain, Ellen Barkin, and Heather Matarazzo.

Others, like Zoe Kazan and Jenny Slate have used retweets to voice their concern, but not come out in their own words at this time.

Barkin made her comments during an exchange with Rosie O’Donnell, revealing in the process that she grew up with Harvey and his brother Bob.

After Rosie wrote that she believed that allegations Barkin asked her why, and then went on to comment about the fact that Judd had spoken on the record.

‘I don’t know when she said this but I give Ashley Judd an enormous amount of credit coming forward,’ wrote Barkin.

‘I know it’s not fair for other victims but it is just more loaded coming from a well known successful actress or unfortunately maybe more “newsworthy.”‘

Rosie also wrote: ‘he once called me the c word for defending night shyamalan after we filmed WIDE AWAKE.’

McGowan has been the most vocal since Thursday, despite receiving a settlement and therefore being unable to speak about her experience.

The actress has been treated like a pariah ever since she began to speak publicly about being harassed and assaulted early on in her career, which was expected to explode after her screen-stealing debut in ‘Scream.’

Weinstein produced that film for Miramax, and it was released the same year that an incident involving the executive and McGowan transpired in a hotel room at the Sundance Film Festival according to the Times.

McGowan got on social media immediately after that story was released, writing: ‘Women fight on. And to the men out there, stand up. We need you as allies. #bebrave’

She later tweeted: ‘Anyone who does business with __ is complicit. And deep down you know you are even dirtier. Cleanse yourselves.’

Standing string: McGowan has been the most vocal since Thursday, despite receiving a settlement and therefore being unable to speak about her experience (McGowan and Weinstein above in 2005)

Standing string: McGowan has been the most vocal since Thursday, despite receiving a settlement and therefore being unable to speak about her experience (McGowan and Weinstein above in 2005)

Floodgates open: Streep's statement inspired other stars like Emmy Rossum to speak out (above)

Floodgates open: Streep’s statement inspired other stars like Emmy Rossum to speak out (above)

Leading the charge: Lena Dunham refused to excuse the board of Weinstein Company for allowing this behavior to happen for so many years (above)

Leading the charge: Lena Dunham refused to excuse the board of Weinstein Company for allowing this behavior to happen for so many years (above)

Sisterhood: Amber Tamblyn called out other stars for not support Judd (above)

Sisterhood: Amber Tamblyn called out other stars for not support Judd (above)

On Wednesday, McGowan also engaged in a Twitter discussion with actress Asia Argento, known for her roles in films such as ‘XXX’ and ‘Marie Antoinette.’

‘I want to buy the movie rights,’ wrote McGowan soon after it was revealed that Weinstein would be the subject of two bombshell exposes, though she did not say she was directly referring to that report.

‘I own the movie rights,’ replied Argento, who then added: ‘It’s gonna be the best movie of the last 20 years.’

McGowan responded to that by stating: ‘We’re gonna lobby for so many Oscars.’

Weinstein had said to the initial report that two stories were soon to be published by scoffing at the notion, stating:  ‘The story sounds so good, I want to buy the movie rights.’

It should be noted that unlike those three aforementioned women, these men have never won an Oscar for starring in one of Weinstein’s films.

‘Life In Pieces’ star Thomas Sadoski, who is married to actress Amanda Seyfried, showed his support of the women who came forward by writing: ‘The courage to do what they have done in the face of the threats they are undoubtedly getting cannot be dismissed.’

Anthony Bourdain, who is rumored to be dating Asia Argento, took on those who have kept quiet.

‘Nauseating, chicken-hearted enablers all,’ wrote Bourdain.

He quickly followed that up by clarifying his intended target, stating: ‘I’m not talking about his victims. I’m talking about everyone else who knew and said nothing. Who are still staying silent.’

And ‘Mindy Project’ actor Ike Baranholtz simply stated: ‘This is disgusting. Thanks to @AshleyJudd and the others who are speaking out about this.’

The most encouraging tweet from a member of the Hollywood community came from ‘Girls’ producer Jenni Konner, who said on Thursday: ‘Who are the agents/managers that sent their clients to meet with him when this was a well known “secret”? Them nxt.’

Excusing the behavior: Streep stated that she had no idea that Weinstein was harassing women inside his hotel rooms or had paid out any settlements (Weinstein with Gwyneth Paltrow and Hillary Clinton above in 1999)

Excusing the behavior: Streep stated that she had no idea that Weinstein was harassing women inside his hotel rooms or had paid out any settlements (Weinstein with Gwyneth Paltrow and Hillary Clinton above in 1999)

Strength in numbers; America Ferrera called on more women to publicy stand alongside Judd and McGowan

Strength in numbers; America Ferrera called on more women to publicy stand alongside Judd and McGowan

Survivors: Brie Larson, who has long been a supporter of victims, said that she believed all those who had come forward with claims of harassment and assault

Survivors: Brie Larson, who has long been a supporter of victims, said that she believed all those who had come forward with claims of harassment and assault

Not acceptable: Brooklyn Decker called out the silence from Hollywood soon after the story broke

Not acceptable: Brooklyn Decker called out the silence from Hollywood soon after the story broke

On Sunday, McGowan called out Hollywood stars for keeping quiet by posting a photo of herself taken in March 1997 at the Independent Spirit Awards in Los Angeles, writing: ‘This is the girl that was hurt by a monster. This is who you are shaming with your silence.’

The picture was taken just two month after an incident occurred between McGowan and Weinstein inside a hotel room during the Sundance Film Festival that resulted in the executive paying out an undisclosed amount of money to the actress in a settlement.

Just a few hours after McGowan posted that tweet, the board of the Weinstein Company announced that they were terminating their founder in the wake of what they claim are newly discovered allegations.

‘In light of new information about misconduct by Harvey Weinstein that has emerged int the past few days, the directors of the Weinstein Company – Robert Weinstein, Lance Maerov, Richard Koenigsberg and Tarak Ben Ammar – have determined and have informed Harvey Weinstein, that his employment with The Weinstein Company is terminated, effective immediately,’ the board wrote in a statement.

It was a sudden move for the board, who on Friday said that Weinstein had taken an indefinite leave of absence.

Questions remain however about how the board was so in the dark given the number of settlements that have been paid out, with the first going back to an incident that happened in 1991 according to the Times.

Weinstein responded in a statement by saying that he was getting help, but then shortly after threatened to sue the paper for $50 million.

Board member Lance Maerov spoke to the The New York Times after the decision to terminate Weinstein on Sunday and that said that the executive had also violated the company’s code of conduct in the past week.

He did not offer any additional details.

Maerov also revealed that there was much concern after Weinstein and his attorney Lisa Bloom met with the board on Thursday night, during which time the layer told the group that they could expect ‘more and different reporting’ that included ‘photos of several of the accusers in very friendly poses with Harvey after his alleged misconduct.’

That same night a handout photo of Weinstein and a smiling Judd appeared in the New York Post alongside a statement from the Oscar-winning producer.

‘This is not the time for Harvey or TWC to appear defiant or indignant,’ wrote Maerov in an email to Bloom.

‘It is time to repair, heal, accept responsibility and recover.’

He also wrote that Bloom had a potential conflict of interest given that Weinstein had agreed to develop a book she wrote into a series.

In another email to Bloom, Harvey’s brother and partner Bob wrote: ‘Perhaps, Harvey as he stated in the NY Times, to the world, should get professional help for a problem that really exists.’

On Friday, one-third of the nine-man board resigned in protest, 24-hours after the sexual harassment report threw the firm into chaos.

The company also stated that they were launching an internal probe into the claims against their disgraced co-founder.

Happy as can be: Weinstein was seen laughing as he left his New York City home on Friday (above), one day after the release of the report

Happy as can be: Weinstein was seen laughing as he left his New York City home on Friday (above), one day after the release of the report

Getting involved: Amanda Seyfried's husband Thomas Sadoski (above) was among the men showing their support for Weinstein's accusers 

Getting involved: Amanda Seyfried’s husband Thomas Sadoski (above) was among the men showing their support for Weinstein’s accusers

Coming to terms: Ellen Barkin, who said she grew up with the Weinsteins, shared her response to the new during an exchange with Rosie O'Donnell on Twitter (above)

Coming to terms: Ellen Barkin, who said she grew up with the Weinsteins, shared her response to the new during an exchange with Rosie O’Donnell on Twitter (above)

Movig forward: 'Girls' producer and show runner Jenni Konner stated that those who were complicit in this scandal should be exposed next (above) 

Movig forward: ‘Girls’ producer and show runner Jenni Konner stated that those who were complicit in this scandal should be exposed next (above)

And as the backlash grew, graphic revelations appeared in Huffington Post, claiming that Weinstein cornered a New York reporter and forcibly made her watch him masturbate in front of her.

Lauren Sivan, formerly a Fox News Reporter, claims that when she worked with the cable channel Long Island 12 a decade ago, Weinstein insisted she take a tour with him in Socialista, a club he part-owned.

She claims he took her downstairs to a kitchen and cleared it of staff and then tried to kiss her. When she refused his advance he said, ‘Well, can you just stand there and shut up’.

The movie mogul is then alleged to have masturbated in front of her and ejaculated into a nearby flower pot.

Sivan says she was trapped and intimidated and deeply shocked.

That same night McGowan first asked why there was so much silence from the Hollywood community, stating: ‘Ladies of Hollywood, your silence is deafening.’

Given the number of lawsuits that the company has settled over the years there is of course a chance that some of these women cannot speak because they signed a NDA or do not want to speak on account of their own personal experiences.

That would not however stop any of these women from publicly declaring that they support and believe McGowan and Judd.

The most encouraging tweet from a member of the Hollywood community came from ‘Girls’ producer Jenni Konner, who said on Thursday: ‘Who are the agents/managers that sent their clients to meet with him when this was a well known “secret”? Them nxt.’

The embattled Hollywood heavyweight appeared surprisingly upbeat and chipper on Friday one day after the incident as he left his Manhattan townhouse.

He is also facing new allegations of improper conduct, with British actress Jessica Hynes taking to Twitter on Friday and writing: ‘I was offered a film role at 19, Harvey Weinstein came on board and wanted me to screen test in a bikini. I refused & lost the job.’

She then added: ‘I’m sure there are many more…’

Hynes, who earlier in her career went by Jessica Stevenson, in now 44 and has starred in the two most recent ‘Bridget Jones’ films as well as number of theatrical productions, being nominated for a Tony in 2009 for her role in ‘The Norman Conquests’ on Broadway.

Her claim is remarkably similar to a blind item that has been floating around for over a decade, and is well known to many in Hollywood.

Writer and comedian Jack Howard noted that, replying to Hynes: ‘Holy s*** I knew the story but I didn’t know who it was about.’

Hynes did not reveal what the film was, but it would have been around 1991 or 1992 when Weinstein was beginning his ascent up the ranks in the movie industry while working in London.

It was also in 1991 when he allegedly sexually harassed the first of his many alleged victims who came forward to speak with the Times on the record about his behavior.

Laura Madden said that she was asked by Weinstein to give him massages while he was staying at hotels in Dublin and London at that time.

‘It was so manipulative,’ said Madden.

‘You constantly question yourself — am I the one who is the problem?’

Judd recounted her encounter with Weinstein, saying she was doing night shoots for her 1997 film ‘Kiss the Girls’ when she got an invite to meet with Weinsten that she could not pass up.

She said she felt uncomfortable from the start and ordered cereal from room service because it would arrive quicker than a hot meal.

Judd said she was asked to give Weinstein a massage and then a shoulder rub, both of which she declined while trying to get herself out of the room.

That is when he allegedly asked her to help him pick out his clothes for the day and then watch him shower.

‘I said no, a lot of ways, a lot of times, and he always came back at me with some new ask,’ said Judd.

‘It was all this bargaining, this coercive bargaining.’

She eventually made her escape by joking that Weinstein would have to help her win an Oscar before she would be willing to touch him, stating that the prestige of working for his studio made it too difficult to forcefully shut down his harassment.

‘There’s a lot on the line, the cachet that came with Miramax,’ explained Judd.

Judd previously wrote about the same experience in 2015 for Variety without naming Weinstein, simply saying it was a studio mogul.

‘I was with a bunch of other actors, and it was critical that it was actors: The exact same thing had happened to them by the exact same mogul,’ wrote Judd.

‘Only when we were sitting around talking about it did we realize our experiences were identical. There was a mutual strengthening and fortification of our resolve.’

She later wrote in that piece: ‘The ultimate thing when I was weaseling out of everything else was, “Will you watch me take a shower?” And all the other women, sitting around this table with me, said, “Oh my god—that’s what he said to me too.”‘