Weinstein Admits to Offering Jobs in Exchange for Sex

Harvey Weinstein. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Well he’s back. Harvey Weinstein has given his first interview since his arrest and indictment, and it’s another bonkers statement. This time, the ex–Weinstein Co. boss found a sympathetic ear — European socialite turned journalist Taki Theodoracopulos, writing for The Spectator — and has unleashed a series of defenses. In one interview (with his attorney Ben Brafman by his side), he suggests that his accuser Asia Argento cheated on her boyfriend Anthony Bourdain before Bourdain’s death; Taki recalls years of Christmas parties where he watched the studio head hit on young women “in a naïve way” (whatever that means). “You were born rich and privileged and you were handsome. I was born poor, ugly, Jewish and had to fight all my life to get somewhere. You got lotsa girls, no girl looked at me until I made it big in Hollywood,” Weinstein told Taki. “Yes, I did offer them acting jobs in exchange for sex, but so did and still does everyone. But I never, ever forced myself on a single woman.”

Taki — who has his own checkered past — seems to buy Weinstein’s story. He casts aspersions on the #MeToo movement, and says he has “doubts” about victims who waited decades to come forward with their stories of sexual assault. “What I don’t get is, haven’t [Weinstein’s accusers] had enough? He’s lost everything and is called a monster even by my concierge at a London hotel who overheard me discuss this story with my editor,” Taki writes. “Hollywood has always treated women like dirt. In my book the one that got caught should not pay for the rest of the bums that make these horrible films of today. At least Harvey made good ones. Very good ones at that.”

Weinstein accuser Rose McGowan responded to Weinstein’s quotes, via Twitter: “Rapists are liars,” she wrote, and then specified:

Update 7/13/18 3:56 p.m.: Now, both Weinstein’s attorney, Benjamin Brafman, and Taki himself claim the piece did not accurately convey what was discussed in the interview. In a statement provided to Vulture, Brafman denies his client ever discussed trading sex for film roles. “I was present for the conversation; it was not an interview, but a social meeting between old friends,” said Weinstein’s attorney. “Harvey and Taki did not discuss the case, nor would I allow him to. They talked about old Hollywood and the contrast to European culture, and I think Taki sees Harvey in that older light. Mr. Weinstein never said anything about trading movie roles for sexual favors. You have my word that Harvey did not say that.”

Brafman’s statement also included a quote from Taki himself, who walked back the content of his “exclusive” conversation with Weinstein. “After 41 years as a Spectator columnist without a single retraction, I believe that I may have misrepresented Harvey Weinstein’s conversation with me in New York last month,” he said. “It was my mistake. We were discussing Hollywood and I may have misunderstood certain things about the methods of that place. I had nothing to do with the headline of my article and I hope I have not damaged his case. it was, after all, a social visit.”

Weinstein Admits to Offering Jobs in Exchange for Sex