Decades of sexual harassment complaints against Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein are contained in a blockbuster expose published Thursday by The New York Times.
Actress Ashley Judd went on the record to accuse the famed producer of harassing her in a Beverly Hills hotel room 20 years ago. Judd said she thought she was going to a meeting with Weinstein, but he instead greeted her while wearing a bathrobe.
He said she could give him a massage, or watch him while he showered, Judd told The Times.
“I said no, a lot of ways, a lot of times, and he always came back at me with some new ask,” the actress told the paper. “It was all this bargaining, this coercive bargaining.”
In a statement, the 65-year-old said he has taken a leave of absence to “deal with this issue head-on.”
"I appreciate the way I've behaved with colleagues in the past has caused a lot of pain, and I sincerely apologize for it," Weinstein said. "Though I'm trying to do better, I know I have a long way to go."
Weinstein reached at least eight financial settlements with women over the years, the paper reported.
Actress Rose McGowan received a $100,000 payout over allegations the producer of such hits as Sex, Lies and Videotape, Good Will Hunting and Pulp Fiction had sexually harassed her.
In a recent interview with The Times, Judd said, “Women have been talking about Harvey amongst ourselves for a long time, and it’s simply beyond time to have the conversation publicly.”
Despite his statement to the paper, Weinstein intends to sue The Times, his attorney, Charles Harder, said in a statement Thursday.
The paper’s story is saturated with false and defamatory statements about Harvey Weinstein," Harder wrote in an email to The Hollywood Reporter.
"It relies on mostly hearsay accounts and a faulty report, apparently stolen from an employee personnel file, which has been debunked by nine different eyewitnesses. We sent the Times the facts and evidence, but they ignored it and rushed to publish. We are preparing the lawsuit now. All proceeds will be donated to women’s organizations."
Other exposes about Weinstein, including a New Yorker piece, are reportedly due out soon.