Harvey Weinstein issued a statement Thursday in response to a New York Times report that detailed decades of sexual harassment allegations against the veteran Hollywood producer.
The Times reported on previously undisclosed allegations against Weinstein spanning about three decades. In the Times story, actor Ashley Judd recalls a meeting she had with Weinstein two decades ago. She claims he greeted her in his bathrobe. The report cites interviews with current and former employees of Weinstein’s company as well as legal records. Representatives for Weinstein and Judd did not immediately respond to a request for comment to TIME.
According to the report, Weinstein reached confidential settlements with at least eight women who each received between $80,000 and $150,000.
In a statement in the Times story, Lisa Bloom, a lawyer who is advising Weinstein, said that “he denies many of the accusations as patently false.”
After the Times published the story on Thursday, Weinstein’s lawyer Charles Harder told TIME in an email that the story was “saturated with false and defamatory statements” and that he planned to sue the newspaper. He also said that the Times story ” relies on mostly hearsay accounts and a faulty report.”
Following the publication of the Times story Weinstein said he will take a leave of absence from the Weinstein Company. In a statement, he blamed his actions on the fact that he “came of age in the 1960s and 1970s, when all the rules about behavior and workplaces were different.”
“I have since learned it’s not an excuse, in the office — or out of it,” he said. “To anyone.”
Read Weinstein’s full statement given to the Times below.
I came of age in the 60’s and 70’s, when all the rules about behavior and workplaces were different. That was the culture then.
I have since learned it’s not an excuse, in the office – or out of it. To anyone.
I realized some time ago that I needed to be a better person and my interactions with the people I work with have changed. I appreciate the way I’ve behaved with colleagues in the past has caused a lot of pain, and I sincerely apologize for it.
Though I’m trying to do better, I know I have a long way to go. That is my commitment. My journey now will be to learn about myself and conquer my demons. Over the last year I’ve asked Lisa Bloom to tutor me and she’s put together a team of people. I’ve brought on therapists and I plan to take a leave of absence from my company and to deal with this issue head on. I so respect all women and regret what happened. I hope that my actions will speak louder than words and that one day we will all be able to earn their trust and sit down together with Lisa to learn more. Jay Z wrote in 4:44 “I’m not the man I thought I was and I better be that man for my children.” The same is true for me. I want a second chance in the community but I know I’ve got work to do to earn it. I have goals that are now priorities. Trust me, this isn’t an overnight process. I’ve been trying to do this for 10 years and this is a wake-up call. I cannot be more remorseful about the people I hurt and I plan to do right by all of them.
I am going to need a place to channel that anger so I’ve decided that I’m going to give the NRA my full attention. I hope Wayne LaPierre will enjoy his retirement party. I’m going to do it at the same place I had my Bar Mitzvah. I’m making a movie about our President, perhaps we can make it a joint retirement party. One year ago, I began organizing a $5 million foundation to give scholarships to women directors at USC. While this might seem coincidental, it has been in the works for a year. It will be named after my mom and I won’t disappoint her.