Donna Karan says Harvey Weinstein’s alleged victims were ‘asking for it’

By @chelean on
  • Fashion designer Donna Karan poses at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) Art+Film Gala in Los Angeles, October 29, 2016.
    Fashion designer Donna Karan poses at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) Art+Film Gala in Los Angeles, October 29, 2016. Reuters/Danny Moloshok
  • Harvey Weinstein
    Harvey Weinstein, Co-Chairman of the Weinstein Company, kicks off the Film Finance Circle conference with an informal discussion at the inaugural Middle East International Film Festival in Abu Dhabi, October 15, 2007. Reuters/Steve Crisp
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Fashion designer Donna Karan has come to the defence of her friend Harvey Weinstein, saying his alleged victims might have been just “asking for it.” The disgraced film producer’s name, meanwhile, has been removed from all of The Weinstein Company’s TV series.

Karan, 69, was at the CineFashion Film Awards on Sunday when she was asked by a reporter what she thought of the Weinstein scandal, in which Weinstein is being accused of sexually harassing a number of women. Unlike some celebrities who have already come forward to denounce the Hollywood mogul, the DKNY label creator opted to side with her friend.

“I think we have to look at ourselves,” she said, adding that while the treatment of women all over the world is an issue, how women present themselves is also a factor. “To see it in here in our own country is very difficult, but I also think how do we display ourselves? How do we present ourselves as women? What are we asking? Are we asking for it by presenting all the sensuality and all the sexuality?”

She further said, “And what are we throwing out to our children today and how to dance and how to perform and what to wear? How much should they show?”

Karan also described Weinstein and his wife, Georgina Chapman, as “wonderful people.” “You look at everything all over the world today and how women are dressing and what they are asking by just presenting themselves the way they do. What are they asking for? Trouble,” she said.

In a statement to the Daily Mail on Tuesday, however, Karan claimed her remarks were “taken out of context.” The comments did not apparently represent how she felt or what she believed.

“I have spent my life championing women. My life has been dedicated to dressing and addressing the needs of women, empowering them and promoting equal rights,” she said. “My statements were taken out of context and do not represent how I feel about the current situation concerning Harvey Weinstein. I believe that sexual harassment is NOT acceptable and this is an issue that MUST be addressed once and for all regardless of the individual. I am truly sorry to anyone that I offended and everyone that has been a victim.”

Weinstein’s credits axed

The Weinstein Company, of which he is a co-founder with younger brother Bob Weinstein, has since removed his name credit from all of the company’s TV shows. Deadline reports that TWC has been making calls to TV networks and producers to inform them of the change following strong demand that Weinstein’s name be removed.

The company would be going forward with its projects, though, as Weinstein’s involvement in them were apparently only been passive.

Sexual allegations against Weinstein

A New York Times piece last week alleged that Weinstein has been sexually harassing actresses and employees for years. The article included an interview with actress Ashley Judd, who said he had her sent up to his room during what she thought was a business breakfast meeting two decades ago. He appeared to her in a bathrobe and asked her if she could give him a massage or watch him shower.

The article also found previously undisclosed allegations against the 65-year-old film tycoon for nearly three decades. He allegedly has had at least eight settlements with women.

Weinstein then released a statement to the publication, saying he “sincerely apologised” for the way he had behaved with colleagues in the past. He added he was working with therapists to deal with his problem.