(NEW YORK) — Matt Damon and George Clooney are speaking out about the Harvey Weinstein scandal, saying they had no idea of the alleged misconduct of the man who helped launch both of their careers.
“When people say like, ‘Everybody knew,’ Like, yeah,” Damon told ABC News’ Michael Strahan. “I knew he was an a****** … I knew he was … a womanizer. I wouldn’t want to be married to the guy. But … the criminal sexual predation…Absolutely not.”
Clooney told ABC News that in the past, Weinstein had told him he’d affairs with “some actresses who were friends of mine,” adding, “I didn’t really think that they were going have affairs with Harvey, quite honestly. And clearly they didn’t. But the idea that this predator, this assaulter … was out there … it’s beyond infuriating.”
Damon said he first worked with Weinstein for the film Good Will Hunting, in the late 1990s, a period when he said Weinstein was at, “the height of his power.”
“We shot it 20 years ago this year…” Damon said. “I didn’t work with him again after that,” adding of the producer, “You had to spend about five minutes with him to know that he was a bully. That was his legend. That was his whole kind of M.O. Like you, “Could you survive a meeting with Harvey? Could you …stand up for yourself with Harvey?”
“I knew the story about Gwyneth from Ben,” Damon added, referring to actress Gwyneth Paltrow, who recently claimed she was forced to rebuff unwanted advances from Weinstein. “…I knew that … they had come to whatever…agreement or understanding that they had come to, she had handled it,” Damon said. “She was, you know, the ‘first lady of Miramax.’ And he treated her incredibly respectfully, always.”
Weinstein has acknowledged inappropriate behavior, but his spokesman has said, “Any allegations of non-consensual sex are unequivocally denied by Mr. Weinstein,” adding, “there were never any acts of retaliation against any women for refusing his advances.”
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