Harvey Weinstein to take leave amid sexual harassment report

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Hollywood movie executive Harvey Weinstein is taking a leave of absence from his own company following a published report citing dozens of sexual harassment allegations spanning decades.

The New York Times' article, which was published on Thursday, includes several first-person accounts of Weinstein's alleged conduct.

According to the Times report, two company officials say at least eight women have received settlements, including actress Rose McGowan.

The report also includes actress Ashley Judd's account regarding an incident from two decades ago in which she was asked to meet Weinstein in his hotel room.

Weinstein released a statement regarding the article.

In it, he said during his leave of absence he would be seeking professional help. He also attributes his actions to growing up in the '60s and '70s, a time that he claims the rules about behavior and workplaces were different.

Weinstein is the co-founder of both Miramax Films and the Weinstein Company, two influential and successful production companies in Hollywood.

Harvey Weinstein's full statement:

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.

Attorney Lisa Bloom is advising Weinstein on the matter. Weinstein plans to sue the Times, which is standing by its reporting.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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