Matt Damon Says He Was Aware Harvey Weinstein Allegedly Harassed Gwyneth Paltrow
Due to the fact that they had collaborated in the past on many a film project, many have accused Matt Damon of protecting controversial movie executive Harvey Weinstein. But in a new interview, Damon admitted that he was largely unaware of Weinstein’s supposed actions, though he claimed to have known for some time about Gwyneth Paltrow’s accusations of sexual harassment against the Miramax film mogul.
Speaking to ABC News’ Michael Strahan on the network’s Monday episode of Good Morning America, Damon, who was interviewed alongside Suburbicon co-star George Clooney, said that he had long been aware of Weinstein supposedly being an “a**hole” behind the scenes. But the 47-year-old star of the Miramax-distributed Good Will Hunting and The Talented Mr. Ripley added that he had no idea about the supposed acts of serial sexual abuse Weinstein committed against dozens of women.
“I knew he was… a womanizer. I wouldn’t want to be married to the guy. But… the criminal sexual predation is not something that I ever thought… was going on. Absolutely not.”
Clooney added to Matt Damon’s comments on Harvey Weinstein, claiming that Weinstein bragged to him about affairs with some of his actress friends, but stressing that he didn’t believe him. He added that it’s “beyond infuriating” that a “predator” like Weinstein has purportedly been harassing women for years, and asking them to keep silent for years after the fact.
Although Matt Damon said he mostly knew Harvey Weinstein as a difficult person to work with, but didn’t have first-hand evidence of any serial sexual abuse, he also told Strahan that he was aware of one particular harassment allegation against Weinstein — the one made by his Talented Mr. Ripley co-star, Gwyneth Paltrow.
“I knew the story about Gwyneth from Ben [Affleck],” said Damon.
“I never talked to Gwyneth about it. Ben told me… but I knew that… they had come to whatever, you know, agreement or understanding that they had come to, she had handled it. She was, you know, the first lady of Miramax. And [Weinstein] treated her incredibly respectfully.”
According to the New York Times, the incident in question took place when Paltrow was 22-years-old and preparing for what turned out to be her star-making role in the film Emma, as Weinstein allegedly “placed his hands” on the young actress and asked her to give him a massage in his hotel room.
Although Matt Damon and George Clooney were ostensibly on Good Morning America to promote their new movie Suburbicon, ABC News noted that the two actors’ interview with GMA’s Strahan ultimately focused on the Harvey Weinstein controversy, and Damon’s relationship with the embattled producer. According to Damon, he first worked with Weinstein on 1997’s Good Will Hunting, and the one thing that stood out immediately was his perceived reputation as a bully.
“You had to spend about five minutes with him to know that he was a bully. He was intimidating. Miramax was the place, really the place, that was making great stuff in the ’90s. And it was like, ‘Could you survive Harvey?'”
— HuffPost (@HuffPost) October 23, 2017
Regarding the current round of allegations against Harvey Weinstein, Matt Damon apologized for any possible occasion where he might have failed to stop Weinstein from doing something inappropriate at a public event.
“If there was ever an event where there was something I was at with Harvey in public and he was doing this thing and I missed it, and there’s some woman who was somehow assaulted and was at the Golden Globes or something and I somehow missed it, then I’m sorry,” said Damon, as quoted by HuffPost.
Matt Damon’s Harvey Weinstein comments on Good Morning America came almost two weeks after he was interviewed by Deadline about a supposed attempt on his part to block a 2004 New York Times story similar to the expose it published on Weinstein earlier this month. With Damon accused by celebrities and fans alike of being an “enabler,” he offered a completely different recollection of what happened 13 years ago, clarifying that he had called New York Times writer Sharon Waxman to vouch for Miramax’s Italian head at the time, but not to ask her to kill any piece accusing Weinstein of sexual harassment.
[Featured Image by Kevin Winter/Getty Images]