Imagine being married for 10 years. You’d built a life, had children, and believed that what the two of you built together was unbreakable. Then imagine waking up one day and that life you worked so hard to build comes crashing down, smashing into a million pieces and there’s nothing you can do. This is what it’s been like for Harvey Weinstein’s estranged wife, Georgina Chapman. The fashion designer and co-owner of the fashion company, Marchesa, had been keeping quiet as the sexual harassment accusations surrounding Weinstein continues to grow as more and more women keep coming forward. Chapman recently decided to break her silence and sat down for her first public interview with Vogue.
In a candid interview, Chapman, 42, says that once the New York Times story about her soon to be ex-husband broke, she wasn’t able to fully process the information until a couple days later and says that in five days, she lost “ten pounds”. Although the NYT described incidents from before Chapman entered the picture, making it difficult for her to make any decisions, she quickly realized that those incidents were not the only ones. She decided to remove herself and the couple’s children from the situation.
Chapman’s fashion company, Marchesa, which she co-owns with long-time friend and business partner, Keren Craig, came under fire as the Weinstein scandal blew up. Many believed that the fashion designer’s career was over as no would “ever wear a Marchesa dress again”. Marchesa’s runaway show, which was supposed to advertise its 2018 fall collection, was canceled in January and Chapman herself believed it was the right thing to do. “We didn’t feel it was appropriate given the situation,” she said. “All the women who have been hurt deserve dignity and respect, so I want to give it the time it deserves. It’s a time for mourning, really,” she lamented.
Actress Scarlett Johansson made headlines after she showed up to the Met Gala held on May 7 wearing a Marchesa dress. The Avengers: Infinity War star defended her choice to support the fashion company saying, “I wore Marchesa because their clothes make women feel confident and beautiful.” The actress furthered her support by adding, “It is my pleasure to support a brand created by two incredibly talented and important female designers.” Vogue editor, Anna Wintour, praised Johansson for her public display of solidarity. “Georgina is a brilliant designer, and I don’t think that she should be blamed for her husband’s behavior. I think it was a great gesture of support on Scarlett’s part to wear a dress like that—a beautiful dress like that—on such a public occasion,” she said.
As the reports against her estranged husband kept pouring in, Chapman isolated herself and didn’t leave her house for about five months. “I was so humiliated and so broken… that… I, I, I… didn’t think it was respectful to go out,” she said. She recounted a moment where she was going up the stairs and had to stop because she felt like “all the air had been punched out of my lungs.”
Chapman’s main concern in all of this is, of course, their children. The former couple shares a daughter, India Pearl, 7, and a son, Dashiell, 5. The interview was very emotional for the mother of two, which was to be expected, but when she started to speak about their children, that’s when she really began to break down. “I have moments when I just cry for my children. What are their lives going to be? What are people going to say to them?” As most children tend to do, Weinstein’s kids “love him.” As of now, they’re too young to fully understand what is going on and what has happened with their father.
Unfortunately, society and the entertainment industry were quick to side Chapman alongside her then-husband, claiming she must have known something was going on. Chapman claims her innocence of having absolutely no knowledge as to what the movie mogul was doing to all these women, as do her close friends. She also refuses to let others, as well as herself, label her a victim. “I don’t want to be viewed as a victim…I don’t think I am. I am a woman in a s**t situation, but it’s not unique.”
Some of Chapman’s close circle of friends who have been by her side this entire time include, Keren Craig, Golden Globe nominee, actor David Oyelowo, who has been friends with Chapman for about 25 years, and not very surprisingly, Hilary Clinton’s former top aide and ex-wife of “disgraced politician,” Anthony Weiner, Huma Abedin. Chapman and Abedin would have play dates with their sons prior to the scandal and once the scandal broke out, Abedin right away reached out to offer her support for Chapman. “This particular club, ironically, it’s not such a small one: women who have had to endure it in such a public way, women like Georgina and me. People don’t feel sorry for us; you don’t get that empathy,” Abedin told Vogue.
“I have moments of rage, I have moments of confusion, I have moments of disbelief!,” Chapman says. It truly has been a trying several months for Georgina Chapman, but she has faced and accepted what has happened with grace, respect, and dignity. This should count for something because it means something.
You can check out the entire Vogue article here.