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Harvey Weinstein 'never said anything about trading movie roles for sexual favors,' says lawyer

UPDATE: Harvey Weinstein’s attorney is clarifying the producer’s recent chat with columnist Taki Theodoracopulos, saying his client was misquoted when talking about sleeping with actresses for roles.

“I was present for the conversation; it was not an interview, but a social meeting between old friends,” Ben Brafman tells Yahoo Entertainment in a statement. “Harvey and Taki did not discuss the case, nor would I allow him to. They talked about old Hollywood and the contrast to European culture, and I think Taki sees Harvey in that older light.  Mr. Weinstein never said anything about trading movie roles for sexual favors. You have my word that Harvey did not say that.”

Theodoracopulos adds in a statement, “After 41 years as a Spectator columnist without a single retraction, I believe that I may have misrepresented Harvey Weinstein’s conversation with me in New York last month. It was my mistake. We were discussing Hollywood and I may have misunderstood certain things about the methods of that place. I had nothing to do with the headline of my article and I hope I have not damaged his case. It was, after all, a social visit.”

Weinstein’s quote has yet to be amended in the published article.

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Harvey Weinstein has broken his silence on the allegations against him. In his first sit-down since he was accused of sexual harassment back in October, the disgraced producer admits he offered actresses roles for sex but maintains he never had a nonconsensual encounter.

“Yes, I did offer [women] acting jobs in exchange for sex, but so did and still does everyone,” Weinstein, 66, tells the Spectator in an interview published on Friday. “But I never, ever forced myself on a single woman.”

The interview was conducted by columnist Taki Theodoracopulos, who, admittedly, has known Weinstein well for years. “You were born rich and privileged and you were handsome,” Weinstein tells him. “I was born poor, ugly, Jewish, and had to fight all my life to get somewhere. You got lotsa girls, no girl looked at me until I made it big in Hollywood.”

In an attempt to discredit Rose McGowan and Asia Argento — both of whom have accused Weinstein of sexual assault — the Oscar-winning producer tries to say they were caught lying over Argento’s relationship with the late Anthony Bourdain. So they must be lying about him too.

Following Bourdain’s suicide in June, McGowan penned an open letter on behalf of her friend, which included the line: “Anthony and Asia had a free relationship, they loved without borders of traditional relationships.” Weinstein says the notion Bourdain and Argento had an open relationship was a fib to cover up the fact that the Italian actress was photographed with another man.

“It was obviously not true, says Harvey, but dead men tell no tales, so the girls made it up,” writes Theodoracopulos. “Harvey made a sketch of the twisted story for me and I couldn’t help feel sorry for him. He was, to use a terrible cliché, clutching for straws.”

Theodoracopulos essentially defends Weinstein throughout the one-sided piece, knowing people will call him “prejudiced” due to their relationship.

“Call me naïve or stupid, but in a funny way I believe him,” Theodoracopulos pens after Weinstein denies raping anyone. “I’ve seen Harvey in action during my annual Christmas party, the one I throw every year in New York with Michael Mailer. He hits on every young woman but in a naïve way. ‘Will you give me your address and I’ll make you a star,’ is the theme of the pickup. Some say yes, some say no. His reaction was always the same. Smile and laugh and hit on the next one.”

Harvey Weinstein enters Manhattan criminal court on June 5, 2018, in New York. (Photo: Eduardo Munoz Alvarez/AFP/Getty Images)

In fact, Theodoracopulos thinks everyone is being too hard on his Weinstein.

“The #MeToo movement will bury any judge or jury that doesn’t throw the book at him. What I don’t get is, haven’t they had enough? He’s lost everything and is called a monster even by my concierge at a London hotel who overheard me discuss this story with my editor,” Theodoracopulos concludes. “Hollywood has always treated women like dirt. In my book the one that got caught should not pay for the rest of the bums that make these horrible films of today. At least Harvey made good ones. Very good ones at that.”

It’s obvious, after reading the piece, why Weinstein chose this columnist to speak to for his first interview in nine months.

McGowan responded to the article on Twitter.

Among other charges against him, Weinstein faces two counts of predatory sexual assault, which carries a maximum sentence of life imprisonment. He has pleaded not guilty to all charges. Since the October exposés in the New York Times and New Yorker, he has been accused of harassment, misconduct, and/or assault by over 80 women, including Gwyneth Paltrow, Angelina Jolie, and Ashley Judd.

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