Donna Karan Apologizes Again, Describes Weinstein's Actions As "Unconscionable and Unforgivable" (Exclusive)
Karan was widely criticized for initially defending the disgraced movie mogul and suggesting that women potentially invited unwanted interest because of the way they presented themselves.
Donna Karan has apologized once again for her initial comments which seemingly defended Harvey Weinstein from a spate of sexual misconduct allegations and for also suggesting that some blame could be attached to the way women presented themselves.
A source close to Karan exclusively provided The Hollywood Reporter with a new statement from the designer which she planned to post around 8 a.m., ET on urbanzen.com and her personal websites and social media.
In the statement, Karan apologizes once more for her comments last week, saying that "[those] words do not represent who I am, what I believe or what I have represented throughout my career." Describing herself as a "woman for women" Karan was "sorry for saying something I did not mean" and she hoped her "track record proves who I am."
Karan also reiterated her condemnation of Weinstein's action, describing what the producer is accused of doing as "unconscionable and unforgivable."
The New York Times published the bombshell sexual misconduct allegations against Weinstein last Saturday. On Sunday, during a red-carpet interview at the CineFashion Film Awards in Los Angeles, Karan, told a reporter for The Daily Mail that Weinstein and his wife, fashion designer and Marchesa co-founder Georgina Chapman, are "wonderful people" and that the producer has done "some amazing things."
She added: "How do we present ourselves as women? What are we asking? Are we asking for it by presenting all the sensuality and all the sexuality?"
Karan's comments led to a storm of protest and a social media campaign to boycott DKNY, the brand she founded in 1984 but hasn't had a business relationship with since 2015. In the face of a public backlash, Karan addressed her comments with an apology, saying that she was "truly sorry" and that her "statements were taken out of context and do not represent how I feel about the current situation concerning Harvey Weinstein."
Despite her contrition, public scrutiny of Karan's initial remarks continued. On Sunday, comedian John Oliver took Karan to task on a segment about Weinstein on his HBO show Last Week Tonight, describing her comments as "absolutely appalling."
Karan's full statement:
I am sorry for the comments I made last week. Those words do not represent who I am, what I believe or what I have represented throughout my career.
For over 40 years, I have been a woman for women — presenting women in sensual ways through my advertising and runway shows. There is no question that women should wear what they want, when they want and without fear of being harassed, molested or abused. I am sorry for saying something I did not mean and I hope my track record proves who I am and that the words I mistakenly uttered last week do not represent my actual views.
As a woman, mother, grandmother, designer and philanthropist, I have always put women first. My mission in life is, and always has been, to dress and address women, empowering and enabling them to express their professionalism, passion and sensuality.
To the women who have shared their personal stories of sexual harassment and to those who have been abused and have not yet told tell their story, I stand by you...as your friend, your sister and your supporter. You are courageous. Beautiful. And I admire you.
What Harvey Weinstein did is unconscionable and unforgivable. I apologize for my comments that gave the impression that I feel any other way about any man who disrespects, harasses or abuses any woman.