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As more accounts of sexual harassment and assault allegations against disgraced producer Harvey Weinstein continue to surface, longtime collaborator Quentin Tarantino now says he was aware of Weinstein’s alleged behavior and wishes he had spoken out earlier.
In an interview with The New York Times, the director addressed the publication’s bombshell exposé on Weinstein and said he had heard of several stories of alleged sexual harassment involving actresses, some of whom have since come forward to condemn the exec.
“I knew enough to do more than I did,” Tarantino said. “There was more to it than just the normal rumors, the normal gossip. It wasn’t secondhand. I knew he did a couple of these things.”
The filmmaker continued, “I wish I had taken responsibility for what I heard. If I had done the work I should have done then, I would have had to not work with him.”
Tarantino revealed to the Times that he had been dating Mira Sorvino, one of Weinstein’s many accusers, when he heard the exec made inappropriate advances in a hotel room. Tarantino recalled feeling “shocked and appalled,” but ultimately dismissed Sorvino’s story as an isolated incident that would be resolved.
“I’m with her, he knows that,” he said, explaining his initial reaction. “He won’t mess with her, he knows that she’s my girlfriend.”
Sorvino came forward and detailed her encounter to The New Yorker, which published its own investigative report on Weinstein on Oct. 10.
Tarantino admitted he was also aware Weinstein had reached a settlement with Rose McGowan, who has accused him of rape, and once confronted Weinstein after hearing accounts of sexual harassment from other prominent actresses.
“What I did was marginalize the incidents,” he said, noting that he failed to see each encounter as a component of a larger issue. “Anything I say now will sound like a crappy excuse.”
The director apologized for not taking action sooner, and called for other men who worked closely with Weinstein to help devise a solution.
“I’m calling on the other guys who knew more to not be scared. Don’t just give out statements. Acknowledge that there was something rotten in Denmark,” Tarantino noted. “Vow to do better by our sisters.”
Tarantino and Weinstein partnered on numerous projects over the decades, including Pulp Fiction, the Kill Bill franchise and The Hateful Eight. Since the allegations surfaced, Kevin Smith, Channing Tatum and other frequent collaborators of Weinstein’s have publicly slammed the producer and cut ties with The Weinstein Co.
The disgraced film mogul has since been terminated as co-chairman from his own company, expelled from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and is under investigation by the LAPD, NYPD and London police. In a statement, Weinstein “unequivocally denied” all allegations of “non-consensual sex.”
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