Judi Dench Says She Was "Completely Unaware" of "Horrifying" Harvey Weinstein Accusations

Getty Images
Judi Dench

The Oscar winner, who once tattooed his name on her body, described the offenses leveled at Weinstein as "horrifying."

Judi Dench has added her voice to the growing chorus of dissent against Harvey Weinstein. 

The British actress — who admitted in 2011 to having a tattoo dedicated to Weinstein on her buttocks — issued a statement Monday, just hours after Meryl Streep did the same, acknowledging her success in the industry alongside Weinstein but offering her full backing of those who have made allegations against him. 

"Whilst there is no doubt that Harvey Weinstein has helped and championed my film career for the past 20 years, I was completely unaware of these offenses which are, of course, horrifying and I offer my sympathy to those who have suffered, and whole-hearted support to those who have spoken out," she said.

The 82-year-old has a longstanding collaborative relationship with Weinstein since Miramax first distributed 1997's Mrs Brown, her first film role (for which she received her first of seven Oscar nominations).

The tattoo in question was temporary and drawn on by a makeup artist, but gained their relationship some added notoriety nonetheless.

It was Weinstein's Midas touch in awards season that helped lead Dench to her only Oscar win, for best supporting actress for Shakespeare in Love in 1999, while she would also earn nominations for Chocolat (2000) and Philomena (2013), both backed by the mogul. 

Since the publication of The New York Times' report — detailing decades of allegations of Weinstein's sexual harassment and abuse, some of which resulted in paid settlements — many have called his behavior an industry secret that was widely known but never reported on the record.

Dench joins the many actresses who have slammed Weinstein, who also allegedly masturbated in front of a TV reporter and has since been terminated from The Weinstein Company. His legal adviser Lisa Bloom also resigned from her post with the mogul. 

Rose McGowan told The Hollywood Reporter after the story was published, "The men of Hollywood need to know they own no woman. The days of Entourage-like behavior and thinking is as dated as your largely bro nature. ... Stand for women. Stand for truth. Stop hurting us. Rise."

Kathy Griffin spoke out onstage Sunday, saying about Weinstein: "That guy seems to be what's called a rapist. I'm using it as a broad term. There's a lot of them and they are everywhere. So it's time we started to fucking look out for each other because this shit has been going on for way too long."

After Weinstein shared a bizarre statement on the expose — in which he noted, "I came of age in the '60s and '70s, when all the rules about behavior and workplaces were different." Weinstein also noted in his statement that he has brought on therapists "to deal with this issue head on."