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Hillary Clinton addressed the current sexual harassment scandal surrounding ousted Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein while speaking with CNN’s Fareed Zakaria on Wednesday. The allegations were first brought to light in a New York Times exposé on Oct. 5 and later with more claims (including accusations of rape and audio of Weinstein admitting to groping model Ambra Battilana Gutierrez) in a New Yorker piece published on Tuesday.
The former secretary of state, who received donations from Weinstein for her 2016 presidential campaign, told Zakaria of her reaction to hearing the allegations. “I was just sick. I was shocked. I was appalled. It was something that was just intolerable in every way,” Clinton said. “Like so many people who have come forward and spoken out, this was a different side to a person that I and many others had known in the past.”
Similar claims were made by actresses Julianne Moore, Meryl Streep and Jennifer Lawrence.
When Zakaria asked Clinton if she would have considered Weinstein a friend, she responded, “Yes, I probably would have. And so would many others. People in Democratic politics for many decades appreciated his help and support. I think these stories coming to light now, and people who never spoke out before having the courage to speak out, just clearly demonstrates that this behavior he engaged in cannot be tolerated and cannot be overlooked.”
Zakaria then asked if Clinton thought Weinstein’s behavior was tolerated because of his powerful position and stated that many people likely knew of his practices. “Well, I certainly didn’t and I don’t know who did,” Clinton responded.
In a statement released Tuesday by Clinton, she said she was “shocked and appalled” by Weinstein’s alleged actions.
“The courage of these women coming forward now is really important because it can’t just end with one person’s disgraceful behavior and the consequences that he is now facing,” Clinton continued. “This has to be a wake-up call and shine a bright spotlight on anything like this behavior anywhere, at anytime.”
She went on to address stories regarding sexual harassment in Silicon Valley and said, “This can’t be tolerated anywhere. Whether it’s entertainment or tech or anywhere.”
Zachary directly asked Clinton if she would be giving back the funds that Weinstein had donated to her. “Well, there’s no one to give it back to,” Clinton said. “What other people are saying, what my fellow colleagues are saying, is that they’re going to donate it to charity, and of course I will do that.”
Watch the video below.
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