WASHINGTON — Academy Award-winning filmmaker Quentin Tarantino for decades has been hearing about Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein’s alleged sexual abuse, and regrets not taking the accusations more seriously, he told The New York Times in an interview published Thursday.
“I knew enough to do more than I did,” Tarantino told the paper. “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.”
“I wish I had taken responsibility for what I heard,” he added.
Weinstein is facing ever-growing allegations of sexual harassment and sexual assault, following bombshell investigations by The New York Times and the New Yorker. So far, at least 40 women have accused him of rape, assault or sexual harassment, including Ashley Judd, Gwyneth Paltrow, Angelina Jolie and TV journalist Lauren Sivan.
Tarantino and Weinstein have been longtime friends and business associates. Weinstein distributed or produced several of Tarantino’s films, including “Pulp Fiction,” “Kill Bill” and “The Hateful Eight.”
Tarantino told the Times that over the years he had heard numerous stories about Weinstein’s behavior, including from his former girlfriend, Mira Sorvino. With many rumors, he “chalked it up to a ’50s-’60s era image of a boss chasing a secretary around the desk,” he said.
“What I did was marginalize the incidents,” Tarantino added. “Anything I say now will sound like a crappy excuse.”
Along with regretting not speaking up, Tarantino said he regrets continuing to work with Weinstein. And he called on others who knew what was going on to “acknowledge that there was something rotten in Denmark” and “vow to do better by our sisters.”
In a statement last week, Tarantino said he was “stunned and heartbroken about the revelations” about his friend and promised to soon speak publicly about it.