Weinstein sorry for using Streep and Lawrence to ward off lawsuit

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Harvey Weinstein and Meryl StreepImage source, Getty Images
Image caption,
Harvey Weinstein produced a string of films that starred Meryl Streep

Harvey Weinstein has apologised to Meryl Streep and Jennifer Lawrence after his lawyers used their names in his defence against a legal action.

His lawyers want a class action lawsuit dismissed for being too broad and used favourable quotes from the two stars.

But Streep described the way they used the fact he did not abuse her as "pathetic", while Lawrence said he had taken things "out of context".

Weinstein has been accused of sexual misconduct by dozens of women.

He denies all allegations of non-consensual sex.

Six women are suing Mr Weinstein and what they dub the "Weinstein Sexual Enterprise", which they say includes his brother Bob and their film studio The Weinstein Company. The plaintiffs argue the "enterprise" conspired to conceal Harvey Weinstein's alleged sexual misconduct.

Many Weinstein Company board members, including Bob Weinstein, have said they did not previously know about allegations of sexual misconduct and assault against Harvey Weinstein.

In seeking to have the lawsuit dismissed, his lawyers argued in a motion that it was far too broad and "would include all women who ever met with Weinstein, regardless of whether they claimed to have suffered any identifiable harm as a result of that meeting."

They quoted Lawrence as saying in a media interview that the Hollywood mogul had "only ever been nice to me".

However, they did not mention her adding, "except for the moments that he wasn't" - times when she said she would confront him verbally.

In a statement, Lawrence said: "Harvey Weinstein and his company are continuing to do what they have always done which is to take things out of context and use them for their own benefit. This is what predators do, and it must stop."

Image source, Getty Images
Image caption,
Jennifer Lawrence and Gwyneth Paltrow were named in the Weinstein legal team's defence

A spokeswoman for Weinstein said he "acknowledges the valuable input both Meryl Streep and Jennifer Lawrence have contributed to this conversation and apologises".

Weinstein had directed that in the future no specific names of "former associates" be used by his lawyers, the spokeswoman said.

Weinstein's legal team also used the name of Gwyneth Paltrow in papers filed in New York in an attempt to get the case dismissed.

Paltrow has previously said she feared she would be fired after her then-boyfriend Brad Pitt confronted Weinstein in the 1990s.

But the film producer's lawyers, Phyllis Kupferstein and Mary E Flynn, wrote: "Paltrow was not so offended that she refused to work with Weinstein again, nor did her career suffer as a result of her rebuffing his alleged advances."

'He will pay'

Weinstein's lawyers cited quotes Streep gave when the Hollywood sexual harassment scandal unfolded, saying he was "respectful with me in our working relationship, and with many others with whom he worked professionally".

The lawyers did not mention that the actress also said the women who had spoken out against him were "heroes" and his alleged behaviour was "inexcusable" and an "abuse of power".

In a new statement, Streep said: "Harvey Weinstein's attorneys use of my (true) statement - that he was not sexually transgressive or physically abusive in our business relationship - as evidence that he was not abusive with many other women is pathetic and exploitative.

"The criminal actions he is accused of conducting on the bodies of these women are his responsibility, and if there is any justice left in the system he will pay for them - regardless of how many good movies, made by many good people, Harvey was lucky enough to have acquired or financed."

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