Judi Dench is speaking out against Harvey Weinstein amid allegations of decades of sexual misconduct.
In a statement released Monday, Dame Judi Dench, 82, called the allegations against the Hollywood mogul “horrifying” and offered her “sympathy to those who have suffered.”
“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 offences which are, of course, horrifying and I offer my sympathy to those who have suffered, and wholehearted support to those who have spoken out,” she said.
Dench has long credited Weinstein for her start in Hollywood. She starred in the 1997 movie Mrs. Brown, which wasproduced by Weinstein’s former studio, Miramax. Once as a practical joke, the actress had a fake tattoo of the producer’s name applied to her bum. Dench told Charlie Rose she revealed the faux ink at the Four Seasons over lunch with Weinstein. “Ive never seen a man more embarrassed,” recalled the Oscar winner.
She also won an Academy Award for her performance in Shakespeare in Love — another Miramax film. Their most recent collaborations include 2013’s Philomena and 2016’s period drama Tulip Fever.
Dench joins a chorus of women to speak out against Weinstein. On Monday, Meryl Streepalso issued a statement, calling the producer’s behavior “inexcusable.”
“The behavior is inexcusable, but the abuse of power familiar,” said Streep. “Each brave voice that is raised, heard and credited by our watchdog media will ultimately change the game.”
On Sunday, Weinstein was removed from his powerhouse film studio in the wake of the publication of the allegations in a New York Times report, according to Variety.
“In light of new information about misconduct by Harvey Weinstein that has emerged in the past few days, the directors of The Weinstein Company — Robert Weinstein, Lance Maerov, Richard Koenigsberg and Tarak Ben Ammar — have determined, and have informed Harvey Weinstein, that his employment with The Weinstein Company is terminated, effective immediately,” the Weinstein Company said in a statement.
In the Times article, eight women — including actress Ashley Judd — spoke out against Weinstein, accusing him of sexual harassment and inappropriate behavior.
Weinstein responded to the allegations in the report, saying he was working with a therapist to address his issues head-on. “I appreciate the way I’ve behaved with colleagues in the past has caused a lot of pain, and I sincerely apologize for it,” he said. “Though I’m trying to do better, I know I have a long way to go.”
The mogul’s then-attorney Lisa Bloom said in a statement that her client “denies many of the accusations as patently false,” though Weinstein said that he “bear[s] responsibility for my actions” in an interview to The New York Post on Friday. Another lawyer for Weinstein, Charles Harder, said the mogul has plans to sue the New York Times. (Bloom announced she was resigning from advising Weinstein on Saturday afternoon.)