In his rambling statement after the NY Times published a story about "decade of sexual harassment allegations" against him, movie producer Harvey Weinstein admits to bad behavior, adding at one point, "Over the past year I've asked Lisa Bloom to tutor me and she's put together a team of people." This morning, Bloom, who has made her career working with women who accuse men of sexual misconduct, told Good Morning America's George Stephanopoulos that she thought Weinstein's behavior was "gross."
During the segment, Stephanopoulos said, "This is a real pattern over 30 years. This is like textbook sexual harassment."
Bloom, who has represented women who have accused Bill O'Reilly, Bill Cosby and Donald Trump of sexual harassment, replied, "It's gross, yeah," and added, "I agree. See, you have to understand that, yes, I’m here as his adviser. I’m not defending him in any sexual harassment cases — there aren’t any sexual harassment cases. I’m working with a guy who has behaved badly over the years, who is genuinely remorseful, who says, you know, 'I have caused a lot of pain.'"
Earlier in the segment, Bloom explained, "I've known Harvey for about a year. These rumors have been swirling around him. It's not okay." (Weinstein optioned Bloom's book about Trayvon Martin's killing for a TV series). She said that when the Times was about to publish their story, she told him, "We have to throw out the old playbook. You're not going to be attacking women... if you're genuinely remorseful, say so, admit what you've done wrong."
The Times details numerous incidents, alleged by Hollywood stars like Ashley Judd and Rose McGowan as well as Weinstein employees, in which the producer allegedly requested massages or asked women to watch him shower or forced himself on them. Weinstein reportedly settled at least eight incidents.
Bloomberg said she was proud of Ashley Judd for coming forward and wants more women to come forward. "What Harvey Weinstein has done is wrong. He has caused pain... I've done a lot of cases on behalf of women. I wish I could get on the other to smack that guy around verbally. Here was an opportunity of a guy asking 'Lisa, what should I do? I have behaved badly,'" Bloom said. "He is ashamed of his behavior."
When Stephanopoulos asked why Weinstein is suing the NY Times, since Bloom said that Weinstein admitted to sexual harassment, Bloom pointed out that he has a different lawyer working on that. That lawyer is Charles Harder, who represented Hulk Hogan in his case against Gawker.
Weinstein complained to the NY Post that the Times didn't give him adequate time to respond to the story. The NY Times' spokesperson said, "We included all relevant comments from Mr. Weinstein in our story and published his entire response. Mr. Weinstein and his lawyer have confirmed the essential points of the story. They have not pointed to any errors or challenged any facts in our story."
The Times is reportedly looking to get women who settled their allegations with Weinstein released from their NDA's, if the producer's lawsuit moves forward.
The Weinstein Company, which Weinstein founded with his brother Bob, is preparing to suspend him, and one board member has resigned.
In the meantime, PR experts are calling Weinstein's crisis response awful: One told Variety, "From a personal reputation point of view, suing the New York Times only serves one purpose, and that is to keep the story alive. The saber-rattling strategy just isn’t going to work," while another said, "It’s simple, you provide a heartfelt statement of apology, and you mean it, and you disappear and you go into counseling. And then what you do is have others talk about the good work you have done throughout your career. Him doing it himself sounds narcissistic. All he has done by responding the way he has is lit the tinderbox, and encouraged others to come out now… He’s made himself a really attractive target by seeming so insincere."