Judi Dench is the latest star to denounce Harvey Weinstein following the New York Times report on a series of allegations of sexual harassment by multiple women against the Hollywood movie mogul.
In a statement to Newsweek, the 82-year-old Oscar-winning actress describes her previous relationship to Weinstein and offers 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 offenses which are, of course, horrifying, and I offer my sympathy to those who have suffered, and wholehearted support to those who have spoken out,” it read.
As Newsweek points out, Dench’s relationship to Weinstein stems to 1997, when his former studio, Miramax, was responsible for Mrs. Brown, her first starring role in a movie. She went on to win the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress for Shakespeare in Love, another Miramax release, from 1998.
After Weinstein departed Miramax in 2005, he founded the Weinstein Company. It acquired the rights to 2013’s Philomena, which starred Dench, and one of her most recent films Tulip Fever, which came out late this summer, was produced by the studio.
Dench had previously joked about having a tattoo on her butt that read “JD loves HW,” referring to Weinstein. She first shared the anecdote while accepting an award from the British Film Institute in London in 2011, and later, in 2014, revealed the tattoo was temporarily applied with makeup.
Weinstein addressed the joke in a 2013 interview on The Graham Norton Show, saying she “unbuckles her pants, and on her bum was ‘JD loves HW’… a tattoo. She said, ‘I put your name on my ass.’”
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Weinstein was accused of sexual harassment by multiple women including actresses Ashley Judd and Rose McGowan, over the span of three decades, New York Times reported last week.
Dench isn’t the only star who has spoken out against Weinstein following the Times‘s exposé. Meryl Streep released a similar statement on Monday. “The disgraceful news about Harvey Weinstein has appalled those of us whose work he championed, and those whose good and worthy causes he supported. The intrepid women who raised their voices to expose this abuse are our heroes,” she told HuffPost.