Not even the biggest pop icon in the world was safe from disgraced movie mogul Harvey Weinstein. Madonna says in a new interview that when she worked with Weinstein, then-chief at Miramax, on her 1991 documentary, Truth or Dare, “Harvey crossed lines and boundaries and was incredibly sexually flirtatious and forward with me. […] He was married at the time, and I certainly wasn’t interested.”
Madonna doesn’t accuse Weinstein of assault or rape—while Rose McGowan, Annabella Sciora, and a host of other women have—she tells New York Times Magazine that the producer’s reputation preceded him even three decades ago. “I was aware that he did the same with a lot of other women that I knew in the business. And we were all, ‘Harvey gets to do that because he’s got so much power and he’s so successful and his movies do so well and everybody wants to work with him, so you have to put up with it.’”
The singer says that when the Weinstein scandal broke in 2017, “I was really like, ‘Finally.’ I wasn’t cheering from the rafters because I’m never going to cheer for someone’s demise. I don’t think that’s good karma anyway. But it was good that somebody who had been abusing his power for so many years was called out and held accountable.”
Aside from being canceled in both his public and professional lives, it’s still unclear what legal repercussions Weinstein will face. His lawyers announced today that a $44 million civil settlement with 11 of his accusers is “imminent,” with $30 million going to the plaintiffs, $14 million to their lawyers, and most of it paid for by insurance. Some of his alleged victims have already rejected the settlement outright.
An attorney for actress Wedil David, who alleges Weinstein raped her in 2106, says the settlement would allow Weinstein and “the men who enabled him” to “escape liability and accountability without, apparently, contributing a dime of their own money.”
Meanwhile, the civil case will have no impact on Weinstein’s criminal prosecution in New York. His trial for five counts of sexual assault, including rape, is set begin September 8. If convicted, he faces life in prison.
Weinstein maintains that all accusations of nonconsensual sex are “patently false.”
Stay on top of the latest in L.A. food and culture. Sign up for our newsletters today.