(ABC News) — Meryl Streep once referred to Harvey Weinstein as “God” in an acceptance speech, but in a statement to the Huffington Post on Monday, she said she was “appalled” by the “disgraceful news” about him.
Last Thursday, the New York Times published a report alleging that several women, including actress Ashley Judd, accused Weinstein of sexual harassment and/or unwanted physical contact over the past few decades.
Though the producer immediately apologized for misconduct and announced that he planned to take a leave of absence from work while he bettered himself, on Sunday night, the board of The Weinstein Company voted to terminate him permanently.
Weinstein, 64, issued a mea culpa last week, and wrote in a statement that he “respect[s] all women and regret[s] what happened.”
“I cannot be more remorseful about the people I hurt and I plan to do right by all of them,” he added.
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However, his attorney Charles Harder stated to ABC News at the time that the Times article was “saturated with false and defamatory statements,” and as a result, he was preparing a lawsuit against the newspaper. Any proceeds made as a result of the lawsuit would be donated to women’s charities, Harder added.
Streep, who said that Weinstein “was exasperating but respectful” toward her professionally, claimed that in spite of reports, “not everybody knew” about his inappropriate behavior. She was unaware of the many allegations made against him, she added.
“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 said. “The behavior is inexcusable, but the abuse of power familiar. Each brave voice that is raised, heard and credited by our watchdog media will ultimately change the game.”
Streep collaborated with Weinstein on films including “August: Osage County” and “The Iron Lady.” She earned Oscar nominations for both.
The allegations made against Weinstein have been met with varied responses from the entertainment community. Late-night hosts were criticized for not mentioning the allegations in their monologues last week and “Saturday Night Live” executive producer Lorne Michaels came under fire for omitting the storyline from last weekend’s episode. The Huffington Post also noted that stars including Gwyneth Paltrow and Quentin Tarantino, both of whom have worked with Weinstein for many years, have also remained silent.
However, others have been outspoken with their criticism. Director Kevin Smith said he was “ashamed” that Weinstein financed “the first 14 years of my career,” and Dame Judi Dench released a statement, calling the allegations “horrifying.”
“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,” she said, according to People. “I offer my sympathy to those who have suffered, and wholehearted support to those who have spoken out.”
A representative for Weinstein did not respond to ABC News’ request for comment.