Hillary Clinton condemns donor Harvey Weinstein over sexual allegations

Hillary Clinton condemns donor Harvey Weinstein over sexual allegations

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Hillary Clinton, Photo by Doug Christian/Talk Media News
Hillary Clinton, pictured on the campaign trail in July 2016, said on Tuesday that she was "shocked and appalled" by the revelations of rape and sexual harassment directed at producer Harvey Weinsten. He has raised millions for Democratic candidates, including Clinton. (Doug Christian/TMN)

WASHINGTON – Hillary Clinton condemned disgraced Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein on Tuesday, five days after reports broke of his alleged predatory behavior.

“I was shocked and appalled by the revelations about Harvey Weinstein,” Clinton said in a statement through spokesperson Nick Merrill. “The behavior described by women coming forward cannot be tolerated. Their courage and the support of others is critical in helping to stop this kind of behavior.”

The New York Times reported Thursday that the powerful mogul has reached at least eight legal settlements with women over alleged sexual harassment.

Weinstein, 65, has given hundreds of thousands of dollars to Democratic candidates and politicians including Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton and former president Barack Obama. Weinstein also helped raise millions for the party, and hosted several fundraisers in his homes over the years, including events for Clinton and Obama.

Harvey Weinstein (David Shankbone/Creative Commons)

Weinstein had made 185 individual donations to Democratic candidates and liberal-leaning organizations dating back to the early 1990s, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.

Republicans have called on Democrats to return the money, but only a handful have since news of the allegations broke.

Former first lady Michelle Obama praised Weinstein at a student film symposium held at the White House in 2013. “He is a wonderful human being, a good friend and just a powerhouse,” she said at the event.

She has not issued a statement yet.

The Obamas’ eldest daughter, Malia, interned in the New York City office of The Weinstein Company in the year she took off before matriculating at Harvard University in August.

On Saturday, President Donald Trump told reporters that he was not surprised by the revelations.

“I’ve known Harvey Weinstein for a long time,” Trump said.

When asked Tuesday what the President may have known about the Hollywood mogul, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders simply said that the President’s comment spoke for itself.

“There’s nothing to add,” Sanders said.

The board of directors of the company Weinstein co-founded fired him on Sunday “in light of new information about misconduct by Harvey Weinstein that has emerged in the past few days,” a statement from the company said.

Four famous actresses, including Angelina Jolie and Gwyneth Paltrow, told the New York Times this week that Weinstein, who is married, harassed them in the 1990s. They said his behavior was well-known in Hollywood.

The New Yorker reported Tuesday morning that three women told the magazine that Weinstein raped them.

Weinstein’s spokesperson denied the rape allegations and said that any sexual behavior was consensual. But on Thursday he released a statement that said “the way I’ve behaved with colleagues in the past has caused a lot of pain, and I sincerely apologize for it.”

Justin Duckham contributed to this report.

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