Not only does Harvey Weinstein face potential criminal charges for alleged sexual assault, but he and (what’s left of) the Weinstein Company are embroiled in a number of lawsuits over his decades-long pattern of predatory behavior. One of those courtroom battles involves six actresses who brought a class-action racketeering lawsuit that uses RICO laws to accuse Harvey of essentially setting up the “Weinstein Sexual Enterprise” through his use of assistants and spies to cover up his “unwanted sexual conduct.”
Weinstein’s defense in this lawsuit — brought by actresses Zoe Brock, Sarah Ann Thomas, Melissa Sagemiller, Louisette Geiss, Katherine Kendall, and Nannette Klatt — not only denies his accusers’ claims, but he also dragged in pre-#MeToo praise from Jennifer Lawrence and Meryl Streep to show that not every women who encountered or worked with him has made accusations. Specifically, the suit quotes Streep as saying she’d always felt “respect” from Weinstein and Lawrence as stating that he’d “only ever been nice to me.”
Unsurprisingly, neither Lawrence nor Streep is here for Weinstein to use their out-of-context words as a defense, and the former blasted the “predator”:
“Harvey Weinstein and his company are continuing to do what they have always done, which is to take things out of context and use them for their own benefit. This is what predators do, and it must stop. For the record, while I was not victimized personally by Harvey Weinstein, I stand behind the women who have survived his terrible abuse and I applaud them in using all means necessary to bring him to justice whether through criminal or civil actions. Time’s up.”
Streep has issued a similarly scathing statement to call Weinstein “exploitative” for using her words to deny accusations from others:
“Harvey Weinstein’s attorneys use of my (true) statement – that he was not sexually transgressive or physically abusive in our business relationship – as evidence that he was not abusive with many OTHER women is pathetic and exploitive. The criminal actions he is accused of conducting on the bodies of these women are his responsibility, and if there is any justice left in the system he will pay for them.”
Streep went on to say that Weinstein’s many Hollywood successes were somewhat “lucky” and have nothing to do with the criminal accusations against him, so the veteran actress does not welcome him twisting any professional praise she’s ever uttered toward him. It’s also worth noting that both Streep and Lawrence have expressed disgust over the mountain of allegations against Weinstein. In particular, Lawrence called out the mogul’s “gross actions” while expressing heartfelt support for his alleged victims.