Harvey Weinstein was misquoted in a published article claiming the disgraced movie mogul had admitted offering acting jobs to actresses in exchange for sex, Weinstein’s attorney Ben Brafman said Friday.
The writer of the piece — Taki Theodoracopulos — also gave a statement to CNN, calling the article a “mistake.”
In it, Weinstein is quoted as saying: “I did offer [women] acting jobs in exchange for sex, but so did and still does everyone.”
Brafman confirmed to CNN that his client did recently sit down with Theodoracopulos, but said that Weinstein was misquoted.
“I was present for the conversation; it was not an interview, but a social meeting between old friends. Harvey and Taki did not discuss the case, nor would I allow him to. They talked about old Hollywood and the contrast to European culture, and I think Taki sees Harvey in that older light. Mr. Weinstein never said anything about trading movie roles for sexual favors. You have my word that Harvey did not say that.”
In his statement, Theodoracopulos also said his meeting with Weinstein last month was a “social visit.”
Theodoracopulos states in the piece that Weinstein called him on the phone and said, “I’ve got a world exclusive for you, are you interested?”
Theodoracopulos, Weinstein and Brafman then met at Weinstein’s office, situated above one of New York City’s most famous restaurants, Cipriani.
Theodoracopulos writes in the Spectator piece that the meeting was initially focused on an attempt by Weinstein to discredit one of his accusers, actress Rose McGowan. But he writes that the conversation then turned to the allegations against the movie producer, with Weinstein allegedly stating:
“You were born rich and privileged and you were handsome. I was born poor, ugly, Jewish and had to fight all my life to get somewhere. You got lotsa girls, no girl looked at me until I made it big in Hollywood. Yes, I did offer them acting jobs in exchange for sex, but so did and still does everyone. But I never, ever forced myself on a single woman.”
In his statement to CNN, Theodoracopulos said he may have misunderstood Weinstein.
“After 41 years as a Spectator columnist without a single retraction, I believe that I may have misrepresented Harvey Weinstein’s conversation with me in New York last month. It was my mistake. We were discussing Hollywood and I may have misunderstood certain things about the methods of that place. I had nothing to do with the headline of my article and I hope I have not damaged his case. It was, after all, a social visit.”
The Spectator did not immediately respond to a request from CNN for comment on the original story, which was still online Friday evening.
Earlier this week Weinstein pleaded not guilty to three additional sex crime charges in Manhattan Criminal Court. This brings the total of felony charges he’s facing to six. Through a spokesperson, Weinstein has repeatedly denied “any allegations of non-consensual sex.”