Damon, 47, has done a handful of films with the disgraced
producer including Good Will Hunting, which he won an
Oscar for in 1998. “I never saw this,” the actor initially
claimed. Over 40 women have come forward accusing the producer
of sexual assault, harassment, and/or misconduct. “I think a
lot of actors have come out and said, everybody’s saying we all
knew. That’s not true,” Damon stated after the initial story
Well… it’s a little bit true as Damon has backtracked
a bit on that statement. The actor has now admitted to knowing
allegedly sexually harassing Gwyneth Paltrow in 1996.
“I knew the story about Gwyneth from Ben [Affleck] because he
was with her after [she dated] Brad [Pitt],”
Damon said on Good Morning America on Monday.
Paltrow claimed the producer sexually harassed her in a hotel
room when she was 22 and about to star in the Miramax
film Emma. “I was a kid, I was signed up, I was
petrified,” Paltrow alleged. She told her boyfriend at the
time, Brad Pitt, about the incident and the actor confronted
the media mogul, warning him to leave her alone. Weinstein
allegedly “screamed” at Paltrow for a long time, warning her
not to tell anyone else about what had happened or she would be
fired. Well, Paltrow apparently also told boyfriend Ben Affleck
who shared the story with his BFF, Damon.
“I never talked to Gwyneth about it. Ben told me,” Damon now
says. “But I knew that they had come to whatever agreement or
understanding that they had come to. She had handled it, and
she was the first lady of Miramax.”
Shortly after Emma, Paltrow went on to work with
Weinstein and win an Oscar for Shakespeare in Love.
The actress teamed up with Weinstein and Miramax again for the
1999 film The Talented Mr. Ripley, which also
“And he treated her incredibly respectfully, always,” Damon
maintains to GMA. Allegedly soliciting a massage for
professional gain in a hotel room isn’t our version of
“incredibly respectful,” but to each his own.
Damon and Paltrow promote ‘The Talented Mr Ripley’ in London
in 2000. (Photo by Dave Hogan/Getty Images)
Damon and Weinstein continued to have a professional
relationship following The Talented Mr. Ripley. It’s
been alleged the actor helped kill a 2004 story in The New
York Times that was supposedly going to expose allegations
against Weinstein and the head of Miramax Italy, Fabrizio
Lombardo, of sexual misconduct.
While the actor admits to making a phone call to the paper to
voice positive experiences working with Lombardo, he was not
aware of any of the sexual harassment allegations against
either of them. The author of that story, Sharon Waxman,
confirms Damon’s account.
“When people say, ‘Everybody knew,’ like yeah, I knew he was an
a**hole. He was proud of that. That’s how he carried himself,”
Damon explains on GMA. “I knew he was a womanizer. You
know, I wouldn’t want to be married to the guy. But that’s not
my business really. This level of criminal sexual predation was
not something I ever thought was going on. Absolutely not.”
It’s not just Damon who has been dragged for not speaking up
about Weinstein sooner. Affleck has also been called out
online after claiming to be unaware of the producer’s
behavior. Alleged Weinstein victim, Rose McGowan — who claims
the producer raped her — told Affleck to “f**k off.”
“GODDAMNIT! I TOLD HIM TO STOP DOING THAT” you said that
to my face. The press conf I was made to go to after
assault. You lie.
— rose mcgowan (@rosemcgowan)
October 10, 2017
McGowan also blasted the actor for the timing of his adoption
of a stray puppy.
Read more from Yahoo Entertainment: