Harvey Weinstein has spoken out on the weekend before his trial, telling CNN in an email interview that his life has been “grueling” since sexual misconduct accusations against him started to rise in 2017 and that the media is to blame for the “public’s biggest misconceptions” about him.
“The past two years have been grueling and have presented me with a great opportunity for self-reflection,” Weinstein wrote to CNN.
“I realize now that I was consumed with my work, my company and my drive for success. This caused me to neglect my family, my relationships and to lash out at the people around me. I have been in rehab since October 2017, and have been involved in a 12-step program and meditation. I have learned to give up my need for control.”
Weinstein, who says he does have “empathetic opinions” about “people” but can’t comment further on advice from his attorneys, places blame on the media for the sensationalized coverage of his tribulations.
“The public’s biggest misconceptions come from the assumptions that have been made through the help of media,” he wrote. “That is also all I can say on this for now.”
Weinstein, who had spinal surgery last month to remove three compressed vertebrae sustained from a car crash in August, told CNN that he has been leaning on loved ones in the weeks leading up to his trial on Monday and that meditation and “looking inward” has been instrumental.
“My meditation and focus on looking inward has helped me balance my emotions,” Weinstein wrote. “The whole process has been overwhelming, but I am working every day to stay level.”
Weinstein, who has been accused by more than 100 women of rape, sexual assault or sexual harassment, pleaded not guilty at his first indictment in August. He faces five felony counts: two counts of predatory sexual assault, one count of first-degree criminal sexual assault, one count of first-degree rape and one count of third-degree rape. The charges stem from accusations by Mimi Haleyi and a still-unnamed woman for encounters they say occurred in 2006 and 2013.
Last month, his former film company, The Weinstein Company (TWC), reached a tentative settlement with 18 of his accusers, will receive no more than $500,000, while $18.5 million is earmarked for a class-action lawsuit.
Although TWC no longer exists, he hopes to one day rebuild it, along with his reputation.
“It will take a bit of work to build back to it,” Weinstein wrote. “If I can get back to doing something good and building places that help heal and comfort others, I intend to do so.”
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