Harvey Weinstein is in full-on damage-control mode following Thursday’s report, which accuses the powerful producer of multiple incidences of sexual harassment and misconduct.
The New York Times claims Weinstein’s inappropriate behavior has spanned nearly three decades —and he’s been married to Georgina Chapmen for the past 10 years. However, the 64-year-old Oscar-winning producer says his wife is standing by him.
“She stands 100 percent behind me,” Weinstein tells the New York Post. “Georgina and I have talked about this at length. We went out with [my attorney] Lisa Bloom last night when we knew the article was coming out. Georgina will be with Lisa and others kicking my ass to be a better human being and to apologize to people for my bad behavior, to say I’m sorry, and to absolutely mean it.”
Weinstein may be considered an industry power player, but his wife is no wallflower. So who is Georgina Chapman? If you’re not familiar with her, here are seven things to know about the English fashion designer.
1. She’s the co-founder of Marchesa: Chapman, 41, is also a designer for the high-fashion label. She co-founded Marchesa with her close friend Keren Craig, with whom she attended the Chelsea College of Art & Design in her late teens. While studying there, Chapman’s interests shifted from fine art to high fashion. Celebrities Jennifer Lopez, Heidi Klum, Sandra Bullock, and Sofia Vergara all count themselves as fans of the brand. Blake Lively even wore Marchesa when she wed Ryan Reynolds.
“When you see her beautiful work, you feel like you’re witnessing a craft that doesn’t exist any longer,” Lively reflected to Vogue. “The only designer that really makes you feel like a princess is Marchesa.”
2. Weinstein and Chapmen started dating in 2005: The pair met at a party in 2004 but didn’t date right away. Chapman told Vogue, “I had no idea who he was. … He’s not a person you can sort of ignore or brush off. He’s incredibly charming and so charismatic, it sort of draws you in.”
“Unlike her husband, she’s really nice,” Weinstein chimed in, talking about himself in the third person. “People will believe that, trust me. Sometimes people don’t associate people who look like that with compassion and that kind of kindness — but that’s who she is more than anyone else.”
The pair had a star-studded wedding in 2007, tying the knot in Connecticut in front of celebs like Lopez, Cameron Diaz, Renée Zellweger, and Naomi Watts. The couple went on to have two kids, daughter India, now 7, and son Dashiell, now 4.
3. Chapman credits motherhood with making her more successful: When speaking to Forbes about her success, Chapman admitted she “absolutely” thought about not returning to work but found postpregnancy “I’m not an organized person by nature, but I became very, very focused,” she told the publication. “It changed the way I approach work.”
Chapman shared with Forbes that being a working mom is “something I wrestle with every day.” She added: “But I feel pride, too, because the kids talk about what they’re going to do when they grow up. They don’t see any difference between my hubby and myself in terms of career. I think it’s a very empowering thing for a daughter to see her mother independent, working and having a voice. My mother gave up work when she had me. She’d been a journalist in the British film industry. That was very powerful, too, seeing a strong woman at home. Both situations work. I truly believe if you’re a happy mother, you’re a better mother.”
4. Marchesa’s breakout moment has Weinstein roots: Marchesa made its debut on the red carpet in 2004, when the label was worn by one of the biggest names in Hollywood at the time, Renée Zellweger. Fresh off an Oscar win for her performance in Cold Mountain — a Weinstein-backed film — Zellweger donned an embellished red bandeau dress for the premiere of Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason. At this point, Marchesa was a no-name brand, and Chapman and Craig were running their business out of a flat in West London.
“Maybe I helped, but just very, very little, with Renée Zellweger,” Weinstein — who had met Chapman only months before — told Vogue. That same year, Cate Blanchett showed up at The Aviator premiere (another film Weinsten produced) in a Marchesa dress, firmly putting the brand on the map.
At the time, the Los Angeles Times quipped, “Marchesa’s breathtaking success has the fashion world talking — and rolling its eyes, too. Just how much of that success, observers wonder, is due to the Harvey Factor?”
Chapman’s getting the last laugh on that one.
5. She’s incredibly close with her family: When asked by Forbes “what or who can you not live without?” the designer had a telling response.
“My mom, my girlfriends, my husband,” she said. “I went to college to learn to be a designer. I didn’t go to college to learn to be a mother, and I feel like that’s the one you don’t want to get wrong! For me, it’s all about having the right people around. My husband is so supportive. My mother is so supportive. My brother is my CEO. My best friend is my business partner. I have a wonderful woman who helps me with the kids. I have the most incredible, loyal team. It just wouldn’t be possible without them.”
6. Charity is important to her: Chapman is very involved with the nonprofit Magic Bus, whose mission is to help educate and improve the lives of local children in communities in India. The goal is to create youth leaders while utilizing the power of play. Magic Bus works with local partners to educate and employ these youth, maximizing their potential and breaking the cycle of poverty.
7. Chapman’s motto is “Never say never to anything”: During her Forbes interview, Chapman shared that motto, adding, “You just don’t know what’s around the corner. That’s the wonderful thing about life: Who knows what the future holds?”
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