Fashion designer Donna Karan has apologized for her incendiary comments in defense of friend and embattled movie mogul Harvey Weinstein, who was fired from The Weinstein Company Sunday following several allegations of sexual harassment.
Karan, 69, told MailOnline at a red carpet event Sunday that Weinstein and his fashion designer wife Georgina Chapman are “wonderful people” and questioned whether women who “display” themselves a certain way are “asking for it.”
“How do we present ourselves as women? What are we asking? Are we asking for it by presenting all the sensuality and all the sexuality?" she said.
Karan added: "You look at everything all over the world today, and how women are dressing. What they're asking by just presenting themselves the way they do. What are they asking for? Trouble."
The DKNY founder walked back her comments Monday night, telling Variety in a statement they were “taken out of context” and “I believe that sexual harassment is not acceptable.”
“While answering a question on the red carpet I made a statement that unfortunately is not representative of how I feel or what I believe,” Karan said.
The statement continued: “I have spent my life championing women. My life has been dedicated to dressing and addressing the needs of women, empowering them and promoting equal rights.
“My statements were taken out of context and do not represent how I feel about the current situation concerning Harvey Weinstein.
“I believe that sexual harassment is NOT acceptable and this is an issue that MUST be addressed once and for all regardless of the individual.
“I am truly sorry to anyone that I offended and everyone that has ever been a victim.”
Karan’s initial remarks were criticized on Twitter. Actor Rose McGowan, one of the women mentioned in The New York Times exposé that detailed Weinstein’s misconduct last week, said her comments on the red carpet were “deplorable.” Mia Farrow said she would no longer wear the fashion designer’s clothing.
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But Karan is also in hot water for what Twitter critics deemed a feeble apology after she said her earlier comments were “taken out of context.”
Several stars including notable Weinstein collaborators Meryl Streep and Judi Dench have denounced the movie mogul’s actions and offered their condolences to victims of sexual harassment.
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