Quentin Tarantino has said he knew about Harvey Weinstein's behaviour towards women for decades and feels ashamed that he did not do more to stop it.
The director, who has worked with Weinstein on all of his films, said he wished he had "taken responsibility" after hearing several credible stories from prominent actresses about Weinstein's misconduct.
“I knew enough to do more than I did,” he told the New York Times. “There was more to it than just the normal rumours, the normal gossip. It wasn’t secondhand. I knew he did a couple of these things.”
“I wish I had taken responsibility for what I heard,” he added. “If I had done the work I should have done then, I would have had to not work with him.”
Tarantino, the director of acclaimed films such as Pulp Fiction and Reservoir Dogs, said his former girlfriend, Mira Sorvino, had told him that Weinstein had harassed her and touched her inappropriately.
“What I did was marginalise the incidents,” he said. “Anything I say now will sound like a crappy excuse.”
He said that Weinstein had "horribly crossed the line" with Sorvino and that he was "shocked and appalled" by his behaviour. He then heard several other accounts of harassment and assault from other actresses.
Tarantino said that Hollywood needed to take the situation more seriously because the industry had been “operating under an almost Jim Crow-like system that us males have almost tolerated. We allowed it to exist because that’s the way it was.”
Tarantino broke his silence on the Weinstein scandal last week, saying in a statement that he was “stunned and heartbroken”.
Members of staff at The Weinstein Company have reportedly branded the disgraced movie mogul a "monster" in a scathing letter about their former boss.
The statement, published by The New Yorker and signed by "Select Members of The Weinstein Company Staff", said that the group did not know they were "working for a serial sexual predator".
Los Angeles police on Thursday evening said they were investigating a possible sexual assault case against Weinstein - the first involving the producer in the city. Police in New York and London are also investigating complaints against him.
Weinstein has been accused of sexual harassment or abuse by more than three dozen women. He has denied all allegations of non-consensual sex.
Weinstein Sex scandal