Lena Dunham claims she warned the Hillary Clinton campaign about affiliation with Harvey Weinstein, who donated thousands of dollars to her 2016 presidential campaign.
In an interview with the New York Times, Dunham confessed that she had heard about Weinstein’s alleged pattern of sexual assault from other actresses, and told campaign officials about the allegations because she was uncomfortable with Weinstein’s proximity to the campaign, which Dunham vocally supported.
Dunham told the New York Times that she warned the campaign’s deputy communications manager Kristina Schake.
“I just want you to let you know that Harvey’s a rapist and this is going to come out at some point,” Dunham claimed she told Schake.
“I think it’s a really bad idea for him to host fund-raisers and be involved because it’s an open secret in Hollywood that he has a problem with sexual assault.”
Dunham said that as far as she was aware, the Clinton campaign did not respond to her warning.
Responding to an inquiry from the New York Times, Schake said Dunham never mentioned the word rape in conversations about Weinstein, and Clinton’s campaign manager Robby Mook said that he was never told about any allegations.
Magazine editor Tina Brown also told the newspaper that she warned someone in Clinton’s circle about Weinstein during the 2008 presidential campaign.
“I was hearing that Harvey’s sleaziness with women had escalated since I left Talk in 2002 and she was unwise to be so closely associated with him,” Brown said in an email to the New York Times.
The report indicates that Weinstein was aware that journalists were looking to his behavior and may have tried to align himself with high-profile feminists, possibly as part of a pre-emptive damage control effort.
Dunham came under fire last month for issuing a statement of support for a writer on her HBO series Girls who was accused of sexually assaulting a 17-year-old girl five years ago. After the public backlash, Dunham apologized for speaking out on his behalf.
“I naively believed it was important to share my perspective on my friend’s situation,” Dunham said in a Tweet.
“I now understand that it was absolutely the wrong time to come forward with such a statement and I am so sorry.”
[Feature image: Associated Press]