An article billed as disgraced Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein’s first interview since last year’s serious claims of sexual abuse has been retracted by its author after the producer’s attorney got involved.
According to the Hollywood Reporter, Taki Theodoracopulos of The Spectator has walked back the quotes attributed to Weinstein in a piece published on Friday. The author now states that the conversation was a “social” visit and not an on-the-record interview.
As the original article stated, Weinstein admitted that he offered actresses “jobs in exchange for sex, but so did and still does everybody.”
The Miramax co-founder reportedly then discussed his own upbringing in an attempt to defend such behavior.
“You were born rich and privileged and you were handsome,” Weinstein told Theodoracopulos, according to the retracted quote.
He went on to say that he was “born poor, ugly, Jewish” and had to “fight” to get ahead in life.
The report indicated that Weinstein continued to deny he ever forced himself on any woman.
Reports indicate Ben Brafman, the attorney representing Weinstein, was present during the conversation. He later said his client was misquoted and disputed the assertion that the article stemmed from an actual interview.
Brafman described the conversation as “a social meeting between old friends” and asserted that the two men did not discuss the open charges.
“They talked about old Hollywood and the contrast to European culture, and I think Taki sees Harvey in that older light,” the lawyer said. “Mr. Weinstein never said anything about trading movie roles for sexual favors. You have my word that Harvey did not say that.”
In a statement that accompanied his retraction, Theodoracopulos wrote that he has spent more than four decades at The Spectator and this represented the first time he had been in such a position.
“It was my mistake,” he wrote. “We were discussing Hollywood and I may have misunderstood certain things about the methods of that place. I had nothing to do with the headline of my article and I hope I have not damaged his case. It was, after all, a social visit.”
Also included in the initial article was Theodoracopulos’ claim that Weinstein initially approached him to reveal a “world exclusive” claim regarding the relationship between the late Anthony Bourdain and Asia Argento.
Argento has accused Weinstein of sexual misconduct and, along with fellow accuser Rose McGowan, has denied any allegations or theories the producer might try to float.
“I understand now who is behind the horrifying trolling and bullying directed against me and @rosemcgowan,” Argento wrote on Twitter.
Weinstein has pleaded not guilty to three charges. His next scheduled court date is Sept. 20 in New York.
[Featured image: AP Photo/Richard Drew]