Movies & TV / News

Matt Damon Knew Harvey Weinstein Sexually Harassed Gwyneth Paltrow, Was Otherwise Unaware

October 23, 2017 | Posted by Jeremy Thomas
Matt Damon

Matt Damon says that he was aware of the story of Harvey Weinstein sexually harassing Gwyneth Paltrow but was otherwise unaware of Weinstein’s actions. Damon and George Clooney appeared on Good Morning America on Monday morning for an interview discussing the ongoing allegations against Weinstein, and said Ben Affleck had told him about Weinstein’s encounter with Paltrow while filming Emma in the mid-1990s.

Paltrow said earlier this month that while at a meeting with Weinstein in a hotel suite, Weinstein put his hands on her and suggested they go to the bedroom. She called then-boyfriend Brad Pitt, who confronted Weinstein and told him to never touch Paltrow again.

“I knew the story about Gwyneth from Ben, because he was with her after Brad, so I knew that story,” Damon said. “But I was working with Gwyneth with Harvey on Ripley. I never talked to Gwyneth about it. Ben told me. I knew that they had come to whatever agreement or understanding that they had come to. She had handled it and she was the first lady of Miramax. He treated her incredibly respectfully. Always.”

Damon added of Weinstein’s harassment, “He didn’t do it out in the open. If there was ever an event where there was something I was at with Harvey in public and he was doing this thing and I missed it, and there’s some woman who was somehow assaulted and was at the Golden Globes or something and I somehow missed it, then I’m sorry.”

Damon has been accused of killing a story by Sharon Waxman for the New York Times about Weinstein’s behavior back in 2004. However, Waxman, who has since founded The Wrap, has since said that Damon “wasn’t informed — nor [should] he have been — [about the] investigative aspect of [the] piece.”

Damon said on Monday that he never heard about Weinstein’s behavior beyong Paltrow’s experience with him, but said he was well-aware, as many in and out of Hollywood were, of Weinstein’s reputation as a terror to deal with.

“You had to spend about five minutes with him to know that he was a bully and he was intimidating,” Damon said. “That was his legend. That whole kind of M.O. When people say ‘everybody knew,’ yeah, I knew. I knew he was an a**hole. He was proud of that. That’s how he carried himself. I knew he was a womanizer. I wouldn’t want to be married to the guy, but it’s not my business really, but this level of criminal sexual predation was not something I ever thought was going on.”

Damon also expressed his support for the victims of Weinstein’s behavior, saying, “This would have been a difficult past couple of days even if my name hadn’t been dragged into it. I am not the story here. The story is these women and what happened to them. So if I’m experiencing this discomfort, it hardly bears mention. There are some real victims here and they are being incredibly brave. Hopefully, them going through this experience right now will help them heal. They are who we all should be thinking about.”

Clooney said, “Harvey would talk to me about women he’d had affairs with. I didn’t necessarily believe him, quite honestly, because to believe him would be to believe kind of the worst of some actresses who were friends of mine. And I didn’t really think they were going to have affairs with Harvey. And clearly, they didn’t. But the idea that this predator, this assaulter was out there silencing women like that? It’s beyond infuriating.”

Clooney added, “There has to be a comeuppance for the people who were part of this. All of the people who were part of the chain. And then, we have to make it safe for people to feel like they can talk about this. And in doing that, I think that’ll scare away that kind of behavior. More than anything, you’re going to have to have a warning shot over the bow of those — anyone who would act like that, that you will be outed, and you will be out of the business and more than that, you might be prosecuted.”

You can see clips from the interview below.