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Weinstein to sue NY Times over sexual harassment report

Weinstein to sue NY Times over sexual harassment report
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Media mogul Harvey Weinstein plans to sue The New York Times for up to a reported $50 million after a Thursday exposé by the paper claimed he has sexually harassed actresses and female staffers for decades.

Weinstein's new attorney Charles J. Harder called the the story "false and defamatory" and promised to donate all proceeds of the lawsuit, if successful, to women's organizations.

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Harder is the same attorney who helped wrestler Hulk Hogan win a defamation lawsuit against Gawker and a $140 million verdict. Hogan, whose real name is Terry Bollea, settled for $31 million in 2016, which helped put the publication out of business.

“The New York Times published today a story that is saturated with false and defamatory statements about Harvey Weinstein," Harder said in a statement supplied to The New York Post.

"It relies on mostly hearsay accounts and a faulty report, apparently stolen from an employee personnel file, which has been debunked by nine different eyewitnesses," he continued. "We sent the Times the facts and evidence, but they ignored it and rushed to publish. We are preparing the lawsuit now. All proceeds will be donated to women’s organizations."

The New York Post said its sources indicate Weinstein will sue the Times for as much as $50 million.

Weinstein denies the allegations provided to the Times by several female former employees, including a detailed account by Golden Globe-winning actress Ashley Judd.

According to the story, Judd says Weinstein lured her up to his hotel room, where she claims he asked her to give him a massage or watch him take a shower.

The Times also reported Weinstein paid off at least eight women after they alleged sexual harassment. In order to guarantee their silence following the undisclosed payments, the Miramax co-founder reportedly required each to a sign confidentiality agreement.

“I came of age in the ’60s and ’70s, when all the rules about behavior and workplaces were different," Weinstein said in a statement provided through attorney Lisa Bloom.

"That was the culture then. I have since learned it’s not an excuse, in the office — or out of it. To anyone. I realized some time ago that I needed to be a better person and my interactions with the people I work with have changed. I appreciate the way I’ve behaved with colleagues in the past has caused a lot of pain, and I sincerely apologize for it.”

Bloom is the daughter of famed civil rights attorney Gloria Allred.

Weinstein, a major donor to Democratic lawmakers and causes, has been married twice and is the father of five children. He is taking a leave of absence from his filmmaking company in the wake of the allegations.