Labor & Employment

Lawyer who advised Harvey Weinstein: Alleged sexual harassment was illegal and 'gross'

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Harvey Weinstein/Dennis Makarenko (Shutterstock.com.)

Updated: A lawyer advising Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein agreed in an ABC News interview on Friday that the alleged sexual harassment by her client is illegal and said his actions were “gross.”

Lawyer Lisa Bloom spoke with Good Morning America’s George Stephanopoulos following a New York Times report that said Weinstein had been accused of sexually harassing women for decades. Weinstein has reportedly reached at least eight legal settlements with women who had accused him of sexual harassment or unwanted physical contact, the Times had reported. The Times and ABC News have stories on Bloom’s remarks.

The Times has this exchange:

Stephanopoulos: “This is a real pattern over 30 years. This is like textbook sexual harassment.”

Bloom: “It’s gross, yeah.”

Stephanopoulos: “It’s illegal.”

Bloom: “Yes. You know, I agree. See, you have to understand that, yes, I’m here as his adviser. I’m not defending him in any sexual harassment cases—there aren’t any sexual harassment cases. I’m working with a guy who has behaved badly over the years, who is genuinely remorseful, who says, you know, ‘I have caused a lot of pain.’”

Bloom also said sexual harassment is a legal term, and she uses the term “workplace misconduct.”

Bloom later gave a statement to the Times that said the allegations against her client, if true, would constitute sexual harassment. She said Weinstein denies many of the allegations and was not given a fair chance to rebut them.

On Saturday, Bloom resigned as an adviser to Weinstein, the Times reports. Emails reviewed by the newspaper suggested differences over her approach, including her suggestion that involved “photos of several of the accusers in very friendly poses with Harvey after his alleged misconduct.”

Weinstein has hired lawyer Charles Harder, who obtained a $140 million verdict against Gawker for wrestler Hulk Hogan. Harder told ABC that the Times story is defamatory and he is preparing a lawsuit.

Updated on Oct. 10 to report that Bloom has resigned.

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