Harvey Weinstein Turns Focus on NRA and Trump, Takes Leave After Sexual Misconduct Bombshell

“The way I’ve behaved with colleagues in the past has caused a lot of pain” he says

Hollywood titan Harvey Weinstein has apologized after a bombshell New York Times report that he engaged in sexual harassment and misconduct for decades and reached settlements with eight women.

He said he would take a leave from the film and TV company he co-founded with his brother Bob and devote himself now to battling the NRA and President Donald Trump.

“I came of age in the ’60s and ’70s, when all the rules about behavior and workplaces were different. That was the culture then,” he said in a statement provided to TheWrap. “I have since learned it’s not an excuse, in the office — or out of it. To anyone. I realized some time ago that needed to be a better person, and my interactions with the people I work with have changed.”

He spent five paragraphs in the statement owning up to his need to improve as a person, then shifted the focus to others.

“I hope Wayne LaPierre will enjoy his retirement party,” he said of the NRA leader.

His rambling statement also includes a quote that he claims is from the New York-based rapper Jay-Z’s “4:44” album that in fact is not.

Weinstein and his brother Bob co-founded the indie film company Miramax in the late 1970s and grew it into a powerhouse brand that made art-house films mainstream — and reshaped the Academy Awards race with aggressive marketing and buzz.

The company was bought by Disney in 1993, where the brothers continued to run the company — and dominate the Oscar race — until they left in 2005 to launch the new privately held The Weinstein Company.

A longtime New Yorker and backer of the Democratic Party, he is currently serving as producer on “The Current War,” which is viewed as a solid awards contender.

In 1999, he won an Oscar for producing Best Picture winner “Shakespeare in Love” and was nominated for an Oscar in 2003 for Martin Scorsese’s “Gangs of New York.”

Here is his complete statement:

I came of age in the ’60s and ’70s, when all the rules about behavior and workplaces were different. 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 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.

Though I’m trying to do better, I know I have a long way to go. That is my commitment. My journey now will be to learn about myself and conquer my demons. Over the last year, I’ve asked Lisa Bloom to tutor me, and she’s put together a team of people. I’ve brought on therapists, and I plan to take a leave of absence from my company and to deal with this issue head on. I so respect all women, and regret what happened. I hope that my actions will speak louder than words and that one day we will all be able to earn their trust and sit down together with Lisa to learn more. Jay Z wrote in 4:44 “I’m not the man I thought I was, and I better be that man for my children.” The same is true for me. I want a second chance in the community, but I know I’ve got work to do to earn it. I have goals that are now priorities. Trust me, this isn’t an overnight process. I’ve been trying to do this for 10 years, and this is a wake-up call. I cannot be more remorseful about the people I hurt, and I plan to do right by all of them. 
I am going to need a place to channel that anger, so I’ve decided that I’m going to give the NRA my full attention. I hope Wayne LaPierre will enjoy his retirement party. I’m going to do it at the same place I had my Bar Mitzvah. I’m making a movie about our President, perhaps we can make it a joint retirement party. One year ago, I began organizing a $5 million foundation to give scholarships to women directors at USC. While this might seem coincidental, it has been in the works for a year. It will be named after my mom, and I won’t disappoint her.