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Harvey Weinstein’s Supposed Jay-Z Quote Isn’t Really a Jay-Z Quote

Weinstein misquotes rapper’s “4:44” in statement regarding sexual harassment allegations

Harvey Weinstein cited Jay-Z’s “4:44” lyrics in his response to the New York Times’ explosive story about the sexual harassment allegations against him — but he seems to have gotten them wrong.

“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,” Weinstein wrote in his statement, expressing regret over the way he has conducted himself in the past.

As Spin noted on Thursday, the only portion of the song similar to the quote is the beginning of the third verse, when Jay-Z raps: “And if my children knew / I don’t even know what I would do / If they ain’t look at me the same / I would prob’ly die with all the shame.”

The words that Weinstein attributed to Jay-Z on the song “4:44” appear nowhere on the album of the same name.

On Thursday, the New York Times published a bombshell report recounting the long history of sexual harassment allegations made against Weinstein, including reported misconduct with actresses Ashley Judd and Rose McGowan, and a number of former employees.

The Times spoke to women who accused Weinstein of “appearing nearly or fully naked in front of them, requiring them to be present while he bathed or repeatedly asking for a massage or initiating one himself.”

“I came of age in the 60’s and 70’s, when all the rules about behavior and workplaces were different. That was the culture then,” Weinstein said in response. “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.”

Weinstein also said he would take a leave of absence and channel his energy on fighting President Trump and the NRA.

Maybe he should spend a little more time listening to Jay-Z, too.