Donna Karan is apologetic about her much-criticized response to the Harvey Weinstein scandal, but she stands by the fact that she “didn’t know” the extent of the accusations against the media mogul when she made her remarks.
“I heard a whisper, but there were whispers all over,” the fashion designer said during a Good Morning America interview that aired Monday. “It wasn’t until a day and a half after that I truly heard about it. That’s my honest truth. I didn’t know.”
Karan drew ire from people across social media earlier this month after she was caught on video seemingly defending Weinstein and shaming the women who had come forward to accuse the producer of sexual assault and harassment.
“How do we display ourselves, how do we present ourselves as women, what are we asking? Are we asking for it, you know, by presenting all the sensuality and all the sexuality?” she said on-camera at the time, telling the reporter that the women may have been asking for “trouble” by dressing a certain way.
“It’s not Harvey Weinstein,” she continued. “You look at everything all over the world today, you know, and how women are dressing and, you know, what they’re asking by presenting themselves the way they do. What are they asking for? Trouble.”
Since Karan first made her comments, several A-list celebrities – including Rose McGowan and Mia Farrow – have banded together to resolve not to wear Karan’s designs any longer. According to the Associated Press, the stock price for G-III, Karan’s fashion company, has also dropped as a result of her comments.
On Monday, the fashion designer expressed her remorse over making the off-color remarks.
“I want to say how sorry I am,” she said. “What I said is so wrong and not who I am. I love women. I absolutely adore women. I care about them. I’m a mother, I’m a grandmother. You know, and I’ve never done this before, and I will never do it again.”
Karan insists that her apology is not simply a way to save her brand, however.
“It’s not about my brand,” she said. “I started Urban Zen because I did not want to just be a designer. It was about dressing and addressing the issues at hand, in health, education, in culture. I want to bring us all together as a team to face the world that we’re faced with today.”