“I knew the story about Gwyneth from Ben because he was with her after Brad [Pitt],” Damon said. (Paltrow and Affleck dated in the late Nineties, following her broken engagement with Pitt.) “But I was working with Gwyneth, with Harvey, on [The Talented Mr. Ripley]. … I never talked to Gwyneth about it. Ben told me, but I knew that they had come to whatever agreement or understanding they had come to. She had handled it. She was the First Lady of Miramax, and he treated her incredibly respectfully. Always.”
Weinstein played an important role in Damon and Affleck’s rise to success after distributing their breakout movie, Good Will Hunting – which won them Best Original Screenplay Oscar – via Miramax in 1998.
In the days following the bombshell report that Weinstein had sexually harassed or assaulted dozens of Hollywood hopefuls over the years, Paltrow shared her own story in an interview with the New York Times, alleging that Weinstein “tried to massage her.” According to the story, Pitt, Paltrow’s then-boyfriend, confronted Weinstein after the alleged incident.
Damon added Monday that though it wasn’t hard to recognize that Weinstein was difficult to work with right from the get-go, he hadn’t realized the extent of the producer’s misconduct within the industry.
“You had to spend five minutes with him to know he was a bully, he was intimidating. That was his legend. That was his whole M.O.,” Damon said. “Could you survive a meeting with Harvey? Could you stand up for yourself with Harvey?”
“When people say everybody knew, yeah, I knew that he was an asshole,” the actor continued. “He was proud of that. That’s how he carried himself. I knew he was a womanizer. I wouldn’t want to be married to the guy, but that’s not my business, really. But this level of criminal sexual predation is not something that I ever thought was going on. Absolutely not.”
Damon added that he never bore witness to any misconduct on Weinstein’s part because the disgraced mogul “didn’t do it out in the open.” If it were the case that he had overlooked any instances of inappropriate behavior, however, Damon said that he apologizes.
“If there was ever an event or something that I was at, in public with Harvey, and he was doing this kind of thing and I missed it? And there’s some woman who was somehow assaulted, and it was at the Golden Globes, and I somehow missed it?” he said. “Then I’m sorry.”