Donna Karan Apologizes After Defending Harvey Weinstein, Saying Harassed Women ‘May Be Asking for It’

Harvey Weinstein and Donna Karan in
Harvey Weinstein and Donna Karan in 2007.
Rex Shutterstock

Many Hollywood figures have been speaking out against producer Harvey Weinstein amid allegations of sexual misconduct.

However, according to a video on the Daily Mail, designer Donna Karan responded that women may be “asking for it” when she was asked to address the unfolding scandal.

“You look at everything all over the world today and how women are dressing and what they are asking by just presenting themselves the way they do. What are they asking for? Trouble,” Karan said at the CinéFashion Film Awards in Los Angeles on Sunday.

Donna Karan at the 4th Annual CineFashion Film Awards Donna Karan at the fourth annual CineFashion Film Awards. Rex Shutterstock

Karan, who is friends with Weinstein’s wife and Marchesa co-founder Georgina Chapman, also said: “Harvey has done some amazing things,” adding Weinstein and Chapman are “wonderful people.”

Following outrage over her comments late Monday night, the 69-year-old backtracked, saying in a statement to People that her comments had been taken out of context and she was “truly sorry to anyone” she offended.
paris fashion week, donna karan Donna Karan at the Fashion Tech Lab cocktail party during Paris Fashion Week. Rex Shutterstock

Last night, I was honored at the CineFashion Film Awards in Hollywood, and while answering a question on the red carpet, I made a statement that unfortunately is not representative of how I feel or what I believe,” she said. “I have spent my life championing women. My life has been dedicated to dressing and addressing the needs of women, empowering them and promoting equal rights.”

“My statements were taken out of context and do not represent how I feel about the current situation concerning Harvey Weinstein. I believe that sexual harassment is NOT acceptable, and this is an issue that MUST be addressed once and for all, regardless of the individual.” 

“I am truly sorry to anyone that I offended and everyone that has ever been a victim.”

This comes after the New York Times reported Thursday that eight women, including actress Ashley Judd, came forward to accuse the Oscar-winning film producer of sexual misconduct. On Sunday evening, Weinstein was removed from his position at The Weinstein Company, which he co-founded.

Meryl Streep and Harvey Weinstein in 2012 Meryl Streep and Harvey Weinstein in 2012. Rex Shutterstock

Since then, Meryl Streep, Kate Winslet, Glenn Close and more have spoken out. Streep said in a statement: “The disgraceful news about Harvey Weinstein has appalled those of us whose work he championed, and those whose good and worthy causes he supported. The intrepid women who raised their voices to expose this abuse are our heroes.”

Meanwhile, the mogul addressed the accustions, saying “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. I have since learned it’s not an excuse, in the office – or out of it. To anyone.”

He added: “I realized some time ago that I 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.”