Dame Judi Dench has hit out at movie mogul Harvey Weinstein for sexually harassing Hollywood actresses – despite being so friendly with him she once got a fake tattoo of ‘JD loves HW’ on her bottom.
Weinstein, 65, a long time champion of Dench’s career, has been fired from his own company after being accused of a spate of sexual harassment claims spanning two decades.
Now the award winning actress, 82, has said she is horrified by the claims and in a statement offered her sympathies to those who have suffered.
Dame Judi Dench has hit out at movie mogul Harvey Weinstein for sexually harassing Hollywood actresses – despite being so friendly she once got a fake tattoo of him on her bottom
She told Newsweek: ‘Whilst there is no doubt that Harvey Weinstein has helped and championed my film career for the past 20 years, I was completely unaware of these offences which are, of course, horrifying, and I offer my sympathy to those who have suffered, and wholehearted support to those who have spoken out.’
Weinstein and Dench have been long time associates and in 2014 the James Bond actress revealed she once jokingly had his name temporary tattooed on her bottom.
She made the cheeky news public during her appearance at the 2014 BAFTA Los Angeles Awards.
At the ceremony the star revealed a famous person told her early on in her career that she could never make it in films because her face ‘just isn’t properly arranged’.
However, when she was cast as Queen Victoria in the 1997 TV movie Mrs Brown, she was able to finally prove the unnamed source of those harsh words wrong.
‘Harvey Weinstein, whose tattoo I still have on my bum, said it would be a proper (theatrical) film, and it was,’ she told the audience, thanking him for his support.
The pair have had a strong collaborative relationship since his former studio, Miramax, distributed the TV movie Mrs Brown in which she received her first Oscar nomination (pictured in Shakespeare in Love, 1998)
Dench confirmed the joke on the Graham Norton Show in 2013, telling the host she had the words ‘JD loves HW’ temporary inked on to her bottom in tribute to her friend.
The pair have had a strong collaborative relationship since his former studio, Miramax, distributed the film in which she received her first Oscar nomination.
Working with Miramax, Dench won Oscar nominations for Notes on a Scandal, Chocolat, Iris, and Mrs Henderson Presents.
While she won the Best Supporting Actress award for her role in the 1998 film Shakespeare in Love.
Their most recent collaborations include Philomena in 2013 as well as the delayed Tulip Fever.
Weinstein is seen here arriving at the Oscars in Los Angeles in 2014. He has been involved in the production or distribution of movies such as Shakespeare in Love and Pulp Fiction
The production boss was ousted from The Weinstein Company – which he founded with his brother Bob in 2005 – by its board of directors on Sunday.
The firing comes after a bombshell report alleged Weinstein, whose company produced such hits as ‘The King’s Speech’ and ‘The Artist,’ preyed on young women hoping to break into the film industry.
The accusers – including celebrities such as Rose McGowan and Ashley Judd – say Weinstein promised to help advance their careers in exchange for sexual favors, pressuring them to massage him and watch him naked.
Fired: Harvey Weinstein has been ousted from the company he founded in 2005 after stories emerged of multiple alleged sexual harassment claims going back decades
In a statement confirming the producer’s departure, the The Weinstein Company said: ‘In light of new information about misconduct by Harvey Weinstein that has emerged in the past few days, the directors of The Weinstein Company – Robert Weinstein, Lance Maerov, Richard Koenigsberg and Tarak Ben Ammar – have determined, and have informed Harvey Weinstein, that his employment with The Weinstein Company is terminated, effective immediately.’
Until this week, Weinstein had been one of the most imposing – and seemingly untouchable – figures in the movie industry.
But while stories about Weinstein have largely only circulated in media and Hollywood circles for decades, the lid is now off – thanks to an explosive report in the New York Times on Thursday that uncovered a string of sexual harassment allegations and cover-ups.
As news of his firing started to emerge on Sunday, Hollywood figures came forward to applaud the decision.
Ashley Judd thanked Hollywood stars including Heather Graham and Susan Sarandon who had backed her on Twitter and McGowan tweeted that the team that produced the NYT article had ‘saved lives’ with their ‘bravery’.
Below are some of the women who have accused Weinstein of harassing them, or other women.
Rose McGowan: The actress, who made her breakthrough in 1996 in the Weinstein-produced slasher revival movie Scream, reportedly sued Weinstein after he approached her during production of that movie. She signed a non-disclosure agreement at the close of the suit and has only referred to him obliquely in social media since. On Sunday she referred to being abused by a ‘monster’ and has previously referred to being raped by a studio head.
Ashley Judd: Judd’s film roles include the thriller Kiss the Girls – and says that during the filming of that movie Weinstein repeatedly asked her to watch him shower. She was one of the women who spoke out to The New York Times this week, saying: ‘Women have been talking about Harvey amongst ourselves for a long time, and it’s simply beyond time to have the conversation publicly.’
Zelda Perkins was 25 when, as an assistant of Weinstein’s in London, she reportedly confronted the mogul for harassing her and ‘several’ other women; she later settled out of court
Lauren O’Connor: A former employee of The Weinstein Company, she told executives there in the fall of 2015 that there was ‘a toxic environment for women at this company’ after one of her colleagues told her that Weinstein had pressured her into massaging him while he was naked, the NYT said.
Ambra Battilana: An Italian actress and model, she told the NYT that in March 2015 Weinstein invited her to his New York office. There, she said, he asked if her breasts were real before grabbing them and putting his hands up her skirt. She reported the alleged incident to police, but they did not press charges. According to the NYT, Weinstein later paid her off.
Laura Madden: An ex-employee, she told the NYT that Weinstein had asked her to give him massages from 1991 onwards, while they were both in London and Dublin. ‘It was so manipulative,’ she told the NYT. ‘You constantly question yourself – am I the one who is the problem?’ Weinstein denied knowledge.
Emily Nestor: Nestor was a temporary employee of the Weinstein Company for just one day in 2014 when Weinstein approached her and offered to boost her career in exchange for sex, the NYT reported.
Zelda Perkins: An assistant of Weinstein’s based in London in 1998; then 25, she reportedly confronted Weinstein after she and ‘several’ others were harassed and later settled out of court.
Elizabeth Karlsen, an Oscar-winning producer, said a female executive told her almost 30 years ago that she had found Weinstein naked in her bedroom in a Miramax-rented property
Elizabeth Karlsen: The Oscar-nominated producer of Carol and The Crying Game, among others, told The Hollywood Reporter on Sunday that almost 30 years ago, an unnamed young female executive who had worked at Miramax with Weinstein had found him naked in her bedroom one night. The exec was in a house rented by Miramax at the time to cut its overheads.
Liza Campbell: A freelance script reader, she told the UK’s Sunday Times that Weinstein had summoned her to his hotel room in London before telling her to get in the bath with him.
Lauren Sivan: The former Fox news host said that Weinstein trapped her in a closed restaurant and masturbated in front of her to completion in 2007. He took her to a closed restaurant beneath a club she had visited and attempted to kiss her, then when she refused he cornered her and made her watch him touch himsel
f, according to The Huffington Post.