Fashion designer praises producer accused of harassment and suggests women presenting all the sensuality and all the sexuality are asking for trouble
Fashion designer Donna Karan has come to the defence of film producer Harvey Weinstein by praising the movie mogul and saying women who dress sensually are asking for trouble.
Weinsteins alleged conduct has been condemned by his friends Meryl Streep and Judi Dench, who called the claims horrifying and inexcusable.
He was fired by the board of the Weinstein Company on Sunday after it learned of new information about his behaviour.
The producer had been on a leave of absence after the New York Times published a report that detailed acts of alleged harassment towards multiple women, including actors Rose McGowan and Ashley Judd.
But on Sunday, Karan, who is also a friend of Weinsteins, told the Daily Mail that he was wonderful.
Karan said women must consider if the way they dress suggests they are asking for it.
I think we have to look at ourselves, she said on the red carpet at the CinFashion film awards in Los Angeles.
Obviously, the treatment of women all over the world is something that has always had to be identified. Certainly in the country of Haiti where I work, in Africa, in the developing world, its been a hard time for women.
I also think how do we display ourselves? How do we present ourselves as women? What are we asking? Are we asking for it by presenting all the sensuality and all the sexuality?
Karan said women who dressed provocatively were asking for trouble.
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 described Weinstein and his wife, fashion designer Georgina Chapman, as wonderful people and said he has done amazing things.
I dont think were only looking at him. I think were looking at a world much deeper than that.
The DKNY founder, whose business is mainly built on making clothes for women, is one of the first people to publicly defend Weinstein since the allegations came to light.
Karans comments were seized on by Rose McGowan, one of Weinsteins accusers, who called the designer scum in a fancy dress.
The designer later sought to distance herself from her comments, saying in a statement that they were taken out of context.
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.
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.
Karan said sexual harassment was not acceptable and apologised to anyone she had offended and everyone that has ever been a victim.
Weinstein has issued an apology and has said he is seeking therapy. His lawyers say the New York Times story is saturated with false and defamatory statements and relies on mostly hearsay accounts and a faulty report.