George Clooney, Matt Damon say They Knew Weinstein Was a ‘Womanizer’ and ‘Bully,’ but Not a Sexual Predator

“You had to spend about five minutes with him to know that he was a bully,” said Damon, later adding, “But this level of criminal sexual predation is not something that I ever thought was going on.”

George Clooney and Matt Damon are shedding more light on what it was like working with ousted Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein, who helped launched both actors to stardom in the late ’90s.

The pair, during their press tour for the Clooney-directed film Suburbicon, sat down with ABC’s Michael Strahan to clarify what they knew about Weinstein’s alleged history of sexual harassment prior to the media firestorm that erupted after the publication of two exposés, by The New York Times and The New Yorker, which detailed decades of harassment and assault allegations against the disgraced mogul.

“You had to spend about five minutes with him to know that he was a bully, he was intimidating — that was his legend,” said Damon, who first worked with Weinstein on Good Will Hunting and was subsequently signed to a three-picture deal. “When people say everybody knew, yeah I knew he was an asshole. He was proud of that.”

Damon revealed that he had heard of Gwyneth Paltrow’s encounter with Weinstein from friend Ben Affleck, though he had been under the impression that Paltrow had come to “an agreement or understanding” following the incident.

Paltrow was one of the first Hollywood actresses to come forward and accuse Weinstein of sexual harassment. She previously disclosed to the Times that the producer made unwanted advances to her early in her career, summoning her to his hotel room and suggesting the two of them head to the bedroom for massages.

“I knew he was a womanizer. I wouldn’t want to be married to the guy, but it’s not my business,” Damon said, explaining his thinking back then. “But this level of criminal sexual predation is not something that I ever thought was going on.”

Clooney noted that he similarly had an inkling of Weinstein’s alleged behavior around women based on conversations he had with the mogul.

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SOURCE: Meena Jang
The Hollywood Reporter