Harvey Weinstein Taking Leave of Absence Following Reports of Sexual Harassment

Harvey Weinstein / Getty
Harvey Weinstein / Getty

Hollywood executive Harvey Weinstein has announced that he will take a leave of absence from his own company following reports he sexual harassed women for decades.

Weinstein has been accused of harassing women and using his position to proposition actresses and employees. As an example, actress Ashley Judd told the New York Times of an incident two decades earlier where he greeted her in a bathrobe in his hotel room and asked if she would watch him shower.

Weinstein's lawyer said the famed producer is contesting some of the allegations produced in the New York Times article about the controversy, although the Oscar-winning producer did release a statement with some admittance.

"I appreciate the way I’ve behaved with colleagues in the past has caused a lot of pain, and I sincerely apologize for it," Weinstein's statement said. "Though I’m trying to do better, I know I have a long way to go."

The Weinstein Co., co-founded by Weinstein and his brother, Bob Weinstein, has slumped in recent years in spite of Harvey's reputation as an awards season heavyweight, the Associated Press reports.

He has executive-produced five Best Picture winners: "The King’s Speech," "The Artist," "Chicago," "The English Patient" and "The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King."

Weinstein is a major Democratic donor and visited the White House frequently during the Obama administration.