Liberal Fashion Designer Defends Weinstein, Suggests His Alleged Victims Were ‘Asking for It’


Donna Karem/ Getty Images
• October 9, 2017 11:10 pm


Fashion designer Donna Karan is standing by Hollywood media mogul and Democratic donor Harvey Weinstein in the wake of the sexual misconduct allegations against him that surfaced last week.

Karan was asked on Sunday at the CinéFashion Film Awards to weigh in on the scandal that had surrounded the film mogul over the weekend. Unlike Hollywood actresses like Meryl Streep and Judy Dench, who have denounced Weinstein's behavior, Karan shied away from attacking Weinstein and instead castigated the women who made the allegations against him, according to the Daily Mail:

She told a reporter: ‘I think we have to look at ourselves. 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, it's been a hard time for women.

‘To see it here in our own country is very difficult, but 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?

‘And what are we throwing out to our children today about how to dance and how to perform and what to wear? How much should they show?' Karan's comments are striking as a legend in the fashion world and having designed women's clothing for decades.

She also said that she knows Weinstein's wife and fellow fashion designer, Georgina Chapman, and that they are a "wonderful couple." Karan went on to say that the allegations against Weinstein are not solely his fault, putting blame on the women who accused him sexual harassment.

"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.

The Oscar-winning producer donated nearly $600,000 since the early 2000s to Democratic campaigns and has hosted several fundraisers for former President Barack Obama and failed presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.

Karan is also a major donor for Democratic campaigns, as she has donated tens of thousands of dollars to Democratic leaders, including Clinton and Obama. She has also donated over $30,000 to the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC) and almost $100,000 to the Democratic National Committee (DNC) Services Corp.

Weinstein was fired on Sunday from The Weinstein Company, the film studio that he co-founded with his brother Robert Weinstein, after the board determined that his conduct merited he should be terminated immediately.

UPDATED Tuesday, 9:19 A.M.: In a statement released Monday, Karan explained that she "made a statement that was not representative of how I feel or what I believe."

She continued, "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," she concluded.