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Weinstein on 'indefinite' leave of absence

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October 07, 2017

Harvey Weinstein will take a leave of absence pending an investigation into harassment claims.

Harvey Weinstein will take an "indefinite" leave of absence from the Weinstein Company, the board has announced.

The board has also retained John Kiernan, of Debevoise & Plimpton LLP, to conduct an independent investigation of sex harassment allegations following the New York Times' bombshell report on Thursday.

"We strongly endorse Harvey Weinstein's already-announced decision to take an indefinite leave of absence from the Company, commencing today," the board said in a statement on Friday.

"As Harvey has said, it is important for him to get professional help for the problems he has acknowledged. Next steps will depend on Harvey's therapeutic progress, the outcome of the Board's independent investigation, and Harvey's own personal decisions."

Co-chairman Bob Weinstein and COO David Glasser will run the company in Weinstein's absence.

The New York Times reported on Thursday that Weinstein has over the years reached at least eight legal settlements with women over alleged harassment.

The Times article chronicled allegations against Weinstein from actress Ashley Judd and former employees at both the Weinstein Co and Weinstein's former company, Miramax.

In an interview with The Associated Press on Friday, Weinstein attorney Lisa Bloom both defended Weinstein and acknowledged he'd been "stupid".

She saluted the women who have come forward to allege wrongdoing, but said many allegations were overblown and consisted of Weinstein telling a woman she "looked cute without my glasses".

Congressional Democrats, including Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and potential 2020 presidential contender Elizabeth Warren, on Friday began giving charities thousands of dollars in donations they had received from the disgraced Hollywood titan.

Weinstein and his family have given more than $1.4 million in political contributions since the 1992 election cycle, nearly all of it to Democratic lawmakers, candidates and their allies, according to the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics.

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