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Harvey Weinstein apologizes to Meryl Streep, Jennifer Lawrence after he quoted them in lawsuit defense

Harvey Weinstein at the 70th Cannes Film Festival

Harvey Weinstein at the 70th Cannes Film Festival in Antibes, France on May 23, 2017. Credit: Getty Images / Yann Coatsaliou

Harvey Weinstein has apologized to Meryl Streep and Jennifer Lawrence after a legal memo in a sexual-abuse lawsuit against him included statements by the two suggesting support for the disgraced producer.

A statement Thursday from his representative, apologizing to the actresses by name, said that, “Moving forward, Mr. Weinstein has advised his counsel to not include specific names of former associates and to avoid whenever possible, even if they are in the public record. . . . Even though Mr. Weinstein has worked with hundreds of actresses and actors who had only professional and mutually respectful experiences with him, Mr. Weinstein has directed in the future that no specific names be used by his counsel, even where those actors have made previous public statements about him.”

In a memo filed Tuesday to dismiss the suit, Weinstein’s attorneys noted Lawrence had “told Oprah Winfrey she had known Weinstein since she was 20 years old and said ‘he had only ever been nice to me,’ and Meryl Streep . . . stated publicly that Weinstein had always been respectful to her in their working relationship.”

“Harvey Weinstein’s attorneys’ use of my (true) statement — that he was not sexually transgressive or physically abusive in our business relationship — as evidence that he was not abusive with many OTHER women is pathetic and exploitive,” three-time Oscar-winner Streep, 68, said in a statement from her representative, Hannah Donohue.

“The criminal actions he is accused of conducting on the bodies of these women are his responsibility,” Streep said, “and if there is any justice left in the system he will pay for them — regardless of how many good movies, made by many good people, Harvey was lucky enough to have acquired or financed.”

Likewise, said fellow Academy Award-winner Lawrence, 27, in a statement from her representative, Liz Mahoney, “Harvey Weinstein and his company are continuing to do what they have always done which is to take things out of context and use them for their own benefit. This is what predators do, and it must stop. For the record, while I was not victimized personally by Harvey Weinstein, I stand behind the women who have survived his terrible abuse and I applaud them in using all means necessary to bring him to justice whether through criminal or civil actions.

“Time’s Up,” she added, a reference to the Time’s Up coalition of actresses who formed a legal-defense fund for women suffering sexual harassment.

In December, six women sued Weinstein, his production companies and related individuals in federal court in Manhattan, alleging what they termed the “Weinstein Sexual Enterprise” was in essence organized crime violating the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act.

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