Quentin Tarantino, the famed director and frequent Harvey Weinstein collaborator, said in an interview that he had heard accounts of abuse by Weinstein and regrets not acting on it.
“I knew enough to do more than I did,” Tarantino told The New York Times in a story published Thursday. “There was more to it than just the normal rumors, the normal gossip. It wasn’t secondhand. I knew he did a couple of these things.”
“I wish I had taken responsibility for what I heard,” he added. “If I had done the work I should have done then, I would have had to not work with him.”
In the past two weeks, more than 40 women have come forward with allegations of rape, sexual harassment or assault since the New York Times first published an article exposing decades of Weinstein’s alleged misdeeds.
Through a spokesperson, Weinstein has denied “any allegations of nonconsensual sex.”
Weinstein’s studio has distributed or worked on some of Tarantino’s career-making films, including “Pulp Fiction,” “Kill Bill,” “Reservoir Dogs” and “Inglourious Basterds.”
In his interview with the Times, Tarantino said he was familiar with some of the allegations against Weinstein that were detailed in reports by the Times and The New Yorker this month.
Tarantino said his knowledge of at least one allegation goes back to 1995 when his then-girlfriend Mira Sorvino told him Weinstein made unwelcome advances.
At the time, Tarantino said, he thought it was an isolated incident.
“I thought Harvey was hung up on her in this Svengali kind of way,” he said. “Because he was infatuated with her, he horribly crossed the line.”
Over the years, Tarantino said he heard more stories about Weinstein. He said he knew actress Rose McGowan had reached a settlement with the producer.
But he stayed silent. “I chalked it up to a ’50s-’60s era image of a boss chasing a secretary around the desk,” he told the Times. “As if that’s O.K. That’s the egg on my face right now.”
Tarantino also called on Hollywood to alter its culture, saying men have “almost tolerated” a “Jim Crow-like system” that’s harmed women.
Weinstein is currently the target of three investigations from authorities in New York, Los Angeles and London. He’s also been fired from the helm of The Weinstein Co. and barred from The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
Tarantino said he has reached out to Weinstein since the scandal became public, but Weinstein has not responded.