Barack and Michelle Obama responded to the allegations of sex misconduct leveled against their friend and major Democratic donor Harvey Weinstein — five days after the accusations surfaced. But only four years ago, the then-first lady praised the Hollywood titan as a good guy.
“I want to start by thanking Harvey Weinstein for organizing this amazing day, ” Michelle Obama said during a November 2013 White House event for high school students. “Harvey. This is possible because of Harvey. He is a wonderful human being, a good friend and only a powerhouse.”
The Obamas have had a long relationship with Weinstein: he donated thousands to the former president’s campaigns and visited the White House more than a dozen times, according to visitor records. The Obamas’ daughter, Malia, interned for Weinstein at the Weinstein Company this year.
Late Tuesday, the Obamas released a statement saying: “Any man who demeans and degrades women in such manner needs to be condemned and held accoubtable, irrespective of wealth or status.”
Last week, The New York Times reported that Weinstein had determined sexual harassment suits with at the least eight girls. More accusations emerged Tuesday in The New Yorker.
Like the Obamas, the Clintons have long had a relationship with Weinstein. After facing pressure to speak out against Weinstein, former Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton broke her stillnes on the allegations on Tuesday.
“I was shocked and appalled by the revelations about Harvey Weinstein, ” Clinton said in a statement posted on Twitter. “The behavior described by women coming forward cannot be tolerated. Their fortitude and the support of others is critical in helping to stop this kind of behavior.”
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