In Brief

Harvey Weinstein apologises after sexual harassment claims

Democrats urged to return Hollywood producer’s political donations

Film producer Harvey Weinstein has apologised and says he will take a career break following allegations of sexual harassment.

“I appreciate the way I’ve behaved with colleagues in the past has caused a lot of pain, and I sincerely apologise for it,” the movie mogul said in a statement, adding that he would take a break from work. “My journey now will be to learn about myself and conquer my demons.”

Weinstein has, however, disputed a report in The New York Times that claims he harassed female employees over nearly three decades, resulting in at least eight different settlements with women.

He declined to comment on any of the alleged settlements, but said that in addressing employee concerns about workplace issues, “my motto is to keep the peace”.

Weinstein’s lawyer, Lisa Bloom, said her client denies many of the allegations against him as “patently false”, but that some of his conduct “can be perceived as inappropriate, even intimidating”.

As a consistent donor to Democratic politicians, the claims about Weinstein “put the Obamas and the Clintons in a tough spot”, the Hollywood Reporter says.

Weinstein donated more than $20,000 (£15,300) to Hillary Clinton over the years ,and gave to Obama’s campaigns in 2011 and 2012. He also hosted fundraisers for Obama and Clinton, the paper says.

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