Director Oliver Stone refused to condemn Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein on Friday, despite the mounting allegations of sexual misconduct against him, saying that “it’s not easy what he’s going through.”
Stone added that he believed Weinstein should not “be condemned by a vigilante system.”
The Wall Street and Natural Born Killers director was speaking during a news conference at South Korea’s Busan International Film Festival, where he is chair of the judge’s panel.
“I’m a believer that you wait until this thing gets to trial. I believe a man shouldn’t be condemned by a vigilante system. It’s not easy what he’s going through, either,” Stone said, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
“During that period he was a rival. I never did business with him and didn’t really know him. I’ve heard horror stories on everyone in the business, so I’m not going to comment on gossip. I’ll wait and see, which is the right thing to do.”
Stone’s lack of condemnation of Weinstein’s alleged behavior stands at odds with the many prominent Hollywood figures — including Meryl Streep, Charlize Theron, Ryan Gosling, Oprah Winfrey, and Penelope Cruz — who have spoken out since The New York Times’ report which sparked the mounting scandal last week.
Miramax co-founder Weinstein is accused of pressuring multiple young women into sexual favors, promising to advance their careers in return. Speaking through his spokesperson, Weinstein denied allegations of nonconsensual sex, adding “there were never any acts of retaliation” against any women who refused his advances.
On Thursday, police in both New York and London said they were launching investigations into alleged sexual assaults by Weinstein.