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Jennifer Lawrence, George Clooney, Ben Affleck call out Harvey Weinstein's 'inexcusable' and 'indefensible' behavior

"Silver Linings Playbook" producer Harvey Weinstein talks with Oscar winner Jennifer Lawrence at the 2013 Oscars Governors Ball. (Kevork Djansezian / Getty Images)
"Silver Linings Playbook" producer Harvey Weinstein talks with Oscar winner Jennifer Lawrence at the 2013 Oscars Governors Ball. (Kevork Djansezian / Getty Images)

Oscar winners Jennifer Lawrence, George Clooney and Ben Affleck are the latest high-profile celebrities to speak out against ousted producer Harvey Weinstein and the sexual misconduct allegations lobbied against him that span three decades.

Lawrence, the young actress who won her first Oscar with the Weinstein Co.'s "Silver Linings Playbook" (2012) and thanked Weinstein in her Golden Globes acceptance speech, said in a statement Tuesday that she was "deeply disturbed" to hear the news of the extended allegations against Weinstein.

"I worked with Harvey five years ago, and I did not experience any form of harassment personally, nor did I know about any of these allegations. This kind of abuse is inexcusable and absolutely upsetting," she said. 

"My heart goes out to all of the women affected by these gross actions. And I want to thank them for their bravery to come forward."

Harvey Weinstein and George Clooney attend the National Board of Review of Motion Pictures Awards reception in 2006. (Evan Agostini / Getty Images)
Harvey Weinstein and George Clooney attend the National Board of Review of Motion Pictures Awards reception in 2006. (Evan Agostini / Getty Images)

Meanwhile, Clooney, who credited Weinstein with giving him his first major acting break in "From Dusk Till Dawn" (1996) and directing opportunity with "Confessions of a Dangerous Mind" (2002), had much more to say on the matter.

The director-producer spoke at length about the latest scandal to rock Hollywood in an interview with the Daily Beast on Monday, in which he called Weinstein's reported actions "indefensible."

"That’s the only word you can start with," the multi-hyphenate said. "Harvey's admitted to it, and it's indefensible."

Clooney said that he's known the former studio mogul for 20 years and explained that Weinstein was celebrated for making beloved and unique films. That, in part, was a reason people put up with him.

"I had knock-down, drag-out fights with him over the years, but he was also making films that other studios weren't willing to make, and he was making films that everybody loved, so you just put up with certain bad behavior because you felt like, well, if he yells and screams but he gets 'Pulp Fiction' made, who cares if he yells and screams?" Clooney said.

"But it's a very different conversation when you say, it's not that he yells and screams but that he's cornering a young, scared lady in a restaurant and telling her to stand there and be quiet while he [masturbates]," Clooney added. "That's a very different kind of behavior, and had that been a public thing, I think there would have been some different results. I hope there would be."

There’s nothing to say except that it’s indefensible

George Clooney on the Harvey Weinstein scandal

Clooney, like actress Glenn Close, admitted that he had heard rumors dating back to the 1990s that certain actresses slept with Weinstein to get roles, but, to him, "it seemed like a way to smear the actresses and demean them by saying that they didn't get the jobs based on their talent." So, he said, he "took those rumors with a grain of salt." 

What worried Clooney is the part of the New York Times investigation that alleged that eight women had been paid off for their silence. The "Suburbicon" director said he'd never heard anything about that before and didn't know of anyone else who had.

"That's a whole other level, and there's no way you can reconcile that. There's nothing to say except that it's indefensible," he said, calling it "harassment on a very high level."

On the heels of last week's New York Times expose, the New Yorker on Tuesday published an exhaustive report from women who detailed sordid encounters with the studio mogul. That report appeared to prompt Ben Affleck to add his voice to the choir excoriating Weinstein.

"I am saddened and angry that a man who I worked with used his position of power to intimidate, sexually harass and manipulate many women over decades," the two-time Oscar winner said Tuesday in a Facebook post.

"The additional allegations of assault that I read this morning made me sick. This is completely unacceptable, and I find myself asking what I can do to make sure this doesn't happen to others," Affleck added.

Affleck's remarks come in the wake of statements made by several A-listers, including Oscar winners Meryl Streep, Judi Dench and Julianne Moore, following Weinstein's firing from his namesake production company on Sunday.

Read The Times' full coverage of the Harvey Weinstein sexual-harassment scandal.

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