Meryl Streep is finally speaking out against Harvey Weinstein — but only to defend herself from allegations made by Weinstein's lawyers that she defended him in public after he was accused of harassing, raping, and abusing dozens of women.
Streep's claims of friendship and innocent camaraderie with Weinstein, made just after the first wave of Weinstein allegations, are coming back to haunt her, thanks to Weinstein's response to a lawsuit filed against him by six women who say he lured them into hotel rooms and empty offices only to make sexual demands, force himself on them, or demand they watch him masturbate, according to Buzzfeed.
Streep issued a lukewarm statement just days after the first allegations surfaced, after reporters began to question what she knew, or could have known, in her decades of friendship with the Miramax head and Hollywood mega-producer. She told media that "Harvey supported [my] work fiercely, was exasperating but respectful with me in our working relationship, and with many others with whom he worked professionally."
Weinstein apparently took that as a full-throated defense, and his lawyers incorporated it into their response pleadings, using Streep's exact words — that Weinstein "had always been respectful to her in their working relationship" — as evidence that Weinstein was a target of conspiracy, rather than a guilty player.
Streep, now a leader of the Hollywood anti-harassment movement and vocal supporter of "Time's Up" (she even bravely wore black on a red carpet), lashed out.
"Harvey Weinstein’s attorneys’ use of my (true) statement — that he was not sexually transgressive or physically abusive in our business relationship — as evidence that he was not abusive with many OTHER women is pathetic and exploitive," Streep said in her statement to Buzzfeed.
That's rather convenient, of course. Both Streep and fellow big name Democrat Oprah Winfrey are longtime friends of Weinstein, and based on how widespread rumors of Weinstein's sexual impropriety appear to have been, it's next to impossible that neither had ever heard of Weinstein's alleged sexual assaults. But Streep, like Winfrey, is now trying to hide that fact behind a veneer of political activism, claiming she's always been on the forefront of a pro-women movement in Hollywood.