Fashion designer Donna Karan says she was “taken out of context” when she defended film producer Harvey Weinstein and suggested his alleged sexual harassment victims were “asking for it” during a red carpet interview Sunday.
Ms. Karan, 69, told a reporter at the CinéFashion Film Awards that Mr. Weinstein, who has been accused of sexually harassing multiple women, has done “some amazing things” and that he’s only being used as symbol to represent a much greater problem.
“I think we have to look at ourselves,” Ms. Karan said. “How do we present ourselves as women? What are we asking? Are we asking for it by presenting all the sensuality and all the sexuality?
“And what are we throwing out to our children today about how to dance and how to perform and what to wear? How much should they show?” she asked. “You look at everything all over the world today and how women are dressing and what they are asking by just presenting themselves the way they do. What are they asking for? Trouble.”
In a statement late Monday, Ms. Karan said her comments were “not representative of how I feel or what I believe.”
“I have spent my life championing women,” she said. “My life has been dedicated to dressing and addressing the needs of women, empowering them and promoting equal rights. My statements were taken out of context and do not represent how I feel about the current situation concerning Harvey Weinstein.
“I believe that sexual harassment is NOT acceptable and this is an issue that MUST be addressed once and for all regardless of the individual,” she said. “I am truly sorry to anyone that I offended and everyone that has ever been a victim.”
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