Published: Wed, October 11, 2017
Entertaiment | By Paul Elliott

Matt Damon denies story about being Weinstein 'enabler'

Matt Damon denies story about being Weinstein 'enabler'

In 2004, Sharon Waxman, then a new reporter at The New York Times began to look into the oft-repeated allegations of sexual misconduct by Weinstein and according to her what she came up with was "gutted" due to intense pressure from the man himself. Waxman said she even had people on record saying he had organized gatherings with "Russian escorts".

Weinstein famously championed Damon and Ben Affleck's 1997 film Good Will Hunting, which he produced and distributed through his former company Miramax. The actor was called out by performers like Jessica Chastain and Rose McGowan following the report Sunday.

In a new piece for The Wrap, Waxman claims her article was drastically altered by her editors after she received calls from Weinstein collaborators Damon and Russell Crowe.

The story was killed, though she'd invested a significant amount of investigative time into the piece. I just wouldn't do that. "It's not something I would do, for anybody", Damon told Deadline. Harvey had called me and said, they're writing a story about Fabrizio, who I knew from The Talented Mr. Ripley. "She was terrified to speak because of her non-disclosure agreement, but at least we had evidence of a payoff", Waxman writes. That was the extent of it and so I was very surprised to see it come back. "The story I reported never ran", Waxman wrote. We vouch for each other, all the time, and it didn't even make her article. "I had perfectly professional experiences with Fabrizio and I didn't mind telling her that".

"I'm sure I mentioned to her that I didn't know anything about the rest of her piece, because I didn't", Damon told Deadline. "My experience with him was all above board and that's what I told her".

Waxman has since endorsed Damon's statement on Twitter.

Damon said he was unaware of Weinstein's alleged predatory activities. He brings up his daughters, his fear as a father, and asserts what we'd all like to think - that had he known what was happening, he would have stopped it. The actor also said he had no knowledge that Weinstein ever sexually harassed anyone, and that he was completely unaware of any allegations against him until now. He later added, "I am not the story here". The story is these women and what happened to them.

Did you believe McGowan's claim against Damon? Credit Chris Pizzello/Invision, via Associated Press I wasn't here in 2004.

The movie star also tells Deadline Waxman apologised to him after the article was published, adding, "She claimed she was in her vehicle with her kids when I talked to her".

His response also noted that "the top two editors at the time", Bill Keller and Jill Abramson, had "no recollection of being pressured over Ms. Waxman's story" and that her editor, Jonathan Landman, "suggested she didn't have it nailed". This list is a virtual who's who of the movie business in the USA and includes Quentin Tarantino, David O Russell, Ben Affleck, Matt Damon, Colin Firth, Bradley Cooper, Brad Pitt, Leonardo DiCaprio, Daniel Day-Lewis, Russell Crowe, George Clooney and Ewan McGregor.

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