LOS ANGELES -- Harvey Weinstein apologized to Meryl Streep and Jennifer Lawrence after his lawyers cited them in asking a court to dismiss a sexual misconduct lawsuit.
A spokeswoman for the disgraced movie mogul said Thursday, February 22, that Weinstein has also directed his legal representatives not to use specific names of actors and former associates in the future.
Lawyers for Weinstein argued in a filing, in which they quoted previous remarks made by Streep and Lawrence, that a proposed class-action lawsuit filed by six women should be rejected.
Weinstein's attorneys cited Streep as having previously said that Weinstein wasn't inappropriate with her and cited Lawrence as having told Oprah Winfrey that Weinstein "had always been nice" to her.
The actresses immediately snapped back, with Streep calling the citation of her remarks "pathetic and exploitive."
Lawrence said Weinstein's attorneys took her previous remarks out of context and that she stands "behind all the women who have survived his terrible abuse."
The lawsuit against Weinstein claims Weinstein assaulted young women trying to break into Hollywood when they were alone with him and that his former film companies operated like an organized crime group to conceal widespread sexual harassment and assaults. The suit could potentially involve hundreds of other women.
Weinstein's statement Thursday said he "acknowledges the valuable input both Meryl Streep and Jennifer Lawrence have contributed to this conversation and apologizes."
He went on to say that he "has advised his counsel to not include specific names of former associates; and to avoid whenever possible, even if they are in the public record."
At least 75 women have told the news media that Weinstein harassed, behaved inappropriately toward them or assaulted them. Authorities in Los Angeles, Beverly Hills, New York and London are investigating. (AP)