Matt Damon and George Clooney both spoke out against Harvey Weinstein in a series of TV interviews on Monday.
Matt revealed he knew the Hollywood producer was a ‘womanizer’ and also said he heard about Gwyneth Paltrow’s experience with Weinstein from his good friend Ben Affleck.
“When people say like, ‘Everybody knew,’ Like, yeah, I knew he was an a**hole,” Matt told ABC News in a joint interview with George.
“He was proud of that. That’s how he carried himself. I knew he was a womanizer. I wouldn’t want to be married to the guy. But this level of criminal sexual predation is not something that I ever thought was going on. Absolutely not.”
Matt worked with Weinstein on Good Will Hunting, the 1997 film that launched the star’s career.
“You had to spend about five minutes with him to know that he was a bully,” Matt said. “He was intimidating. Miramax was the place, really the place, that was making great stuff in the ’90s. And it was like, ‘Could you survive Harvey?'”
While Weinstein was notoriously difficult to work with, Matt said the sexual harassment allegations were not common knowledge.
However, the actor went on to reveal that he had heard about Gwyneth Paltrow’s experience from Ben Affleck. Matt worked with the actress and Weinstein on The Talented Mr. Ripley in 1999.
Earlier this month, Gwyneth revealed she was just 22 when she was allegedly sexually harassed by the Hollywood mogul, at a time when the film producer hired her for the lead in the Jane Austen adaptation Emma.
Recalling the terrifying experience, which she says took place before shooting began, the actress explained he summoned her to his suite at the Peninsula Beverly Hills hotel for a work meeting.
However, she claims it ended with Weinstein placing his hands on her and suggesting they head to the bedroom for massages.
Gwyneth says she refused his advances, and then confided in Brad Pitt (whom she was dating at the time), who then confronted Weinstein about the incident.
Referring to the alleged incident, Matt told GMA: “I never talked to Gwyneth about it. Ben told me, but I knew that they had come to whatever agreement or understanding that they had come to, she had handled it.
“She was the first lady of Miramax. And he treated her incredibly respectfully.”
Matt said Weinstein’s “darkness” was done in private, and he never saw it take place.
“What makes something like this so horrific is that these are women and actresses who are pursuing their dreams,” Matt said. “They’re doing everything right. And suddenly they found themselves alone with a predator.”
While George said Weinstein talked to him about women he had affairs with, though the actor didn’t believe him.
“I didn’t really think that they were going to have affairs with Harvey, quite honestly. And clearly they didn’t. But the idea that this predator, this assaulter, was out there silencing women like that, it’s beyond infuriating,” the dad-of-two told ABC News.
The pair also addressed the Weinstein scandal and culture of sexual harassment at the premiere of the film George directed, Suburbicon, on Sunday night in Los Angeles.
“We hope this is a watershed moment for us as a society, where women feel safe enough to talk about this issue, feel believed,” he told reporters on the red carpet, adding that he hopes men who commit these violations fear jail time.
He continued, “If we can get to that point, we’ve actually succeeded and this thing won’t just end up being Harvey Weinstein jokes in three months.”
Matt, who stars in the film, said these allegations will prompt “massive systemic change.”
“The fact that somebody that powerful, his career has been completely ruined, that’s a real message to anybody who would behave like this,” he continued.