Actress Lena Dunham says she warned Hillary Clinton's aides about Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein’s treatment of women during the presidential campaign last year, but nothing happened.
Dunham told the New York Times she was troubled by Weinstein’s presence during Clinton’s presidential campaign after she heard stories from other actresses about their encounters with the Democratic fundraiser. She said she warned the campaign about him in March 2016.
“I just want ... to let you know that Harvey’s a rapist and this is going to come out at some point,” Dunham said she told Clinton’s deputy communications director Kristina Schake.
“I think it’s a really bad idea for him to host fundraisers and be involved because it’s an open secret in Hollywood that he has a problem with sexual assault,” she added.
Dunham said Schake was surprised by the warning and said she would tell Clinton campaign manager Robby Mook.
Dunham said she also alerted Adrienne Elrod, a Clinton spokeswoman who led efforts with celebrity campaigners, of Weinstein’s alleged sexual misconduct.
But then, weeks before the election, Weinstein helped the campaign organize a fundraiser with celebrities.
Schake and Elrod denied Dunham mentioned rape in her warnings. Mook said no one had told him of the allegations.
Magazine editor Tina Brown told the New York Times she had warned a member of Clinton’s inner circle about Weinstein as far back as 2008, during Clinton’s first presidential run.
“I was hearing that Harvey’s sleaziness with women had escalated since I left Talk in 2002 and she was unwise to be so closely associated with him,” Brown told the news outlet.
Clinton’s communications director Nick Merrill said the campaign staff “wouldn’t forget” a warning like the one Dunham said she gave.
“Only she can answer why she would tell them instead of those who could stop him,” Merrill said of Dunham.
He added that no one from the 2008 campaign could recall a warning from Brown.