Madonna says Harvey Weinstein was ‘untouchable’ before sexual assault allegations
Singer says she was offered sex for success during her career
The producer, who has been accused of sexual assault by over 50 women, worked with the singer on her 1991 documentary Truth or Dare, released under his former entertainment company Miramax.
“Harvey Weinstein was untouchable,” the singer told The Guardian.
“His reputation was universal – everybody knew he was, you know, the guy that he was. I’m not into name-calling, but it was like: ‘Oh, that’s Harvey, that’s what he does.’ It just became accepted.”
The 60-year-old, whose album Madame X was released on Friday, continued, describing the culture surrounding Weinstein at the time of working with him as “scary”.
“Because if people do things enough, no matter how heinous and awful and unacceptable it is, people accept it,” she added. “And that certainly exists in the music industry, too.”
The singer recently discussed her working relationship with Weinstein, revealing the 67-year-old “crossed lines and boundaries and was incredibly sexually flirtatious” while filming her documentary.
In an interview with The New York Times last week, Madonna spoke of Weinstein's advances, revealing that she was “aware that he did the same with a lot of other women” she knew but no one confronted him on his behaviour because of his power in the industry.
“We were all, ‘Harvey gets to do that because he’s got so much power and he’s so successful and his movies do so well and everybody wants to work with him, so you have to put up with it’. So that was it,” she added.
In her interview with The Guardian, the singer also spoke of the sexual misconduct she’s faced during her career in the music industry.
“I can’t tell you how many men said: ‘OK, well, if you give me a blow job’, or: ‘OK, if you sleep with me’,” she said.
“Sex is the trade, you know? I feel like maybe there isn’t a movement so much because we’re already used to expressing ourselves in a way, or fighting for things, although I do wish there were more women in the music business that were more political and more outspoken about all things in life, not just … the inequality of the sexes.”
Last month, Weinstein reached a tentative multi-million dollar settlement with women who accused him of sexual assault.
According to the New York Times, the former film mogul’s lawyers agreed a proposed £34m ($44m) settlement with his accusers, as well as the creditors of his former studio The Weinstein Company (TWC) and the New York attorney general.
The settlement does not exempt Weinstein from the criminal proceedings brought against him for sexual assault, for which he will go on trial in September.
In October 2017, a New York Times investigation revealed dozens of women had accused the Oscar-winning producer of sexual assault, with the alleged incidents taking place across two decades.
The revelation sent a shock wave through the entertainment industry, with several other women levying claims of assault against Weinstein.
The news also inspired the launch of the Time’s Up, spearheaded by numerous prominent individuals in Hollywood and other businesses, and shed light on the #MeToo movement which was created in 2006 by activist Tarana Burke.
Weinstein denies all allegations of non-consensual sex.