Actress Lena Dunham says she warned 2016 Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton’s election campaign that Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein was “a rapist.”
“I just want to let you know that Harvey’s a rapist and this is going to come out at some point,” she recalled saying in March 2016, according to The New York Times.
“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,” Dunham on Wednesday said she told Kristina Schake, the Clinton campaign’s deputy communications director at the time.
Dunham, a vocal supporter of Clinton’s campaign last year, said she was troubled when Weinstein hosted fundraisers and appeared at events related to it.
The actress also noted she had heard stories from multiple fellow performers – some directly and others secondhand – about disturbing interactions with Weinstein.
Dunham recalled that Schake seemed surprised by her warning, adding that the latter said she would tell Robby Mook, who was then Clinton’s campaign manager.
The television star then remembered warning Adrienne Elrod, a spokeswoman for Clinton who was leading the 2016 White House hopeful’s efforts with celebrity campaigners.
Weinstein ultimately helped organized a star-packed fundraiser for Clinton weeks before Election Day boasting such stars as actresses Anne Hathaway and Julia Roberts.
Elrod and Schake on Wednesday denied Dunham ever mentioned rape through Clinton’s communications director, while Mook said no one alerted him about the film producer.
“We were shocked when we learned what he’d done,” Nick Merrill, Clinton’s communications director, on Thursday said in a statement regarding Weinstein.
“It’s despicable behavior, and the women who have come forward have shown enormous courage,” he continued.
“As to claims about a warning, that’s something staff wouldn’t forget. Only [Dunham] can answer why she would tell them instead of those who could stop him.”
Scores of women have accused Weinstein of sexual misconduct this year after the first allegations against him emerged last October.
Clinton said at the time she was “shocked and appalled by the revelations,” adding that any such alleged behavior “cannot be tolerated.”