Designer Donna Karan is apologizing after she reportedly praised Harvey Weinstein following his firing from the Weinstein Company.


The fashion mogul made comments to The Daily Mail about Weinstein’s sexual harassment victims, saying perhaps they were “asking for it” based on what they were wearing. The unfortunately common phrase has been ostracized by most forward thinkers, but it is still used to blame sexual harassment victims for their abusers’ crimes.

“I think we have to look at ourselves,” Karan said. “Obviously, the treatment of women all over the world is something that has always had to be identified. Certainly in the country of Haiti where I work, in Africa, in the developing world, it’s been a hard time for women,” she said. “To see it here in our own country is very difficult, but I also think how do we display ourselves? How do we present ourselves as women. What are we asking? Are we asking for it by presenting all the sensuality and all the sexuality?”

In the same interview, Karan mentioned that Weinstein and his wife are “wonderful people.” The designer was met with criticisms from many women, especially Rose McGowan, who was named as a victim in the New York Times exposé about the producer. “Donna Karan you are a DEPLORABLE Aiding and abetting is a moral crime. You are scum in a fancy dress,” the actress tweeted.

Karan has since attempted an apology. “I made a statement that unfortunately is not representative of how I feel or what I believe. I have spent my life championing women,” she said in a statement. “My life has been dedicated to dressing and addressing the needs of women, empowering them and promoting equal rights.” Further, the designer says her words “were taken out of context and do not represent how I feel about the current situation concerning Harvey Weinstein. I believe that sexual harassment is NOT acceptable and this is an issue that MUST be addressed once and for all regardless of the individual. I am truly sorry to anyone that I offended and everyone that has ever been a victim.”

Weinstein first stepped down from his film production company after the Times published the exposé, which detailed at least a dozen sexual harassment suits over three decades. Since then, he has been fired, and three women have come forward with rape allegations against the producer. “Any allegations of non-consensual sex are unequivocally denied by Mr Weinstein,” a spokeswoman told The New Yorker. “Mr Weinstein obviously can’t speak to anonymous allegations, but with respect to any women who have made allegations on the record, Mr Weinstein believes that all of these relationships were consensual.”