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Almost a week later and Hollywood is still reeling from the shocking (and likely career-ending) sexual assault allegations aimed at Hollywood powerhouse Harvey Weinstein. As the days have gone by, his detailed history of sexual assault has become even more disturbing. However, iconic fashion designer Donna Karan came to his defense…and quickly regretted it.

4th Annual CineFashion Film Awards - Arrivals

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Hollywood A-listers such as Meryl Streep and George Clooney have both come out publicly denouncing movie mogul Harvey Weinstein, with more expected to release statements in the coming days, but designer Donna Karan decided to defend him and blame women in the process. Social media exploded earlier this week when Karan’s interview about Weinstein was released where she implied that women who dress provocatively are asking to be sexually assaulted. Her detailed statement not only blamed women, but totally absolved Weinstein of any wrongdoing and described him and wife Georgina Chapman, of design house Marchesa, as “wonderful people” as reported by Variety.

Donna Karan on Harvey Weinstein and female accountability:

“How do we display ourselves? How do we present ourselves as women? What are we asking?” she said. “Are we asking for it by presenting all the sensuality and sexuality?”

The designer continued, “You look at everything all over the world today, how women are dressing and what they’re asking by just presenting themselves the way they do. What are they asking for? Trouble.”

As expected, the backlash for Karan’s baffling comments was ferocious and immediate, with social media condemning the one-time DKNY designer (she sold her stake in the company in 2015) for victim-blaming and making excuses for sexual assault. In response to the backlash, Karan issued an apology that many felt was simply a PR clean-up attempt and nothing more.

Donna Karan’s apology:

“Last night, I was honored at the Cinemoi Fashion Film Awards in Hollywood and while answering a question on the red carpet I made a statement that unfortunately is not representative of how I feel or what I believe.

I have spent my life championing women. My life has been dedicated to dressing and addressing the needs of women, empowering them and promoting equal rights.

My statements 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.”

The question is, why would such a public figure defend Weinstein at this point, especially when he has basically admitted to the allegations? Donna Karan could have (and should have) simply stayed silent on the matter given that she’s not an actress and her opinion isn’t one that the public would be waiting to hear. Either way, this story is not going away any time soon, so expect more bombshells to come.


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