Oscar-winning director Oliver Stone on Friday said disgraced movie mogul Harvey Weinstein was being “condemned by a vigilante system” as people rush to pass judgement on allegations he sexually abused and raped multiple women.
Weinstein, one of Hollywood’s most influential producers, has been accused by more than a dozen women of sexual harassment, assault and rape in a series of media investigations by the New York Times and the New Yorker magazine.
Police in New York and the United Kingdom have since launched investigations following the publication of an avalanche of claims that go back decades.
The reports have sparked both outrage and soul-searching in Hollywood over the treatment and exploitation of women, particularly young and aspiring actresses.
But on Friday Stone said he believed the industry and the public were prematurely judging Weinstein. “I’m a believer in you wait till this thing gets to a trial,” he told reporters in the South Korean city of Busan, where he is heading a jury at an international film festival.
“If he broke the law it will come out. I believe that a man shouldn’t be condemned by a vigilante system,” he added.
Stone also said Hollywood was rife with “horror stories” but that such allegations remained hearsay.
“So it’s not easy what he’s going through,” he said. “During that period he was a rival and I didn’t really know him. I’ve heard horror stories about everybody in the business so I’m not going to comment on gossip.”