By Edvard Pettersson, Bloomberg News
Movie mogul Harvey Weinstein hired women rights lawyer Lisa Bloom to help him change his ways amid allegations of sexual harassment reported by the New York Times.
It’s a new public role for the Los Angeles lawyer who’s built a reputation representing women who’ve made harassment allegations against powerful men, including former Fox News anchor Bill O’Reilly and President Donald Trump.
“As a women’s rights advocate, I have been blunt with Harvey and he has listened to me,” Bloom said in a statement Thursday. “I have told him that times have changed, it is 2017, and he needs to evolve to a higher standard.”
Weinstein, 65, said he’s taking a leave of absence from his production company, Weinstein Co., following a New York Times report detailing numerous allegations of sexual harassment against him over the last three decades. The movie producer reached settlements with a least eight women, according to the newspaper.
Weinstein said in a statement that he hired Bloom to tutor him.
“I so respect all women and regret what happened,” Weinstein said. “I hope that my actions will speak louder than words and that one day we will all be able to earn their trust and sit down together with Lisa to learn more.”
Bloom is the daughter of Gloria Allred, who also has a long history representing women in sexual-harassment claims, including in recent years against actor Bill Cosby and Trump.
On her website, Bloom says she has taken on “David-and- Goliath battles on behalf of the vulnerable against some of the most powerful forces in our culture,” including suing the Boy Scouts of America on behalf of a girl who wanted to become a scout.
The lawyer has been widely cited in the sexual harassment saga surrounding Fox News that has led to the exit of its former head, the late Roger Ailes, and O’Reilly.
Bloom told Bloomberg News in July that the problems in the corporate culture at New York-based Fox go beyond the news division.
“Fox has a very toxic culture for women and minorities,” she said. “There are still a number of people in place that were enablers.”
Fox News has said that it has made steps to change its corporate culture, including doubling the size of its human resources and appointing new leadership, implementing mandatory sensitivity training and taking immediate and appropriate action when presented with workplace issues.
At Weinstein Co., Bloom has been asked to review the company’s policies and practices regarding women in the workplace, according to her statement Thursday. She said Weinstein denies many of the allegations against him as patently false.
“I will make recommendations to ensure that gender equality and zero tolerance for workplace misconduct aren’t just goals, but a reality,” she said.
Bloom didn’t immediately respond to an email seeking comment on her work for Weinstein.
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