Sunday 17 November 2019

Ian McEwan: I will maintain degree of scepticism about Harvey Weinstein

The writer said the disgraced film producer seems like a ‘moral monster’.

Ian McEwan (Matt Crossick/PA)
Ian McEwan (Matt Crossick/PA)

By Laura Harding, Press Association Senior Entertainment Correspondent

Author Ian McEwan has said he will maintain a “degree of scepticism” about the allegations facing Harvey Weinstein until he has heard them set out in court.

The writer said he thinks the disgraced film producer seems like “a moral monster” but he will withhold judgment until the trial.

Weinstein has been charged with two counts of rape – one in the first degree and another in the third degree – and one count of a criminal sexual act for alleged incidents involving two separate women.

Sexual Misconduct Weinstein

The charges follow an avalanche of accusations – including from some of Hollywood’s biggest stars – which first emerged last year, sparking the international MeToo and Time’s Up movements.

On Friday, Weinstein handed himself in to police in New York.

Weinstein has repeatedly denied any allegations of non-consensual sex and intends to plead not guilty, his lawyer, Benjamin Brafman, said outside court.

On Chesil Beach Premiere – BFI London Film Festival 2017

McEwan told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “It seems a kind of circus to me.

“There is the media stuff, which we have to penetrate.

“We don’t know what actually happened; it seems he is a moral monster who has had his comeuppance, but I always like to encourage in myself just a degree of scepticism once the whole mob is in full cry, so I am going to withhold judgments until I have heard the arguments in court.”

Weinstein posted a one million US dollar (£751,060) cash bail and will wear an electronic monitor which tracks his movements 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

The 66-year-old also surrendered his passport and agreed to stay within the states of New York and Connecticut.

Nothing is as grand and calculating on a huge scale as Hollywood Ian McEwan

McEwan compared his own experiences in Hollywood to visiting the court of the notorious Borgia family.

He said: “It was like visiting the court, the mansion, of Cesare Borgia. You come away realising that whatever little fits and starts and upsets we have in the literary world, nothing is as grand and calculating on a huge scale as Hollywood.”

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