- The Washington Times - Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Actress Lena Dunham and former New Yorker editor Tina Brown say they were ignored after warning Hillary Clinton’s failed presidential campaigns against allowing Hollywood mogul and Democratic donor Harvey Weinstein to host fundraisers because of his alleged mistreatment of women.

Ms. Dunham, a vocal Clinton supporter, told The New York Times in an interview published Wednesday that she alerted Kristina Schake, the campaign’s deputy communications director, in March of 2016 that she had heard numerous stories of Mr. Weinstein sexually assaulting and harassing women.

“I just want you to let you know that Harvey’s a rapist and this is going to come out at some point,” the former “Girls” star recalled. “I think it’s a really bad idea for him to host fundraisers and be involved because it’s an open secret in Hollywood that he has a problem with sexual assault.”

Ms. Dunham claimed that Ms. Schake told her she would relay the message to former campaign manager Robby Mook, who told The Times he received no such information.

Ms. Dunham said she also warned former Clinton spokeswoman Adrienne Elrod, but was ignored. The actress said she didn’t believe the information ever reached Mrs. Clinton.

Ms. Elrod and Ms. Schake, through Mrs. Clinton’s communications director, appeared to confirm that the conversations took place but denied that Ms. Dunham ever mentioned rape, The Times reported.

During the 2008 presidential race against former President Barack Obama, Ms. Brown, a former editor of Vanity Fair, said she similarly cautioned a member of Mrs. Clinton’s “inner circle” about Mr. Weinstein, The Times reported.

“I was hearing that Harvey’s sleaziness with women had escalated since I left Talk [magazine] in 2002 and she was unwise to be so closely associated with him,” Ms. Brown told The Times in an email.

Nick Merrill, Mrs. Clinton’s communications director, said they were as “shocked” as the rest of the world after learning of the dozens of allegations against Mr. Weinstein, but lamented that Ms. Dunham warned campaign staffers of his misconduct “instead of those who could stop him.”

As for Ms. Brown’s claims, Mr. Merrill said he couldn’t find anyone from the 2008 campaign who recalled her warning, The Times reported.

Mr. Weinstein is a longtime contributor to the Democratic Party and has donated thousands to Hillary Clinton’s political campaigns over the years. The former Democratic nominee has said she had no idea about the producer’s alleged sexual misconduct before it was made public.

The Times’ extensive report, titled “Weinstein’s Complicity Machine,” comes several weeks after TV producer and longtime Clinton family friend Linda Bloodworth-Thomason penned an essay claiming she warned at least three “top-level Democratic operatives” against allowing Mr. Weinstein to host political fundraisers — “a warning that evidently (and to the glee of Fox News) fell on deaf ears.”

Copyright © 2018 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

The Washington Times Comment Policy

The Washington Times welcomes your comments on Spot.im, our third-party provider. Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.


Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide