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Dame Judi Dench feels ‘lucky’ to have never seen ‘other side’ of Harvey Weinstein

‘Weinstein was always completely charming with me!’ Dame Judi Dench says she feels ‘lucky’ to have never seen ‘other side’ of disgraced director but ‘feels acutely’ for those that did

  • Weinstein, 68, is currently serving a 23-year prison sentence for third-degree rape and first-degree sexual assault
  • Dame Judi, 68, spoke recently about her own experience of Weinstein, which she admitted was nothing but ‘charming’
  • Weinstein was the director of Judi’s first big Hollywood film, Shakespeare In Love, which earned her the best supporting actress Oscar in 1998
  • When quizzed on whether Weinstein’s crimes ‘tainted’ her feelings about the film she told the publication they haven’t, because the ‘film is still the film’ 

Dame Judi Dench has spoken of how she feels ‘lucky’ to have never seen the ‘other side’ of disgraced director Harvey Weinstein.

Weinstein, 68, is currently serving a 23-year prison sentence for third-degree rape and first-degree sexual assault following a high-profile court case last year.

Following his dramatic fall from grace, Judi, 68, spoke to the Guardian recently about her own experience of Weinstein, which she admitted was nothing but ‘charming’.

Opinion: Dame Judi Dench has spoken of how she feels ‘lucky’ to have never seen the ‘other side’ of disgraced director Harvey Weinstein (pictured together in 2005)

Discussing her relationship with Weinstein, she said: ‘I worked a lot for Harvey, a huge amount. And he was always completely charming. Perhaps I was lucky, but that’s all I know. I feel very acutely for the people who weren’t so lucky.’

Weinstein was the director of Judi’s first big Hollywood film, Shakespeare In Love, which earned her the best supporting actress Oscar in 1998 for her role as Elizabeth I, despite spending a total of just eight minutes on screen. 

When quizzed on whether Weinstein’s crimes ‘tainted’ her feelings about the film she told the publication they haven’t, because the ‘film is still the film’.  

Experience: Following his dramatic fall from grace, Judi, 68, spoke to the Guardian recently about her own experience of Weinstein, which she admitted was nothing but 'charming'

Experience: Following his dramatic fall from grace, Judi, 68, spoke to the Guardian recently about her own experience of Weinstein, which she admitted was nothing but ‘charming’

Judi also confessed she ‘doesn’t know’ if she misjudged him, and said: ‘He was a friend. He was a perfectly polite and funny and friendly person. 

‘I never experienced Harvey in any other way than that. I knew nothing untoward about him at all. And nor was I warned. So of course I can judge him. But I never experienced that other side of him at all.’ 

The star previously discussed her close friendship the shamed entertainment figure during an interview in June 2019, almost a year before his sentencing. 

Breakout: Weinstein was the director of Judi's first big Hollywood film, Shakespeare In Love, which earned her the best supporting actress Oscar in 1998 for her role as Elizabeth I, despite spending a total of just eight minutes on screen

Breakout: Weinstein was the director of Judi’s first big Hollywood film, Shakespeare In Love, which earned her the best supporting actress Oscar in 1998 for her role as Elizabeth I, despite spending a total of just eight minutes on screen

Candid: When quizzed on whether Weinstein's crimes 'tainted' her feelings about the film she told the publication they haven't, because the 'film is still the film' (pictured in 2001)

Candid: When quizzed on whether Weinstein’s crimes ‘tainted’ her feelings about the film she told the publication they haven’t, because the ‘film is still the film’ (pictured in 2001)

Judi, who was also discussing Kevin Spacey, said she believes their art should be considered separately from their alleged crimes, but said she was ‘horrified’ by the allegations against Weinstein.

‘Are we going to negate ten years at the Old Vic and everything that he did [Spacey as artistic director] – how wonderful he’s been in all those films?

‘Are we just not going to see all those films that Harvey produced? You cannot deny somebody a talent. You might as well never look at a Caravaggio painting [he was a murderer]. You might as well never have gone to see Noël Coward [accused of predatory behaviour].’  

She called it a ‘moral maze’ and said she was worried about Spacey’s films being airbrushed out history, ‘while he’s on hold all the time. What kind of agony is that?’   

A series of sexual assault accusations against Spacey led to his firing from House of Cards and his removal from the completed movie All the Money in the World, which was reshot with actor Christopher Plummer. 

Allegations: A series of sexual assault accusations against Spacey led to his firing from House of Cards and his removal from the completed movie All the Money in the World, which was reshot with actor Christopher Plummer

Allegations: A series of sexual assault accusations against Spacey led to his firing from House of Cards and his removal from the completed movie All the Money in the World, which was reshot with actor Christopher Plummer

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