Harvey Weinstein fired from own company after sexual harassment claims

Harvey Weinstein faces allegations he sexually harassed colleagues Credit: PA

Film producer Harvey Weinstein, who is facing accusations he sexually harassed colleagues, has been fired from the board of his company.

A statement from the Weinstein Company's directors said that "in light of new information about misconduct" Mr Weinstein was being dismissed with immediate effect.

The Hollywood studio, which he founded and co-chaired, has launched an inquiry into the allegations.

Mr Weinstein had previously announced he was taking a leave of absence as a result of the claims, which were made in a New York Times story.

Those involved include the actresses Ashley Judd and Rose McGowan, according to the Times article.

The 65-year-old Academy Award-winning producer issued an apology, saying he appreciated the way he had behaved with colleagues in the past "has caused a lot of pain" and that he realised he "needed to be a better person".

"I came of age in the 60s and 70s, when all the rules about behaviour and workplaces were different. That was the culture then," he said.

"I have since learned it's not an excuse, in the office - or out of it. To anyone."

Hollywood star Meryl Streep, who has worked with the producer and previously joked he was "God", praised the women speaking out against him as "heroes".

She sent a statement to the Huffington Post reading: "The disgraceful news about Harvey Weinstein has appalled those of us whose work he championed, and those whose good and worthy causes he supported.

"The intrepid women who raised their voices to expose this abuse are our heroes."

Streep, who has appeared in several films distributed by the studio including The Iron Lady and August: Osage County, said that she had been unaware of the allegations until now.

She continued: "One thing can be clarified. Not everybody knew. Harvey supported the work fiercely, was exasperating but respectful with me in our working relationship, and with many others with whom he worked professionally."

Meryl Streep and Harvey Weinstein pictured together in 2014. Credit: AP

She said she had no idea about his alleged behaviour or financial settlements his lawyers reached with actresses and colleagues.

She went on: "I did not know about his having meetings in his hotel room, his bathroom, or other inappropriate, coercive acts.

"And if everybody knew, I don't believe that all the investigative reporters in the entertainment and the hard news media would have neglected for decades to write about it.

"The behaviour is inexcusable, but the abuse of power familiar. Each brave voice that is raised, heard and credited by our watchdog media will ultimately change the game."

Speaking to ITV News on Monday night, Sex And The City star Kim Cattrall praised the "incredibly brave women speaking their minds", but refused to comment on Mr Weinstein's case.

British-born Cattrall, 61, said: "I think men preying on women exists in almost every industry... Absolutely, I'm willing to speak out about it. It's just so rampant, I think that's the thing that takes your breath away. It's shocking.

"And the only way it stops is with people coming forward and it's an incredibly brave thing to do - because a woman speaking her mind has ramifications still. I support them 100%, it's a very brave act."

Mr Weinstein's lawyer, Lisa Bloom, said in a statement last week that he denied many of the allegations against him as "patently false".

Ms Bloom announced on Saturday that she had stepped down from representing Mr Weinstein following the allegations.

The Weinstein Company is behind hits including The King's Speech, Django Unchained and Silver Linings Playbook.