Donna Karan apologizes for defending Harvey Weinstein

Donna Karan is apologizing for comments she made defending disgraced Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein.

She said in a statement to CBS News that she was "misinterpreted" and that she is "very sorry" for her remarks.

"Last night I made a statement that unfortunately is not representative of how I feel or what I believe. I have spent my life championing women," Karan said. "My life has been dedicated to dressing and addressing the needs of women, empowering them and promoting equal rights. I am very sorry for what I have said. It was misinterpreted and does not represent how I feel. What I was trying to say is that sexual harassment is a pandemic and a much bigger issue than Harvey Weinstein. Sexual harassment is unacceptable. I am truly sorry to anyone that I offended and everyone that has ever been a victim."

Karan's initial comments on the scandal Sunday sparked outrage. She told the Daily Mail at the CinéFashion Film Awards that Weinstein's accusers should take a look at themselves and questioned how they presented themselves.

"Certainly in the country of Haiti where I work, in Africa, in the developing world, it's been a hard time for women," she said. "To see it here in our own country is very difficult, but I also think how do we display ourselves? How do we present ourselves as women? What are we asking?"

Perhaps most controversially, Karan said: "Are we asking for it by presenting all the sensuality and all the sexuality?"

She also said that she knew Weinstein and his wife, designer Georgina Chapman, very well and that they are "wonderful people."

The blowback was swift on social media, with Mia Farrow saying, "No more Donna Karan for me."

Farrow's son, Ronan Farrow, wrote the explosive New Yorker article alleging that Weinstein raped three women and harassed numerous others.

Patricia Arquette, whose sister Rosanna Arquette said Weinstein exposed himself and grabbed her, tweeted, "No Donna Karan. Sexual assault is never about fashion. It never was. As I write this a child in a Disney princess dress is being assaulted."

  • Andrea Park On Twitter»

    Andrea is an entertainment producer at CBSNews.com