Obama speaks out on Harvey Weinstein allegations

Last Updated Oct 10, 2017 8:11 PM EDT

Former President Barack Obama has issued a statement on the series of reports of sexual harassment and sexual assault allegations against movie mogul -- and major Democratic donor -- Harvey Weinstein.

"Michelle and I have been disgusted by the recent reports about Harvey Weinstein," Mr. Obama said in the statement. "Any man who demeans and degrades women in such fashion needs to be condemned and held accountable, regardless of wealth or status. We should celebrate the courage of women who have come forward to tell these painful stories. And we all need to build a culture -- including by empowering our girls and teaching our boys decency and respect -- so we can make such behavior less prevalent in the future."

The Obamas' 19-year-old daughter, Malia, interned for Weinstein's company. Weinstein raised millions for Democrats and hosted fundraisers Obama attended while he was president.

Weinstein was fired by The Weinstein Company's board on Sunday, after the first report about his behavior was published by The New York Times.

The exclusive fundraisers Weinstein hosted for Democrats attracted top Hollywood stars and celebrities and brought in over $5 million; CBS News' Mark Knoller cited three fundraisers between 2011 and 2013 hosted by Weinstein and attended by then-President Obama. 

In May 2013, Obama attended a Democratic National Committee (DNC) fundraiser at Weinstein's Greenwich Village townhouse, hosted by Weinstein and his wife, fashion designer Georgina Chapman. Justin Timberlake and Jessica Biel were spotted among 65 donors who paid between $16,200 to $20,000 to attend. Between $1,053,000 to $1,300,000 was raised.

In August 2012, Weinstein held another fundraiser at his Westport, Connecticut home, also attended by then-President Obama. Co-hosts included Joanne Woodward, Anne Hathaway, Aaron Sorkin and Vogue editor Anna Wintour. Guests paid $35,800 to attend, $5,000 of which went to Obama's re-election campaign, and the rest to the DNC. Overall, this dinner brought Democrats $2,148,000.

Obama also went to an August 2011 re-election dinner fundraiser at a private residence in New York City hosted by Weinstein and Vogue editor Anna Wintour for 15 people who donated $35,800 each, with the same money-splitting arrangement as the other DNC-Obama fundraiser. That one raised a total of $2.3 - $2.7 million.

During the 2012 election cycle, Weinstein donated more than $128,000 to Obama's re-election campaign, political action committees (PACs) supporting him and the Democratic Party, according to Federal Election Commission (FEC) records.

Hillary Clinton, the 2016 Democratic presidential nominee, said Tuesday that she was "shocked and appalled" when she heard the allegations. Weinstein donated nearly $70,000 to PACs supporting Clinton, her official campaign and the Democratic National Committee, FEC records show.

CBS News' Mark Knoller, Steve Chaggaris and Arden Farhi contributed to this report.

  • Rebecca Shabad

    Rebecca Shabad is a video reporter for CBS News Digital.