Meryl Streep described the accusations against producer Harvey Weinstein as "disgraceful news" and the women who exposed "this abuse are our heroes," she said, according to a statement sent to HuffPost.
Streep becomes the latest celebrity to speak out against Weinstein after the New York Times published an investigation uncovering three decades of sexual harassment and assault allegations. Weinstein was fired Sunday by the board of directors from The Weinstein Company, the film studio he co-founded in 2005.
Streep, who worked with Weinstein on films such as "August: Osage County" and "The Iron Lady," said in the statement that she did not know of the alleged abuse.
"One thing can be clarified. Not everybody knew," she wrote. "I didn’t know about these other offenses: I did not know about his financial settlements with actresses and colleagues; I did not know about his having meetings in his hotel room, his bathroom, or other inappropriate, coercive acts."
Part of the Times' exposé covered the efforts of Weinstein and those around him to cover up decades of accusations. Weinstein's alleged behavior was widely known within the industry, the Times claimed, but in the face of his influence and financial and legal power, many felt incapable of speaking out.
"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," Streep continued.
Nonetheless, Streep made no excuses for Weinstein and no qualms about believing the women who came forward, even though, she said that "Harvey supported the work fiercely, was exasperating but respectful with me in our working relationship, and with many others with whom he worked professionally."
"The behavior is inexcusable, but the abuse of power familiar," Streep concluded. "Each brave voice that is raised, heard and credited by our watchdog media will ultimately change the game."