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Tarantino: Confronting Weinstein on rumors would have been ‘real hard conversation’

Hollywood director says he chalked up stories to ‘chasing secretaries around desks’ trope and didn’t speak to now-convicted sex offender because he thought behavior was ‘pathetic’

Producer Harvey Weinstein, left, and director Quentin Tarantino react after 'Inglourious Basterds' won the award for best cast of a movie at the 16th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards on Jan. 23, 2010, in Los Angeles.  (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
Producer Harvey Weinstein, left, and director Quentin Tarantino react after 'Inglourious Basterds' won the award for best cast of a movie at the 16th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards on Jan. 23, 2010, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

Movie director Quentin Tarantino said that he should have spoken to Harvey Weinstein when he heard rumors of sexual misconduct, but didn’t because it would have been a “real hard conversation.”

“It was easy to compartmentalize it to some degree. I feel bad about it now,” he told CNN in an interview broadcast Saturday.

Weinstein was the producer of Tarantino’s “Pulp Fiction,” the movie that propelled the director to stardom.

Tarantino was asked by CNN about the fact that he’d made most of his movies in collaboration with Weinstein and had heard stories about him over the years.

“I never heard the stories that came out at all. I heard the same stories that everybody had heard,” Tarantino said.

“To tell you the truth, I chalked it up to a ‘Mad Men’-era version of the boss chasing the secretary around the desk,” Tarantino said, referring to the TV show set in the sexist world of New York advertising in the 1960s.

Director Quentin Tarantino poses on the red carpet for his Lifetime Achievement Award ceremony at the 16th edition of the Rome Film Fest in Rome, October 19, 2021. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)

“I’m not saying that’s okay. There was never any talk of rape or anything like that,” he said.

Tarantino said he didn’t speak to Weinstein about it because “that’s a real hard conversation to have.”

“Because I felt it was pathetic. I felt what he was doing was pathetic. And I didn’t want to deal with his patheticness,” he said.

“I feel bad that I did not have a man-to-man talk with him about it,” Tarantino said.

It’s not the first time Tarantino has spoken about the matter. In 2017 he said he regretted not speaking out sooner about Weinstein.

However, his most recent comments may be perceived to be in contradiction to that interview with The New York Times, in which he said of Weinstein that “there was more to it than just the normal rumors, the normal gossip.”

Former US film producer Harvey Weinstein appears in court at the Clara Shortridge Foltz Criminal Justice Center in Los Angeles, California, October 4, 2022. (Etienne Laurent/Pool/AFP)

Tarantino — who lives in Israel part of the time and is married to Israeli singer Daniella Pick, with whom he has two children — has directed nine feature films over the last 30 years, winning an Oscar for 1994’s “Pulp Fiction” and acclaim for others such as “Inglourious Basterds,” “Reservoir Dogs” and “Kill Bill.”

Weinstein is serving 23 years in jail in New York after being convicted of a series of sex crimes.

He now faces seven more charges in California, including sexual battery by restraint, forcible rape and forcible oral copulation in Beverly Hills and Los Angeles hotels between 2004 and 2013.

If convicted, Weinstein — who has pleaded not guilty to all counts — could be sentenced to more than 100 additional years behind bars.

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