Oct 12, 2017, 7:33 PM ET

Gloria Steinem not surprised by Weinstein allegations

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Gloria Steinem has weighed in on the allegations of sexual misconduct against Harvey Weinstein.

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"He's existed, and these people have existed forever. When I was growing up, this would have been considered normal human behavior. There was no law against it, there were no words for it; it was just the way the world was," she told Elle.com in a new interview conducted as news was breaking of Weinstein's alleged misconduct.

Dozens of women, including Ashley Judd, Gwyneth Paltrow and Mira Sorvino, have now come forward in reports by The New York Times, The New Yorker and more accusing movie mogul Harvey Weinstein of sexual harassment and, in some cases, sexual assault. Some allegations date back three decades.

A spokesperson for the movie executive told The New Yorker, "Any allegations of non-consensual sex are unequivocally denied by Mr. Weinstein." In a statement, his spokesperson added that "there were never any acts of retaliation against any women for refusing his advances."

Weinstein’s lawyer has also said he plans to sue The New York Times for "false and defamatory statements about Harvey Weinstein."

Before the allegations came to light and the movie mogul was fired from the entertainment company he co-founded, Weinstein helped endow Rutgers University's new Gloria Steinem Chair in Media, Culture, and Feminist Studies.

Rutgers has said it will move forward with setting up the endowment, even while the University of Southern California is turning away a $5 million donation from Weinstein to endow a scholarship program for women filmmakers.

"We think devoting these funds to advance women's equality is a better use of the dollars than returning the donation to Harvey Weinstein and the H. Weinstein Family Foundation," Dory Devlin, director of Rutgers media relations, said in a statement.

Asked whether Weinstein's downfall signaled the end of toxic masculinity, Steinem said, "It’s not the last gasp, but it is a step on the way to it because the popular opinion is: This is wrong. There are words for it. There are laws for it. You get punished for it. You get fired for it. It’s a step on the way."

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  • Do the right thing

    No doubt Harvey abused his power and harassed hundreds of women , There are a few of these women that really suffered at Harvey's hands and deserve justice,and then there are all the others jumping on the bandwagon for the limelight(Heidi Klum , most of the actresses that benefitted and now scream harassment) just as they did when Harvey was in power.I would be very careful because even though we think this story is huge , I believe this is just the tip of the iceberg , we should wait for Harvey to release his small side of the story , its going to expose a lot of actresses for what they are , also cant wait for his memoir..........as they say theres a lot more to this story than meets the eye , round one to the limelight seekers .......comments pls , in no way am I condoning HW's behaviour.But why did not most of these women keep quiet after almost 20 years in some cases ........I know he had too much power , our careers , the money we would loose , his influence........then why didn't you guys support McGowan years ago.... all im saying a lot of these actresses are not who they say they are , and then there are the women that really deserve justice.

  • Red Hawk

    I'm sure Paul Servino knew nothing about Weinstien molesting his daughter, otherwise Harvey would have needed a long hospital stay