Donna Karan blames her comments defending Harvey Weinstein on exhaustion: 'I made a huge, huge mistake'
Donna Karan is still haunted by her controversial comments defending Harvey Weinstein.
In a new interview with Good Morning America's Robin Roberts, the 69-year-old designer apologizes for defending the now disgraced studio mogul during an interview at the CineFashion Film Awards earlier this month. In video published by The Daily Mail, Karan was asked about Weinstein, and suggested that women may be "asking for it" by the way they dress.
“I think we have to look at ourselves," Karan said. "Obviously, the treatment of women all over the world is something that has always had to be identified. Certainly in the country of Haiti where I work, in Africa, in the developing world, it’s been a hard time for women. 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? Are we asking for it by presenting all the sensuality and all the sexuality?"
Karan's comments sparked backlash against the designer, with celebrities such as Rose McGowan, Patricia Arquette and Megyn Kelly speaking out against her.
"First of all, I want to say how sorry I am," Karan now tells Roberts, after initially saying her comments were "taken out of context" in a statement. "What I said is so wrong, and not who I am. I made a huge, huge mistake."
"I love women. I absolutely adore women," Karan adds. "I care about them. I'm a mother, I'm a grandmother. You know, and I've never done this before, and I will never, ever do it again."
Karan blames her comments on being exhausted from a long flight.
"I had just come from a 14-hour plane trip," she shares. "I walked into a situation that I wasn't prepared for in any circumstances whatsoever."
She also says she was not fully aware of the accusations against Weinstein when she was asked about the scandal. Multiple women have accused Weinstein of sexual misconduct, and in some cases, rape. Weinstein's spokesperson has previously said in a statement that "any allegations of non-consensual sex are unequivocally denied" by Weinstein.
"I had been away for a month and a half," Karan explains. "I heard a whisper, but there were whispers all over. ... It wasn't till a day and a half after that I truly heard about it. That's my honest truth. I didn't know."
Last month, Kelly opened her NBC show, Megyn Kelly TODAY, with her thoughts on Karan's comments, and said she would never wear the designer's clothing again.
"Unfortunately, she [Karan] is not the only one who apparently thinks this way and it is wrong. It's seriously wrong," Kelly said. "Let's be perfectly clear right now. Women sometimes make bad fashion choices, including at the office. This does not invite their own harassment. Period. End of report. There are laws in this country. Laws. I don't give a damn if a woman shows up in a bikini to the office, that doesn’t invite or make it OK for her superior to harass her. It makes it OK for her boss to say, ‘Go home and change.’ That's it."