Oliver Stone says Harvey Weinstein ‘shouldn’t be condemned by a vigilante system’

Though he referred to Harvey Weinstein as “a rival” producer, Oscar winner Oliver Stone stopped short of condemning the disgraced Hollywood mogul who’s become embroiled in a sexual harassment scandal following exposés by The New York Times and The New Yorker.

Friday morning at South Korea’s Busan International Film Festival, where the director and producer is serving as chair of the competition jury, Stone was asked about the mounting allegations against the studio boss, who was fired from The Weinstein Co. over the weekend.

“I’m a believer that you wait until this thing gets to trial,” Stone said, per The Hollywood Reporter. “I believe a man shouldn’t be condemned by a vigilante system. It’s not easy what he’s going through, either. During that period he was a rival. I never did business with him and didn’t really know him. I’ve heard horror stories on everyone in the business, so I’m not going to comment on gossip. I’ll wait and see, which is the right thing to do.”

While Weinstein previously apologized for his “bad behavior” and said he “bear[s] responsibility for [his] actions” (but also denied “many of the accusations as patently false” via then-attorney Lisa Bloom), Stone is still virtually alone in holding back disapproval of Weinstein’s alleged actions. Since the publication of The New York Times’ report, dozens of stars and public and political figures have spoken out condemning Weinstein and the “systemic problem,” per actor Ryan Gosling, of sexual harassment and assault in Hollywood and the workplace at large. Many have also praised the bravery of the growing list of women coming forward who claim Weinstein assaulted, harassed, or raped them, including actresses Asia ArgentoHeather GrahamCara DelevingneAngelina Jolie, Gwyneth PaltrowMira Sorvino, and Rose McGowan.

Following initial reports of Stone’s comments, former Playboy Playmate Carrie Stevens tweeted, accusing Stone of “walking past me & grabbing my boob” at a party. A representative for Stone did not immediately reply to EW’s request for comment.

When I heard about Harvey, I recalled Oliver walking past me & grabbing my boob as he walked out the front door of a party. Two of a kind!

— Carrie Stevens (@CarrieStevensXO) October 13, 2017

Weinstein has denied the allegations against him in a statement released by his representative. “Any allegations of non-consensual sex are unequivocally denied by Mr. Weinstein. Mr. Weinstein has further confirmed that there were never any acts of retaliation against any women for refusing his advances. Mr. Weinstein obviously can’t speak to anonymous allegations, but with respect to any women who have made allegations on the record, Mr. Weinstein believes that all of these relationships were consensual. Mr. Weinstein has begun counseling, has listened to the community and is pursuing a better path. Mr. Weinstein is hoping that, if he makes enough progress, he will be given a second chance.”