Donna Karan defends Harvey Weinstein, suggesting women ask for 'trouble'

Fashion designer Donna Karan defends Harvey Weinstein amid sexual harassment scandal and blames victims.
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Fashion designer Donna Karan defends Harvey Weinstein amid sexual harassment scandal and blames victims.

Designer Donna Karan started a Twitter storm with her comments defending disgraced movie mogul Harvey Weinstein - comments that suggested women and the way they dressed were partially to blame for his alleged abhorrent behaviour.

The UK's Daily Mail published Karan's red carpet interview and video from Sunday's Cine Fashion Film Awards, which found the designer speaking of poor treatment towards women in the world, but distanced that conversation from the Weinstein allegations.

"I also think, 'How do we display ourselves? How do we present ourselves as women?" she said. "What are we asking? Are we asking for it, by presenting all the sensuality and all the sexuality?' "

Hollywood movie producer Harvey Weinstein is embroiled in a sexual assault scandal.
ERIC GAILLARD/REUTERS

Hollywood movie producer Harvey Weinstein is embroiled in a sexual assault scandal.

"And what are we throwing out to our children today about how to dance and how to perform and what to wear? How much should they show?" Karan added. "I don't think it's only Harvey Weinstein.

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"We have to look at our world...and how women are dressing and what they're asking by just presenting themselves the way they do. What are they asking for? Trouble."

She called Weinstein and his wife "wonderful people."

The comments immediately drew a swift Twitter rebuke from actress Rose McGowan who tweeted a screen grab of the Daily Mail article.

"Donna Karan, you are DEPLORABLE," McGowan wrote. "You are scum in a fancy dress."

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McGowan has been one of the more prominent voices against Weinstein since the October 5 publication of a New York Times article listing three decades of alleged harassment against women. Weinstein was fired by The Weinstein Company, the company he co-founded, on Sunday.

Celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain asked the designer Karan on Twitter Monday: "How many seventeen year olds have you dressed like they are, in your words, 'asking for it?'"

Karan did not immediately reply to a request for an interview.

The Hollywood Reporter noted that at her peak, Karan dressed a slew of A-list actresses for the red carpet, including Barbra Streisand, Viola Davis, Jane Fonda, Taylor Swift and Jennifer Aniston.

Some of her most notable looks were barely-there numbers, including a red gown with a see-through skirt worn by Jennifer Lopez at the 2014 Billboard Music Awards, as well as a heavily sheer black ensemble worn by Rita Ora to the 2015 Vanity Fair Oscar party.

Other voices railed against Karan online. 

- USA Today

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