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Harvey Weinstein: Donna Karan apologises after suggesting women may be 'asking for it'

The American fashion designer has been condemned for her remarks

Gemma Strong

Donna Karan has apologised for appearing to defend Harvey Weinstein over multiple sexual harassment allegations. The New York-based fashion designer spoke with Mail Online at the CineFashion Film Awards in Los Angeles on Sunday, and weighed in on the scandal levelled at the film producer, who is accused of making inappropriate advances on a number of women. Donna, who is a friend of Harvey and his designer wife Georgina Chapman, seemed to suggest that women may be "asking for it" and added that both Harvey and Georgina are "wonderful" people.

STORY: George Clooney slams Harvey Weinstein following sexual harassment claims

"Are we asking for it by presenting all the sensuality and sexuality? You look at everything all over the world today, how women are dressing and what they're asking by just presenting themselves the way they do. What are they asking for? Trouble," the 69-year-old DKNY founder said.

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Donna Karan is a good friend of Harvey Weinstein and his wife Georgina Chapman

However, Karan has since issued a statement apologising for the comments, insisting they were "taken out of context." She said: "I have spent my life championing women. My life has been dedicated to dressing and addressing the needs of women, empowering them and promoting equal rights.

STORY: Meryl Streep says Harvey Weinstein's behaviour is 'inexcusable' 

"My statements were taken out of context and do not represent how I feel about the current situation concerning Harvey Weinstein. I believe that sexual harassment is not acceptable and this is an issue that must be addressed once and for all regardless of the individual. I am truly sorry to anyone that I offended and everyone that has ever been a victim."

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Actresses Rose McGowan and Ashley Judd are at the centre of the sexual harassment scandal

Actress Rose McGowan, 44, is one of the women named in The New York Times' expose of Harvey's reported sexual misconduct. She is alleged to have received a financial settlement from the disgraced Hollywood mogul, and also called out Karan's comments in a Twitter message. "Donna Karan you are a DEPLORABLE Aiding and abetting is a moral crime. You are scum in a fancy dress," she wrote. Mia Farrow also condemned her remarks, simply tweeting: "No more Donna Karan for me."

In the New York Times article, eight women, including actress Ashley Judd, came forward to accuse the movie mogul of sexual misconduct. Harvey was removed as co-chairman of The Weinstein Company on Sunday. "I appreciate the way I've behaved with colleagues in the past has caused a lot of pain, and I sincerely apologise for it," he stated, adding that he was to take a sabbatical and work with therapists to "deal with this issue head on".