The actor weighed in on the mounting allegations of sexual assault and harassment against the disgraced Hollywood producer on the morning show Monday alongside George Clooney.
Damon, who distanced himself from Weinstein earlier this month, said he had heard about the disturbing encounter around the time he and Paltrow were filming 1999′s “The Talented Mr. Ripley.”
“I knew the story about Gwyneth [Paltrow] from Ben [Affleck], because he was with her after Brad [Pitt], so I knew that story,” Damon said. “But I was working with Gwyneth with Harvey on ‘Ripley.’ I never talked to Gwyneth about it. Ben told me.”
“I knew that they had come to whatever agreement or understanding that they had come to,” the actor continued. “She had handled it and she was the first lady of Miramax. He treated her incredibly respectfully. Always.”
Paltrow is one of dozens of actresses who’ve come forward in recent weeks with stories of sexual misconduct involving Weinstein. The actress and entrepreneur accused him of making advances when she was 22 years old and set to star in the film “Emma,” allegedly “placing his hands on her” and suggesting she give him a massage in a private hotel room.
“He didn’t do it out in the open,” Damon told “GMA.” “If there was ever an event where there was something I was at with Harvey in public and he was doing this thing and I missed it, and there’s some woman who was somehow assaulted and was at the Golden Globes or something and I somehow missed it, then I’m sorry.”
Damon and Affleck have both come under fire for their close ties to Weinstein in the fallout of the scandal. Reports claimed that the “Bourne Ultimatum” actor killed an incriminating story about Weinstein back in 2004, while actress Rose McGowan, who accused the producer of rape, maintains that Affleck had prior knowledge about his behavior.
Damon has denied defending Weinstein in any capacity, while Affleck has yet to address the claims after apologizing for his own harassment scandal involving actress Hilarie Burton.
Apart from Paltrow’s experience, Damon said he never heard about Weinstein’s “darkness,” as the producer allegedly preyed on women in private. However, he concedes that he was more than aware of Weinstein’s infamous reputation.
“You had to spend about five minutes with him to know that he was a bully and he was intimidating. That was his legend. That whole kind of M.O,” Damon said. “When people say ‘everybody knew,’ yeah, I knew. I knew he was an a**hole. He was proud of that. That’s how he carried himself. I knew he was a womanizer. I wouldn’t want to be married to the guy, but it’s not my business really, but this level of criminal sexual predation was not something I ever thought was going on.”
Damon broke his silence on Weinstein’s alleged behavior earlier this month, condemning the producer’s actions and expressing his support for the alleged victims.
“This would have been a difficult past couple of days even if my name hadn’t been dragged into it. I am not the story here,” he said. “The story is these women and what happened to them. So if I’m experiencing this discomfort, it hardly bears mention. There are some real victims here and they are being incredibly brave. Hopefully, them going through this experience right now will help them heal. They are who we all should be thinking about.”
Watch clips from the interview below.