Gov. Terry McAuliffe said that he will give back donations from movie producer Harvey Weinstein.McAuliffe received a total of $57,535 from Weinstein and his company during his successful 2013 campaign for governor. Weinstein has been accused by multiple women of using his power over aspiring actresses to make unwanted sexual advances. McAuliffe’s career as a Democratic fundraiser and ally of Bill and Hillary Clinton had placed him in close contact with Weinstein in the past. The governor will counteract Weinstein’s money with an equivalent contribution to the Virginia Sexual and Domestic Violence Action Alliance. The group is a Richmond-based advocacy alliance that runs a statewide hotline for victims of sexual violence and partner abuse.
In a statement, spokesperson for McAuliffe, Crystal Carson, said the governor has presented himself as a champion of women’s rights and is 'deeply troubled and sickened to hear the reports about Harvey Weinstein’s horrendous behavior toward women.' She went on to say that Weinsteins's "actions are indefensible and cannot be tolerated."
The Republican Party of Virginia called on McAuliffe to follow suit and return Weinstein’s “dirty money."Republicans have called on Democrats to return Weinstein’s money or donate it to charity. Several Democratic U.S. senators have already said they do plan to donate their contributions to charity. McAuliffe referred to Weinstein as a friend in 2007 at the governor's book release party. The governor also attended a Weinstein-organized weekend at Camp David in 1998 for a screening of “Good Will Hunting” where the Clintons and actress Gwyneth Paltrow attended. Paltrow is one of several Hollywood stars who have come forward with stories of unwanted sexual advances by Weinstein.