Dench worked with the convicted rapist and former film producer on a number of movies, including Chocolat (2000), Tulip Fever (2017), Nine (2009), My Week with Marilyn (2011) and Philomena (2013). She also won an Oscar for her role in the Weinstein-produced Shakespeare in Love (1998).
“I worked a lot for Harvey, a huge amount, and he was always completely charming,” Dench told The Guardian. “Perhaps I was lucky, but that’s all I know. I feel very acutely for the people who weren’t so lucky.”
Dench added that she doesn’t feel like she “misjudged” him, and that she doesn’t regret any of the films she made with him in hindsight.
“He was a friend,” she continued. “He was a perfectly polite and funny and friendly person. I never experienced Harvey in any other way than that. I knew nothing untoward about him at all. And nor was I warned. So of course I can judge him. But I never experienced that other side of him at all.”
In 2019, Dench said that she disagreed with any potential boycott of Weinstein’s films.
“You cannot deny somebody a talent,” she said. “You might as well never look at a Caravaggio painting. You might as well never have gone to see Noël Coward.”
The British actor, who stars in the new comedy film Blithe Spirit, revealed earlier this month that she received her name after a clairvoyant told her father that he would have a daughter named Judith.
Weinstein, who formerly ran the film studios Miramax Films and The Weinstein Company, is currently serving a 23-year prison sentence for rape and sexual assault.