The best friend of Harvey Weinstein’s estranged wife has insisted her ‘incredibly strong’ business partner doesn’t see herself as a ‘victim’.
Georgina Chapman’s Marchesa co-founder Keren Craig has spoken for the first time about the accusations of sexual abuse against the shamed movie mogul, and the impact it has had on their fashion label.
Craig and Chapman, 41, launched Marchesa, in 2004 and have seen their designs modelled by a clutch of A-listers from Scarlett Johansson to Cate Blanchett.
But there were calls for stars to boycott the brand after sexual assault allegations against Weinstein surfaced last year, with some attributing the brand’s success to the producer’s influence in Hollywood circles.
Now, in an interview with Grazia magazine, Keren has recalled the moment she learned that Weinstein was a serial abuser, who denies rape.
Close friends: Georgina Chapman’s Marchesa co-founder Keren Craig (left) has spoken for the first time about the accusations of sexual abuse and rape against Weinstein
Georgina Chapman with estranged husband Harvey Weinstein. The pair wed in 2007 but parted ways last year after allegations of assault against the producer emerged last year
She explained: ‘I was just thinking about Georgina and my goddaughter and their son and helping however I could. [But] there’s nothing I could do.
‘I feel immense sadness for the victims, for the women who have spoken out so bravely. I’m very glad he’s getting some help.’
Within days of the scandal hitting headlines, Georgina announced her decision to divorce the Hollywood producer, with whom she shares India Pearl, seven, and Dashiell Max Robert, four.
Asked whether Keren ever had an inkling that Weinstein had been unfaithful, she replied: ‘Absolutely not. No, it was a total shock. It was upsetting and my heart was broken for George.’
Praising the strength and courage of her fashion designer friend, Keren said: ‘I actually couldn’t believe how incredibly strong she was.
Georgina announced her decision to divorce the Hollywood producer, with whom she shares India Pearl, seven, and Dashiell Max Robert, four, last year (pictured together in January 2017)
Friends: Georgina Chapman and Keren Craig walks the runway at the Marchesa Spring 2007 fashion show during Olympus Fashion Week at the Daryl Roth Theater in New York City
‘She threw herself in to work, she threw herself into protecting her kids. Marchesa is her life, it is her passion.’
Keren is at pains to quash rumours that Weinstein has no financial connection to the business.
‘Harvey was helpful in the beginning’, she admits. ‘He helped us with meeting people, arranging contacts, (but) in terms of the business, he has not been involved.’
Asked if he ever made a financial investment in Marchesa, Keren replied firmly: ‘No’.
She went on to confirm that Weinstein has no remaining financial involvement in that company at all, no shares or stake, ‘None, nothing’.
There was initial speculation that Weinstein’s notoriously tough management style spilled over into Marchesa.
To read the full interview see this week’s Big Fashion Issue of Grazia, on sale now
Asked if she had ever experienced any bullying by the movie mogul, Keren insisted: ‘No. I have not. Harvey was my best friend’s husband, it was a social relationship.’
Keren is also adamant that Georgina must not be counted on the list of abused women, saying: ‘She doesn’t see herself as a victim. That’s very important.
‘She’s just trying to get on with her life. You’ve got to realise George is such a strong woman. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a very hard time, but she’s quite inspirational.’
The two friends are now considering what kind of gesture to make in response to the grassroots #MeToo movement, and the #Time’sUp campaign, which raises funds for women to help bring an end to sexual harassment.
‘We want to support them. We want to make a gesture. We need to properly process how it can be the most beneficial.’
Georgina Chapman’s statement on leaving Weinstein after 10 years of marriage
‘My heart breaks for all the women who have suffered tremendous pain because of these unforgivable actions. I have chosen to leave my husband. Caring for my young children is my first priority and I ask the media for privacy at this time.’