Exclusive: Judi Dench, Who Had Harvey Weinstein 'Tattoo' on Her Butt, Says Sexual Harassment Reports Are 'Horrifying'

Updated | Judi Dench, the Academy Award–winning actor who has credited much of her Hollywood success to Harvey Weinstein, says she is horrified by the allegations of sexual harassment against the movie mogul and offers “my sympathy to those who have suffered.”

In a statement to Newsweek, Dench said: “Whilst there is no doubt that Harvey Weinstein has helped and championed my film career for the past 20 years, I was completely unaware of these offenses which are, of course, horrifying, and I offer my sympathy to those who have suffered, and wholehearted support to those who have spoken out.”

Dench, 82, has had a strong collaborative relationship with Weinstein since his former studio, Miramax, distributed the 1997 movie Mrs. Brown, Dench’s first starring role in a movie. Prior to that she was better known as a stage and television actor in her native Britain. Dench’s portrayal of Queen Victoria earned the star her first nomination for outstanding lead actress at the Oscars.

Dench earned her first Academy Award, for best supporting actress, for her role in Shakespeare in Love, another Miramax release. Their most recent collaborations include 2013’s Philomena and the delayed Tulip Fever.

In 2011, Dench joked that she had a tattoo dedicated to Weinstein on her buttocks to commemorate him making her a Hollywood star. “It was thanks to Harvey, whose name I have had tattooed on my bum ever since,” Dench quipped while accepting an award from the British Film Institute in London. In a 2014 interview with The Hollywood Reporter, the actor said the tattoo was an elaborate joke and was, in fact, applied with makeup. 

Weinstein told the story of how Dench showed him a tattoo on her posterior, reading “JD loves HW,” in a 2013 interview on U.K. talk show The Graham Norton Show.

"She took me to the Four Seasons restaurant. She said: 'I've got a surprise. You're a guy who has everything. I don't know what to get you,’” Weinstein recalled.

Weinstein said that in front of fellow diners, including Carly Simon and the late directors Nora Ephron and Mike Nichols, Dench "unbuckles her pants, and on her bum was 'JD loves HW'...a tattoo. She said, 'I put your name on my ass.'”

Dench recounted her version of events to Hollywood Reporter in 2014, saying: "I once said to him: 'I have your named tattooed on my bum.' He laughed and was, well, quite embarrassed, actually. It’s quite difficult to embarrass Harvey, but I did.

"I got my makeup lady to actually write Harvey’s name. Then I brought it up at lunch and said: 'You know, I do have it on my bum,' and then I actually got up and showed him. I’ve never seen a man more embarrassed and I’ve never let him forget it. Perhaps I should have it done and really shock him."

Weinstein was fired from The Weinstein Company, the production company he founded with brother Bob Weinstein, on Sunday, after a series of allegations of sexual harassment were made public.

This article has been updated to reflect that Judi Dench's tattoo dedicated to Harvey Weinstein was not a permanent fixture.

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