Los Angeles - Meryl Streep has slammed Harvey Weinstein's behaviour as "inexcusable" following claims he had sexually harassed a number of female employees for almost three decades.
The 68-year-old multi-award winner worked with the film mogul on a number of Hollywood blockbusters including 'The Iron Lady' - which saw her hail him as "God" when she won the 2012 Best Actress Academy Award - and though she insists she never saw any evidence of any "abuse", she praised the women who have come forward to speak about his alleged antics.
Speaking after Harvey, 65, was fired by the board of his firm The Weinstein Company, which he co-founded with his brother Bob Weinstein in 2005, "in light of new information about misconduct", following an expose in the New York Times newspaper, Meryl told The Huffington Post in a statement: "The disgraceful news about Harvey Weinstein has appalled those of us whose work he championed, and those whose good and worthy causes he supported.
"The intrepid women who raised their voices to expose this abuse are our heroes. One thing can be clarified. Not everybody knew.
"Harvey supported the work fiercely, was exasperating but respectful with me in our working relationship, and with many others with whom he worked professionally.
"I didn't know about these other offences: I did not know about his financial settlements with actresses and colleagues; I did not know about his having meetings in his hotel room, his bathroom, or other inappropriate, coercive acts.
"And if everybody knew, I don't believe that all the investigate reporters in the entertainment and the hard news media would have neglected for decades to write about it.
"The behaviour is inexcusable, but the abuse of power familiar. Each brave voice that is raised, heard and credited by our watchdog media will ultimately change the game."
Meryl's comments came after Harvey was fired from The Weinstein Company with immediate effect.
They said in a statement: "In light of new information about misconduct by Harvey Weinstein that has emerged in the past few days, the directors of The Weinstein Company - Robert Weinstein, Lance Maerov, Richard Koenigsberg and Tarak Ben Ammar - have determined, and have informed Harvey Weinstein, that his employment with The Weinstein Company is terminated, effective immediately."