Disgraced Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein. Picture: John Carucci/AP

Moscow — Russian President Vladimir Putin's spokesman says the sexual harassment complaints against Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein were made by actresses who were effectively "prostitutes."

Dmitry Peskov says "they earned hundreds of millions of dollars, and after 10 years they say that Weinstein is bad," according to Russian news reports. He says "none of them went to the police, did not say 'Weinstein raped me'. No! (they) wanted to earn $10 million."

He went on to say "what's the name of a woman who slept with a man for $10 million? Maybe, I'm speaking crudely, she's called a prostitute."

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The reports said the comments came Thursday while Peskov was speaking about female journalists' claims of harassment by Leonid Slutsky, chairman of the foreign relations committee in Russia's lower house of parliament.