'Today' show host Kathie Lee has defended Harvey Weinstein.
Gifford in the wake of the sexual harassment allegations against him.
The 65-year-old disgraced producer has been accused of sexuallyharassing a number of female employees over a 30 year period, andwhilst many in Hollywood have condemned him for his alleged actions,television host Kathie has revealed she reached out to him when thescandal broke in October.
Kathie -- who also got in touch with Bill Cosby when he too was accusedof sexual misconduct -- said: "I don't want to throw everybody on thesame manure pile. Being a jerk is not the same as being a rapist. Itjust isn't. I've been friends with Bill for a long, long time …
Harvey Weinstein was a friend of mine for 30 years. I called him andleft a message.
"I just want people to know I don't judge them. I don't like what theydo, but God knows their hearts and there's hope for them. You can'tcall yourself a friend if the first minute there's trouble, you run.
That's called a fair-weather friend and that's not a friend at all."
However, the 64-year-old show host insists she isn't defending thealleged actions of the stars in any way as she claims she has been avictim of sexual harassment herself and found it "awful".
She instead hopes people can be "merciful" toward those who are"sorry" for their alleged behaviour.
Speaking during an appearance on Andy Cohen's radio show 'Radio Andy',Kathie said: "I hope people are not misunderstanding this. I'm notsaying that that kind of behaviour is in any way acceptable. It isn't,and it's horrible, and as a woman who has experienced it, it's awful.
"But can we at least look at each individual case and see it for whatit is? And be merciful to people who are sorry for what they've done?
If we stop having mercy as a part of our vocabulary, Andy, our worldwill completely die."
Since the allegations against him first emerged, Harvey has denied anyaccusations of non-consensual sex.
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