Donald Trump has said he is not surprised by the allegations of sexual misconduct made against movie mogul Harvey Weinstein.
As he boarded a helicopter at the White House, the US President told reporters: “I’ve known Harvey Weinstein a long time… I’m not at all surprised to see it.”
The comments coincide with the anniversary of the publication of the 2005 Access Hollywood video in which Mr Trump boasted about grabbing women’s genitals.
The President again dismissed the tape’s contents as typical male bragging, saying – as he did at the time – “that’s locker room”.
His intervention comes after Mr Weinstein’s latest accuser, TV presenter Lauren Sivan, claimed he cornered her in a Manhattan restaurant in 2007 and tried to kiss her.
When she refused, he said: “Well, can you just stand there and shut up.” He then allegedly performed a sex act in front of her.
She joins other women, including actors Ashley Judd and Rose McGowan, in accusing the film producer of sexual harassment stretching back years.
In another blow to Mr Weinstein, his lawyer, Lisa Bloom, has quit representing him.
She had been criticised for staying with Weinstein after the allegations surfaced.
Mr Weinstein, who produced Pulp Fiction, Shakespeare in Love and Chicago, has taken indefinite leave from the company he co-founded while an internal investigation is completed.
I have resigned as an advisor to Harvey Weinstein.
My understanding is that Mr. Weinstein and his board are moving toward an agreement.
— Lisa Bloom (@LisaBloom) October 7, 2017
In a statement issued on Thursday, he apologised for his conduct, saying: “I appreciate the way I’ve behaved with colleagues in the past has caused a lot of pain, and I sincerely apologise for it.
“Though I’m trying to do better, I know I have a long way to go.”
The Academy Award winner formed independent movie studio Miramax in 1979 with his brother Bob, selling it in 1993 and setting up The Weinstein Company in 2005.
I have a three-book deal with Weinstein Books, through Hachette. I can’t go forward with those books unless Harvey resigns.
— Mika Brzezinski (@morningmika) October 7, 2017
In a separate development, one of America’s most high-profile TV presenters, Mika Brzezinski, has backed away from working with Mr Weinstein.
The Morning Joe co-host tweeted that “unless Harvey resigns” she will withdraw from a three-book deal she struck last summer with Weinstein Books.