‘I am a woman in a s–t situation, but it’s not unique,’ the Marchesa designer told Vogue in a new interview
Designer Georgina Chapman lost 10 pounds in five days, didn’t leave the house for five months, and started seeing a therapist following revelations of her estranged husband Harvey Weinstein’s alleged misdeeds — but says she’s no victim.
“I don’t want to be viewed as a victim,” the Marchesa co-owner told Vogue in a profile published Thursday, “because I don’t think I am. I am a woman in a s–t situation, but it’s not unique.”
After the New York Times and the New Yorker exposed Weinstein’s alleged pattern of sexual assault and harassment last October, Chapman said, she “couldn’t keep food down” and took about two days to absorb the revelations. (Weinstein has denied the allegations.) “My head was spinning. And it was difficult because the first article was about a time long before I’d ever met him, so there was a minute where I couldn’t make an informed decision,” she said. “And then the stories expanded and I realized that this wasn’t an isolated incident. And I knew that I needed to step away and take the kids out of here.”
For months afterward, the 42-year-old added, she felt “so humiliated and so broken” that she felt it wouldn’t be “respectful” to go out. “I thought, Who am I to be parading around with all of this going on? It’s still so very, very raw,” she said. “I was walking up the stairs the other day and I stopped; it was like all the air had been punched out of my lungs.”
Chapman, who said she’d believed she had a “very happy marriage” and claimed never to have been suspicious about Weinstein’s behavior, told Vogue she was “too shocked” at first to see a therapist — but said she eventually recognized: “This has happened. I have to own it. I have to move forward.”
“There was a part of me that was terribly naive — clearly, so naive. I have moments of rage, I have moments of confusion, I have moments of disbelief! And I have moments when I just cry for my children. What are their lives going to be?” she said. “It’s like, they love their dad. They love him. … I just can’t bear it for them!”
Chapman also addressed Marchesa, for which she canceled a January runway show and decided not to offer any awards-season getups. (The brand, which got its big red-carpet break from Renée Zellweger in 2004, became an awards-show favorite worn by the likes of Jennifer Lopez, Kerry Washington and Helen Mirren.)
“We didn’t feel it was appropriate given the situation,” Chapman said. “All the women who have been hurt deserve dignity and respect, so I want to give it the time it deserves. It’s a time for mourning, really.”
But at least one star still reached out: Scarlett Johansson, who wore a burgundy Marchesa gown to this week’s Met Gala. “I wore Marchesa because their clothes make women feel confident and beautiful and it is my pleasure to support a brand created by two incredibly talented and important female designers,” the actress told Page Six in a statement.
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