Dame Judi Dench defends work by Kevin Spacey and Harvey Weinstein


Dame Judi Dench says people "cannot deny talent", and slammed those who have boycotted work by Kevin Spacey and Harvey Weinstein in the wake of the sexual misconduct against them.

The 84-year-old actress has previously condemned the alleged behaviour of both Spacey and Weinstein - who have both been accused of making unwanted advances towards several people - but has now said the work they created should still be enjoyed.

Judi compared the situation to people still enjoying paintings by Caravaggio despite him being a murderer, or still going to see a play by Noël Coward, who was accused of predatory behaviour.

Speaking to the Radio Times magazine, the 'Skyfall' star said: "What kind of agony is that? Are we going to negate 10 years at the Old Vic and everything that [Spacey]did [as artistic director] - how wonderful he's been in all those films? Are we just not going to see all those films that Harvey produced?

"You cannot deny somebody a talent. You might as well never look at a Caravaggio painting. You might as well never have gone to see Noël Coward."

Weinstein has been accused of misconduct by over 50 people, but he has denied all allegations of non-consensual sex, whilst his production company has also been accused of failing to protect their employees.

Of those who have accused him of misconduct, victims have filed more than 15 lawsuits, which are accusing Weinstein or his production company of misconduct, whilst Weinstein himself faces criminal charges including rape and performing a forcible sex act.

Spacey was first accused of sexual assault by actor Anthony Rapp, who claimed Spacey acted inappropriately toward him when he was just 14, and has since faced allegations from several other men, some of whom claim to have been harassed by the actor whilst he was working as artistic director at London's Old Vic theatre.

Meanwhile, Judi previously said that she felt torn by the allegations against her friends, as whilst she wanted to defend those she's close to, she was "appalled" by the accusations.

She said: "It's very hard when a lot of people concerned are great friends of yours. I feel loyal to them and at the same time I feel appalled by what has happened to a lot of young actresses who had no way of getting out."