For the first time since her ex-husband was exposed as an alleged sexual predator, Georgina Chapman has spoken about how the scandal affected her career and her family.
In an interview with Vogue that features in the magazine this month, the fashion designer broke down crying when talking about her and Harvey Weinstein’s children, India, seven, and five-year-old Dashiell.
“I have moments when I just cry for my children. What are their lives going to be?” she told journalist Jonathan Van Meter, sobbing. “What are people going to say to them?”
“It’s like, they love their dad. They love him. I just can’t bear it for them!”
The 42-year-old New Yorker said it took her a while to process the news when in October last year and in the months that followed dozens of women shared their accusations of sexual harassment and abuse against her then-husband.
“At first I couldn’t [go to a therapist], because I was too shocked. And I somehow felt that I didn’t deserve it. And then I realised: This has happened. I have to own it. I have to move forward,” she said.
“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!”
Although “humiliated”, Georgina responded to the earliest revelation within a fortnight by announcing she was separating from her husband.
“My heart breaks for all the women who have suffered tremendous pain because of these unforgivable actions. I have chosen to leave my husband. Caring for my young children is my first priority and I ask the media for privacy at this time,” she said in a statement to People in October.
But it didn’t fail to affect the image of her fashion brand, Marchesa. At the time it was seen by many that Weinstein had propped the label up to the point it was the only reason it was so successful.
Georgina’s friend Neil Gaiman told Vogue it wasn’t a fair assessment.
“They [actresses wearing Marchesa] absolutely had a push from Harvey,” he said. “But you cannot hype something from nothing and make it last. And Harvey’s hyping worked because George is actually an artist.”
Still, many said no celebrity would ever wear Marchesa again. And they seemed to be right, up until Scarlett Johansson wore an ombre burgundy and pink dress by the label to the Met Gala this week – to the disappointment of many.
However, Georgina shared with Vogue that her brand has not been as devastated by the scandal as people may think. She explained that her decision to cancel two collection launches was not a sign the business was failing, but a decision the designer and her business partner made out of respect.
"We didn’t feel it was appropriate given the situation," she 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."
"A lot of people reached out and said, "'Let me wear something.'"
And now, perhaps after this interview, more people will.