“Obviously, the treatment of women all over the world is something that has always had to be identified. Certainly in the country of Haiti where I work, in Africa, in the developing world, it’s been a hard time for women.
“I also think how do we display ourselves? How do we present ourselves as women? What are we asking? Are we asking for it by presenting all the sensuality and all the sexuality?”
The fashion designer then said that people who dress provocatively are “asking for trouble”.
She said: “You look at everything all over the world today and how women are dressing and what they are asking by just presenting themselves the way they do. What are they asking for? Trouble”.
Karan said Weinstein and his wife are “wonderful people” and that the film mogul has done “amazing things”.
Rose McGowan, one of Weinstein’s accusers, has said Donna Karan is “scum” for her comments.
Mia Farrow said: “no more Donna Karan for me”.
“Donna Karan just single-handedly ruined her career and any chance of being respected as a champion of women’s causes ever again. Wow,” said Sarah Wynter.
But Karan has now come forward to claim that her comments, which were recorded on tape, were taken out of context.
She said: “While answering a question on the red carpet I made a statement that unfortunately is not representative of how I feel or what I believe.
“I have spent my life championing women. My life has been dedicated to dressing and addressing the needs of women, empowering them and promoting equal rights.
“My statements were taken out of context and do not represent how I feel about the current situation concerning Harvey Weinstein.
“I believe that sexual harassment is NOT acceptable and this is an issue that MUST be addressed once and for all regardless of the individual. I am truly sorry to anyone that I offended and everyone that has ever been a victim.”
Weinstein’s actions have been condemned by his friends Meryl Streep and Judi Dench.
Streep labelled the alleged sexual harassment by Weinstein “disgraceful,” “inexcusable,” and an “abuse of power.”
Dench, who first worked with Weinstein back in 1997, said: “I was completely unaware of these offenses which are, of course, horrifying, and I offer my sympathy to those who have suffered, and wholehearted support to those who have spoken out”.
Weinstein has issued an apology and said he is going to get therapy. His lawyers say the New York Times story is “saturated with false and defamatory statements” and relies “on mostly hearsay accounts and a faulty report”.
In a statement to the Times last week Weinstein said: “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.”