Leon Wieseltier Admits ‘Offenses’ Against Female Colleagues as New Magazine Is Killed
Leon Wieseltier, a prominent editor at The New Republic for three decades who was preparing to unveil a new magazine next week, apologized on Tuesday for “offenses against some of my colleagues in the past” after several women accused him of sexual harassment and inappropriate advances.
As those allegations came to light, Laurene Powell Jobs, a leading philanthropist whose for-profit organization, Emerson Collective, was backing Mr. Wieseltier’s endeavor, decided to pull the plug on it.
“Upon receiving information related to past inappropriate workplace conduct, Emerson Collective ended its business relationship with Leon Wieseltier, including a journal planned for publication under his editorial direction,” the organization said in a statement on Tuesday. “The production and distribution of the journal has been suspended.”
A spokesman said Emerson Collective would not elaborate further on the nature or source of the information it had received. But stories about Mr. Wieseltier’s behavior are now surfacing in the aftermath of revelations about Harvey Weinstein’s alleged sexual assaults and harassment of women.
Over the past week, a group of women who once worked at The New Republic had been exchanging emails about their own accounts of Mr. Wieseltier’s behavior in and out of the magazine’s office in Washington, according to one person who has seen the confidential chain and was granted anonymity to describe its contents.
“For my offenses against some of my colleagues in the past I offer a shaken apology and ask for their forgiveness,” he wrote. “The women with whom I worked are smart and good people. I am ashamed to know that I made any of them feel demeaned and disrespected. I assure them I will not waste this reckoning.”