(CBS) -- Meryl Streep weighed in on the Harvey Weinstein sexual harassment scandal Monday, calling his behavior "inexcusable."
The 3-time Oscar winner, who starred in several of the Hollywood producer's films, said in a statement "The disgraceful news has appalled those of us whose work he championed."
But the actress denied that Weinstein's behavior was an open secret, saying she did not know about the allegations. Weinstein was fired Sunday by his studio's board of directors three days after the New York Times reported that he paid off at least eight sexual harassment claims over the decades. New York Times correspondent and CBS news contributor Jodi Kantor worked on the investigation.
"This was a situation where there was silence, for so long, there was a heavy intimidation factor, Mr. Weinstein was an incredibly powerful figure in Hollywood."
Actresses Ashley Judd and Rose Mcgowan are among the women who accused the Hollywood producer of unwanted advances. Local news anchor Lauren Sivan said Weinstein cornered her in 2007 and explicitly touched himself in front of her.
"When he finished I said to him, are we done here, can we leave? Because he had been blocking the exit," she said.
Weinstein has produced some of Hollywood's biggest films over the last 25 years. In a statement on Thursday, he apologized for his behavior and said he hopes for a second chance.