American film producer and film studio executive Harvey Weinstein has decided to take a leave of absence from his production company after a New York Times article published Thursday uncovered sexual harassment allegations against him by female assistants, executives, and actresses spanning decades. The Times report also said that Weinstein settled complaints with at least eight women.

Weinstein is considered to be one the most powerful men in the Hollywood industry who has a net worth of $200 million, according to Celebrity Net Worth. Weinstein along with his brother Bob Weinstein founded the film distribution company Miramax in the early 1970s that produced Academy Award-winning films such as “Pulp Fiction,” “Chicago,” “The English Patient” and “Shakespeare in Love.” Miramax also distributed movies such as Errol Morris’ documentary “The Thin Blue Line” and Steven Soderbergh’s “Sex, Lies, and Videotape.”

Born on March 19, 1952, in Flushing, New York, Weinstein formed a production company called The Weinstein Company along with his brother Bob in 2005. They sold Miramax to Disney for $80 million in 1993. Under Disney, the company put out hits such as Quentin Tarantino’s “Pulp Fiction,” Kevin Smith’s “Clerks” and Matt Damon and Ben Affleck’s “Good Will Hunting.”

Weinstein, 65, has been responsible for six films that have won the Academy Award for Best Picture. Weinstein has also been known for the famous television show “Project Runway,” and has also earned seven Tony awards for producing a variety of plays and musicals including “The Producers, Billy Elliot the Musical, and August: Osage County.”

Weinstein won an Oscar for producing "Shakespeare in Love." Weinstein has also received an award from the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation organization along with his brother.

The New York Times story begins with allegations against the well-known Hollywood producer by actress Ashley Judd. The story reads that Judd was invited to what she thought would be a business breakfast with Weinstein at the Peninsula Hotel in Los Angeles. Instead, she said, she had been sent to his room where he reportedly asked her to give him a massage or watch him shower.

"How do I get out of the room as fast as possible without alienating Harvey Weinstein?" Judd is quoted as saying in the article. The Times story speaks of other sexual harassment allegations as well and said that it stretched for almost 30 years.

Weinstein released a statement in response to the allegations made by the newspaper. He apologized for some of his behavior in the statement by saying that times have changed since he began in the movie business:

"I came of age in the 60's and 70's when all the rules about behavior and workplaces were different. That was the culture then. I have since learned it's not an excuse, in the office — or out of it. To anyone. I realized some time ago that I needed to be a better person and my interactions with the people I work with have changed. I appreciate the way I've behaved with colleagues in the past has caused a lot of pain, and I sincerely apologize for it," Weinstein said in his statement.

Weinstein is being represented by lawyer Lisa Bloom, who said in a statement to the Times that "he denies many of the accusations as patently false."

Weinstein has also hired Charles J. Harder and is planning to sue the New York Times for an estimated $50 million after it published the article. "The New York Times published today a story that is saturated with false and defamatory statements about Harvey Weinstein. It relies on mostly hearsay accounts and a faulty report, apparently stolen from an employee personnel file, which has been debunked by 9 different eyewitnesses. We sent the Times the facts and evidence, but they ignored it and rushed to publish. We are preparing the lawsuit now. All proceeds will be donated to women’s organizations," Harder said in a statement on behalf of Weinstein, obtained by New York Post.