Priyanka Chopra has defended her decision to wear Marchesa in the wake of the Harvey Weinstein scandal.
Priyanka Chopra and Nick Jonas are one of the most talked about couples on the Hollywood circuit, so the Bollywood star’s bridal shower was bound to make headlines – particularly as she donned a show-stopping white gown, complete with feathered skirt, for the occasion. However, while the Marchesa dress certainly got people talking, it was not necessarily for the right reasons.
As many have pointed out, the once-popular label is designed by Keren Craig and Georgina Chapman, the estranged wife of Harvey Weinstein – and, to date, more than 100 women have accused the disgraced Hollywood producer of sexual harassment, assault and misconduct. Thirteen of these women – including Rose McGowan and Asia Argento – have accused him of rape. And reports have also alleged that a number of actresses – including Felicity Huffman, Jessica Chastain and Sienna Miller – were pressured into wearing designs from Marchesa, with Weinstein threatening to end their careers if they didn’t support his wife’s label.
“[Weinstein] was the mastermind behind Marchesa, orchestrating deals and using his influence in terms of the celebrity connections for [Chapman] on behalf of the brand,” a publicist explained to The Hollywood Reporter.
Addressing the backlash around her bridal shower outfit, Chopra told Women’s Wear Daily that she had chosen the dress to make a point about “women supporting women”.
“Georgina’s a friend of mine,” she said, “and it’s not her fault.”
Chopra continued “I don’t think it is right to take it out on a self-made woman what somebody in her life did. That’s the wrong attitude. [And] that was a beautiful gown, and deserved to be worn by a bride-to-be.
“It made me feel like a princess. It was the right choice.”
Her words echo that of Scarlett Johansson, who similarly came under fire for wearing a Marchesa design to this year’s Met Gala.
“I wore Marchesa because their clothes make women feel confident and beautiful,” the Avengers: Infinity War star said at the time, “and it is my pleasure to support a brand created by two incredibly talented and important female designers.”
Read more: “Why it’s so vital we all support Marchesa”
In October 2017, shortly after the first accusations against Weinstein were made public, Chapman announced that his actions were “unforgivable”.
The Marchesa co-founder said: “My heart breaks for all the women who have suffered tremendous pain because of these unforgivable actions.”
Chapman, who has two children with Weinstein, went on to reveal that she had decided to separate from the accused producer.
“I have chosen to leave my husband,” she said.
“Caring for my young children is my first priority and I ask the media for privacy at this time.”
Of course, many have since suggested that Chapman must have known about her husband’s predatory behaviour. However, Vanessa Lloyd Platt, a highly-regarded divorce lawyer, has said that it is “unfair” to blame the designer for anything involving Weinstein’s conduct.
Speaking on Talk Radio, she said: “People are saying in many articles ‘surely the wife must have known’. Why did she stay with him, surely that was encouraging him?
“I think that’s unfair. As we all know, wives of people who have had thoroughly disreputable reputations and have done heinous crimes had no clue in the world what their partners were up to.”
Lloyd Platt continued: “I think the media is also very unfair to say the only reason she’s chosen to leave now is because she wants to protect her brand. She wants to protect her children, not the brand.
“Therefore, she’s choosing this moment now, she thought she could stand by him. She was probably persuaded there was nothing in any of these allegations.”