AceShowbiz - Dame Judi Dench has insisted she "knew nothing untoward" about Harvey Weinstein's predatory behaviour as he was always congenial with her.
The "Skyfall" actress only knew the disgraced producer - who is in jail after being found guilty of sexual assault and rape following multiple accusations of sexual misconduct - to be "charming" and "friendly" so she doesn't regret having worked with him on many occasions.
She said, "I worked a lot for Harvey, a huge amount. And he was always completely charming. Perhaps I was lucky, but that's all I know. I feel very acutely for the people who weren't so lucky."
Asked if she feels she misjudged him, she told The Guardian newspaper, "Misjudged him? I don't know that. He was a friend."
"He was a perfectly polite and funny and friendly person. I never experienced Harvey in any other way than that. I knew nothing untoward about him at all. And nor was I warned."
"So of course I can judge him. But I never experienced that other side of him at all."
The 86-year-old star - whose eyesight has deteriorated because of macular degeneration - still loves working but she doesn't want any parts that are too close to home.
Asked which roles she'd refuse, she said, "Probably an 86-year-old woman who's not able to see. I'm not going to play that part, thanks."
"But I get put in a bracket. 'Oh, would you like to play this person who's sitting in a care home and she's in love with a bird? And then she gets upset because, I don't know, something happens to the bird.' "
And Dench admitted she hates being branded a National Treasure.
She fumed, "For one thing, it's a terrible label. So dusty, so dreary. For another, it relegates me to being an 86-year-old woman. Whereas in my mind's eye I'm 6ft and willowy and about 39."
"Do you know what it's like? It's like they've picked me up and put me inside a little glass-fronted cabinet. Then they've locked the door so I can't get out."