A Moscow radio station is reporting that a spokesman for Russian President Vladimir Putin has likened actresses who claimed sexual abuse by former producer Harvey Weinstein to “prostitutes.”

Spokesman Dmitry Peskov made the remarks in an unofficial capacity while speaking to students in Moscow. The statement was part of an awkward defense in response to a question regarding a senior member of the Russian Parliament who has been accused of sexual harassment.

Leonid Slutsky, head of the foreign affairs committee in Parliaments lower house, the State Duma, has been accused of making lewd sexual comments and groping by members of the Western media covering Russia.

Peskov has made no official comments on the Slutsky accusations but told students the women in the Slutsky case should have reported the offenses immediately. “If Slutsky attacked a poor journalist, where was she? Why did she put up with it?” he asked. “They got felt up in his office. Girls probably see better, but he can probably be seen as a not very pleasant man. If he felt you up, if he harassed you, why were you silent? Why did so much time pass and then you go to the ethics commission? This just amazed me.”

Peskov then likened the situation to that of Weinstein, saying that the actresses who spoke out against Weinstein had enhanced their careers and “did a lot that is not compatible with the concept of honor and dignity. They earned hundreds of millions of dollars and 10 years later, they say that Weinstein is to blame. Maybe he is a bastard, but none of them went to the police! No, they wanted to earn 10 million dollars. What do you call a woman who slept with a man for 10 million dollars? Shes called a prostitute,” Peskov said.

Peskovs remarks were first reported by the radio station Echo of Moscow. Russia has no law defining sexual harassment, and incidents rarely are reported.

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