Weinstein was fired from The Weinstein Company, the film company he co-founded, days after a New York Times investigation detailed numerous incidents of alleged sexual harassment by the media mogul over a period of three decades.
"The disgraceful news about Harvey Weinstein has appalled those of us whose work he championed, and those whose good and worthy causes he supported," Streep said to CNN in a statement, which was first provided to the Huffington Post.
"The intrepid women who raised their voices to expose this abuse are our heroes," she said. "One thing can be clarified. Not everybody knew."
Streep went on to say that "Harvey supported the work fiercely, was exasperating but respectful with me in our working relationship, and with many others with whom he worked professionally."
"I didn't know about these other offenses: I did not know about his financial settlements with actresses and colleagues; I did not know about his having meetings in his hotel room, his bathroom, or other inappropriate, coercive acts," she said. "And If everybody knew, I don't believe that all the investigative reporters in the entertainment and the hard news media would have neglected for decades to write about it."
Streep won a best actress Academy Award in 2012 for her portrayal as British stateswoman Margaret Thatcher in the Weinstein Company release, "The Iron Lady."
During her best actress in a drama win for the role at the 2012 Golden Globes, Streep jokingly referred to Weinstein as "god" and "the punisher."
Streep was also nominated for a best actress Oscar for the 2013 film "August: Osage County," which Weinstein executive produced.
Award winning actress Julianne Moore tweeted her thoughts on Monday.
"Coming forward about sexual abuse and coercion is scary and women have nothing to be gained personally by doing so," Moore wrote. "But through their bravery we move forward as a culture, and I thank them. Stand with @AshleyJudd @rosemcgowan and others."
Patricia Arquette followed up with her own tweet, "If there is a way to cure yourself of being a predator than I hope harvey learns what it is & shares it with the world. It's an epidemic."
Judi Dench, who has worked with Weinstein over the years on films like "Shakespeare in Love," for which she won an Oscar, called the accusations "horrifying" in a statement to CNN.
"Whilst there is no doubt that Harvey Weinstein has helped and championed my film career for the past twenty years, I was completely unaware of these offenses which are, of course, horrifying," the statement read. "I offer my sympathy to those who have suffered, and whole-hearted support to those who have spoken out."
Susan Sarandon, who starred in the Weinstein-produced film "3 Generations," also praised Judd for speaking up.
"Huge respect for @AshleyJudd and all the women who broke their silence for the article on Harvey Weinstein," Sarandon wrote. "Brave."
"To be clear what Harvey Weinstein did was a disgusting abuse of power and horrible. I hope we are now seeing the beginning of the end of these abuses," wrote actor Mark Ruffalo in a tweet.
"Men in Hollywood need to change ASAP," McGowan told THR.
"Hollywood's power is dying because society has changed and grown, and yet Hollywood male behavior has not," she said. "It is so not a good look. In the way cooler than Hollywood world I live and work in, I am actually embarrassed to be associated with it."
Weinstein released a statement
in response to the Times story on Thursday.
"I came of age in the '60s and '70s, when all the rules about behavior and workplaces were different," Weinstein said in the statement. "That was the culture then. I have since learned it's not an excuse, in the office -- or out of it."