Tuesday night, Marchesa co-founder, fashion designer Georgina Chapman, announced her decision to leave her husband of over 10 years, Weinstein Company film executive Harvey Weinstein, after explosive sexual harassment and assault allegations that came out in the past week. More than a dozen women have stepped forward to accuse Weinstein, 65, of decades of harassment.
And while Chapman, 41, said in statement to PEOPLE, “caring for my young children is my first priority,” a source tells PEOPLE she’s also considering the brand she has built. (The first story of the harassment was released on the same day of Marchesa’s fall 2018 bridal show.)
“People who work at Marchesa know that if she didn’t leave him Marchesa would be done, what stars would wear the dresses if there was any connection to Harvey?” a fashion insider shares with PEOPLE.
“I’m sure the primary reason she broke up with Harvey is the relationship,” the source says. “She was totally in love with him when they met and the relationship was very authentic,” the sources adds. “But I’m sure it played in her mind heavily that she had to save the label. Fashion is a tough business and Marchesa has never been rolling in money.”
A second source tells PEOPLE the designer is “very, very upset” and she’s spending this difficult time surrounded by her children, family and close friends.
“Georgina is very loved. Many people very much care about her. She won’t be going though this alone,” the insider says. “It was her decision to separate. For every day, it was an easier decision for her to make. She was very honest when she released the statement about how her heart breaks for all the women who have suffered. She can’t imagine their pain. She feels sick and very sad that her husband is the cause. She is focusing on her kids and business. She is very concerned about Marchesa too.”
Chapman founded the Marchesa fashion label in 2004 with best friend Keren Craig, who she still runs the company with today, and immediately became known for princess-like red carpet-worthy designs featuring bold embellishments, romantic fabrics and dramatic floral accents. In 2006, the then-fledgling label landed a spot on the coveted spot as one of CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund’s top ten finalists, which identifies the top budding talent in the fashion industry.
The following year, Chapman married the Hollywood movie mogul, and simultaneously, the Marchesa label appeared more and more on high-profile red carpets. Everyone from Sienna Miller to Blake Lively to Jennifer Lopez wore the majestic gowns and the Marchesa-dressed stars topped best dressed lists.
In 2009, Chapman sat down with The London Evening Standard, in which she revealed that she often used Weinstein as a sounding board when designing collections for her brand. In fact, Weinstein had always been a huge supporter of his wife’s line, often seen sitting front row at her shows. And she was on her arm at big events like the Oscars and the Cannes Film Festival red carpet.
“My husband is incredibly intellectual and he has vast general knowledge,” she said at the time. “He is just such a great resource. If I am drawing from a certain genre, or researching for a collection, I can go to him and he will say, ‘Well, you should watch this movie and read this book.’ He reads so, so much. He honestly is a wealth of knowledge,” she said. “But will I ask his opinion from an aesthetic point of view? No. He has a great eye for film, but not so much for fashion.”
When asked during the interview about reports that Weinstein is the one who gets the actresses to wear her clothing, she was dismissive.
“Everyone will always have an opinion, just like I probably have false opinions about other people and things that I’ve been led to believe, too. That’s OK. I can live with it. The people who buy my dresses enjoy wearing them, that’s enough for me. When you put a client in the right dress, it’s a really great feeling when they say, ‘My God, I feel like a million dollars.’ And if people want to think that I didn’t design them, it doesn’t really matter.”
She also dismissed any disparagers of her relationship with Weinstein (and their 24-year age gap), calling her husband “warm” and “very funny” despite rumors of his tough temper.
“You can’t stop people commenting, can you?” she said. “You can choose to react or not react and as long as no one’s life is at risk, and the children are OK, what does it matter? The truth is there is no great exciting story, like I fell off a boat and he rescued me. We met at a party, we were friends and then a while later it developed into more.”
Now, it’s over between them. Weinstein, who has denied allegations of nonconsensual sex, released a statement on their separation, saying: “Over the last week, there has been a lot of pain for my family that I take responsibility for. I sat down with my wife Georgina, who I love more than anything, and we discussed what was best for our family. We discussed the possibility of a separation and I encouraged her to do what was in her heart. In the end, she made the decision to separate. I understand, I love her and I love our children and hopefully, when I am better, I will be in their lives again. I support her decision, I am in counseling and perhaps, when I am better, we can rebuild.”
PEOPLE has reached out for a comment from Marchesa.