Former Mirimax Chief and Hollywood Legend Harvey Weinstein is under fire following a bombshell report by the New York Times detailing decades of inappropriate behavior toward female employees and actresses, including Ashley Judd and Rose McGowan.
“Mr. Weinstein has reached at least eight settlements with women, according to two company officials speaking on the condition of anonymity. Among the recipients, The Times found, were a young assistant in New York in 1990, an actress in 1997, an assistant in London in 1998, an Italian model in 2015 and Ms. O’Connor shortly after, according to records and those familiar with the agreements.” Reports the Times.
One instance allegedly involved Weinstein inviting Ashley Judd to his hotel room and propositioning her inappropriately – asking to give her a massage and asking if she wanted to watch him shower. Judd had mentioned the incident in the past, but kept Weinstein’s name out of the story until today.
Weinstein, born in 1952, worked with his brother, Bob, to create a successful concert promotion business. They used the proceeds from that venture to found Miramax, an amalgam of their parent’s names, Max and Miriam.
Initially releasing concert films like Paul McCartney’s ‘Rockshow’, Mirimax found mainstream success first with The Thin Blue Line and Sex, Lies, and Videotape. Mirimax exploded in the 1990s with films like The Crying Game, Clerks, Shakespeare in Love, and others.
The Weinsteins eventually left Mirimax after selling the company to Disney, and formed another company, appropriately titled the Weinstein Company, which saw them release films from Quentin Tarantino and Kevin Smith in addition to hit films like Silver Linings Playbook, The Butler, and Best Picture Winner The King’s Speech.
Weinstein is considered one of the most powerful men in Hollywood, and has over 330 Producing credits to his name, including Pulp Fiction, The English Patient, Gangs of New York, Scream, and more.
Always a controversial figure, Weinstein was often regarded as aggressive and bullish toward producers, directors, stars, and reporters, at one point allegedly putting a New York Observer reporter in a Headlock in order to physically throw him out of a party.
Weinstein has also been accused of sexual misconduct before, finding himself interviewed by police after allegations from a 22 year old woman that Weinstein touched her inappropriately and without consent – her story is included in the NYT report.
Weinstein’s statement to the Times was something of a mea culpa: “I appreciate the way I’ve behaved with colleagues in the past has caused a lot of pain, and I sincerely apologize for it. Though I’m trying to do better, I know I have a long way to go.” he said.
Twitter has understandly exploded at these allegations, with women across the globe horrified that these allegations span multiple decades:
As to where things go from here, who knows. What is known is the women Weinstein allegedly harassed are speaking out, and Weinstein is taking some of the responsibility.