One of Hollywood’s biggest open secrets is not so secret anymore
A bombshell report in the New York Times laid bare decades of sexual harassment allegations against Hollywood big wig and long-time Democrat Party donor, Harvey Weinstein.
By most accounts, allegations of Weinstein’s decades-long harassment spree are one of Hollywood’s best known open secrets.
So why bring them into the national spotlight now?
Rebecca Traister of The Cut sheds some light on this particular question. She suggests Weinstein once wielded such immense power, politically, monetarily, and otherwise, he’s been able to squash and evade accusations for years.
Traister notes something has changed, not just in social consciousness that left many rich and powerful men jobless after accusations of sexual harassment.
I saw Harvey Weinstein earlier this year, at a Planned Parenthood celebration. I was struck by the fact that he was there — as the Times details, he has remained a donor to and supporter of liberal organizations, women’s-rights organizations, and Democrats, including Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, whose daughter recently worked as his intern. But I was also struck by his physical diminishment; he seemed small and frail, and, when I caught sight of him in May, he appeared to be walking with a cane. He has also lost power in the movie industry, is no longer the titan of independent film, the indie mogul who could make or break an actor’s Oscar chances.
He clearly hasn’t stopped working to protect himself. The attorney Lisa Bloom, whose business has recently been the representation of women lodging harassment and assault claims against powerful men, is a member of his legal team. I cannot imagine it coincidental that this spring he bought the rights to make her book about Trayvon Martin into a miniseries. (His legal team also includes David Boies and Charles Harder, the lawyer who successfully sued Gawker on behalf of Hulk Hogan. Anita Dunn, who worked in the Obama White House, reportedly gave Weinstein pro bono PR advice in recent weeks; Weinstein has also, supposedly, reached out to the Clintons’ crisis PR honcho Lanny Davis.) It seems important that this story was reported nonetheless, and I suspect coming weeks will include more stories about Weinstein that have been bottled up for decades.
But it’s hard not to consider the circumstances, the years, the risks, and the work put in by so many to convince so many others to be able to come forward, and the fact that perhaps only a weakening of Weinstein’s grip permitted his expensive self-crafted armor to finally be pierced.
Weinstein’s power might be waning, but that hasn’t kept networks like NBC from failing to mention the story.
In a business just as self-interested as politics, even Weinstein’s attorney has something to gain from his perpetual immunity — a movie deal.
Why would publicity hound Lisa Bloom switch sides and defend the alleged harasser? She has a movie deal with him https://t.co/5aBeb9kAcd
— MARK SIMONE (@MarkSimoneNY) October 6, 2017
Bloom represented women who accused Bill O’Reilly, Bill Cosby, and Donald Trump of sexual harassment. Hypocrisy is hardly sufficient here. But she seems a perfect fit for Weinstein’s world.
After The Times report broke, Weinstein gave a statement that has everyone in crisis PR scratching their heads:
The last paragraph is a sad, eye-roll inducing, sloppy attempt to rally the liberal troops. The Free Beacon‘s Sonny Bunch on that bit:
This is grotesquely brazen. Because it’s so transparently obvious what Harvey Weinstein is saying here: “Guys, I’m a liberal, I’m going to go after the NRA, I’m going to make a movie that’s about how terrible Trump is, I’m giving money to liberal causes, whaddaya say about maybe giving me a pass here, huh?”
I would be flabbergasted by the brazenness of it all if I hadn’t just read several thousand words about him trying to get well-known actresses to give him rubdowns in the nude or trying to get a pass from grabbing the breasts of models and writing it off as, hey, just part of my job. What a remarkable scumbag. What a disgusting ploy.
After Weinstein blamed changing times for his demons, he had yet another change of heart. He’s suing The Times for an estimated $50M. From Page Six:
Harvey Weinstein says he will sue the New York Times for an estimated $50 million after it published a bombshell report claiming the movie mogul subjected actresses and female staffers to “decades of sexual harassment.”
Weinstein has hired Charles J. Harder — the LA attorney who brought down Gawker after winning a $140 million verdict for Hulk Hogan after the site posted a sex tape — to go after the Times, which posted its blistering exposé on the Oscar-winning Hollywood mogul Thursday.
Harder said in a statement on behalf of Weinstein, exclusively given to Page Six, “The New York Times published today a story that is saturated with false and defamatory statements about Harvey Weinstein. It relies on mostly hearsay accounts and a faulty report, apparently stolen from an employee personnel file, which has been debunked by 9 different eyewitnesses. We sent the Times the facts and evidence, but they ignored it and rushed to publish. We are preparing the lawsuit now. All proceeds will be donated to women’s organizations.”
Harder did not say how much they planned to sue for, but sources said Weinstein would go after the publication for as much as $50 million.
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