The Weinstein Company has opted not to suspend Harvey Weinstein at this time. The New York Times published a bombshell report on Thursday, October 5 in which a handful of women accused Weinstein of sexual misconduct going back decades. Accusers included actress Ashley Judd and some of Weinstein’s former employees.
According to Variety, Weinstein is battling the board of directors to remain at the company and he believes the scandal can be weathered. Weinstein’s brother and company co-founder Bob Weinstein and COO David Glassner allegedly want Harvey fired from the company and are ready to take over management. The board is considering firing Weinstein without cause.
Weinstein has issued an official statement to the Times’ article, but his apology hardly went over well and many believe there will be no coming back from these accusations. In an interview with the New York Post, the media mogul slammed the newspaper’s “reckless” reporting.
“I bear responsibility for my actions, but the reason I am suing is because of the Times’ inability to be honest with me, and their reckless reporting,” Weinstein said. “They told me lies. They made assumptions. The Times had a deal with us that they would tell us about the people they had on the record in the story, so we could respond appropriately, but they didn’t live up to the bargain.”
Weinstein is suing The New York Times for $50 million.
The company’s board of representatives released this statement:
“The undersigned members of the Weinstein Company’s Board of Representatives, constituting a majority of the Board, make the following statement.
“We take extremely seriously the accusations published in today’s New York Times about our Company’s co-chairman Harvey Weinstein. It is essential to our Company’s culture that all women who work for it or have any dealings with it or any of our executives are treated with respect and have no experience of harassment or discrimination.
“We believe it is important to learn the full truth regarding the article’s very serious accusations, in the interests of the Company, its shareholders and its employees. To that end, we have retained an independent and leading lawyer and firm, John Kiernan of Debevoise & Plimpton LLP, to undertake a thorough and independent investigation and report to the full Board on the results of that investigation. Working with Mr. Kiernan will be his partners Matthew Fishbein, former Chief Assistant United States Attorney for both the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York, and Helen Cantwell, former prosecutor in the Southern District of New York and the New York County District Attorney’s Sex Crimes Unit, who have extensive experience in these kinds of investigations. The investigating lawyers will be reporting to a special committee of the board composed exclusively of independent directors
“We strongly endorse Harvey Weinstein’s already-announced decision to take an indefinite leave of absence from the Company, commencing today. As Harvey has said, it is important for him to get professional help for the problems he has acknowledged. Next steps will depend on Harvey’s therapeutic progress, the outcome of the Board’s independent investigation, and Harvey’s own personal decisions.
“In the meantime, the Company is under the leadership of its Co-Chairman, Bob Weinstein, and its Chief Operating Officer, David Glasser, who plan to proceed with business in the ordinary course.”
Tarak Ben Ammar