A new Vanity Fair feature on Harvey Weinstein’s October panic right before investigations guillotined his career includes an engrossing footnote: The Best Picture Oscars won by “The Kings Speech” (2011) and “The Artist” (2012) have reportedly gone missing from the Weinstein Company (TWC)’s Manhattan offices. TWC has not yet responded to IndieWire’s requests for comment. Weinstein produced three additional Best Picture winners (“The English Patient,” “Shakespeare in Love,” and “Chicago”).
Weinstein was fired from the mini-major studio he co-founded with his brother, Bob, on October 8, three days after the New York Times published details about eight sexual harassment lawsuits he had settled. The ousting also arrived two days before a New Yorker exposé detailed more allegations against the producer, including three rapes. Several dozen women have now made claims against Weinstein, whose past is now being examined by police in Beverly Hills, London, and New York.
Vanity Fair’s Adam Ciralsky describes how Weinstein and his TWC allies “allegedly spen[t] his last days at the company searching for and trying to delete documents; absconding with others; surveilling ex-employees’ online communications; and seeking to discover who, in the end, had orchestrated his downfall.” Among the documents was one obtained by Vanity Fair, “HW friends,” a list of 63 women organized by city.
During this time, a trusted Weinstein employee was Frank Gil, TWC’s vice president of human resources. Per a statement TWC sent Vanity Fair, on October 1, “Gil entered the offices of TWC employees without their knowledge and may have been responsible for the disappearance of personnel files,” including — sources told the magazine — parts of Weinstein’s file. Gil is now on administrative leave.
Citing two senior TWC officials, Vanity Fair reports that after Gil’s unannounced weekend visit, “Gone, too, were a pair of Oscar statuettes from the company’s back-to-back best-picture wins, for ‘The King’s Speech’ (2010) and ‘The Artist’ (2011). (No one has suggested Gil was involved in their disappearance.)” It is unclear whether TWC knows the current whereabouts of the statuettes.
Unnamed sources also told Vanity Fair that one day after the Times story broke, Gil told Weinstein that for a seven-figure sum, he would provide evidence that the Weinstein revelations were leaked by the duo now jointly leading the company, Bob Weinstein and TWC president and COO David Glasser (something both emphatically deny). Through a spokesman, Gil said he had not “engag[ed] in any wrongdoing whatsoever at any time.”
While Gil did not speak with Vanity Fair directly, TWC’s head of publicity and marketing, Nicole Quenqua, did. She was quoted on the record saying Harvey Weinstein sat her down a week prior to the Times story to say, “I might have done some things that are immoral. But I didn’t do anything that was illegal.”
Quenqua continued, “I thought the Times article was going to be bad but I didn’t have a clue about the extent and severity of the accusations. When I got the ‘push’ notification and I read that story at my desk, my mouth dropped open and there were tears. I was shocked and shaking. Then Harvey called,” asking that she and her colleagues assist on necessary damage control. Quenqua rebuffed the request.
Besides Gil, the confidants that tried to bolster Weinstein ahead of the damning articles also reportedly included his former legal adviser Lisa Bloom, communications strategist and former Miramax staffer Matthew Hiltzik, onetime sex-crimes prosecutor Linda Fairstein, his lawyer and famed Supreme Court prosecutor David Boies, Clinton administration crisis manager Lanny Davis, criminal defense lawyer Elkan Abramowitz, and another current Weinstein attorney, Charles Harder, who has previously represented Hulk Hogan and President Trump.
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