Sunday 22 October 2017

Film mogul Harvey Weinstein fired amid sexual harassment scandal

'His employment is terminated, effective immediately', the company said in a statement

Harvey Weinstein
Harvey Weinstein

Harry Cockburn

Harvey Weinstein has been fired from the film company he co-founded, The Weinstein Company board of directors has announced.

The decision follows a growing scandal over a string of sexual harassment allegations made against the 65-year-old Hollywood film producer.

The barrage of accusations came after the New York Times published an investigation that said Mr Weinstein had reached at least eight settlements with women over harassment claims.

The removal of Mr Weinstein from his company will leave control in his brother, Bob Weinstein’s hands, along with chief operating officer David Glasser.

Powerful: Harvey Weinstein and wife Georgina Chapman
Powerful: Harvey Weinstein and wife Georgina Chapman

In a statement the company said: “In light of new information about misconduct by Harvey Weinstein that has emerged in the past few days,  the directors of The Weinstein Company – Robert Weinstein, Lance Maerov, Richard Koenigsberg and Tarak Ben Ammar – have determined, and have informed Harvey Weinstein, that his employment with The Weinstein Company is terminated, effective immediately.”

Confronted with the New York Times allegations, Mr Weinstein has, with his lawyers, issued several peculiar and disjointed statements including vowing to become a “better human being”, and outright denial.

The newspaper published claims he had harassed US actress Ashely Judd and at least one other actress, along with models and female employees. It also said that since 1990, following confrontations Mr Weinstein had reached at least eight settlements with women, according to two company officials speaking on the condition of anonymity.

In a statement to the New York Times last week Mr Weinstein said: “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.”

The allegations levelled at Mr Weinstein include asking a British journalist to jump into a bath with him at his hotel when she’d arrived for a business meeting, and also masturbating in front of a former Fox News reporter after cornering her in a restaurant.

Lisa Bloom, a lawyer acting for Mr Weinstein said in a statement that he “denies many of the accusations as patently false”.

But as the crisis worsened, the film producer lost many of his allies. Ms Bloom resigned, and so did his advisor Lanny Davis, a former White House hand to Bill Clinton.

Mr Weinstein has won best-picture Oscars for films including Shakespeare in Love, Gangs of New York, The Artist, The King’s Speech, Chicago, The Lord of The Rings: The Return of the King and The English Patient.

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