Saturday 19 January 2019

Nama-linked firm invests in Weinstein

Film producer Harvey Weinstein. Photo: REUTERS/Andrew Kelly/File Photo
Film producer Harvey Weinstein. Photo: REUTERS/Andrew Kelly/File Photo

Damian Troise

The distressed company co-founded by disgraced mogul Harvey Weinstein has accepted a sizeable cash injection from the company that bought millions of euro worth of loans from Nama after the crash.

The Weinstein Company, which is besieged by sexual harassment allegations against its namesake and co-founder, may also be putting itself up for sale.

The company said yesterday that it will receive an immediate cash infusion from Colony Capital and is in negotiations for the potential sale of all or a significant portion of the company responsible for producing films such as 'Django Unchained', 'The Hateful Eight' and 'Lion'.

Colony Capital, the private-equity arm of Colony NorthStar, was founded by Thomas Barrack, a close adviser to US President Donald Trump. Mr Barrack chaired Mr Trump's presidential inaugural committee.

Colony Capital is best known here as one of the US private equity funds that bought up loans from Nama at knockdown prices after the crash.

Weinstein was fired last week by the film production company he helped create. The allegations of sexual harassment and assault against Weinstein span decades and include many of the film industry's leading actresses. The backlash has been severe as more women go public with their experience with Weinstein.

Word of a potential sale comes just three days after Bob Weinstein, who helped found the company with his brother, Harvey, said a sale was not an option.

"We are pleased to invest in The Weinstein Company and to help it move forward," Colony said in a statement.

"We will help return the company to its rightful iconic position in the independent film and television industry."

The list of women alleging harassment and assault by Harvey Weinstein continues to grow. More than 30 women - including actresses Angelina Jolie, Ashley Judd and Gwyneth Paltrow - have spoken out.

Meanwhile, comedian James Corden has apologised after making jokes about the scandal at a charity event.

The comedian claimed later he had been making fun of Weinstein, not the women.

"To be clear, sexual assault is no laughing matter. I was not trying to make light of Harvey's inexcusable behaviour, but to shame him, the abuser, not his victims. I am truly sorry for anyone offended," he said.

Irish Independent

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