Every five minutes, that’s what it felt like yesterday with new Harvey Weinstein developments. There was, however, no update on that internal investigation. And while major celebrities are taking up most of the headlines, there’s also a lot of gossip that’s worth following up on where the executives are concerned, the ones who aren’t always recognised on red carpets but who essentially rule the red carpets.
On the weekend, following The New York Times initial report about Harvey Weinstein’s decades of sexual assault, The Weinstein Company confirmed first that Harvey would be taking a leave of absence. They also announced via statement from their board that they had “plans to launch an internal investigation into the accusations”:
“The company has retained John Kiernan of Debevoise & Plimpton LLP, plus 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. According to the statement, the investigating lawyers will be reporting to a special committee of the board composed exclusively of independent directors.”
It’s a prudent move from any company in the midst of a scandal – to declare publicly that they’re bringing in impartial outsiders to assess the situation, to give the impression that they are concerned about the allegations because, of course, there’s a business at stake here. And countering all the negative press with a gesture of wanting to change and wanting to be accountable is certainly better PR than the PR they’ve been getting so far.
On Sunday, TWC fired Harvey. Then they removed his name from all TWC television series. And it’s been reported that they’re looking into a name change for the company. As of yesterday though, no update on that internal investigation.
The purpose of the internal investigation is to identify the extent of Harvey’s abuse and misconduct. But, also, as we all know, a proper internal investigation would be to identify whether or not other board members and executives enabled that abuse and misconduct and for how long. As many others have pointed out, Harvey was not fired because he did what he did. He was fired because he got exposed for doing what he did. And according to both The New York Times and The New Yorker, there were people also in influential positions within the company who knew all along that he was a sexual predator and did not try to stop it, perhaps even facilitated it, thus putting more victims at risk – as evidenced by all those payouts. Should that investigation confirm these suspicions, the board of the directors of The Weinstein Company could be negligent, at least partially responsible. Which means liable. Which means money. Money is what matters to these people. And how willing are these people to lose money? When Harvey was making them all kinds of money, they certainly seemed to prioritise money over a lot of other matters.
So. Where is this investigation going to end up? And will they release their findings? Will these board members be willing to let people know that they f-cking knew, they f-cking knew all along?
“The investigating lawyers will be reporting to a special committee of the board composed exclusively of independent directors.”
That’s not necessarily the public. Up until last week, they spent decades covering sh-t up. What is the likelihood that the members of the board are going to want to release a report that specifies that they were negligent, that for years they did not stop Harvey Weinstein from sexually assaulting and harassing women? Don’t sleep on this.
One of those board members is Harvey Weinstein’s brother. For a few days now, there have been rumours that The New York Times and The New Yorker would not have been able to go ahead with their reporting without the undercover blessing of Bob. Apparently Bob and Harvey have a love-hate relationship. So, on top off everything else to do with this mess, we have a Cain and Abel situation.
TMZ reported last night that Harvey is blaming Bob for his downfall:
Sources connected to H.W. tell TMZ, Harvey firmly believes it was his brother Bob who fed The New York Times the information for its sexual harassment story. He believes it was a well-orchestrated plan by Bob to remove Harvey from the company he built.
Weinstein, we're told, firmly believes the entire board knew about his sexual harassment troubles for years. Our sources say 7 months ago Bob received Weinstein's entire personnel file which detailed a number of the claims, and he believes Bob leaked the filed to The NY Times.
As for proof the file was sent, we're told Harvey Weinstein's people have a FedEx receipt which shows his brother got the material.
Bob Weinstein came out swinging, telling TMZ, "My brother Harvey is obviously a very sick man. I've urged him to seek immediate professional help because he is in dire need of it. His remorse and apologies to the victims of his abuse are hollow. He said he would go away for help and has yet to do so."
Bob goes on ... "He has proven himself to be a world class liar and now rather than seeking help he is looking to blame others. His assertion is categorically untrue from A to Z. I pray he gets the help that he needs and I believe that it is him behind all of these stories to distract from his own failure to get help."
Yesterday I wrote about Harvey’s legendary vindictive and vengeful nature and his preoccupation with tearing down his enemies, using his media contacts to plant harmful stories about them to his advantage. Tina Brown confirmed this in a post about Harvey in The New York Times yesterday, describing how he would exchange information about other people in order to shut down any gossip about himself. Right now, his target is his brother. But you have to think that Harvey has even more receipts. And if he’s backed into a corner, he might open up that vault of secrets.
TMZ says that Harvey was getting ready to fly to Europe for rehab last night. And that it’s just one step towards a bigger goal:
Our sources say Weinstein is surprisingly calm, considering the PR nightmare engulfing him. As one source put it, "He has his moments where there are bursts, but for the most part he's pretty calm."
We're told Weinstein still believes he can get help, come back and make a fresh start. As a source close to Weinstein put it, "He wants to come back with fresh, new ideas." As we reported, he and his team are in settlement discussions with The Weinstein Co. and the idea of him serving in some outside capacity is still on the table.
Fresh new ideas? I can’t wait!
Harvey Weinstein thinks he has a chance. Amazingly, Harvey Weinstein thinks there’s another chapter in his story, more chapters to come. Harvey Weinstein is already trying to figure out how he can reclaim the power. Partly because he can’t stand not being at the top anymore but also because, you have to assume, he’s looking for revenge. That’s not exactly a condition for positive change. Every door might be closed to Harvey Weinstein now. But that doesn’t mean he still can’t keep f-cking up Hollywood from the outside.