In a sequence of events that would actually make for a pretty good blues song—were its central figure not so staggeringly unsympathetic—Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein appears to have been dumped by his brother, one of his oldest friend in Hollywood, and his wife, all in the space of a couple of days. The reason for those departures, of course, being that those same days were the ones in which two different high-profile pieces of journalism arrived on newsstands, alleging that Weinstein engaged in a decades-long, much-rumored pattern of inappropriate behavior with women that included sexual harassment and assault. The last straw apparently came today, with The New Yorker’s article alleging that Weinstein has sexually assaulted at least three young actresses during his time with Miramax and The Weinstein Co.
Almost every actor strongly associated with Weinstein’s brand—Leonardo DiCaprio, Ben Affleck, Benedict Cumberbatch, and more—came out today to distance themselves from the producer and denounce sexual assault. We have to assume that those professional back-turnings hurt, but others presumably hit closer to home: CNN reports that Weinstein’s wife of 10 years, Georgina Chapman, has announced that she’s separating from him. Chapman issued a statement today, saying, “My heart breaks for all the women who have suffered tremendous pain because of these unforgivable actions. I have chosen to leave my husband. Caring for my young children is my first priority and I ask the media for privacy at this time.”
Meanwhile, there are multiple rumors and reports suggesting that Weinstein feels betrayed by his brother, Bob Weinstein, who was reportedly one of the Weinstein Co. board members who voted for Weinstein to be fired earlier this week. Harvey Weinstein retained the services of high-powered attorney Patti Glaser today, with an eye toward a potential legal battle with the company’s board. Meanwhile, CNN quoted sources last night stating that Weinstein views this whole ordeal as a potential “takedown” from his brother; whether that’s in any part true—or just a deflection on Weinstein’s part from the thought of his own alleged behavior finally catching up with him—or not, it’s clear that Bob Weinstein was willing to remove his brother from their shared brand in the wake of the reports.
One of the most damning assessments of Weinstein’s actions, meanwhile, came from one of his oldest friends in Hollywood: former DreamWorks Animation CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg, who’s known Weinstein for more than 30 years. (Among other professional entanglements, he helped engineer the sale of Weinstein’s Miramax to Disney in the early ’90s.) Katzenberg was drawn into the conflict on Sunday, when Weinstein began soliciting his fellow producers for help, looking for a show of support that might help him keep his job in the aftermath of the initial New York Times piece. Katzenberg declined; instead, he wrote an e-mail in which he flatly stated, “You have done terrible things to a number of women over a period of years,” and counseled Weinstein to seek help. (You can read the full text of the email, in which Katzenberg expresses his hope that his old friend can make amends and redeem himself, over at The Hollywood Reporter.)
As of today, Harvey Weinstein’s transformation into a Hollywood pariah appears to be complete; earlier tonight, USC announced that it would be declining $5 million from him for an endowment for female filmmakers. We can only hope his fate will serve as an example of what not to (allegedly) do when you find yourself in power over others, rather than as a reinforcement of the idea of all the things you can get away with for decades provided that you’re powerful enough to keep people quiet for years.