Storm clouds of lawyers are gathering around film and TV mogul Harvey Weinstein, as The Hollywood Reporter and Variety report that the Weinstein Co. founder may be about to face a PR disaster that makes Tulip Fever look like The King’s Speech. Namely, both the New York Times and The New Yorker are reportedly preparing to release “bombshell” stories about the elder Weinstein brother, both of which detail “sexual allegations and improper workplace behavior.”
Deepening the pit currently being dug around Weinstein is the fact that both stories have apparently been extensively researched: Former MSNBC host Ronan Farrow has been working on his New Yorker story for more than a year, according to THR, and the NYT has two reporters on the story, both of whom have been digging through Weinstein Co. HR records and calling dozens of current and former employees, some of whom are reportedly willing to go on the record. In response, Weinstein has reportedly hired a team of crisis managers and high-profile attorneys, including Lisa Bloom—a specialist in sexual-harassment cases who represented Kathy Griffin and Blac Chyna in their recent legal battles—and Charles Harder, the lawyer who represented Hulk Hogan in his privacy case against Gawker.
But although his checkbook might indicate that he takes the charges seriously, Weinstein’s mouth remains flippant. Asked for a statement by THR, he says, “The story sounds so good, I want to buy the movie rights.” And when Variety called Weinstein, he told them that “he was too busy in the editing room working on The Current War, an upcoming historical drama, to know the answer to that question.” Working a plug for his new movie into a statement about potentially career-ruining allegations? You’ve got to admit—that’s pretty bold.