By now, everyone has surely heard the seemingly endless number of horrifying sexual misconduct allegations that have been brought against disgraced movie mogul Harvey Weinstein, but in what seems like an attempt to see just how much skin-crawling a person can endure, The Hollywood Reporter decided to dig into Weinstein’s early life and see if he was always the huge creep that so many women have recently accused him of being. Unsurprisingly, it looks like the answer is “yes.”
The story spends a lot of time on Harvey and Bob Weinstein’s parents, with old friends who knew them when they were younger categorizing Max and Miriam Weinstein as “a hectoring mother and ineffectual father.” Apparently, the Weinstein brothers were terrified of their mother, and a childhood friend named Peter Adler says that she was always “drilling a sense of inadequacy” into them that may have contributed to a self-confidence issue that a lot of THR’s interview subjects say Harvey Weinstein has. Adler also says that Weinstein’s “real role model” was a man they called “Uncle Shimmy” who “was a bit of a shyster” in their hometown of Queens who—as THR theorizes—may have taught young Harvey Weinstein that “honesty mattered less than success.”
Adler says that Weinstein didn’t have any luck with dating as a young man “because he was really hideous,” but that apparently started to change when found success as half of a concert promotion company called Harvey And Corky Present. Weinstein was apparently able to book some pretty big acts in Buffalo, where he was living at the time, and he also had “several decent-length relationships.” After a few years, though, Adler says that he started “being an asshole” by ignoring his old friends and treating them “like shit” because “he was the big shot.”
As the concert promotion business continued to take off, Weinstein reportedly started to act like more of a “bully,” verbally and physically pushing people when he got into arguments. One unnamed woman from Buffalo who had some business with Harvey And Corky at the time said he once asked her to wash his back when he was in a tub and later allegedly tried to kiss her and pressured her for a blow job. Later, after the company had gotten into organizing film screenings, Harvey Weinstein and his brother signed on as producers of a low-budget horror movie called The Burning.
Paula Wachowiak, a woman who worked as an intern on the film when she was 24 in 1980, said that she went to Harvey Weinstein’s room at a “modest hotel” once to drop off some checks. She says he answered the door in only a “small towel” and then casually dropped it as they were talking and asked for a massage. Wachowiak left, saying she “fell apart.” Near the end of the shoot, she says Weinstein showed up unannounced one day and gave her a “smarmy” look, asking if seeing him naked was “the high point” of her internship. Years later, when Wachowiak wanted to talk to Bob Weinstein about a movie she made with her husband, she mentioned Harvey “being difficult.” His brother supposedly responded, “Oh, yeah. He’s still like that.”