Disgraced producer Harvey Weinstein boasts of his track record of producing films featuring women in lead roles in a recent interview, and says that the sexual assault charges against him have overshadowed it.
“I made more movies directed by women and about women than any filmmaker, and I’m talking about 30 years ago. I’m not talking about now when it’s vogue. I did it first! I pioneered it!” he told the New York Post.
Weinstein did the interview while recovering from a spinal surgery to remove three compressed vertebrae, an injury he said he sustained from a car crash in August. He noted that he had taken the Post interview to prove that he was not exaggerating the injury during a court appearance this past week for a hearing that saw his bail increase from an already-posted $1 million to $5 million.
Weinstein wouldn’t discuss the numerous accusations of sexual harassment and assault spanning decades from multiple women, instead saying that he was ahead of the curve on the recent push for gender parity throughout the entertainment industry. Among the specific examples he cited was the Miramax movie “View From the Top,” for which lead star Gwyneth Paltrow received $10 million to appear in.
“She was the highest-paid female actor in an independent film. Higher paid than all the men,” he said.
What Weinstein didn’t mention in the interview was that Paltrow is one of the women who accused him of sexual misconduct. In the book “She Said” by New York Times reporters Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey, two of the journalists who first exposed the Weinstein accusations in October 2017, Paltrow is identified as one of the first women to come forward to the Times during their investigation. According to the book, Paltrow said she feared that Weinstein would fire her after then-boyfriend Brad Pitt confronted the producer about the alleged misconduct.
After the publication of “She Said,” a representative for Weinstein rejected Paltrow’s accusations in a September statement.
“She didn’t need to make movies with Harvey Weinstein; she wanted to, and she won top awards and was the top paid female actor for nearly a decade, with Weinstein,” the statement said.
The Post reports that Weinstein cited several socially-minded films — like the 2005 Oscar nominated film “Transamerica” — and multiple charities that he contributed to as evidence of his progressive bonafides. He also reportedly threatened multiple times to end the interview when asked questions he didn’t like.
“I feel like the forgotten man,” he said.
Weinstein’s sexual assault trial is set to begin on Jan. 6 in a Manhattan court. He has also reportedly reached a $25 million settlement deal with 30 of his accusers that would be part of a larger $47 million settlement to clean the slate of Weinstein’s bankrupt studio, The Weinstein Company. The settlement would be paid through insurance companies that backed The Weinstein Company and would not require Weinstein to admit any wrongdoing.