The Weinstein Company board of directors will meet in an emergency session on Thursday night to discuss the fate of Harvey Weinstein, the CEO and co-founder, in the wake of explosive sexual harassment allegations.
An individual with knowledge of the meeting told TheWrap that the situation was very fluid despite Weinstein’s taking a leave of absence on Thursday, after the publication of a New York Times report that he had paid eight women over a 30-year period to cover up sexual misconduct.
The board had met on Tuesday to decide how to address the pending explosive allegations in The New York Times story and concluded that he should take a leave of absence. Apparently by Thursday, after the story was published, that was no longer deemed to be sufficient. The mogul himself was said to be very combative and resisting the charges despite a public apology, and saying he wanted to sue the paper.
The board members are:
- Lance Maerov, SVP of corporate development at WPP Group USA
- Tim Sarnoff, Deputy CEO at Technicolor
- Dirk Ziff, Managing Partner at Ziff Capital Partners. Also owner of World Surf League and on the board of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
- Marc Lasry, owner of Milwaukee Bucks and CEO of Avenue Capital Group
- Tarak Ben Ammar, owner of French distributor Quinta Communications
- Paul Tudor Jones, founder of The Tudor Group
On Wednesday, multiple media outlets reported that Weinstein had lawyered up in anticipation of stories written by The New York Times and The New Yorker, detailing sexual allegations and inappropriate workplace behavior. He retained star litigator David Boies, as well as attorneys Lisa Bloom and Charles Harder.
The bombshell piece then published on Thursday, with Ashley Judd and Rose McGowan among the accusers. Judd told the Times that Weinstein asked to massage her in a hotel room and pressured her to watch him shower during a meeting two decades ago. The report said the women generally received between $80,000 and $150,000 in settlements.
The report was followed by an apology from the Hollywood titan, announcing he would take a leave from the film and TV company and that he would devote himself to battling the NRA and President Donald Trump.
Harder, who represented Hulk Hogan in his successful lawsuit against Gawker, then said he was preparing a lawsuit against The New York Times on behalf of Weinstein.
Weinstein and his brother Bob co-founded the indie film company Miramax in the late 1970s and grew it into a powerhouse brand that made art-house films mainstream — and reshaped the Academy Awards race with aggressive marketing and buzz.
The company was bought by Disney in 1993, where the brothers continued to run the company — and dominate the Oscar race — until they left in 2005 to launch the new privately held The Weinstein Company.