We've Got Hollywood Covered

Weinstein Company Board Won’t Pay Harvey, Ex-Mogul Goes to War in NY Times

The Weinstein brothers have a combined 42 percent stake in company

The Weinstein Company board has set off a war with fired co-founder Harvey Weinstein by deciding to sue him for damages instead of paying out his stake in the company, The Wrap has learned.

The disgraced mogul, fired by the board on Sunday, was informed on Wednesday that his 23 percent stake in The Weinstein Company will not be paid out, according to an individual with knowledge of the matter.

Instead, the company directors decided that since Weinstein’s actions have significantly damaged the company, they will seek legal remedies to recoup the losses sustained.

A representative for Weinstein did not immediately respond to TheWrap’s request for comment.

Harvey Weinstein’s stake is estimated to be worth somewhere between $50 million to $100 million, given an estimated value for the entire company of $400 million to $500 million.

Harvey and his brother Bob have a combined 42 percent stake in the company, which was founded in 2005 after the duo left their previous venture, Disney-owned Miramax.

Harvey Weinstein had already angered the board by unleashing lawyer David Boies to tell the New York Times in a story published late Wednesday that he had informed them of monetary settlements to women long before an emergency meeting called last week just before the Times ran its exposé detailing decades of sexual misconduct.

According to Megan Twohey’s Times story on Wednesday, “David Boies, a lawyer who represented Mr. Weinstein when his contract was up for renewal in 2015, said in an interview that the board and the company were made aware at the time of three or four confidential settlements with women.”

Board member Lance Maerov told the Times that the board was informed of previous settlements without detailing when those payoffs took place or what they consisted of “but said that he had assumed they were used to cover up consensual affairs.”

Most of Weinstein’s settlements appear to have occurred during the Miramax era, when the company was owned by Disney. Ahead of signing a new employment contract with Weinstein in 2015, the TWC board wanted more direct reassurance on his conduct in the wake of a complaint by an Italian model, Ambra Battilana Gutierrez, who filed a police report claiming Weinstein groped her during a 2015 meeting at the company’s Tribeca headquarters. (Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance did not file charges.)

According to the Times, the board hired an outside lawyer, H. Rodgin Cohen from the white-glove firm Sullivan and Cromwell, who examined Weinstein’s personnel file and found the complaint from Emily Nestor, an employee who accused Weinstein of pressuring her to accept sexual advances.

Cohen “assured the board in a September 2015 letter that it was legally safe to retain Mr. Weinstein because there were no unresolved complaints or threats of litigation against him,” Twohey wrote.

The story has the telltale stamp of Harvey Weinstein’s fingerprints, pressuring the company by leaking damaging information in the media spun to maximum effect.

So does his call on Wednesday to Page Six lamenting that he was “devastated” to lose his wife Georgina, and various reports in TMZ — including video of a distraught Weinstein leaving his daughter’s house on Thursday, with reports of him being suicidal.

Four members of the Weinstein board resigned in the past week after the revelation of serial instances of sexual harassment and assault by the former chief executive. Four others are hanging on, including Bob Weinstein, but the board may be out of its league in fighting the media avalanche.

Apparently Harvey Weinstein has decided to burn his own house down.