- Getty Images/Dave Kotinsky
Film producer and studio executive Harvey Weinstein is taking a leave of absence from The Weinstein Company following sexual harassment allegations made against him.
Meanwhile, his lawyer says the studio mogul is preparing to sue The New York Times.
On Thursday, The New York Times published a bombshell expose that reveals decades of alleged sexual harassment against multiple women. One accusation came from actress Ashley Judd. The Times also reported that actress Rose McGowan reached a $100,000 settlement in 1997 over an “episode in a hotel room.”
Shortly after the story was published, Weinstein’s attorney Charles Harder told The Hollywood Reporter that he’s preparing a lawsuit against The New York Times.
“The New York Times published today a story that is saturated with false and defamatory statements about Harvey Weinstein,” Harder told The Hollywood Reporter. “It relies on mostly hearsay accounts and a faulty report, apparently stolen from an employee personnel file, which has been debunked by nine different eyewitnesses. We sent the Times the facts and evidence, but they ignored it and rushed to publish. We are preparing the lawsuit now. All proceeds will be donated to women’s organizations.”
The New York Post, citing sources, reported on Thursday that Weinstein planned to sue “for as much as $50 million.”
Harder recently represented Hulk Hogan in the litigation that brought down the publication Gawker, and he also represented Melania Trump in a lawsuit against the parent company of The Daily Mail, which settled earlier this year. In 2016, Harder sent a cease and desist letter to New York Magazine after their story about the sexual harassment allegations against Roger Ailes of Fox News.
Weinstein’s work has had an undeniable influence on Hollywood and the entertainment industry over the past three decades. Some of his movies have won the Oscar for best picture of the year, like “Shakespeare in Love” and “The King’s Speech.” He also produced industry-changing movies like “Pulp Fiction,” “Sex, Lies, and Videotape,” and “Clerks,” which are still staples in pop culture and huge influences on modern filmmaking.
Before the announcement that Weinstein will sue the The New York Times, he sent the publication a statement that included an apology for his actions, a Jay-Z quote, and a list of accomplishments.