Indie film mogul Harvey Weinstein, co-founder of Miramax Films and The Weinstein Company, has hired a team of attorneys to counter explosive allegations of sexual impropriety contained in new reports by The New York Times and The New Yorker.
Variety reports that Weinstein “has retained star litigator David Boies, as well as attorneys Lisa Bloom and Charles Harder in an effort to rebut the claims.”
The Times story, by Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey, was published today under the headline “Decades of Sexual Harassment Accusations Against Harvey Weinstein.”
In the article The Times says its investigation “found previously undisclosed allegations against Mr. Weinstein stretching over nearly three decades, documented through interviews with current and former employees and film industry workers, as well as legal records, emails and internal documents from the businesses he has run, Miramax and the Weinstein Company.”
Weinstein deflected Variety’s efforts to get him to comment, with the publication quoting him saying Wednesday, before the stories were published: “I’ve not been aware of this. I don’t know what you’re talking about, honestly.”
Variety adds: “When asked if the publications had called him for comment, Weinstein replied that he was too busy in the editing room working on ‘The Current War,’ an upcoming historical drama, to know the answer to that question, adding that he’d had a ‘crazy day.’”
Weinstein did comment later, issuing a statement through a spokesperson in which he said: “The story sounds so good I want to buy the movie rights,.”
Variety adds: “The Weinstein Co. is bracing for the impact of the stories, but most employees are largely unaware of the details. Weinstein is trying to retain the services of Lanny Davis, a former special counsel to President Bill Clinton, to help advise him on public relations strategy, according to one insider. He has also reached out to several crisis PR firms in recent weeks.”