‘HARVEY WEINSTEIN’S MEDIA ENABLERS’? THE NEW YORK TIMES IS ONE OF THEM: Don’t miss the detail in this article by a former Timeswoman on how Matt Damon and Russell Crowe called her directly to tamp down an explosive story that would have severely compromised Weinstein’s reputation over a decade ago.
In 2004, I was still a fairly new reporter at The New York Times when I got the green light to look into oft-repeated allegations of sexual misconduct by Weinstein. It was believed that many occurred in Europe during festivals and other business trips there.
I traveled to Rome and tracked down the man who held the plum position of running Miramax Italy. According to multiple accounts, he had no film experience and his real job was to take care of Weinstein’s women needs, among other things.
As head of Miramax Italy in 2003 and 2004, Fabrizio Lombardo was paid $400,000 for less than a year of employment. He was on the payroll of Miramax and thus the Walt Disney Company, which had bought the indie studio in 1993.
I had people on the record telling me Lombardo knew nothing about film, and others citing evenings he organized with Russian escorts.
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After intense pressure from Weinstein, which included having Matt Damon and Russell Crowe call me directly to vouch for Lombardo and unknown discussions well above my head at the Times, the story was gutted.
I was told at the time that Weinstein had visited the newsroom in person to make his displeasure known. I knew he was a major advertiser in the Times, and that he was a powerful person overall.
But I had the facts, and this was the Times. Right?
Read the whole thing.
As Jake Tapper tweets in response to Weinstein being fired, “so the Miramax partners had NO idea this had been going on for decades? And Weinstein paid all those settlements out of his own personal $$?” Author Laurie Stark adds, “Remember: The Weinstein Company didn’t fire Harvey because they found out he was a sexual predator. They fired him because WE found out.” And Glenn has an excellent suggestion: “Clearly we need Congressional hearings on sexual harassment in Hollywood. Make all the studio heads testify.”
Indeed. Although it would probably go something like this:
UPDATE: “New York magazine had the Harvey Weinstein story — or nearly had it — a year ago but didn’t run anything after the movie mogul and his team of lawyers and p.r. consultants intervened.”