Harvey Weinstein: Sheikh Donated $500,000 to 12-12-12 Concert to Meet Kristen Stewart

Amir Bar-Lev and Harvey Weinstein at
Araya Diaz/WireImage

Weinstein and director Amir Bar-Lev open '12-12-12' in Los Angeles

Filmmakers Harvey Weinstein and Amir Bar-Lev were chock-full of comedic anecdotes at the Los Angeles premiere of their documentary “12-12-12.”

Weinstein and Bar-Lev hit the red carpet on Oct. 29 at the Directors Guild of America Theater. Their movie offers a behind the scenes peek at 12-12-12, a benefit concert organized after Superstorm Sandy devastated New York and the tri-state area. The historic Madison Square Garden music fest featured performances from the likes of Paul McCartney, The Rolling Stones, Billy Joel and Bruce Springsteen.

The concert raised over $50 million for the Robin Hood Foundation, which alleviates poverty in New York City. Producer Weinstein, who also backed a Sept. 11 benefit concert, said one of the more unconventional fundraising efforts involved Kristen Stewart and a Middle Eastern sheikh. He spent $500,000 to talk to her for 30 minutes.

“So I call Kristen Stewart and I said, ‘This is the craziest thing I’ve ever asked anybody, but will you sit with the sheikh and I promise, (my wife Georgina Chapman) will be next to you,’” Weinstein said. “And she said, ‘What is it worth to the people from Sandy relief?’ And I said, ‘half a million dollars in cash.’ … I don’t know if we reported it to the IRS. Who gives a s**t?”

Other awkward encounters came when director Bar-Lev kept running into someone who gave him the “stink eye.” He eventually learned that man was McCartney’s manager Scott Rodger and they were making their own film about the concert.

“It percolates, the tension builds until finally, the day of the concert, I get a call from one of my field producers who says ‘Freakin’ Paul McCartney’s people just stole Adam Sandler from us in the elevator.’ … I run over to this Scott Rodger guy and we both start yelling at each other and pointing at each other.”

After a brief heart-to-heart, they joined forces. McCartney is one of the film’s exec producers.

“We had this moment where we said, ‘What are we doing? This is a concert for relief of a terrible hurricane,’” he said. “We say, ‘We never should have started off on two films’ and one of us said, ‘Is it too late?’ And we kind of looked at each other and we literally hugged and said let’s make one film.”

The doc, like the concert itself, was rushed. Bar-Lev began shooting six days before the event and the footage took eight months to cut.

“It was great to watch the performers watching one another,” he said. “That’s really an exciting thing to see — somebody fantastically talented who’s used to being the center of attention, in the wings by the side of the stage or in their dressing rooms watching people who they admire.”

According to Bar-Lev, the film will belie the misconception that New Yorkers are self-centered.

“I think the concert reflected the spirit of New York,” he said. “I’ve felt as a New Yorker that New York is the best place on earth to be when there’s a disaster. It has an unfair reputation as a place where people don’t care for one another, are only looking out for themselves and a place you want to be terrified if something goes wrong. In fact, as 9/11 and recent blackouts and this storm have shown, New Yorkers don’t need to be told to do what’s right. And the concert was a shining example of that.”

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  1. Court says:

    @ Stella, stella, stella, you are so small minded, I agree that Liberty has the right to say her piece. But how long before another six months, that so called sources reporting or Liberty makes another interview called ” life after Kristen’s affair.. Come on, its done and dusted, Stop blaming Kristen for everything. FORGIVENESS, LIVE AND LEARN is a brilliant motto. I like Kristen, she doesn’t follow the Hollywoodlife hype. she has a quirky personality with a dry sense of humour. and such a sweetheart. Yeah I got to know her and I was very impressed with her. so stick that where the sun doesn’t shine. Stop judging her and get a life….

  2. Maysie says:

    I agree with Donna, Kristen is a good girl, and she works hard to repair her career and her self esteem. But @stella, everyone makes mistakes, and there are stars like Sienna Miller who had two affairs one after another, with Bartholomew who has gone back to his wife and children. then with Sean Penn’s marriage to Robin Wright. broke up very publicly. both have kids… ….Here you punished Kristen Stewart for a small mistakes thats has happened nearly 18 months ago…. It has cost her dearly and personally. Truly regrets it, I can’t see your logic that idiot Sanders had a young family. As for Liberty, their marriage was in trouble before this incident, Sanders has cheated before in London……..It was an unfortuate incident which should never happened, but it did…. whatever…I reckon you should back off and stop being negative about Kristen….. I feel for both women, with their losses over a stupid man who had responsibility. to his wife, and chased after a naviete girl and it destroyed her relationship.So leave…Kristen alone, because she .had to find out who are her true friends in Hollywood. Luckily Kristen has close supportive childhood friends who are loyal to her and vice versa. I wish people like you Stella and other idiots to back off and stop taking sides…. Firstly you don’t even know her personally and don’t know the full story…. Fk off and go sort out your own life

  3. Donna says:

    Kristen you are a good girl, dear.
    GOOOOOOO GIRL!!!!!!!!
    Shame to the woman come to this K good article only to bashing her…what a moron robsessed!!!

  4. Donna says:

    @stella hey Robsessed your idol LR is shame mother….posted her naked body after the scandal, poor her children have a porn mother fail. Its old story for people to read her VF article and people moving on and dont care her story. Before the scandal RS’s cheated with a women in London…why LR??? Bec shes still nobody and nobody give LR the fame and jobs….thinks before your open your mouth women, you both!!!

  5. Rob says ” Kristen wears her heart on her sleeve” and I think she is a kind giving person who reaches out to people. She cares about people and has a lot of close friends. It was a kind contribution that she made for Hurrican Sandy relief. She is a good person at heart!!

  6. Dennison says:

    You never see anything good this young woman does in a headline. I have never seen anyone be treated so awful just because. What a kind thing to do Kristen!

  7. Sarah says:

    I applaud Weinstein for organizing this event. It was fun to watch and though I don’t live on the east coast, I made sure to contribute. Kudos to Kristen for coming to NY for that, and I also love how many performers gave up their time to put on a great show. I’m glad it made so much money.

  8. Stella says:

    This story about KStew’s “contribution” came out a couple of weeks ago, you guys are so behind the times. Or did Ruth Bernstein take you out to lunch yesterday?

    This is the Kristen Stewart NEWS today — Liberty Ross On Kristen Stewart’s Affair With Her Husband

    British model/actress Liberty Ross, 35, is opening up for the very first time about one of the biggest celeb scandals of 2012 — her husband director Rupert Sanders’ affair with Kristen Stewart, who was dating her Twilight co-star Robert Pattinson at the time. Both Sanders, 42, and Stewart, 23, issued public apologies last July shortly after Us Weekly published paparazzi photographs of the two kissing.

    “I have no words to describe what we went through,” Ross tells Vanity Fair in a new interview. ” … It was horrible. It was really the worst, really the worst.”

    • Ryan says:

      You really wanna talk about being behind on times, when you, Liberty & Vanity Fair keep bringing up old ish. Kristen Stewart sells which is the only reason why that woman is still relevant. She can thank Kristen for the attention she has been wanting, but could never get on her own.

      No mention of the fact that she & Rupert (you know the guy that also cheated, but everyone fails to mention his name unless its to blame everything on Kristen) were already separated. I still fail to see where she blames her husband, the one that was actually married to her? The media & the women that continue to blame this young girl & giving the man a free pass are what is wrong with society.

      • Stella says:

        Reply to Dennison: Everyone knows Liberty has kept her mouth shut since her husband was caught hooking up with Kristen Stewart. No one has to be tracking her. Funny the way Stewart’s fans minds work.

        No stranger is going to come up and comment on my life because I didn’t choose to cheat with a married man on a pubic road, and then issue a public apology about it. Stewart invited comment on her life by the way she deliberately chose to do things that provoke commentary.

        What’s crazy is to try and pretend that Stewart didn’t act like a jerk, wreck a home with 2 small children in it, and that everyone has forgotten about it. With Katherine McPhee’s recent episode with Mary McCormick’s husband in the news, it’s just reminded everyone of Stewart’s similar reckless behavior.

      • Dennison says:

        That comment was intended for Stella btw.

      • Dennison says:

        The fact that you know when Liberty Ross’s last interview was, explains everything anyone needs to know. You only have one agenda for being here. Don’t say you are a Liberty Ross fan, I doubt those exist. So you are either a family member, a fan of that Rob boy that has girls falling over everything he does, or just a hateful person. I’m thinking all of the above.

        Do something productive with your life. One day when you or your daughter finds herself making a mistake, I hope you are given the same treatment you dish out to others. There are not millions of people rubbing your mistake in your face 24/7. If a stranger came up to you & passed judgement on your life they think they know about, you’d think they were absolutely crazy right? Think about that.

      • Stella says:

        This is Liberty’s first interview since July 2012, and she’s allowed to have her say. You Kristen fans should be grateful she didn’t trash the woman who broke up her home. And you may think it’s ancient history, but no one would be taking to Liberty at all if Stewart had enough self control to not make out with Liberty’s husband in public, and then issue a public apology about it, inviting everyone to comment.

        Just because Stewart is selfish and lacks impulse control and dignity is no reason to to trash Liberty. She’s the injured party, not Stewart. Stop trying to make Stewart into the victim. Never gonna happen. She made her bed, now she has to lie in it, her reputation is what she made of it.

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