Over the weekend, as the Weinstein Co. board was preparing to fire him, Harvey Weinstein sent a desperate email to leading industry figures pleading for help.
The email, first reported by Eldridge Industries exec Janice Min and confirmed by Variety, urges its recipients to write a letter of support to the board. Weinstein begs for a “second chance,” and says he will go to therapy and counseling, possibly “in a facility.” Weinstein initially said he would go on a temporary leave to address decades of sexual harassment.
The board followed through and fired Weinstein on Sunday, citing Weinstein’s breach of the company’s code of ethics. Variety has learned that the board was responding, at least in part, to Weinstein’s efforts to impede an internal investigation by intimidating employees, which Weinstein denies.
In the email, Weinstein says he believes that his firing “might be illegal and would destroy the company.” It is unclear if he will take legal action to challenge the firing.
“If the industry supports me, that is all I need,” he wrote.
Among the industry figures who have received the letter, and refused to help, are former DreamWorks mogul Jeffrey Katzenberg and NBC Universal vice chair Ron Meyer. Top executives at Creative Artists Agency, WME-IMG, among others, also rebuffed Weinstein’s requests for help.
The full text follows.
My board is thinking of firing me. All I’m asking, is let me take a leave of absence and get into heavy therapy and counseling. Whether it be in a facility or somewhere else, allow me to resurrect myself with a second chance. A lot of the allegations are false as you know but given therapy and counseling as other people have done, I think I’d be able to get there.
I could really use your support or just your honesty if you can’t support me.
But if you can, I need you to send a letter to my private gmail address. The letter would only go to the board and no one else. We believe what the board is trying to do is not only wrong but might be illegal and would destroy the company. If you could write this letter backing me, getting me the help and time away I need, and also stating your opposition to the board firing me, it would help me a lot. I am desperate for your help. Just give me the time to have therapy. Do not let me be fired. If the industry supports me, that is all I need.
With all due respect, I need the letter today.