The Weinstein Company board, which stated on Tuesday that it was not aware of the cash settlements Harvey Weinstein had made regarding sexual harassment allegations, was alerted to the payments in 2015, according to an interview by the New York Times with lawyer David Boies.
Boies represented Harvey Weinstein in 2015 when Weinstein’s contract was up for renewal. According to the interview, Boies stated that the board was informed of three or four of the settlements Weinstein had reached.
Lance Maerov, the board member who was in charge of Weinstein’s contract negotiations at the time, also said in an interview that he had been made aware of settlements but had assumed they were to cover up consensual affairs, and, as he was assured there were no pending lawsuits against Weinstein and that Weinstein hadn’t used company money to make the settlements, he granted Weinstein’s contract.
With the allegations made by Italian actress Ambra Battilana — which resulted in a police sting operation that captured Weinstein talking about the alleged assault on tape — still relatively recent, the producer refused to make his personnel file available to the board directly and instead utilized an outside lawyer, H. Rodgin Cohen, to examine his file and make a determination as to whether it was legally safe to continue Weinstein’s employment.
In Cohen’s letter to the board, he does not describe the contents of Weinstein’s file, nor does he relate any instances of private settlements with women who had alleged sexual misconduct.
Boies declined to specify which settlements he was aware of, or which board members he communicated with.
Of the eight women who Weinstein settled with, Maerov stated that he knew of the accusations from Lauren O’Connor, and had been willing to investigate them had Weinstein’s lawyer not told him she had withdrawn her allegations as part of a settlement. He recalled hearing of other settlements but not their details, and assumed that they were as a result of consensual liaisons because Weinstein had implied he was a philanderer.
More to come…