PARIS — Weinstein Co. board member Tarak Ben Ammar said Wednesday that the company now has “proof” of Harvey Weinstein’s sexual abuses and that it had demanded he re-sign its code of conduct two years ago after his encounter with model Ambra Battilana Gutierrez.
In an interview with the French TV channel LCI, Ben Ammar also said Weinstein was “fired within the hour” following publication of last Thursday’s explosive New York Times article, which detailed a history of alleged sexual harassment and abuse. It was not immediately clear how that statement squared with the fact that the board did not announce its decision to dump Weinstein until Sunday.
The remaining members of the Weinstein Co. board are Ben Ammar, Bob Weinstein, Lance Maerov and Richard Koenigsberg. Three others resigned.
Ben Ammar said the board decided to let Weinstein go because “he violated the company’s code of conduct, ethical principles and guidelines,” which ban “verbal, physical, racist aggressions.” Ben Ammar said the board had now obtained “proof” of Weinstein’s abusive behavior, but that he was not able to elaborate since the board is part of the investigation. Ben Ammar did say, however, that he had never heard of the “kind of accusations” which actress Ashley Judd made in the New York Times article.
Ben Ammar also revealed that the company had confronted Weinstein after the producer was accused of groping Gutierrez in New York. “Two years ago, we demanded from [Weinstein] that he re-sign the company’s conduct of conduct on the basis of these rumors in 2015,” Ben Ammar told LCI. “But then the prosecutor folded the case.”
The Franco-Tunisian mogul added that the present scandal was a pivotal moment in the entertainment industry. “There will be a ‘before Harvey Weinstein’ and an ‘after,'” Ben Ammar said. “Hollywood will never be able to hide anything again no matter who they are.”