The board of directors of the Weinstein Company is preparing to suspend Harvey Weinstein in the wake of a bombshell New York Times report, Variety has learned. The official announcement should come on Friday afternoon.
Weinstein is embroiled in a sexual harassment scandal after the Times reported that he behaved inappropriately with former employees and actresses such as Ashley Judd, often reaching settlements to make the issues go away.
Insiders say Weinstein insists that the scandal can be weathered. He is not willing to step down, even though the board is weighing terminating him with cause. Bob Weinstein, the company’s co-founder and Weinstein’s brother, and David Glasser, its president and COO, want Weinstein to leave, according to insiders. They are prepared to take over the company’s management.
Weinstein is said by some insiders to be “delusional,” and completely unaware of the severity of the charges and the fierce blowback he is receiving on social media. He does not frequently use a computer, according to those who know him, and did not understand that he had become a trending topic online. Exacerbating the situation, he personally wrote a rambling statement apologizing for his behavior while simultaneously attacking the NRA and misquoting Jay-Z. An attorney for Weinstein later said he was prepared to sue the Times.
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The Weinstein Company’s board includes Tarak Ben Ammar, Marc Lasry, Paul Tudor Jones, Tim Sarnoff, Richard Koenigsberg, and Lance Maerov. They are a mixture of financiers and company creditors, according to knowledgeable individuals. There is a growing consensus that not only does Weinstein need to take a leave while an internal investigation is conducted, but that he may have to step away permanently. Executives and staffers at the company are also said to be disgusted by the reports of Weinstein’s behavior, leading to the possible defections, if the issue is not addressed.
Weinstein has a reputation as a temperamental genius. He has helped shepherd the likes of “Shakespeare in Love” and “The English Patient” to awards glory, and played a major role in putting directors such as Quentin Tarantino and Kevin Smith into the mainstream. However, accusers in the Times story claim that he was also a serial sexual harasser, who allegedly abused his power and position.
A spokesperson for the Weinstein Company declined to comment. Charles Harder, an attorney for Weinstein, was not immediately available for comment.