Brown made the comparison Tuesday in a New York Times column with the headline “What Harvey and Trump have in common.” The piece was published on the same day that the Times and the New Yorker both released detailed stories of Weinstein’s alleged sexual abuses of multiple women — two days after Weinstein was forced out of his own company.
Brown worked with Weinstein from 1998 to 2002 on Talk magazine, a joint venture of Miramax’s Talk Media and Hearst Magazines. Talk folded in 2002.
“What I learned about Harvey in the two years of proximity with him at Talk was that nothing about his outward persona, the beguiling Falstaffian charmer who persuaded — or bamboozled — me into leaving The New Yorker and joining him, was the truth,” she wrote. “He is very Trumpian in that regard.”
Brown said that Weinstein comes off as a big, blustery, rough diamond kind of a guy, the kind of old-time studio chief who lives large, writes big checks and exudes bonhomie.
“Wrong,” she wrote. “The real Harvey is fearful, paranoid, and hates being touched (at any rate, when fully dressed).”
Brown noted that she became aware of Weinstein’s business practices during her Talk tenure as part of running Miramax’s fledgling book company as part of her Talk deal.
“Strange contracts pre-dating us would suddenly surface, book deals with no deadline attached authored by attractive or nearly famous women, one I recall was by the stewardess on a private plane,” she said. “It was startling — and professionally mortifying — to discover how many hacks writing gossip columns or entertainment coverage were on the Miramax payroll with a ‘consultancy’ or a ‘development deal’ (one even at The New York Times).”
Brown credited actresses Ashley Judd and Rose McGowan for going public with their allegations in the first New York Times story on Oct. 5.
“It takes one brave whistleblower and then two to get the ball rolling and give the shattered sharers of the same story permission to speak out to The New York Times,” she said. “Kudos to Ashley Judd and Rose McGowan, and now all the many new voices captured by Ronan Farrow in The New Yorker. Harvey is an intimidating and ferocious man. Crossing him, even now, is scary. But it’s a different era now. Cosby. Ailes. O‘Reilly, Weinstein. It’s over, except for one — the serial sexual harasser in the White House.”