Colony Capital will give the Weinstein Company an emergency infusion of cash as the indie studio tries to weather a sexual harassment and abuse scandal surrounding its co-founder Harvey Weinstein. In addition, the company said it has negotiating with Colony Capital to sell all or a significant portion of its assets. There were no details about the size of the investment.
It’s unclear if all of the members of the company’s leadership endorse such a deal. So far they are sending mixed signals. On Friday, Bob Weinstein, the company’s co-founder and the brother of Harvey Weinstein, issued a press release denying that the Weinstein Company was for sale. The release announcing the potential sale to Colony includes a statement from board member Tarak Ben Ammar, but nothing from Bob Weinstein or the company’s Chief Operating Officer David Glasser.
“On behalf of the board, we are pleased to announce this agreement and potential strategic partnership with Colony Capital,” Ben Ammar’s statement reads. “We believe that Colony’s investment and sponsorship will help stabilize the company’s current operations, as well as provide comfort to our critical distribution, production and talent partners around the world. Colony’s successful experience and track record in media and entertainment will be invaluable to the company as we move forward.”
Harvey Weinstein was fired from the film and television studio that bears his name on Oct. 8 after dozens of women came forward to accuse him of sexual harassment and three women accused him of rape. His accusers include prominent actresses such as Gwyneth Paltrow, Angelina Jolie, Ashley Judd, and Mira Sorvino.
Weinstein has apologized for his behavior, but has also said that any sexual relationships were consensual. He is exploring legal action against the Weinstein Company for terminating his contract.
The Weinstein Company’s film credits include “The King’s Speech,” “Django Unchained,” and “The Artist.” On the television side, it is best known for “Project Runway.”
Colony Capital is primarily known for its real estate investments, but has dabbled in the entertainment business in the past. It was part of an investment group that bought Miramax, the company Weinstein founded, from Disney in 2010. Its founder and chief executive is Thomas J. Barrack Jr., who is a close friend of and advisor to President Donald Trump.
In a statement Barrack said the company had “substantial value and growth potential” and said it wanted to reassure the Weinstein Company’s partners that it could continue to operate.
“We will help return the company to its rightful iconic position in the independent film and television industry,” said Barrack.