UPDATED: Oscar-winning producer David Parfitt has alleged that he was once physically assaulted by Harvey Weinstein. Parfitt, who produced “Shakespeare in Love,” made the allegation in a program about Weinstein set to be broadcast on Britain’s Channel 4 on Tuesday night.
The one-hour “Working With Weinstein” looks at allegations of how the Hollywood mogul used his power and position to abuse and silence colleagues and employees while working in Britain. As well as Parfitt, the one-off special features interviews with former assistants and others who worked closely with Weinstein in the U.K.
Parfitt says Weinstein attacked him following a test screening of 2011 film “My Week With Marilyn.” “When we got through the main shoot and into the test, [Weinstein] decided it wasn’t enough Marilyn’s film and that he wanted more Marilyn,” Parfitt says, according to a transcript of the program issued by Channel 4. “The scores came in at the end of the test and they were very good. In his fury about it doing so well when he thought it wouldn’t, he physically assaulted me.”
The British producer, who had previously worked with Weinstein on a number of films, including 1997’s “The Wings of the Dove” and the following year’s best picture Oscar-winner, “Shakespeare in Love,” says the incident occurred while the two of them were talking at the back of the theater after the test audience had left. “He pinned me up against a Coke machine and threatened all sorts of stuff,” says Parfitt, adding that Miramax staff members were around to witness the assault. “It was very scary. But he was just furious that the film in our version had worked.”
A statement released on behalf of Weinstein says the producer denies all claims put forth in the documentary and that Parfitt’s story is an “outrageous fiction.” The statement reads: “Mr. Parfitt and Mr. Weinstein had creative differences on the film and any conflict between them was solely over their different visions for the film. While they had a series of spirited arguments where Mr. Weinstein made a lot of stupid remarks that he wishes he could take back, nothing physical happened.”
The statement asserts that the creative differences included Weinstein’s insistence on including musical numbers, not featured in the original version that Parfitt had screened, and that “everyone that was associated with the movie, who saw it with the musical numbers, liked it better.”
The program also features allegations from former Miramax employee Laura Madden who says that, during her first meeting with Weinstein to work for him and discuss a further job opportunity, he requested a massage, and when she did not agree, he pressured her to remove her clothes so that he could massage her while he masturbated. Madden, who has previously come forward with her allegations, says she was then pressured to take a shower with him.
Michelle Franklin, a former The Weinstein Company employee in London, describes her discomfort at being required to escort women to the producer’s hotel room and having to collect a prescription for erectile dysfunction injections. Other employees allege that non-disclosure agreements were commonplace within TWC, allowing the producer to continue his behavior with impunity.
The statement for Weinstein responded: “The use of non-disclosure agreements with employees in both entertainment and media companies is standard in the industry. While Mr. Weinstein has apologized for boorish behavior in certain situations in the past [he] unequivocally denies he ever engaged in criminal misconduct of any kind.”
Lawyer Jill Greenfield, who is representing a number of women bringing a civil suit against Weinstein in British court and who also appears in the documentary, says: “You’ve got an awful lot of women who have been afraid for many years and are still very afraid, but these women now have an awful lot of other women and people around them who are really not afraid and are prepared to go all the way on this. He may be or may have been a powerful man, but it doesn’t matter. He’s not above the law. He’s just a man.”