Newly unsealed court documents put Harvey Weinstein’s Rolodex on full display.
The fallen movie mogul — who is now a convicted rapist facing up to 29 years in jail and will be sentenced Wednesday — once tried to save his career by emailing his famous peers, including billionaires, powerful agents and Hollywood titans.
In emails, reviewed by Variety on Tuesday afternoon at the New York City criminal courthouse, where roughly 1,000 pages of documents were unsealed, Weinstein wrote to the likes of Michael Bloomberg, Quentin Tarantino, Netflix’s Ted Sarandos, Amazon’s Jeff Bezos and Apple’s Tim Cook and Eddy Cue.
The documents made available by the court did not include any responses from these people to Weinstein.
The New York Times broke its bombshell story, which revealed decades of allegations of sexual harassment against Weinstein, on Oct. 5, 2017. Just days later, on Oct. 8, Weinstein sent out a flurry of emails to his powerful contacts, pleading for help to revive his career, and urging people to quickly send him letters of support. That same day, Weinstein was forced out of his own company.
Writing to the heads of Apple, Cook and Cue, Weinstein said, “I don’t need you to make any public statements — just a private one to my gmail address, saying that you support me getting therapy and the help I need before the board fires me. I’m in a tough spot. Many of the allegations are false, but I need your help with this private letter of support. I’m going to get well, and if I pass the therapist test, then we can talk about reinstatement et cetera. But for now, I’m going to take a leave of absence and get healthy. If they fire me now, it’ll destroy me personally and cause a huge legal battle, based on my rights with the company. But if I have support from someone like you getting me going into treatment and having the shot at a second chance (because people deserve a second chance), it would be very helpful. I would need something today if you can — I so appreciate it.”
Weinstein sent a similar version of that very same letter to a bevy of A-listers and power players, including the heads of CAA, WME, NBCUniversal’s Ron Meyer and billionaire businessmen Ron Burkle, Masayoshi Son, Len Blavatnik and LVMH chief executive Bernard Arnault.
He begged Sarandos, writing, “I need your friendship now,” asking him to show Netflix’s support by providing a private letter to the Weinstein Company’s board.
He told Bezos: “There are many false allegations and over time, we’ll prove it, but right now, I’m the poster boy for bad behavior.”
He wrote to Tarantino’s agent and to Daniella Pick, who is now Tarantino’s wife: “I need to speak to Quentin today — is he available? I appreciate you letting me know, thank you.”
He wrote, “I’m desperate for your help,” to another high-powered talent agent.
Weinstein’s emails were among 1,000 pages of unsealed documents, which also revealed tense communication between his brother, Bob Weinstein, who wrote, “U deserve a lifetime achievement award for the sheer savagery and immorality and inhumanness, for the acts u have perpetrated. Oh I forgot. They were all consensual. Then what are u in rehab for? Sex addiction. Don’t think so. You wouldn’t have harassment, assault and rape charges u have now received, from 82 women for active consensual sex. U must be being treated for something. I guess sexual predator comes to mind.”
Also among the documents were drafts of PR statements Weinstein had prepared, but never released, including one where he said he was suicidal.