His films have generated over 300 Oscar nominations. Harvey Weinstein’s career, marriage, and reputation as one of the greatest power brokers in Hollywood history are gone. How will Hollywood disentangle itself from Weinstein’s influence?
Photography by Joe Alvarez
Ever since the Harvey Weinstein sex scandal broke up, the disgrace of the formidable film producer is deepening as more women continue to come forward claiming sexual harassment. Angelina Jolie and Gwyneth Paltrow are the latest women to come forward. Both said the incidents happened early in their careers.
Harvey Weinstein’s wife, Georgina Chapman, has announced she is leaving the Hollywood mogul. “My heart breaks for all the women who have suffered tremendous pain because of these unforgivable actions,” said Chapman, a British-born fashion designer who has two children with the producer. Often seated next to Vogue’s Anna Wintour, Harvey Weinstein has been a front-row fixture at wife Georgina Chapman’s Marchesa fashion shows for nearly a decade and used his Hollywood connections early in the label’s history to help place Marchesa gowns on A-list stars such as Sandra Bullock, Penelope Cruz, Renee Zellweger, Anne Hathaway, Kate Hudson and Jennifer Lopez.
Meanwhile, former US President Barack Obama and his wife Michelle have joined the growing public condemnation. In a statement, they said they were “disgusted by the recent reports about Harvey Weinstein” and added that they “celebrate the courage of women who have come forward”. Weinstein was a big donor to the Democratic party under Obama’s leadership. The Obamas’ eldest daughter Malia worked as an intern at The Weinstein Company in New York earlier this year.
Weinstein also donated to Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign. Mrs Clinton said she was “shocked and appalled” by the revelations.
Weinstein’s tentacles reach ‘far and wide’. The mogul has been a central figure in bridging the Hollywood and fashion worlds. The Weinstein Co. has bankrolled many fashion-related projects and sumptuous costume films, from Robert Altman send-up of the industry, Pret-a-Porter (1994), to the Madonna-directed WE (2011) about style icon the Duchess of Windsor.
The Weinstein Co. has produced Project Runway since its inception in 2004, helping to lift the curtain on the traditionally elitist fashion world and bring it into people’s living rooms. Chapman has made occasional appearances as a judge on the show and has been a regular judge on the Project Runway All Stars spinoff. Weinstein’s name is being removed as executive producer of Project Runway when the Lifetime series airs its next episode Wednesday.
The Weinstein Co. has collaborated with Chopard on co-hosted awards show parties and events, including having the fine jeweler place product in such Weinstein films as 2010’s Nine.
Weinstein is cozy with Vogue’s Wintour, having co-hosted both fashion and Democratic political fundraising events with her over the years, and he and Chapman are regular guests at her annual Metropolitan Museum of Art Costume Institute galas. Neither Wintour’s office nor representatives for Chopard responded to requests for comment about the allegations.
Harvey Weinstein, Georgina Chapman
“When I wasn’t doing so well, Anna would throw a party and put me next to Bernard Arnault,” Weinstein told The Wall Street Journal in 2011, referring to the powerful Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessy CEO, adding that several business deals came out of the introduction. In a 2007 T Magazine story, he revealed that the French billionaire was an investor in The Weinstein Co. and possibly the failed attempt in 2007 to revive celeb-loved brand Halston with Sarah Jessica Parker, Jimmy Choo founder Tamara Mellon, and stylist Rachel Zoe as advisers. (Weinstein exited the company in 2011; in 2014, he licensed an option to buy the name of the American couturier Charles James but has yet to do anything with it.)
Weinstein’s spokeswoman Sallie Hofmeister issued a statement in response to the accusations.
“Any allegations of non-consensual sex are unequivocally denied by Mr. Weinstein,” she said. “Mr. Weinstein has further confirmed that there were never any acts of retaliation against any women for refusing his advances.
“Mr. Weinstein obviously can’t speak to anonymous allegations, but with respect to any women who have made allegations on the record, Mr. Weinstein believes that all of these relationships were consensual. Mr. Weinstein has begun counselling, has listened to the community and is pursuing a better path.”
And while Weinstein is getting help he clearly needs at the unnamed sex addiction clinic in Europe, both Hollywood and fashion boheme – we are sure – will be following the development of the story with great interest.