Harvey Weinstein: ‘I want a second chance in the community but I know I’ve got work to do to earn it’ © AFP
Lisa Bloom, one of the lawyers enlisted by Harvey Weinstein to fight allegations that he sexually harassed women, has resigned as an adviser to the movie mogul.
She revealed her resignation on Twitter, adding: “My understanding is that Mr Weinstein and his board are moving toward an agreement”.
Mr Weinstein, who founded Miramax with his brother Bob before starting The Weinstein Company, is alleged to have paid off eight women over a period of decades after they accused him of harassment.
Marc Lasry, Dirk Ziff and Tim Sarnoff, who were all Weinstein Company board directors, also resigned this week following the publication of a New York Times investigation into Mr Weinstein. The company said it had hired John Kiernan of Debevoise & Plimpton “to undertake a thorough and independent investigation” into the claims. Mr Weinstein has taken an indefinite leave of absence.
Ms Bloom has worked for several woman who claimed they had been harassed by Bill O’Reilly, the disgraced Fox News star, and she was criticised by, among others, her mother, the lawyer Gloria Allred, for working with Mr Weinstein.
Lisa Bloom © AP
Ms Allred often represents alleged victims of sexual harassment — including Summer Zervos, a former contestant on the NBC show The Apprentice. Ms Zervos had alleged that she had been harassed by its then-presenter, Donald Trump. Ms Allred implied her daughter had been wrong to represent Mr Weinstein. “I do not represent individuals accused of sex harassment,” she said. “I only represent those who allege that they are victims of sexual harassment.”
Ms Bloom has close ties to Mr Weinstein: this year he optioned the rights to her book, Suspicion Nation, about the killing of black teenager Trayvon Martin.
Ms Bloom has been working alongside Charles Harder, the celebrity litigator who won $140m in damages for Hulk Hogan, the celebrity wrestler. Mr Hogan — whose real name is Terry Bollea — had sued Gawker, the online media group.
This week Ms Bloom said that Mr Weinstein was “reading books and going to therapy,” adding: “He is an old dinosaur learning new ways.”
Mr Weinstein, one of the most powerful figures in Hollywood, has had a spectacular fall from grace.
With his brother Bob he revolutionised independent cinema with Miramax, turning it into a thriving global business. Named after their parents, Miriam and Max, and later acquired by Walt Disney, Miramax delivered a string of hits such as Sex, Lies and Videotape and The English Patient, proving that critical and commercial success were not the preserve of the industry’s biggest studios.
He would earn a reputation as Hollywood’s most wily Oscar strategist and in 1998 pulled off one of the greatest best picture shocks, masterminding a campaign that saw Shakespeare in Love defeat the highly fancied Saving Private Ryan.
More recently The Weinstein Company won Oscar glory with The King’s Speech, The Iron Lady and was behind Lion, a contender in last year’s awards race.