Harvey Weinstein sexual harassment scandal

Weinstein quits board

Producer Harvey Weinstein resigned on Tuesday from the board of the movie and television studio he helped to found

LOS ANGELES • Following allegations of sexual harassment against producer Harvey Weinstein, the movie and television studio he helped to found swiftly fired him as chief executive. On Tuesday, during a meeting convened to affirm that dismissal, he resigned from The Weinstein Co's board.

The remnants of The Weinstein Co board, including the other co-founder, Bob Weinstein, convened on Tuesday at the Manhattan offices of Debevoise & Plimpton, a law firm hired by the studio to investigate allegations made against Harvey Weinstein.

At the meeting, the board "ratified its decision to terminate" his employment, said a company spokesman.

Harvey Weinstein, who has been in Arizona, where representatives say he is seeking therapy, phoned in to the two-hour meeting and resigned.

Once a top supplier of prestige-minded dramas, the Weinstein Co has been in free-fall since investigations by The New York Times and The New Yorker revealed sexual harassment and rape allegations against Harvey Weinstein going back decades.

Over the last 11/2 weeks, more than 30 women have come forward publicly with harrowing stories of encounters with him.

On Tuesday, Game Of Thrones actress Lena Headey became the latest to detail alleged encounters with the mogul at the Venice Film Festival and in Los Angeles. In a series of tweets, she said after she told him she was uninterested in anything other than work, he was "furious".

The police in New York and London have started looking into some claims against Weinstein, who has denied "any allegations of non-consensual sex". Since the allegations against him first became public, most Weinstein Co board members have resigned, leaving only Tarak Ben Ammar, Lance Maerov and Bob Weinstein.

After Harvey Weinstein was fired on Oct 8, he hired a lawyer, Ms Patricia Glaser, to press a wrongful termination case.

Harvey Weinstein, who owns 23 per cent of the company, signed an intricate three-year employment contract in 2015. His team believes that the contract offered at least some insulation from the studio's code of conduct and that any dismissal must involve arbitration.

Ms Glaser, who is known for representing clients such as comedian Conan O'Brien in contract battles, did not respond to a request for comment on Tuesday. She attended at least part of the board meeting in person.

Bob Weinstein, who has insisted he did not know the extent of his brother's behaviour, has been pushing to keep the studio running by renaming it and recruiting women to occupy all of the vacant board seats, according to two people briefed on the matter.

One problem with that plan: Talent agencies have made it clear that many actors, producers and writers have no interest in working either now or in the future for a studio that has become so tainted.

A few stars have also expressed concerns about participating in any movie or television project that might enrich Harvey Weinstein, should he remain a part owner.

On Monday, the studio announced it had reached a preliminary agreement with investment firm Colony Capital for a cash infusion to stabilise operations. The amount was undisclosed.

NYTIMES, REUTERS, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 19, 2017, with the headline 'Weinstein quits board'. Print Edition | Subscribe