EXCLUSIVE: Harvey Weinstein has resigned from the board of The Weinstein Company today as his brother Bob Weinstein and the other board members voted to ratify the October 8 termination of the company co-founder. Deadline has learned also that talks are ongoing in finding a resolution to the now ex-co-chair’s standing with the company, of which he owns 23%.
This comes four days after Bob Weinstein said the company wasn’t for sale and it’s business as usual at TWC, and a day after Colony Capital came to the financial rescue with an offer of a cash injection and potential asset acquisition. The reduced board met Tuesday to face an uncertain future and a besieged but battling Harvey Weinstein.
First facing an independent investigation and indefinite leave of absence, Weinstein was “terminated, effective immediately” by the four-man leadership group on October 8 after more allegations of years of sexual harassment emerged.
With the disgraced Oscar-winning producer calling in from a rehab facility in Arizona, the noon ET meeting today at the Manhattan offices of law firm Debevoise & Plimpton saw TWC chair Bob Weinstein and the remaining board members discuss the bailout proposals of the Tom Barrack founded investment group and formally address the terminating of the now ex-co-chair over a week ago.
Led by Ashley Judd going public in the explosive New York Times expose of October 5 and the New Yorker piece of October 11, dozens of women have now come forward claiming harassment and at least three accusations of rape against Weinstein. The NYPD and UK police are looking into possible complaints and the LAPD is expected to open an investigation soon. Weinstein was been shown the door by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences on October 14 and the national board of directors of the Producers Guild of America voted unanimously today to expel him on Monday, as agencies, talent, lawyers and projects have run away from TWC and Weinstein in droves.
Representing Harvey Weinstein today, litigator Patricia Glaser seemed set to argue that under the former co-chair’s 2015 employment contract, and the clauses it contained about handling inappropriate behavior, the board improperly tossed the co-founder in the opening days of what has become an ever-growing scandal. Negotiated by current board member Lance Maerov, the clause called on Weinstein himself to personally pay out any settlements and fees arising from his behavior. The first time such a settlement occurred, Weinstein would be obliged to pay TWC $250,000 with the penalty cost rising to $1 million by a fourth settlement. There have allegedly been far more than four such settlements in the past two decades.
Even as TWC has been crippled by the scandal and the dozens of allegations against Weinstein, the producer still holds 23% of the company – as does his younger brother Bob. As the allegations grow, there has still not been any lawsuits against Weinstein or the company, that could be liable if company executives are found to have know about the harassment and subsequent settlements that Weinstein paid out to the likes of Rose McGowan and others.
Now the next round of talking begins with a settlement for Weinstein himself possibly in the cards.