A day after The Weinstein Company board announced that co-chairman Harvey Weinstein was taking an indefinite leave of absence and that an independent investigation would look into allegations of sexual harassment, attorney Lisa Bloom announced this morning that she is leaving the Oscar winning producer’s team. She is one of two key Weinstein legal advisors to quit, along with Lanny Davis. Weinstein had retained both as he battles sexual harassment accusations.
Bloom also indicated that a deal is being put together that could see Weinstein taking much more permanent move from TWC. While nothing is finalized and things are still in flux, sources tells Deadline that such a departure deal is on the table this weekend.
Though Bloom has yet to give a specific reason for leaving her role as advisor to Weinstein, the timing of her announcement is certainly noteworthy, coming after the TWC board action yesterday and last night’s headlines about a former local Fox News TV reporter alleging sexual harassment by Weinstein over a decade ago.
That allegation followed this week’s damning New York Times article chronicling decades of Weinstein’s alleged harassment and settlements with various actresses and employees.
Yesterday, Bloom released this statement explaining her work with Weinstein:
Bloom had come under considerable criticism for her association with Weinstein, not least from her mother, attorney Gloria Allred, who released a statement saying she would have declined any offer to represent Weinstein. “I only represent those who allege that they are victims of sexual harassment. While I would not represent Mr. Weinstein, I would consider representing anyone who accused Mr. Weinstein of sexual harassment, even if it meant that my daughter was the opposing counsel.”
Bloom’s usual political compadres were no less damning. Actress Rose McGowan, one of the woman who has spoken out about Weinstein’s harassment, tweeted “Et tu, Lisa Bloom?” in response to news that Mika Brzezinski wants out of a book deal with Weinstein Books.
And early this morning, actress Lena Dunham tweeted, “I’m awake feeling bummed & real peeved about Lisa Bloom if you were wondering whassup over here”.
And while not all of the responses to Bloom’s affiliation with Weinstein were negative – Wendy Walsh, one of the woman who claimed harassment by former Fox News host Bill O’Reilly, tweeted yesterday that she “would have welcomed an apology” from O’Reilly. “Maybe more healing will come to Harvey Weinstein’s victims with Lisa Bloom’s strategy.”
Still, news of Bloom’s resignation will no doubt be better received by Bloom’s usual allies. HLN anchor Carol Costello tweeted “you made the right call. After all.”