UPDATED with response from Harvey Weinstein: My Week With Marilyn producer David Parfitt has accused Harvey Weinstein of physically assaulting him during production of the Michelle Williams-fronted feature that was released in 2011.
“When we actually got through the main shoot and into the test, he decided it wasn’t enough Marilyn’s film and that he wanted more Marilyn,” Parfitt said in the documentary. “The scores came in at the end of the test and they were very good, and I think he’d expected it to be not good. In his fury about it doing so well when he thought it wouldn’t, he physically assaulted me. We were talking at the back of the theater after the audience had left, but the Miramax crowd were around, and he pinned me up against a Coke machine and threatened all sorts of stuff. It was very scary. But he was just furious that the film in our version had worked.”
My Week With Marilyn was released by The Weinstein Company and starred Williams, Kenneth Branagh, Eddie Redmayne, Dominic Cooper, Judi Dench, Emma Watson and Julia Ormond. Directed by Simon Curtis and written by Adrian Hodges, it was produced by TWC, BBC Films, LipSync Productions and Parfitt’s Trademark Films.
The Channel 4 documentary explores Weinstein’s relationship with the UK film business and “meets people who worked with Weinstein across 30 years of British film and investigates how we kept his accusers quiet for decades.”
Working With Weinstein also features accusations of sexual harassment and assault from former employees at Miramax and TWC as well as interviews with subjects including lawyer Jill Greenfield, who is representing a number of women in a civil case against Weinstein.
A spokeswoman released the following statement on behalf of Harvey Weinstein.
“Mr. Weinstein categorically denies Mr. Parfitt’s claims as provably untrue and outrageous fiction. Mr. Parfitt and Mr. Weinstein had creative differences and any conflict between them was solely over their different visions for the film. While they had a series of spirited arguments where Mr. Weinstein made a lot of stupid remarks that he wishes he could take back, nothing physical happened.
The original version that Mr. Parfitt screened, didn’t include the musical numbers that Mr. Weinstein fought and personally financed to have included in the award winning film. In David Parfitt’s version, the movie felt like an ensemble piece. With Simon Curtis and Harvey Weinstein putting in the musical numbers, it felt like a Marilyn Monroe story.
Michelle Williams won the golden globe for her performance in the best musical comedy category and everyone that was associated with the movie, who saw it with the musical numbers, liked it better.”
The film, which has been produced by Tigerlily Productions, the film and TV production company set up by Natasha Dack-Ojumu and Nikki Parrott, will air as part of C4’s current affairs strand Dispatches. The documentary was commissioned by Siobhan Sinnerton, Commissioning Editor, News and Current Affairs; and Dorothy Byrne, Head of News and Current Affairs at Channel 4.