Back in July, we had some fun with Harvey Weinstein after we stumbled upon a trash can filled with papers from his office. The papers not only included Harvey’s daily call lists to loads of celebrities, but we also found some intriguing printouts of e-mails showing how Harvey extorts millions from companies like L’Oreal that want to take part in a Harvey production like Project Runway. Also in the pile was a copy of Nicole Kidman’s contract from the movie The Reader, which included interesting details about how she wouldn’t be required to shoot sex scenes that weren’t already in the script she had approved. (Kidman later pulled out of the film when she got pregnant, and was replaced by Kate Winslet. We shared Kidman’s contract with TheSmokingGun.com, and you can see it here.)
Well, Harvey turned out to be a great sport about the whole thing when we let him know we were holding stuff he probably didn’t want the public to see. He cracked wise, asking if, now that we had his trash, maybe we’d like some of his soiled shirts. (Smart. Very smart.)
How soon he seems to have forgotten that lesson about how to handle bad publicity. This week, our brilliant Hollywood force of nature, Nikki Finke, got Harvey riled up about an e-mail that she claimed to possess, which alluded to some very unseemly behavior on Harvey’s part.
Nikki said the e-mail was written by Scott Rudin, a producer on The Reader, a film project that has been repeatedly delayed, and not just by Kidman’s pregnancy. Two of the film’s original producers, Anthony Minghella and Sidney Pollack, both died this year. But according to Rudin’s e-mail, Harvey was so determined that the film open in time for Oscar consideration this year, he actually bullied Minghella’s widow and Pollack as he was dying.
Harvey apparently didn’t appreciate Nikki’s story. But he’d have been better off just mailing her some soiled laundry.
Instead, he insisted to the Post’s Page Six that the story was bogus. “The Weinstein Company honcho swore up and down to us the other day that [the] e-mail…was a complete fake. Weinstein even had his sycophantic spin-masters get Rudin to call us and insist he didn’t write the e-mail.”
The Post on Tuesday printed Weinstein’s denials, along with this guarantee: “If Nikki Finke can produce that e-mail, I’ll give $1 million to charity.”
Oops. Nikki convinced Rudin to admit the truth, that the e-mail was genuine.
Today, Page Six has the upshot: Weinstein says he’s going to turn over $1 million to the Robin Hood Foundation. And he also wants the world to believe that all is well between him and Rudin.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on October 1, 2008