Advertisement
The VICE Guide to Right Now

Weinstein's Board Knew About His Payoffs for Years, Lawyer Says

One board member said he had been told about some of the payoffs the producer made to women in 2015, but assumed they were for consensual affairs.

by Drew Schwartz
12 October 2017, 5:22pm

Photo by Alexander Koerner/Getty Images

The board of Harvey Weinstein's company allegedly knew as early as 2015 that the Hollywood mogul had reached at least three settlements with different women before his contract was renewed, according to the New York Times.

The board issued a statement on Tuesday following two explosive reports detailing decades of alleged sexual harassment and rape at the hands of Weinstein against multiple women. After firing Weinstein on Sunday, the board said the "allegations come as an utter surprise" and that "any suggestion that the Board had knowledge of this conduct is false," Deadline reports.

But according to internal company documents and Weinstein's former attorney David Boies, the company and its board were told in 2015—when Weinstein's contract was up—that he had reached at least three confidential settlements with women. Current board member Lance Maerov said he'd been told about a few settlements but "assumed they were used to cover up consensual affairs," the Times reports. The other remaining board members—Bob Weinstein, Tarak Ben Ammar, and Richard Koenigsberg—refused to comment.

Around that same time, an Italian model named Ambra Battilana reported that Weinstein had groped her to the NYPD, but the New York district attorney's office decided not to press charges. After an outside lawyer investigated the incident, he determined in September 2015 that Weinstein could stay at the company, since "there were no unresolved complaints or threats of litigation against him," the Times reports.

Before he was fired, Weinstein reportedly emailed his brother, Bob Weinstein, and other board members, accusing them of knowing about the payoffs he'd made. The company has since taken steps to try to distance itself from the former co-founder, currently scrubbing Weinstein's name from various projects and reportedly in talks to change the company's name.

Meanwhile, in New York, police are trying to track down Weinstein's alleged victims to build a case against him, the New York Post reports. According to TMZ, the disgraced producer flew to rehab in Arizona on Wednesday, where he's reportedly seeking therapy for sex addiction.

Follow Drew Schwartz on Twitter.