Amid the reports of producer Harvey Weinstein's decades of sexual harassment from women in Hollywood (see: bombshell New York Times and New Yorker articles), including Angelina Jolie and Gwyneth Paltrow, and rape allegations against him, questions are emerging about how his wealth and power have helped keep this scandal from exploding until now.
Weinstein, the cofounder of Miramax Films and The Weinstein Company, is worth £225 million according to Celebrity Net Worth. The Weinstein Company's net worth is an estimated £115 million, according to a 2015 Forbes report. On Sunday, he was fired from his company, and it's now in the hands of his brother Bob Weinstein and chief operating officer David Glasser.
The New York Times' investigative report found that Weinstein had reached at least eight settlements with different women after being accused of sexual harassment and unwanted physical contact, among them an assistant in New York in 1990, an actress in 1997, and an Italian model in 2015. In 1997, he reportedly reached a $100,000 (£75,000) settlement with Rose McGowan, then 23, "after an episode in a hotel room during the Sundance Film Festival," according to documents obtained by The Times. It was "not to be construed as an admission," but intended to "avoid litigation and buy peace." McGowan has started a petition for the dissolution of The Weinstein Company.
Surely his lawyers aren't cheap either. His adviser Lisa Bloom resigned Saturday, and his legal team has faced other shakeups. Today, reports emerged that he has hired "powerhouse litigator" Patricia Glaser, who is considered one of the 500 leading attorneys in the U.S., to negotiate with The Weinstein Company and "protect his rights vis a vis the company." The Hollywood Reporter, in its 2017 Hollywood's Top 100 Attorneys list, on which she's one of only 14 women, called her "one of the town's most aggressive litigators."