Unless you’ve been living under a rock, there’s no doubt you’ve heard about Harvey Weinstein, the once famous – now infamous – producer and co-founder of Miramax, one of the largest entertainment companies in the world that has distributed some of the most epic blockbusters, including The Aviator, Good Will Hunting, No Country for Old Men, and 13 Going on 30 (just to name a few).
Sounds like a pretty impressive career, doesn’t it? Well, it was, until 2017, when he became embroiled in some serious drama (hence the reason why we said he’s now “infamous”).
In case you have been living under a rock – or you just haven’t been paying much attention to the media – you’re probably wondering what happened that made Harvey Weinstein go from being one of the most well-known people in the entertainment industry to one of the most ill-famed people in the world. If so, let us catch you up to speed…
Harvey Weinstein: The Facts
|Net Worth:||$240-$300 Million|
|DOB:||March 19, 1952|
|Country of Origin:||United States of America|
|Source of Wealth:||Film Producer/Director|
Harvey Weinstein: The Scandal
Harvey Weinstein was living pretty high on the hog for several decades… that is, until October of 2017. It was then that both The New Yorker and The New York Times reported that the media mogul was under fire for sexual abuse and misconduct. Both news sources stated that dozens of women had come forward and accused the film producer of some pretty heinous acts, including sexual abuse, sexual assault, and even rape, and the reports claimed that Weinstein had been subjecting women to such acts for a span of at least 30 years, if not more.
Since that bombshell dropped in October, 2017, at least 80 more women, including the likes of Ashley Judd, Angelina, Angelina Jolie, Kate Beckinsale, Cate Blanchett, Rose McGowan, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Daryl Hannah, also accused Mr Weinstein of similar actions. Despite the fact that he denied the allegations and said that he was never involved in any sexual acts that were non-consensual, he was under serious scrutiny, and as such, he was discharged from The Weinstein Company, the independent film studio that he co-founded. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences also disbarred him, as did several other associations that he was affiliated with.
Investigations of the allegations that have been made against Weinstein quickly began and continue to be conducted. In May of 2018, the film tycoon was arrested in New York, where he was charged with serious offenses, including rape and other acts of sexual misconduct. The Weinstein scandal was so poignant that it sparked countless women to speak out about the sexual abuse they experienced from several other prominent males, including Kevin Spacey, Louis C.K. Matt Lauer, Al Franken, and Dustin Hoffman, just to name a few. It even sparked the now famous #MeToo movement, which encourages women to share the experiences that they have had with sexual abuse. In fact, the Weinstein scandal was so impactful and encouraged so many women to come forward with their personal experiences that now, it isn’t just considered a scandal; now, it’s considered the Weinstein effect (the term used to describe the numerous accusations that have been made against men of power since the media mogul’s scandal was aired in 2017).
After his arrest in New York in May of 2018, Harvey Weinstein posted $1 million in bail, plead not guilty to the charges that have been filed against him, and he has been out on bail ever since. The investigations into the allegations still continue, and according to Weinstein’s lawyer, Ben Brafman, claims that his client is working as a paralegal for him, on his own case, and that the shamed producer is attempting to work on new projects.
Needless to say, the Weinstein scandal has rattled not just the entertainment industry, but the entire world. People from all walks of life are now coming forward to share their harrowing stories about sexual abuse and rape. With such serious allegations against him, one can’t help but wonder how Weinstein arrived in the prominent position that he held for so many years and amassed his fortune.
How Harvey Weinstein Built His Wealth
Harvey Weinstein, and his brother Bob, hail from Flushing, a neighborhood in the Borough of Queens in New York. The duo grew up in a low-to-middle class family and they were always enchanted by the film industry. When he was a teenager, Harvey attended the University of Buffalo. After he graduated, he stayed in Buffalo and started up his own business, Harvey and Corky Productions, which promoted concerts. Eventually, he purchased Buffalo’s Century Theater, where he played movies when concerts weren’t scheduled. Weinstein’s brother, Bob, eventually moved to Buffalo, too, and in 1979, the pair co-founded Miramax (named in honor of their parents), a small, independent film distribution company.
Miramax grew and eventually, the production company was said to have revolutionized the film industry, as it distributed indie films that were massive hits, like the 1989 classic, Sex, Lies, and Videotape, which earned Miramax the title of the most successful independent US-based film Studio.
In 1993, Weinstein really started to amass his wealth. It was then that Disney bought Miramax from Harvey and Bob Weinstein for around $60 million. The brothers continued to work as producers for the film company. Harvey produced mega-hit after mega-hit, such as:
- Pulp Fiction
- Shakespeare in Love
- The English Patient
- Good Will Hunting,
among others. His brother, Bob, produced more comical movies, including Scary Movie and Scream through Dimension Film, Miramax’s sister company.
In 2005, the brothers decided that it was time to leave Miramax behind them and went on to start The Weinstein Company, another film company that also produced massive hits, including The Artist and The King’s Speech. The Weinstein Company also moved into the world of television and produced shows like Project Runway.
However, the success of The Weinstein Company didn’t last. In fact, by 2009, it was experiencing financial hardship as a result of poor investments. The Weinstein’s narrowly escaped bankruptcy, as they restructured their assets. Today, the net worth of the Weinstein Company is said to be $150 million; but, due to the allegations that have surfaced against Harvey, he has been dismissed from his role with the company.
Harvey Weinstein and Real Estate
Over the course of his success, Harvey Weinstein invested in some serious real estate. In fact, it’s been estimated that he and his once wife were the owners of several homes and various other types of properties throughout the United States.
He and his wife owned two homes in Connecticut that were situated on the ocean, and were valued at $7 million and $8.5 million respectively.
In Amagansett, on Long Island’s South Shore, Weinstein also owned a waterfront home, which he listed on the market for $13.5 million, which was later reduced to $12.8 million. Despite being listed in one of the most prestigious markets, the property didn’t sell, and it was relisted for an asking price of $12.4 million in 2017.
Waterfront home in Amagansett in the Hamptons:
Weinstein also owns real estate in New York City’s affluent West Village. Here, he purchased a townhouse at the price of $15 million.
He also purchased a home in Beverly Grove, a well-to-do neighborhood in Los Angeles, for $1.5 million, which he gave to one of his children.
Weinsteins Beverly Grove Cottage:
Just prior to the allegations of sexual misconduct against Weinstein were dropped, he sold another property that he owned in Westport, Connecticut, for $1.65 million.
Weinstein’s home in Westport, Conn Sold for $1.65 Million:
The Influence of Harvey Weinstein
Despite the fact that Harvey Weinstein was, undeniably, one of the most influential people in the film industry, a stigma has always followed him. People who worked with the film giant were always afraid of irritating him, as they were frightened of the repercussions that would follow if they were ever to get on his bad side. In fact, many people who worked with or otherwise knew Weinstein have said that he is someone that they avoid talking about at all costs.
However, once the allegations were made against Weinstein in 2017, many people who associated with him, felt a sense of encouragement and decided to share off-the-record stories about him. It is these stories that have highlighted how Weinstein may have used his fame, wealth, and even scare tactics, as a way to sexual abuse who knows how many women in total for decades.
Rebecca Traister, a writer for the New Yorker, said that in 2000, Harvey Weinstein called her a colorful word (let’s just say it starts with a C, ends with a T, and the letters UN are in the middle). She also said that threw Andrew Goldman, another reporter, who was also her boyfriend at the time, down and then pulled him along the sidewalk as he held him in a headlock. Traister said that she and Goldman were afraid to share their story because, at the time, Weinstein had the power to spin any story that came out about him. He had a whole staff of journalists working for him, and he could easily manipulate any negative news that may have been aired.
A former gossip columnist for the New York Daily News, Marianne Garvey, also shared a grim story about Weinstein. She said that he ultimately tried to bully his way onto her good side. One second, he would be screaming at her on the phone, and the next, he would wine and dine her and introduce her to hot celebrities, like Jennifer Lopez and Oprah Winfrey. In a piece Garvey wrote about Weinstein after his scandal broke, she shared her insights about the man, saying that he was nothing more than a bully and a nuisance, and that he was “litigious over nonsense”. In other words, he would threaten legal action if he felt that someone was going to defame him, and according to many people, the threats were made over things that were utterly silly or just didn’t make sense. In fact, Ronan Farrow, the journalist who wrote the expose on Weinstein in the New Yorker, said that Harvey Weinstein personally threatened him with a lawsuit.
These are just some of the stories that have surfaces about Weinstein since the sexual misconduct allegations were dropped in 2017. It’s safe to say that he tried to use his power, his fame, and his money as a way to assert his dominance and keep his name clean in the eyes of the public. But, now that he has defamed himself by allegedly committing such heinous acts, and so many women have come forward to share their stories about the man, it is safe to assume that no amount of bribery, bullying, or swindling can cover up the horrid temperament and behavior of a person. In the end, the truth will always prevail.
Harvey Weinstein’s Lawsuits and Divorce
In addition to threatening, physically harming, and trying to impress those who he harassed and assaulted, it also seems that Harvey Weinstein paid off a lot of the people who have accused him. According to the New York Times, he and Rose McGowan, an actress, reached a settlement in 1997, after an altercation that occurred at a hotel during the Sundance Film Festival. It has also been reported that many other women reached settlements with Weinstein, with the now infamous tycoon paying them between $80,000 and $150,000 in response to acts of misconduct.
The Los Angeles Times reports that the legal repercussions of these claims could be serious for Weinstein. In fact, it has been asserted that these claims could end up resulting in civil or criminal law suits.
In addition to the countless lawsuits that have been filed against Harvey Weinstein over the years – and the many more that are sure to come – he’s also going to have to deal with the legalities that are associated with the divorce from his estranged wife, Georgina Chapman.
Harvey Weinstein, Pictured with Wife Georgina Chapman
According to reports, the disgraced media mogul will end up paying Chapman, a fashion designer, up to $20 million. Add to that all of the legal fees and Weinstein’s divorce will end up costing him a fortune. Additionally, he’ll lose custody of his children, as Chapman will receive primary custody of the 4- and 7-year-old.
From Rags to Riches, Back to Rags Again
The tale of Harvey Weinstein seems like it would be the plot in one of the movies that he produced; but alas, there is nothing fictional about this story. It just goes to show you that you can never trust a book by its cover.
What’s really heartbreaking about the scandal is all of the women who will undoubtedly be haunted by horrible acts that Weinstein subjected them to; that is most certainly the worst part of the entire story and something that should haunt him forever.