Harvey Weinstein Sex Scandals ‘Covered Up’ for Years After Celebrities Came to His Aid
Before uncovering allegations of Hollywood bigwig Harvey Weinstein’s sexual misconduct, the New York Times buried a similar story over a decade ago, after he made a visit to the paper and A-list celebrities contacted the reporter.
Weinstein, a Hollywood film producer and film studio executive, was fired from the company he co-founded on Sunday, after a New York Times investigation uncovered three decades of sexual harassment allegations last week.
As one of the most powerful voices in the entertainment industry, Weinstein has collected six best-picture Oscars for producing critically acclaimed films such as “Sex, Lies, and Videotape,” “Pulp Fiction” and “Good Will Hunting.”
On Sunday, reporter Sharon Waxman wrote a piece for The Wrap that said that the New York Times had quashed her investigation into Weinstein’s sexual misconduct back in 2004.
In her original report, Waxman tracked down Fabrizio Lombardo, the head of Miramax Italy. She traveled to Italy and discovered that Lombardo knew nothing about filmmaking. He was reportedly being paid $400,000 in less than a year to “take care of Weinstein’s women needs.” At the time, Disney, the then-parent company of Miramax, told Waxman that they had no idea Lombardo existed.
Waxman also tracked down a woman in London who was paid off after an unwanted sexual encounter with Weinstein. The report said that she was “terrified” to speak about the incident, because she had a non-disclosure agreement.
However, according to Waxman, her story was spiked after “intense pressure from Weinstein,” which involved Weinstein personally visiting the New York Times newsroom and making his displeasure known. Waxman also said that she received calls from A-list actors Matt Damon and Russell Crowe, who vouched for Lombardo.
In the end, the Times printed a story about Miramax firing Lombardo without any reference to sexual misconduct.
Then-culture editor for the Times, Jon Landman, who is now an editor-at-large for Bloomberg, reportedly told Waxman that the story was unimportant because Weinstein was “not a publicly elected official.”
When Waxman was asked why she did not write anything on Weinstein in the past 13 years, she said that he has “done good things.”
“It's easy to paint everyone in black and white in the 140-word Twitterverse,” Waxman said.
On Monday, Clifford Levy, deputy managing editor at the New York Times, issued a response to Waxman’s article, saying that it is “unimaginable” that the story was killed because of pressure from Weinstein.
He said that the two top editors have no recollection of being pressured over the story and Waxman’s direct editor said that she didn’t have the story “nailed.”
“The story we published last week took months of work by two experienced investigative reporters,” Levy said. “I’m sure Ms. Waxman believes she had a story. But if you read her own description, she did not have anything near what was revealed in our story. Mainly, she had an off-the-record account from one woman.”