For months Donald Trump has been engaged in a war of words with “fake news” powerhouse, New York Times, and all he has achieved is to boost its subscription while sending its stock price soaring.
Well, where Republican Donald Trump failed to punish the liberal NYT, Hillary Clinton’s prominent Democrat supporter, Harvey Weinsten, has succeeded, and in one day the shares of the NYT fell the most in almost two months after the movie mogul threatened to sue the publisher over its article detailing allegations of sexual harassment. Times shares dipped 3% to $19.50 Friday, the biggest intraday decline in two months.
The prominent, and now radioactive Hollywood producer, famous for such Oscar winners as “The English Patient” and “Shakespeare in Love,” took a leave of absence from his production company following the New York Times article on Thursday.
Actress Ashley Judd was among the people in the article who say they were harassed by the producer, who has been a fixture in Hollywood power circles for almost four decades. Weinstein has reached at least eight settlements with women, the newspaper reported, citing unnamed officials at the Weinstein Co., the film and TV production company Harvey founded in 2005 with his brother Bob.
Charles Harder, an attorney working with Weinstein, said in a statement that the article was “saturated with false and defamatory statements” and that his client is preparing to sue the newspaper. Harder is best known for winning a $140 million invasion of privacy lawsuit on behalf of wrestler Hulk Hogan against the website Gawker. The New York Times has said it’s confident in the accuracy of its story.
That said, if the bizarre language in Weinstein’s official “statement” in response to the NYT piece is any indication of his legal acumen, the NYT has nothing to worry about. Have fun with the following stream of consciousness released by Weinstein:
I came of age in the 60’s and 70’s, when all the rules about behavior and workplaces were different. That was the culture then.
I have since learned it’s not an excuse, in the office – or out of it. To anyone.
I realized some time ago that I needed to be a better person and my interactions with the people I work with have changed.
I appreciate the way I’ve behaved with colleagues in the past has caused a lot of pain, and I sincerely apologize for it.
Though I’m trying to do better, I know I have a long way to go. That is my commitment. My journey now will be to learn about myself and conquer my demons. Over the last year I’ve asked Lisa Bloom to tutor me and she’s put together a team of people. I’ve brought on therapists and I plan to take a leave of absence from my company and to deal with this issue head on. I so respect all women and regret what happened. I hope that my actions will speak louder than words and that one day we will all be able to earn their trust and sit down together with Lisa to learn more. Jay Z wrote in 4:44 “I’m not the man I thought I was and I better be that man for my children.” The same is true for me. I want a second chance in the community but I know I’ve got work to do to earn it. I have goals that are now priorities. Trust me, this isn’t an overnight process. I’ve been trying to do this for 10 years and this is a wake-up call. I cannot be more remorseful about the people I hurt and I plan to do right by all of them.
I am going to need a place to channel that anger so I’ve decided that I’m going to give the NRA my full attention. I hope Wayne LaPierre will enjoy his retirement party. I’m going to do it at the same place I had my Bar Mitzvah. I’m making a movie about our President, perhaps we can make it a joint retirement party. One year ago, I began organizing a $5 million foundation to give scholarships to women directors at USC. While this might seem coincidental, it has been in the works for a year. It will be named after my mom and I won’t disappoint her.
Finally, here – for those who will miss Weinstein as he fades into the sunset – is a dancing Les Grossman.