Harvey Weinstein Tries Every Possible Response To Explosive NY Times Story

from the wanna-try-that-again,-harvey dept

Last week, the Hollywood Reporter broke the story that famed Hollywood movie mogul Harvey Weinstein (formerly of Miramax and more recently of the Weinstein Company — from which he was fired over the weekend, despite practically begging for his friends to support him) had seriously lawyered up, hiring three high profile lawyers: David Boies, Lisa Bloom and Charles Harder to deal with two apparent stories that were in the works — one from the NY Times and another from the New Yorker (two publications not known for backing down from threats) — about some fairly horrible alleged behavior by Weinstein towards young female actresses, employees and more.

A day later, the NY Times published its article about Harvey Weinstein and, damn, it’s quite an article. It details multiple cases of alleged sexual harassment by Weinstein against both employees and hopeful actresses — and includes claims of Weinstein having to pay off some of those individuals. The article was not based on a single source, but many sources, including one actress (Ashley Judd) willing to put her name behind the accusations (and just as we were completing this post, the New Yorker published its piece which appears to be more detailed and more damning, with more names and even more horrifying stories about Weinstein). And with the NY Times’ publication, much of the “legal team” leaped into action. Of course, if you’re not familiar with the three lawyers named above, it may help to do a quick review, before we dig in on the myriad (often contradictory) responses we’ve now seen from Weinstein and his legal team over the past few days.

Boies, of course, shows up everywhere these days, but often not for good reasons. You may recall him representing SCO in its quixotic attack on Linux. Or representing Oracle against Google in claiming that APIs can be copyrightable. Or representing Theranos, the now disgraced biotech firm that exaggerated what it could do. Or representing Sony Pictures when its emails were all leaked, to the point of sending a ridiculous threat letter to us for daring to report on those emails. Lisa Bloom’s only appearance here was when she was on the right side of the silly James Woods defamation case against an anonymous tweeter. Many found Bloom’s appearance as part of the team quite odd, since she’s built her reputation on representing victims of sexual harassment. She later claimed she was just advising Weinstein, rather than acting as his lawyer (hmm….) and then, over the weekend, she resigned from whatever it was that she was doing. However, the NY Times has a quite incredible article suggesting her initial response to the accusations was to effectively go after the women, by posting “photos of several of the accusers in very friendly poses with Harvey after his alleged misconduct.” Ick.

And, Charles Harder? What is there that needs to be said about Charles Harder? Oh, right, that he’s currently leading the legal team that’s suing us in a defamation suit that we’ve won (though he has since appealed).

Within hours of the article being published, Harder announced that Weinstein would be suing the NY Times for defamation.

“The New York Times published today a story that is saturated with false and defamatory statements about Harvey Weinstein,” he writes in an email to The Hollywood Reporter. “It relies on mostly hearsay accounts and a faulty report, apparently stolen from an employee personnel file, which has been debunked by nine different eyewitnesses. We sent the Times the facts and evidence, but they ignored it and rushed to publish. We are preparing the lawsuit now. All proceeds will be donated to women?s organizations.”

But here’s the thing: Weinstein himself seems to be admitting that many of the accusations are accurate. He’s quoted apologizing for his behavior in the initial NY Times article:

In a statement to The Times on Thursday afternoon, Mr. Weinstein said: ?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.?

He added that he was working with therapists and planning to take a leave of absence to ?deal with this issue head on.?

That seems like an admission. The full statement is even more bizarre:

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.

That whole statement is… weird. Others have covered the many problems with it, but it seems like a pretty clear admission. Given that, it’s pretty ridiculous to then claim you’re suing the NY Times. Under what theory? Well, according to Weinstein, because it didn’t give him enough time to respond:

?I mean every word of that apology,? he told TheWrap. ?The reason I am suing the New York Times is they didn?t give me enough time to respond.?

Um. What? First of all, he gave an entire statement to the NY Times. So he clearly had time to respond. Second, there’s no legal requirement that a news publication needs to give you “enough time to respond,” let alone any time to respond. That’s not how the press works.

In another interview, he told the NY Post that he’s suing because the NY Times wasn’t honest with him:

Weinstein said, ?What I am saying is that I bear responsibility for my actions, but the reason I am suing is because of the Times? inability to be honest with me, and their reckless reporting. They told me lies. They made assumptions.

?The Times had a deal with us that they would tell us about the people they had on the record in the story, so we could respond appropriately, but they didn?t live up to the bargain.

?The Times editors were so fearful they were going to be scooped by New York Magazine and they would lose the story, that they went ahead and posted the story filled with reckless reporting, and without checking all they had with me and my team.

Once again, Weinstein seems to be confused about how journalism works — and what legal requirements there are. Even as rich and powerful as Harvey Weinstein is, there is no legal requirement to give him as much time as he wants to respond. Indeed, his lawyer Bloom admits they had two days:

?Two days ago, after begging, they gave us a couple dozen allegations that spanned 30 years and a dozen countries. They said we have until 1 pm today. We said ?Why?? They never said.?

Again, giving two days actually seems kind of generous.

The whole thing seems like Weinstein is trying out any and all possible responses at once. Normally you select one: you deny and sue or you apologize or you try to make a quip and laugh off the accusation. Harvey seems to be doing all of this at once.

He even tried denial (and a quip) before the admission and the threat:

In a brief interview on Wednesday, Weinstein declined to comment on the charges.

“I’ve not been aware of this,” he said. “I don’t know what you’re talking about, honestly.”


Weinstein later issued a statement through a spokesperson, as did Bloom. ?The story sounds so good I want to buy the movie rights,? said Weinstein.

Of course, as the NY Times has pointed out, at no point has Weinstein said what is factually untrue in its reporting. And if you’re suing for defamation, that’s kind of the first thing you’re supposed to do. Meanwhile, it appears that other stories are starting to come out (and they keep coming) — including some fairly damning claims about attempts to cover up previous investigations. And, perhaps most troubling, a claim that the NY Times had this story a dozen years ago and was pressured into killing it. Of course, perhaps that’s the real reason behind the threat of the lawsuit — to try to scare off others from coming forward. All of the links in this paragraph suggest if that’s the theory, well, it’s not working. It’s also not clear that a lawsuit would be wise. Beyond the failure to give an actual legal reason for the lawsuit so far, as many people have pointed out, it’s unclear that Harvey would want to go through the discovery process in such a lawsuit should it get that far.

And, in the meantime, the NY Times has said that Weinstein “should publicly waive the NDAs in the women’s agreements so they can tell their stories.” If he fails to do so, that says a lot right there.

Still, in the end, it appears that Weinstein’s strategy here seems to be… to do all of the following, even if some parts contradict other parts:

  1. Deny with a quip (“I don’t know what you’re talking about, honestly.” “I want to buy the movie rights.”)
  2. Offer a weak excuse that’s not even a real excuse (“I came of age in the 60’s and 70’s”)
  3. Apologize (“the way I?ve behaved with colleagues in the past has caused a lot of pain,” “I cannot be more remorseful about the people I hurt and I plan to do right by all of them.”)
  4. Threaten to sue (“the reason I am suing is because of the Times? inability to be honest with me, and their reckless reporting”)
  5. Claim the story is not accurate (“a story that is saturated with false and defamatory statements about Harvey Weinstein”)
  6. Say the real problem was that the paper didn’t live up to its word (“The Times had a deal with us”)
  7. Also claim that the problem was not enough time to respond (despite responding) (“The reason I am suing the New York Times is they didn?t give me enough time to respond.”)
  8. Deflect from being accused of using your power to bed powerless women by… talking about the NRA?!? (“I’m going to give the NRA my full attention.”)
  9. Insist that you’ve seen the light and are changing (“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.”)
  10. Talk about how you’ve thrown money at womens’ issues, as if that makes this okay (“I began organizing a $5 million foundation to give scholarships to women directors at USC.”)

None of these seem particularly genuine at all — which perhaps explains the contradictory nature of many of them. Instead, it looks an awful lot like how people who are caught doing something bad act when they can’t come to terms with what they’ve done, and will thrash about wildly, trying on every possible response, hoping one of them gets them out of the situation. Who knows if an actual lawsuit will be filed, but of all the possible responses above, that one seems the least likely to end well.

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Companies: miramax, ny times, weinstein company

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Comments on “Harvey Weinstein Tries Every Possible Response To Explosive NY Times Story”

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Anonymous Coward says:

Yet you pirates still want his products.

The real story is the vast sleaze and power in Hollywood. Masnick dodges that by twisting it toward the imminent defamation case.

But the real story is the vast sleaze and power in Hollywood. Yes, I repeat, because focus here shouldn’t even be on Masnick’s diversion!

IF you pirates would concentrate on exposing corrupt Hollywood using Populist principles (especially tax The Rich) instead of ranting on just “copyright”, you’d have a chance of actually weakening its control over all that you view as bad, and thereby reducing this abuse of power and similar. Heavy taxes on The Rich is proven to cure many societal ills.

But no! You pirates just want to kick back, inhale potato chips, smoke dope, and let what’s left of your mind fall into fantasies produced by corrupt greaseballs like Weinstein.

JMT (profile) says:

Re: Yet you pirates still want his products.

"The real story is the vast sleaze and power in Hollywood."

That’s not the "real" story, it’s simply the story. There are other aspects that are just as real and more relevant to Techdirt’s audience. There are dozens of other places you can go to read about sleaze and power in Hollywood if that’s what gets you all hot and bothered.

"Masnick dodges that by twisting it toward the imminent defamation case."

Or maybe he talked about an aspect of the story that is a topic or regular discussion at Techdirt. No twisting required, except your logic in trying to find something, anything, to criticize.

madasahatter (profile) says:

Re: Lawyering

If you are a criminal defense attorney your job is make sure your client gets a fair trial even if they are guilty. And if they are not guilty, they definitely need a fair trial. It is not who their clients are but how they act in public that counts. There are some showboating shysters who deserve all the ridicule they get.

JMT (profile) says:

Re: Lawyering

Try to remember that legally defending someone is completely different from actually defending, condoning or supporting their actions. It’s intellectually simplistic to attack defense lawyers, they’re pretty easy targets after all, but they’re absolutely vital to a functioning and just legal system. You do need to have some respect for them, even if you despise their clients.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Lawyering

Some countries (including England, but I think the rule postdayes 1776) require barristers to take cases on the “taxicab” principle, so they an only refuse on limited grounds and not liking the client or thinking the case is boring don’t count. That rule can be worked around by the clerks, but even they recognise it as circumventing a rule not as something they’re supposed to be doing from the courts point of view.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Whoa Clintons

Obama also buddies with this guy! Is anyone surprised? This is Libtard Central. Who doesn’t know what goes on in Hollywood? Everyone with a smartphone on them these days, it’s bound to finally leak out on a recording for all to actually hear.

The Clinton’s and Obama best buds. Got a lot of money from him to them and the Democrat party.

Anon says:

Re: Re: Re: Whoa Clintons

And Weinstein pal’ed around with Trump and played golf with him… Everyone on the A list seems to run into each other from time to time.

PS. Monica was never forced. The blue dress proves nothing, except Bill liked getting blown. No evidence he made her an offer she couldn’t refuse, blow me or else…

Why all the fuss now about Hillary? If she was supposed to know what Harvey was up to, then presumably all of Hollywood society should have known too, and by extension all the journalists; and it’s the journalists’ jobs to expose the truth… and yet it takes 10 or 20 years? Maybe the answer was that the details were not widely enough known, so he was treated as the successful businessman he was, not the predator he was.

themonkeyking145 (profile) says:


…did Charles Harder just confused The New York Times for Gawker? I’m pretty sure he did. And if he did, I think he’s going to be very sad with the results of that confusion.

Which is not to say that Gawker’s defense was without merit, but when it comes to the kind of muscle that each can bring to bear, there’s comparison between Gawker and the Times.

Thad (user link) says:

Re: Wait....

I don’t think it’s really about the New York Times and the New Yorker, though; it’s about chilling other, smaller outlets that don’t have the resources to defend themselves.

Here’s a relevant Techdirt story from August:

How Hulk Hogan & Peter Thiel Almost Made Sure That The Story Of R. Kelly’s ‘Cult’ Stayed Unpublished

tl;dr these suits have a ripple effect, and make small-to-mid-sized news outlets think twice before they publish anything critical of somebody who’s rich enough to bury them in vexatious litigation.

Thad (user link) says:

Re: Re: Re: Wait....

Yes, but remember how long it took Techdirt to get Ayyadurai’s clearly meritless suit dismissed? And then he appealed. It’s still going.

And that’s a case where dismissal was a slam-dunk. Read the lower-court ruling; the judge says, straight out, that even if 100% of Shiva’s claims are accurate, he hasn’t named a single illegal thing that Techdirt did.

And that’s just Ayyadurai, a minor public figure who’s got some money from the lecture circuit and a previous settlement. Guys like Weinstein have a lot more money than Ayyadurai; they can do what Thiel did and just keep funding other people’s lawsuits, whether those suits have merit or not. It’s like a DDoS attack using the legal system.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Wait....

if the Times successfully defends their suit, smaller outlets can point to that win if they were to file motions to dismiss, couldn’t they?

From what I understand (IANAL), trial court rulings don’t set precedent. If the NYT wins and the suit ends there, then it won’t help anyone else (except perhaps to give other outlets a legal strategy to follow).

However if the win gets appealed (odds of which happening are 99.97%, +/- 0.05%), then the appeals court’s ruling may set precedent, and help the smaller outlets.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Lawyering

I’ve known since I was a teen what kinds of things people have to do to get work!!! SUCKY, SUCKY is just one of them.

Really, who doesn’t know this? Of course RUMORS are one thing, a Audio Recording for everyone to hear for themselves and a whole different matter.

I think if anything, what Hollywood will learn from this is to make sure the people doing into the office or wherever, don’t have their Smartphone or anything else on them first!! Then back to the same old, same old.

Anonymous Coward says:

Perhaps he's trying for an incompetence defense

By presenting so many conflicting responses, some of which look like a good lawyer should’ve explicitly told him not to say, he makes himself look foolish and inept. Perhaps that is his master plan – to deflect by convincing people that no one as foolish and inept as he could possibly have pulled off the alleged misdeeds. If so, it’s an astonishingly bad plan, but we’ve seen powerful people do stupid things before.

Anonymous Coward says:

Yet you pirates still want his products.

The real story is the vast sleaze and power in Hollywood. Masnick dodges that by twisting it toward the imminent defamation case.

But the real story is the vast sleaze and power in Hollywood. Yes, I repeat, because focus here shouldn’t even be on Masnick’s diversion!

IF you pirates would concentrate on exposing corrupt Hollywood using Populist principles (especially tax The Rich) instead of ranting on just "copyright", you’d have a chance of actually weakening its control over all that you view as bad, and incidentally thereby reducing this abuse of power and similar. Heavy taxes on The Rich is proven to cure many societal ills.

But no! You pirates just want to kick back, inhale potato chips, smoke dope, and let what’s left of your mind fall into fantasies produced by corrupt greaseballs like Weinstein.

NINTH attempt! Started around 11:10 Pacific time, and I’m waiting to see if gets in since not urgent topic. I still nearly always find Masnick’s articles difficult to get a comment in. A long string of such "coincidence" (as I’ve mentioned) makes me conclude isn’t by chance.

That One Guy (profile) says:

Re: Re: That again?

Ah, just flag and ignore them, one of their favorite shticks(in addition to the ‘report me’ flags right off the bat) is to go around whining about how they are being oppressed by the mean old spam filter(which of course must be personally aimed at them) for spamming the same message multiple times, as if ‘actions have consequences’ isn’t a thing, and private platforms have some obligation to post whatever is submitted to them as soon as they post it.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: That again?

Funny, but the spam filter stops some of my comments despite them not being repetitions of other comments, not containing ads, not being offensive, and not being in anyway illegal in any jurisdiction I know of.

And then checking back a couple days later, some of them are still not approved to show up after review.

The only consistent pattern to which of my comments NEVER show up is that they express opinions that are to the right of the general consensus on this site.

Anonymous Coward says:


In the case against NYT, the guy is going on the offense which is completely different since the association from the lawyer in that case is voluntary. Unless something earthshatteringly new is brought to the table, the lawsuit is meritless. An ethical lawyer would advice their client properly on the merits of such a case. Given that Charles Harder is on the case, the legal knowledge is there, pointing towards a lack of ethics among the lawyer(s) running that case.

There may even be merit to judges more aggressively sanctioning some of the unscrupulous lawyers for contempt.

Anonymous Coward says:

I’m at a loss. Weinstein’s made himself thoroughly unreliable on matters of personal character and consistency.

Don’t attorneys tell their clients to keep their nose clean, present *one* face/story to the public/court no matter how complex the situation and their character really is? Tell your lawyer about *all* your shit and then they’ll (hopefully) help you both be as ready as you can make yourselves.

There’s too much free-flowing information online (not all of it reliable) for people to be this publicly foolish.

OldGeezer (profile) says:

Lawyers are scumbags until you need one

As my username says I’m an old geezer. In my youth I screwed up involving some recreational pharmaceutics and some stupid stuff I did while on them. Just misdemeanor crap, but that can still mean up to a year as a guest of the county. I didn’t like the lawyer I hired much. He chewed my ass at everything I said. When my turn before the judge came and the prosecutor said “your honor, we would like this man to do some jail time to teach him a lesson” that lawyer gave the judge all the reasons I should get probation. I was glad I had done what he advised and was already in rehab and getting piss tested weekly. The judge hit me with a stiff fine but I got to go home. That was when I decided I kind of liked that asshole!

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

Unfortunately, that isn’t what appears to have happened here. At all. And even Harvey seems to know it; otherwise why unequivocally deny everything while blubbering interminably about the need for therapy and time off to “find himself”?

He knows he acted like a lecherous piece of shit. Hell, with these three recent sexual assault allegations, it’s looking like he’s even worse than that. Of course, only some rich asshole with too much money for his own good would have the gut reaction of holing up in one of his penthouses (while he pays some prick with a wall full of diplomas an ungodly amount by the hour to lie to him that he’s not human garbage) instead of settling up.

But that’s just what rich fucks do, it seems.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

There’s a big difference between "You make me happy and I’ll reward you for it," and "Give me access to your body, or your career in show business ends today."

It’s the difference between encouraging someone to be willing to sleep with you, and making someone unwilling to not sleep with you; between trying to sway their choice and trying to remove their choice entirely.

If you can’t see the difference between incentivization and coercion, you need to get your eyes checked.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

Is that directed @ me (Anonymous Coward, 10 Oct 2017 @ 6:16pm)?

Because I’m not sure what you’re trying to tell me.

I’m well aware that money isn’t a factor for most women when they choose a sexual partner. However, you can’t deny that there are some women for whom that’s the case. Sex work is, so the saying goes, "the oldest profession."

There will always be people who are going to be willing to exchange sex for money, as long as there is a demand for them. Personally, I think that it should be acknowledged as a legitimate profession, and that the people who engage in that profession should be respected for it.

Let’s suppose, for the sake of argument, that at least one woman did go to the Playboy mansion with the goal of making Hugh happy and getting wealthy for it. There’s still no equivalence between that, a willing exchange of a service for money, and what Weinstein did.

Reiterating a point I’ve made in my previous post, getting someone to do something that they’d rather not do by giving them money to do it is capitalism, plain and simple.

"I need that [X] as the last piece to complete my collection!"
"Well, I’d rather not sell it to you. It has sentimental value."
"It’s worth ten thousand dollars!"
"I’m sorry, I’d rather not part with it."
"I’ll give you fifty thousand – final offer."

In capitalism, you’re not meddling with someone’s ability to choose; you’re making an unpalatable choice more attractive by piling incentives on.

On the other hand, strong-arming someone to do something for you has all sorts of nasty names: extortion, blackmail, coercion, robbery, and rape. What they all have in common, and what makes it different from simple capitalism, is that instead of making "Yes" possible, you’re making "No" impossible. You’re depriving the person of their ability to choose for themselves.

That is why what Weinstein did is so much worse than Hugh supposedly luring young women to his side with promises of a lavish lifestyle. "Sure," Hugh says, "I’m a dirty old man, but I’ll make it worth your while," whereas Weinstein says, "Do it, and then shut up about it, or I’ll destroy you." One is a choice, freely offered and accepted, and the other is driving someone into a corner in which refusing doesn’t seem like a valid option.

I’m certainly not saying "wimmin be ho’s" is an appropriate attitude to hold towards women (it isn’t); however, even if it were true (again, it’s not), it wouldn’t excuse what Weinstein did. Even "ho’s" shouldn’t be coerced into sex.

That is all that I’m trying to say, and, if your comment was directed towards me, I don’t see how that attitude can be a "lynchpin of rape culture."

Wendy Cockcroft (user link) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

Thank you for your thoughtful response.

Yes indeed, even the most sexually mercenary people shouldn’t be coerced into gratifying some perve. I’m with you there.

However, that’s not the conversation I’m having; rape culture is predicated on the idea that women are willing participants in their own degradation but just won’t admit it, which is why they are inferior and ought to be treated as such. I see this over and over and over again in the news. I’m glad you are enlightened; others need to get to where you are.

Wendy Cockcroft (user link) says:

Re: "I came of age in the 60's and 70's"

If only they had paid attention. The Sexual Revolution was about exposing the hypocrisy of the patricarchy as well as gaining equality and agency for women.

Had the patriarchy actually done its job of providing and protecting, the Sexual Revolution might never have happened.

As a conservative I’m torn; I’m supposed to be in favour of the patriarchy but it’s so damn awful I just can’t be dealing with it. I’m glad I live in the twenty first century – in the UK, where I’m not just a walking incubator, sex toy, or decoration, as I would be in certain locations. I’m absolutely horrified by this: http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/man-accused-raping-12-year-old-joint-custody-child-article-1.3550890

Weinstein’s attitude is the same as that paedo-freak’s: an over-weening sense of entitlement to the use of a female body on demand.

Until we do more to challenge such attitudes till they end up in the fringes where they belong, such things will continue.

That One Guy (profile) says:

‘Try multiple solutions and see what works’ might be a good idea when faced with a problem in other areas of life, but when it comes to legal matters(outside of a legal filing) it tends to be counter-productive, as one statement can undermine another, leaving both working against the one who made it.

My guess is that this mess is the result of the several lawyers giving often conflicting pieces of advice, paired with a ‘I’m rich, I can do what I want’ mentality that doesn’t work so well when faced against an equally well funded opponent.

That said, and as disgusting as it is to contemplate, I imagine it is working in the way that it’s primarily intended, as it’s making a large spectacle of two large companies facing pressure for having the audacity to publish the articles, which is likely to make smaller, less well funded companies/groups much less likely to follow suit.

John William Nelson (profile) says:

If Harder sues, those NDAs will be pierced . . .

An NDA can’t survive a subpoena or court order compelling testimony. If Harder sues, then it opens up the doors for all those NDAs to be pierced and the stories to begin coming out.

Harder puts his clients at more risk with his antics, not less. I am not impressed with his litigation skills. His business and moneymaking skills? Yes. His skills in getting sugar daddies like Peter Thiel to pay for cases under the table? Yes. But the truest litigators mitigate risks for their clients.

Thad (user link) says:

Re: If Harder sues, those NDAs will be pierced . . .

It would be incredibly foolish and self-destructive for Weinstein to go through with his threat to sue.

That doesn’t mean he won’t do it; he’s a narcissist with poor impulse control who’s used to getting his way.

But if Harder doesn’t warn him that "By the way if we go through with this all that stuff you paid people not to talk about becomes legal for them to talk about," then Harder’s the next one Weinstein’s liable to sue.

Steve R. (profile) says:

Leftist Spin - Its the fault of society

Richard Fowler, a leftist commentator on Fox News, observed that Weinstein’s misogynistic actions speak of poor social skills. Mr. Fowler did not directly attribute Weinstein’s misogynistic actions to “bad” character. Mr. Fowler, to correct this situation, proposed greater eduction in treating women correctly.

Now had this been a Republican, Mr. Fowler would have been busy lambasting the Republican and denigrating his/her character for these vile misogynistic actions.

So when a Democrat does something “bad” the fault lies with society. But when a Republican does something “bad” it is the result of their evil disgusting character. Relative moralism.

Steve R. (profile) says:

Re: Re: Leftist Spin - Its the fault of society

Well, the left-wing publications sat on this story for many many years. One could make the case that they were suppressing the story. I understand, that when the story finally broke, that Weinstein (by way of rumor) complained to the NYT that “we had an arrangement”. (quote unverified).

Seems that the left, now that the story has been exposed, has expressed massive faux outrage. They had years to expose and failed to be outraged.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Leftist Spin - Its the fault of society

Left wing, right wing, it doesn’t really matter. Hollywood is left wing and this happens. Tech (Silicon Valley) is left wing, yet has a serious women’s rights issue. A liberal gun control advocate is caught carrying an unregistered handgun for safety in DC. A conservative is against abortion, yet tells his mistress to get an abortion. Another conservative bitches about immigration and is caught with illegal immigrants working for them.

We put up with bullshit because it suits us, NFL teams will allow protests, wife beaters, drug users as long as they help the team win. The second they don’t, they are gone. Companies allow harassment as long as the person makes the company tons of money, when that stops, they make a big deal and fire the person.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Leftist Spin - Its the fault of society

Moment of pause? Sure. Ranting about “the left” as if this was only related to one “team”? No, that’s idiotic.

There are multiple issues here, ranging from the free ride successfully wealthy people are given over and above their victims, to instiitutional problems with major corporations worldwide. If you’re dumb enough to let yourself get fooled into team politics and attacking a strawman scapegoat, this will keep happening again and again. It was true when this stuff was related to “conservative” boys’ clubs, it was true when it was the Catholic church, it’s true when it’s so-called “left-wing” Hollywood. Stop playing this idiotic game and get to the root of the real issues.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Leftist Spin - Its the fault of society

Not understanding the outrage over a time period before a story “breaks”. Are corporations allowed to have “agreements” or not? Should a publication be subject to litigation if they do not immediately publish? Should same publication be subject to litigation for publishing too soon after an event? Or, maybe they should simply ask you before doing anything.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Leftist Spin - Its the fault of society

From what I’ve heard, the “arrangement” that the NYT had with Weinstein was “You don’t post this story, and I don’t use all of my influence to rain Hell down upon you.”

There’s a difference between “Let’s not publish this story because Weinstein’s a big player on the left and he asked us not to” and “Let’s not publish this story until we have enough proof, so that Weinstein can come at us with his high-priced lawyers and we’ll be the ones left standing at the end of it.”

The fact that they did eventually publish it, once they had all of their ducks in a row, helps me believe that it was the latter, not the former.

Wendy Cockcroft (user link) says:

Re: Re: Leftist Spin - Its the fault of society

Richard Fowler is a liberal progressive, not a leftist. Until he starts advocating for nationalising industry, that’s what we should call him.

As for character, while it’s no doubt true there is such a thing as rape culture and the only way to break it is to build consensus on the way to treat female human beings. Rape culture pervades the Republican party. That is why things like this happen: http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/man-accused-raping-12-year-old-joint-custody-child-article-1.3550890

Shall we beat the judge up online for having bad character? Perhaps. But it’d be more effective in the long run to educate people since they really, truly believe that wimmin be ho’s so it’s okay (or not that bad, really) to mistreat us.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Leftist Spin - Its the fault of society

Sexism seems to be more prevalent within the GOP, but let’s not pretend it is absent elsewhere.

Remember reading a news piece about political conventions and the number of hookers that travel to them. Seems the GOP far out does the Dems in this category.

David says:

Know what's irritating to me?

The victims now on display are most likely the ones who got the role they were angling for, and possibly a settlement as well (so smile photos afterwards are quite in line with the accusations).

The actual victims may have been those who have nothing to report because of not jumping in bed with Weinstein.

Now make no mistake: the earlier the casting couch habits are curbed, the better. And it really sounds like Weinstein did not stop in time and so his past is getting dug out.

But it seems to have been a bit of a culture thing. At the “Lifetime award” celebration of George Lucas (“Star Wars”), Carrie Fisher (“Princess Leia”) concluded her actually not all that celebratory speech with something like “I sure hope I slept with you for getting that role, because if I didn’t, who else was that guy?”.

So I do suspect that Weinstein is not a particularly singular pick, and we’ll see all-in-all a tiny exposed sliver of the tip of the iceberg sacrificed for celebrating the new way of doing things. Sort of like the Nuremberg trials. Well, it sort-of worked then. The narrative changed and the culture follows, at least for a while.


Re: Re: Know what's irritating to me?

It’s the difference between a prostitute and a rapist. One of those engaged in a voluntary economic exchange. It might be an exchange that offends some sensibility of yours, but it was a voluntary exchange.

Paltrow and Jolie went on the record stating that they were having none of that.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Know what's irritating to me?

I do not understand how this addresses the “actual victims” comment. What makes a victim not actually a victim? I assumed it was due to “not resisting enough”, maybe it was something else … idk.

“difference between a prostitute and a rapist.”
This part of your comment does not make a lot of sense.

Alice (profile) says:

And what are we to think of those budding starlets who took the crooked shilling and remained silent through the years, whilst amassing personal fortunes through Weinstein’s influence and watching on silently as his behaviour accelerated and the damage to others mounted? Those who only now are so bravely coming forward (via their agents?).

Wendy Cockcroft (user link) says:

Re: Re:

They had a choice between reporting the creep with little in the way of expectation of justice but much in the way of expectation of having their careers ruined or pursuing their careers and keeping quiet.

Now that Weinstein has fallen from grace they can finally seek the justice they had no chance of getting in the first place.

It is reasonable to demand proof that they were in the same location as Weinstein on the day and time of the alleged incident; I believe in due process for all. This means we don’t judge either party without evidence. Weinstein is only accused at this point, and yes he has admitted to some misconduct but that doesn’t mean he did everything he was accused of. Let it come to court and let the whole disgusting mess be exposed there.

Integrity can be very expensive, Alice.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

In your rush to blame the victim, you’re missing the big picture. The fact is, had these women spoken up early in their careers, they would have been ignored. They would have been written off as bitter failures trying to torpedo the careers of successful men because they got turned down for a role, or extortionists who thought that blackmail was easier than getting through auditions. There is no way a relatively unknown actress could beat out a successful producer, as evidenced by the “casting couch”, which legendarily has been going on in that industry since before any of the people involved in these new stories were born.

It would have been great had they been able to successfully able to stop this behaviour years ago, but reality states they would not have been able to do so without changing the system itself. Which, hopefully, these revelations will go some way to doing.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

I think you’re misusing the word “conjecture” here (“opinion” or “point” might be better — a conjecture is generally something that can be tested and proven, and, as “what people deserve” is entirely subjective, it cannot be proven one way or the other).

That said, this many people have come out, so there are probably many, many more who still aren’t speaking out. Are the ones that came forward more, or less, courageous and praiseworthy than those who are even now remaining silent?

Alice (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

Clearly being among the first to go public requires personal courage, generally a praiseworthy trait. There is, though, some later point at which it becomes ‘safe’ to disclose without risk of disbelief or career damage, when public opinion has tilted against the accused, and new accusers can ride that wave unchallenged.

Indeed I would argue that it is now in the self-interest of victims, of whatever severity, to come forward so as to avoid an unplanned surprise disclosure by others. Such involuntary discovery would prompt a raft of awkward questions around the reasons this extended silence: perhaps the implied ‘bargain’ was a good one, possibly a career boost to compensate for a lack of talent. Or of course the episode may just be too traumatic to re-live. In any event continued silence would require uncomfortable explanations best avoided.

To address your question directly, aside from the first handful of victims, any subsequent public disclosures involves little or no personal risk and so cannot be classed as courageous. There is no reason to ‘praise’ this newfound openness, unless accompanied by an apology for the damage wrought upon others by their silence. That would indeed be praiseworthy, if unlikely.

I refer you to (Ahem…) Alice’s Razor which states in terms:
“For most moral dilemmas the more difficult choice is usually the right one”

Wendy Cockcroft (user link) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

Alice, you haven’t answered my question: would you demand that women risk their reputations and careers with no hope of getting justice?

Even coming forward now, they are taking a risk on not being believed and therefore risking their reputations. Don’t be too quick to condemn a woman for not behaving as you think they should when you have never been in such a situation yourself. I’ve seen a case where a child recorded her daddy molesting her by leaving her webcam on, and the jury let him go because she didn’t seem upset enough. We can’t imagine what she went through just to bring the case or what her home life is like now.

Empathy is not a weakness.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

Indeed I would argue that it is now in the self-interest of victims, of whatever severity, to come forward so as to avoid an unplanned surprise disclosure by others.

I refer you to (Ahem…) Alice’s Razor which states in terms:
"For most moral dilemmas the more difficult choice is usually the right one"

So, the right choice in the moral dilemma of whether to stay silent or come forward is now to stay silent?! That’s the conclusion that would follow from disclosure both being more in their self-interest and involving no risk, and the more difficult choice being the right one, and, may I say, I find that to be an absurd conclusion.

For the record: I’ve read stories by and about abuse survivors, stories which say that the victims have a tendency to blame themselves for the abuse. My personal opinion is that, regardless of how many people spoke up first, it is still a tremendous act of personal courage to publicly re-visit that kind of traumatic event, one where you know (but can’t quite bring yourself to believe) that you weren’t the one in the wrong.

It means having faith in the public at large to place the blame where it properly belongs (on the abuser, not the victim) — and you don’t have to look far to see people blaming the victims, even with all of this evidence mounting against Weinstein. It’s hard to believe, but I read somewhere that someone wanted victims coming forward to apologize to the other victims for not speaking up earlier, as if the fault rested with them for being intimidated and not with the abuser himself for doing the intimidating. Would you really want to come forward into that atmosphere?

Alice (profile) says:


I condemn no-one in this thread. Neither do I praise. I am not qualified to apply any moral compass to the ‘keep silent for decades’ decisions that were made, and I have not done this. I am merely attempting, and clearly failing, to suggest that those who adopted this strategy are being neither brave nor heroic nor courageous in belatedly disclosing abuse now that the cat is out-of-the-bag.

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