Weinstein Co., overwhelmed by backlash, may be up for sale

A photo taken on October 13, 2017 shows a view of The Weinstein Company (TWC) headquarters in Tribeca, New York City. (AFP / ANGELA WEISS)
Updated 16 October 2017
0

Weinstein Co., overwhelmed by backlash, may be up for sale

NEW YORK: The Weinstein Co., besieged by sexual harassment allegations against its namesake and co-founder, may be putting itself up for sale.
The company said Monday that it will receive an immediate cash infusion from Colony Capital and is in negotiations for the potential sale of all or a significant portion of the company responsible for producing films such as “Django Unchained,” “The Hateful Eight” and “Lion.”
Colony Capital, the private-equity arm of Colony NorthStar, was founded by Thomas Barrack, a close adviser to President Donald Trump. Barrack chaired Trump’s presidential inaugural committee.
Harvey Weinstein was fired last week by the film production company he helped create. The allegations of sexual harassment and assault against Weinstein span decades and include many of the film industry’s leading actresses.
The backlash has been severe as more women go public with their interactions with Weinstein.
Law enforcement in the US and Europe are taking a new look at past allegations.
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has revoked his membership, as has the British Academy of Film and Television Arts.
Amazon Studios, the growing film arm of Amazon, cut ties with the Weinstein company last week. Robert De Niro, Julianne Moore and director David O. Russell scrapped an untitled Amazon Studios series that was being produced by The Weinstein Co.
Showtime has threatened to pull out of an Oliver Stone drama in development, “Guantanamo,” because Weinstein Co. is a producer.
Word of a potential sale comes just three days after Bob Weinstein, who helped found the company with his brother, Harvey, said that a sale was not an option.
“We are pleased to invest in The Weinstein Company and to help it move forward,” Colony said Monday. “We will help return the company to its rightful iconic position in the independent film and television industry.”
The list of women alleging harassment and assault by Harvey Weinstein continues to grow. More than 30 women, including actresses Angelina Jolie, Ashley Judd and Gwyneth Paltrow — have spoken out.
___
Business writer Stanley J. Choe contributed to this report.


Rebel Wilson loses bid to keep most of $3.4 million defamation payout

Updated 16 November 2018
0

Rebel Wilson loses bid to keep most of $3.4 million defamation payout

  • The actress had sued Woman’s Day magazine last year over a series of articles in 2015
  • ‘The whole reason for bringing this case is that I wanted to stand up to a bully, which is Bauer Media’

SYDNEY: Rebel Wilson said she was glad she’d stood up to “a bully” despite losing her bid Friday to keep most of the record payout awarded to her in her defamation case against an Australian magazine.
The actress had sued Woman’s Day magazine last year over a series of articles in 2015 that she said had painted her as someone who’d lied about her real name, age and childhood in order to make it in Hollywood.
The Supreme Court of Victoria state awarded her an Australian-record payout of $3.4 million (A$4.7 million) after a jury concluded she’d missed out on film roles because of the articles. Wilson had sought $5 million in damages.
But this June the amount was reduced by 90 percent after the magazine’s publishers, Bauer Media, appealed. Victoria’s Court of Appeal said Wilson could not prove economic loss, or that she’d missed out on film contracts as a result of the articles. The court ordered the actress to pay back almost $3 million, and 80 percent of Bauer’s legal costs.
Wilson’s lawyers on Friday sought leave to appeal against the reduction in the High Court — Australia’s highest judicial body — but the application was refused.
“In our opinion there are insufficient prospects that an appeal will succeed,” Justice Virginia Bell said at the court in the national capital, Canberra.
The magazine publisher welcomed the decision. “Bauer Media is invested in its Australian business now more than ever,” Bauer chief executive Paul Dykzeul said in a statement. “Our audience trust our content and our writers and they love our iconic brands like Woman’s Day and Australian Women’s Weekly.”
Wilson, who sat in the front row of the public gallery during the brief hearing, said outside the court she was glad the process had been brought to an end.
“This has been a long fight and a long journey in the courts, but the great thing about today is that it brings it to a definitive end,” she told reporters.
“The whole reason for bringing this case is that I wanted to stand up to a bully, which is Bauer Media.”
Wilson said she was proud of herself for “seeing it out right to the bitter end,” and that she was glad the initial jury had “restored my reputation.”
“Today was just about a small point of special damages and for me it was never about the money, it was about standing up to a bully and I’ve done that.”
Wilson is a native Australian best known for her Hollywood roles in the “Pitch Perfect” films and “Bridesmaids.”