Harvey Weinstein, Facing Criminal Trial, Gripes He's the "Forgotten Man"

Harvey Weinstein using walker leaving court Dec. 11 - H Getty 2019
Bryan R. Smith/AFP via Getty Images

In an interview with the New York Post from a room in the luxury wing of a New York hospital, the disgraced movie mogul talks about his charity work, praises himself for getting Gwyneth Paltrow a big payday and shoots down speculation he is faking an illness to get sympathy.

Harvey Weinstein has given a new interview from a New York hospital in which he complains that he's a "forgotten man" on the heels of speculation that he was trying to gain sympathy at a recent court appearance and at meetings using a walker for support.

"I feel like the forgotten man," Weinstein, who is scheduled to go to trial in January for charges of rape, predatory sexual assault and criminal sexual act against two women (he has pleaded not guilty to all charges), told the New York Post. "I made more movies directed by women and about women than any filmmaker, and I'm talking about 30 years ago. I'm not talking about now when it's vogue. I did it first."

More than 80 women in total have accused Weinstein of sexual assault or harassment, including Rosanna Arquette, Ashley Judd, Rose McGowan, Gwyneth Paltrow and Mira Sorvino. But, in the interview, Weinstein appears focused on how those allegations have affected him.

"It all got eviscerated because of what happened," Weinstein said "bitterly," according to the Post. "My work has been forgotten."

The interview was conducted from the New York-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center on Friday, a day after, Weinstein says, he had a three-hour spinal surgery that was needed after he injured his back in a car accident Aug. 17.

The interview seems primarily designed to shoot down speculation that Weinstein, 67, was trying to earn sympathy — or even going so far as to fake an illness — after he was seen being helped while leaving court earlier this month. As for the walker, he has been photographed both with (while leaving court) and without (while out shopping) it in recent days, and released a photo on Sunday of him in the hospital, seemingly as evidence to show he isn't faking the injury.

"I was dismayed to see all the press coverage incorrectly stating that Mr. Weinstein was trying to garner sympathy at his court appearance last week," his lawyer Donna Rotunno said Monday in a statement. "Mr. Weinstein was in a serious car accident in August, which resulted in a concussion and has now necessitated the need for back surgery later this week. He has been using a walker to assist him as the back pain has increased. He wanted to leave the walker in the car, so it did not appear that he was looking for sympathy, as he is not. The press surrounding his physical condition is mean spirited and false."

In his interview with the Post, Weinstein had "a tube draining blood from his bandaged incision into a container hung from his walker," the paper reported. Weinstein shot down reports of faking the injury, declaring, "This was a major operation." He was reportedly released from the hospital Sunday morning, three days after said surgery. Weinstein reportedly was staying in a luxury wing of the hospital that features a private chef and concierge, marble bathrooms and Italian linens, among other amenities.

As for his own reputation, Weinstein also declared: "I want this city to recognize who I was instead of what I’ve become."

The interview was posted four days after The New York Times reported that Weinstein and The Weinstein Co. reached a tentative $25 million settlement agreement with more than 30 of his alleged victims. The deal reportedly would not require him to admit wrongdoing or pay any money out of pocket. 

Weinstein refused to address the allegations (if convicted, he faces up to life in prison) or the deal, but he did praise himself for paying Paltrow, one of the women who has come forward with allegations against him, $10 million to make the movie View From the Top in 2003 when he was running Miramax: "She was the highest-paid female actor in an independent film. Higher paid than all the men."

His self-congratulations continued as he touted his decision to produce or distribute several films that tackle issues of social justice films, including 1990's Paris Is Burning, a documentary about New York's drag ball culture that is now a cult classic, and 2005's Transamerica, starring Felicity Huffman as a transgender woman. (He erroneously bragged that Huffman won the Oscar, but Huffman lost to Reese Witherspoon for Walk the Line.)

Weinstein didn't stop there; he also praised his own charity work.

Still, the interview wasn't entirely cordial. Weinstein's well-documented history of bullying behavior, including with journalists, was also on display, according to the Post's writer, Oli Coleman.

Wrote Coleman, "Weinstein remained the characteristic bully throughout the Post interview, threatening to terminate the sit-down each time a question was posed that he didn't like. When asked if he felt that the torrent of disturbing allegations against him had canceled out his charitable deeds and perhaps left him in the karmic red, he snapped, 'I'll move on.'"

Weinstein also claimed that allegations by Manhattan prosecutor Joan Illuzzi-Orbon that he'd tampered with his ankle monitor were false.

"I think they wanted to embarrass me," he said, adding: "I made a success out of myself. I had no money, and I built quite an empire with Miramax and decided to give back. If you remember who I was then, you might want to question some of this."

In response to the interview, 23 women who came forward to allege Weinstein of sexual misconduct, including Arquette, Judd and McGowan, issued a statement: "Harvey Weinstein is trying to gaslight society again. He says in a new interview he doesn’t want to be forgotten. Well, he won’t be. He will be remembered as a sexual predator and an unrepentant abuser who took everything and deserves nothing. He will be remembered by the collective will of countless women who stood up and said enough. We refuse to let this predator rewrite his legacy of abuse."

Dec. 15, 7:41 p.m. Updated with statement from Weinstein accusers.