Harvey Weinstein Solicited Top Hollywood Execs Before Firing: "I Am Desperate for Your Help"
"I could really use your support," the embattled exec pleaded.
As the board of The Weinstein Co. moved to fire Harvey Weinstein as its co-chairman over the weekend, he sent a private email to a number of high-level Hollywood executives at the studios, networks and talent agencies, begging for their aid in helping him save his job.
“I am desperate for your help,” Weinstein said as he asked others in the industry for a letter that he could present to the TWC board “stating your opposition to the board firing me.”
The embattled exec appeared to know that his firing was imminent in the wake of the explosive allegations in The New York Times detailing three decades of sexual harrassment on his part. Hoping to ride out the storm of controversy that descended on him when the story broke, he first said he would take a leave of absence and would seek therapy, a promise he repeated several times as he looked for potential supporters.
Weinstein added, "We believe what the board is trying to do is not only wrong but might be illegal and would destroy the company."
But the TWC board itself was unmoved by his pleas. After putting him on indefinite leave Friday, it moved two days later on Sunday to terminate his employment with the company he co-founded with his brother, Bob Weinstein, in 2005.
Among the execs to receive Weinstein's memo were Discovery Networks CEO David Zaslav, former DreamWorks Animation CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg, NBCUniversal vice chair Ron Meyer, WME-IMG co-CEO Ari Emanuel and CAA managing partner Kevin Huvane.
Harvey Weinstein's complete email is below.
My board is thinking of firing me. All I’m asking, is let me take a leave of absence and get into heavy therapy and counseling. Whether it be in a facility or somewhere else, allow me to resurrect myself with a second chance. A lot of the allegations are false as you know but given therapy and counseling as other people have done, I think I’d be able to get there.
I could really use your support or just your honesty if you can’t support me.
But if you can, I need you to send a letter to my private gmail address. The letter would only go to the board and no one else. We believe what the board is trying to do is not only wrong but might be illegal and would destroy the company. If you could write this letter backing me, getting me the help and time away I need, and also stating your opposition to the board firing me, it would help me a lot. I am desperate for your help. Just give me the time to have therapy. Do not let me be fired. If the industry supports me, that is all I need.
With all due respect, I need the letter today.