4:15pm PT by Eriq Gardner
Weinstein Co. Buyer Lantern Investigating David Glasser for Interfering in $289M Sale
After months of suspense, Lantern Entertainment will finally be able to close its $289 million acquisition of Weinstein Co. assets after a bankruptcy judge's approval on Wednesday. But the story isn't over.
Originally, Lantern was to pay $310 million, and there were plenty of objections from producers and A-list talent complaining about what they are owed. Ultimately, Lantern and the debtor — which filed for Chapter 11 in March after Harvey Weinstein's alleged sexual misconduct left it reeling — came to a settlement.
As part of the settlement, according to Lantern attorney Meredith Lahaie, there was an obligation to pursue a 2004 examination — bankruptcy-speak for discovery — of David Glasser, former president and chief operating officer of The Weinstein Co.
"It is our belief that he might have violated the stay and generally impaired the ability of Lantern to close the sale," said Lahaie at Wednesday's hearing. "And some of those actions might have been taken in connection with Viacom."
The attorney didn't offer details about what Glasser did nor Viacom's involvement. An attorney for Glasser and a rep for Viacom didn't immediately respond to a request for comment. However, Glasser and Viacom are in business together in at least one respect. Glasser is executive producing a series titled Yellowstone starring Kevin Costner for Paramount Network.
Viacom has submitted its own objection to the assumption of contracts in the transaction between the debtor and Lantern. Viacom alleges being owed more than $44 million.
Meanwhile, Glasser has his own grudge.
After being ousted from TWC after the New York Attorney General filed a sweeping lawsuit alleging a years-long gender-based hostile work environment, Glasser's attorney said he was "scapegoated" and pledged to bring a $85 million wrongful termination lawsuit. No lawsuit has yet been filed, but it's possible that something was submitted to arbitration. Then again, a few weeks after the lawsuit tease, TWC filed for bankruptcy, which automatically pauses litigation against the company.
A 2004 examination isn't tantamount to a legal claim, but it certainly could be the prelude to something where the debtor or Lantern attempt to recover money for damage to the impairment of the sale.