Embattled Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein has been urged to release a number of women from reported non-disclosure agreements that he made them sign over the years, so they can freely tell their side of the story concerning his alleged sexual misconduct.
Earlier this week, the New York Times published a “bombshell” article about Weinstein, detailing allegations of sexual harassment dating back decades, with former employees and colleagues, including actress Ashley Judd, telling stories of his inappropriate behaviour.
When the Times article dropped, Weinstein released a somewhat self-serving statement, announcing that he would be taking an indefinite leave of absence from his production company while taking a “journey” to conquer his demons and “deal with the issue head-on.”
In addition to conquering demons, Weinstein’s journey will include suing the New York Times for their piece, which his lawyers say is “saturated with false and defamatory statements” and hearsay accounts of his conduct, including information “apparently stolen” from a personnel file.
The super producer will be seeking up $50 million in damages, and his representatives claim that he will donate any “proceeds” of the suit to “women’s charities.”
The New York Times has come out positively swinging in response, asking Harvey Weinstein to release former colleagues and employees from any non-disclosure agreements they may have signed in the past, so they can speak publicly about his conduct.
Speaking with The Wrap, Danielle Rhoades-Ha of the New York Times said:
“Mr. Weinstein should publicly waive the NDAs in the women’s agreements so they can tell their stories. As a supporter of women, he must support their right to speak openly about these issues of gender and power. Mr. Weinstein and his lawyer have confirmed the essential points of the story. They have not pointed to any errors or challenged any facts in our story.”
The Weinstein Company has not released an official response, but Harvey Weinstein’s lawyer Lisa Bloom released a personal statement, saying that while her client is “an old dinosaur learning new ways” and that he intends to use this period as a “painful learning experience.”
Here is my statement about advising Harvey Weinstein. pic.twitter.com/tGC13ZbOE3
— Lisa Bloom (@LisaBloom) October 5, 2017
Per reports in Deadline, there is internal turmoil at The Weinstein Company in the wake of the allegations, with three of the nine board members tendering their resignatons and walking away.