Keeping Harvey Weinstein’s Secrets, Part 1: Lisa Bloom

Last week, our colleagues Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey published a book documenting their investigation of Harvey Weinstein. In writing it, they discovered information about two feminist icons — Gloria Allred and her daughter, Lisa Bloom — that raises questions about their legacies and the legal system in which they’ve worked. Today, we look at the role of Ms. Bloom, a lawyer who represented Mr. Weinstein.

Nolte: Lisa Bloom Accused of Shady Tactics to Shield Amazon’s Alleged Sexual Harasser

The Hollywood Reporter’s Kim Masters is now claiming that Bloom engaged in highly unethical tactics to shield yet-another high-powered executive accused of sexual harassment, Amazon Studios chief Roy Price.

.. her biggest stumbling block was Bloom, who, according to Masters, went so far as to threaten crippling lawsuits:

In my case, one of Bloom’s tactics was to try to kill the story by telling multiple outlets that I had approached Price and Amazon for money to support my radio show. There was no truth to this, as I had never asked either for funding.

.. In her zeal to protect her client …  Boom claimed that I had turned on Price after he rebuffed my demand to have Amazon underwrite The Business, the public-radio show that I host on KCRW. I can’t guess who concocted that allegation, but I assume the idea was to establish a potential argument that I had behaved unethically and had a personal grudge against him and therefore didn’t care what the facts were.

.. Over the weeks that would follow, as I began searching for a home for my scoop, [attorney Charles] Harder and Bloom convinced every publication that considered my story that they weren’t just threatening legal action but would indeed sue.

.. After Masters dropped her Thursday bomb on Price, Deadline reported that Bloom was no longer representing the Amazon exec. “My representation of Roy Price has concluded,” she said.“It concluded before the producer went public.”

.. she knew to dump Price before the allegations hit the fan, something she was not smart enough to do with Weinstein.

.. The connection between Weinstein and Price, obviously, is a gateway into the bright lights of Tinseltown. Bloom had a miniseries deal with Weinstein, and Price has been Mr. Greenlight as Amazon Studios expands exponentially.

Victim Advocate Lisa Bloom Defends Work for Harvey Weinstein: ‘He Is Reading Books, Going to Therapy’

He has been working on his temper for over ten years and is chagrined the issue still plagues him. He recognizes he needs time off to focus on this issue and has much to learn. He wants to reach out to teachers with expertise in this area.

Harvey is not going to demean or attack any of the women making accusations against him, although he does dispute many of the allegations. Instead, he is going to use this as a painful learning experience to grow into a better man.

Lisa Bloom, Lawyer Advising Harvey Weinstein, Resigns Amid Criticism From Board Members

The lawyer Lisa Bloom resigned on Saturday as an adviser to Harvey Weinstein, the high-powered film producer facing allegations of rampant sexual harassment, amid harsh criticism of her handling of his defense.

Among those upset with her were two members of the board of Mr. Weinstein’s company: his brother, Bob Weinstein, and Lance Maerov, who both exchanged confrontational emails with Ms. Bloom over the past two days.

.. The tactics and tenor of her defense of Mr. Weinstein have varied, and there were often substantial differences in her public and private statements. The emails, viewed by The New York Times, reveal that at least two board members did not approve of her approach.

.. Ms. Bloom sent an email to board members attacking the article. She outlined a plan that involved “more and different reporting,” including “photos of several of the accusers in very friendly poses with Harvey after his alleged misconduct.”

.. Bob Weinstein wrote Ms. Bloom a disapproving email on Friday morning, shortly before she appeared on “Good Morning America.” He pointed out that Democratic politicians were giving away money that Mr. Weinstein had donated to them, women’s rights organizations were calling for him to be fired and actors and actresses were openly stating how appalled they were. “It is my opinion, that u are giving your client poor counsel,” he wrote. “Perhaps, Harvey as he stated in the NY Times, to the world, should get professional help for a problem that really exists.”

.. Ms. Bloom said Saturday that there was a large team handling Mr. Weinstein’s defense and that she personally “did not release photos of accusers” to the media. She also denied that her work with Mr. Weinstein created a conflict of interest.

“A conflict is representing two different sides in the same case,” she said. “This is a difficult time for all involved and I wish everyone the best.”

.. Mr. Davis, a lawyer and crisis counselor who served as special counsel to President Bill Clinton, declined Saturday to discuss his departure. But he and Mr. Weinstein had disagreed over how to handle the sexual harassment allegations, with Mr. Davis advising a more conciliatory tone and approach than Mr. Weinstein seemed willing to adopt.
.. The allegations of harassment against Mr. Weinstein reach back decades. Women accused him of requesting massages, appearing naked in front of them and asking if they wanted to watch him shower, among other behaviors.
.. Mr. Weinstein apologized for his behavior and acknowledged that it had “caused a lot of pain.” But he denied many of the allegations and said he intended to sue The Times for failing to give him enough time to respond to them.
.. Danielle Rhoades Ha, a Times spokeswoman, said that Mr. Weinstein had had two days to respond before the article was published, and that his full statement had been included.
Mr. Weinstein and his lawyer have confirmed the essential points of the story,” she said. “They have not pointed to any errors or challenged any facts in our story.”
.. Ms. Bloom, who had been advising Mr. Weinstein over the past year on gender and power dynamics, said on “Good Morning America” that his behavior had been inappropriate. She agreed with an interviewer who characterized his reported actions as illegal.
.. Ms. Bloom has in the past represented women who brought sexual harassment claims against the actor Bill Cosby and the former Fox News host Bill O’Reilly. Her work for Mr. Weinstein drew criticism, including from her mother, Gloria Allred, the famed women’s rights lawyer.
.. MSNBC host Mika Brzezinski, who said on Twitter that she was considering walking away from a three-book deal with Weinstein Books.

“I can’t go forward with those books unless Harvey resigns,” she said, adding, “Authors, actors, and moviemakers should not work for any Weinstein company until he resigns. Not a close call.”

.. Mr. Trump told reporters that he had known Mr. Weinstein “for a long time,” adding “I’m not at all surprised to see it.”

Harvey Weinstein’s Media Enablers

.. we’re hearing a lot about how the story of his misconduct was “the worst-kept secret” in Hollywood and New York.

.. The real story didn’t surface until now because too many people in the intertwined news and entertainment industries had too much to gain from Mr. Weinstein for too long. Across a run of more than 30 years, he had the power to mint stars, to launch careers, to feed the ever-famished content beast. And he did so with quality films that won statuettes and made a whole lot of money for a whole lot of people.

.. “The unfortunate reality of Hollywood is that if someone has money, then they can generally find some kind of audience of people who are interested in working with them,” said Kim Masters, the editor at large at The Hollywood Reporter. This was particularly true of Mr. Weinstein, who, she said, was known for having “the golden touch” that produced “Pulp Fiction” and “Good Will Hunting,” “The King’s Speech” and “Shakespeare in Love.”

.. She said she wanted to believe that times were changing, given the number of women who have put their names to the words that derailed the careers of Bill Cosby, who faced criminal charges that resulted in a mistrial this year, and Bill O’Reilly. But she also wondered aloud whether trouble had finally found Mr. Weinstein because he was no longer the rainmaker and hitmaker he had once been.

..Ms. Bloom has attributed his missteps to his status as a “dinosaur” who is now “learning new ways.”

.. there is a long tradition of disgusting harassment of women who try to make it in the movie business. (Jack L. Warner, a founder of Warner Bros. studios, was no saint.)

.. Mr. Weinstein paid off his latest accuser in a confidential settlement.
.. he was allegedly harassing women in five-star hotel rooms across the globe even as his company was distributing films like “The Hunting Ground,” a 2015 documentary about sexual assault on college campuses. He also helped endow a “Gloria Steinem” faculty chair at Rutgers; joined a national women’s march in Park City, Utah, in January; and was a big fund-raiser for and supporter of Hillary Clinton.
.. State Street, the bank behind the famous “fearless girl” statue staring down the Wall Street bull, paid $5 million to some 300 female executives after a federal audit determined it had paid them less than their white male counterparts
.. Mr. Weinstein had his own enablers. He built his empire on a pile of positive press clippings that, before the internet era, could have reached the moon.
.. Every now and then, glimpses of his nasty side spilled out, like when he placed the reporter Andrew Goldman in a headlock and dragged him out of a party in 2000. Someone who was involved in that altercation, Rebecca Traister, wrote in New York’s The Cut on Thursday that it didn’t get the media attention it deserved because “there were so many journalists on his payroll
.. Let’s hope that those in the know did not include members of the Los Angeles Press Club, which this year gave Mr. Weinstein its “Truthteller Award,” calling him an example of “integrity and social responsibility,”
.. Mr. Weinstein has hired the emerging leader of anti-press jurisprudence, Charles Harder, who brought the case that put Gawker out of business last year.
.. what the cost would be and for the editors and reporters who conveniently didn’t bother to look into the tales making the rounds.
.. “I guarantee there are many more rocks to overturn.”

Company Scrambles as Weinstein Takes Leave and a Third of the Board Resigns

The Weinstein Company struggled to perform damage control on Friday amid allegations of rampant sexual harassment by its co-chairman Harvey Weinstein and turmoil among its ranks. One-third of the company’s all-male board resigned, while board members who remained hired an outside law firm to investigate the allegations and announced that Mr. Weinstein would take an indefinite leave of absence immediately

.. “As Harvey has said, it is important for him to get professional help for the problems he has acknowledged,” said a statement signed by four board members, Bob Weinstein, Tarak Ben Ammar, Lance Maerov and Richard Koenigsberg. “Next steps will depend on Harvey’s therapeutic progress, the outcome of the Board’s independent investigation, and Harvey’s own personal decisions.”

.. The Times investigation found complaints of sexual harassment by Mr. Weinstein stretching back decades and at least eight settlements paid to women.

.. “This is a real pattern over 30 years; this is like textbook sexual harassment,” Mr. Stephanopoulos said, after describing the allegations.

“It’s gross, yeah,” Ms. Bloom replied.

“It’s illegal,” Mr. Stephanopoulos said.

“Yes. You know, I agree,” Ms. Bloom said. “See, you have to understand that, yes, I’m here as his adviser. I’m not defending him in any sexual harassment cases — there aren’t any sexual harassment cases. I’m working with a guy who has behaved badly over the years, who is genuinely remorseful, who says, you know, ‘I have caused a lot of pain.’”

.. Ms. Bloom said: “The New York Times allegations if true would constitute sexual harassment. However, Mr. Weinstein denies many of them and was not given a fair opportunity to present evidence and witnesses on his side.”

.. Ms. Rhoades Ha also called for Mr. Weinstein to release his employees from nondisclosure agreements he reportedly had them sign.

“As a supporter of women, he must support their right to speak openly about these issues of gender and power,” she said.

.. As it has become harder to make money with prestige-minded dramas, many of which now find their primary audiences through video on demand, the Weinstein Company has tried to pivot toward television production.