Rocked by recent scandals, The Weinstein Company may soon be sold for under $500 million, insiders say.
According to the Wall Street Journal, music impresario Jay-Z is said to be looking into purchasing Harvey Weinstein’s shares. Just three months ago, rumors were circulating that the embattled company had been rescued by a friend of President Donald Trump. Later reports indicate that management was eager to sell off what was left of the company. As of this week, however, no buyer has yet materialized.
If the company does sell for $500 million, sources told the Journal, shareholders could lose all of their equity.
Other reports maintain that nearly two dozen buyout offers were made before the December 22 deadline, with only about a half dozen still considered viable. Widely reported is the fact that a group headed by Maria Contreras-Sweet; production company Killer Content in tandem with philanthropist Abigail Disney; Lions Gate Entertainment Corp.; and both Vine Alternative Investments and Shamrock Capital Investments are involved.
It was in October that Weinstein was fired by the movie and television studio he helped found, and subsequently resigned from Weinstein Company’s board of directors. The company bearing his name remains beset with sizeable operating expenses and legal bills related to the scandal itself. Weinstein, of course, is the film producer and executive who produced independent films as co-founder of Miramax Films and The Weinstein Company.
Last October, dozens of women in Hollywood Weinstein of sexual improprieties and more over the last three decades. To date, more than 80 women in the film industry have pointed an accusing finger. For his part, Weinstein has steadfastly maintained that all of the sexual relationships involved were consensual.
The mogul’s fortunes have plummeted since the scandal broke. In addition to Weinstein being fired by The Weinstein Company, he was turned out of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences as well as other professional organizations. In addition, criminal investigations are currently underway in Los Angeles, New York City, and London.
Perhaps more significant than the Weinstein improprieties have been similar high-profile allegations that they have sparked in several quarters. Among those who have faced such allegations are actor Kevin Spacey, recently-resigned Democrat Senator Al Franken, newsman Charlie Rose, NBC host Matt Lauer, former Democrat Congressman John Conyers, and failed Republican Senate candidate Judge Roy Moore.
On a societal level, women across the country have rallied under to tell their own stories of harassment under what has loosely come to be known as the #MeToo movement.
The scandal has also put nondisclosure agreements (NDAs) under a microscope. Zelda Perkins, Weinstein’s former assistant, signed but then broke her NDA about a monetary settlement for sexual harassment stemming from her tenure at Weinstein’s Miramax. Her actions have ignited a national discussion on whether agreements should be recognized in sexual harassment cases.
By: Kent Wallace