Last week Colony Capital, the investment firm owned by billionaire Tom Barrack, had reportedly agreed to provide a financial lifeline to the struggling Weinstein Company. Colony was also said to be in talks to buy the distressed firm. Wednesday the NY Times reported that deal is now off:
Last week, Colony, the private equity firm run by Thomas J. Barrack Jr., reached a preliminary agreement to provide much-needed cash to the studio, which has been thrown into turmoil by allegations of sexual harassment and rape against its co-founder Harvey Weinstein. Colony was also given a limited period to exclusively pursue the purchase of some or all of the Weinstein Company’s assets.
But those plans have changed. Colony has not and will not provide a cash infusion, according to two people briefed on the matter, who spoke on the condition of anonymity on Wednesday to discuss private deliberations. It was unclear why the preliminary agreement had fallen apart.
I don’t think it’s that unclear why the deal is off. Harvey Weinstein has gone from disreputable to disgusting to radioactive over the past few weeks. He is being investigated by the LAPD, the NYPD and Scotland Yard for sexual assault/rape and, as of Wednesday, his former company is also being sued by an actress who accuses him of forcing her to have oral sex with him. From ABC News:
According to paperwork obtained by ABC News, actress Dominique Huett, who has appeared on “Blue Bloods,” claims that board members of the Weinstein Co. were aware of Weinstein’s history of alleged sexual misconduct and did nothing about it.
Huett is seeking unspecified damages of not less than $5 million…
Huett claims that she met with Weinstein at a hotel seven years ago to discuss her career. He suggested they continue their meeting in her hotel room, the lawsuit states, where he demanded that she give him a massage. According to the lawsuit, she noted that she said no, but he insisted. After the massage, she claims he forced oral sex on her, and then he masturbated in front of her, the lawsuit states.
Huett is suing the company on the grounds that it should have long ago fired Weinstein to prevent him from holding private meetings with young women. She is the first accuser to sue the company over harassment. Meanwhile, Reuters reports Harvey Weinstein himself has sued his former company in an attempt to get copies of his emails and other papers which he believes will exonerate him:
The Weinstein Co film company on Thursday was sued by its founder and former co-chairman Harvey Weinstein who is seeking information that could help defend himself against sexual assault allegations, and also help defend the company against potential liability…
“Mr. Weinstein believes that his email account — which is the only one he used throughout the time he was employed by the company — will contain information exonerating him, and therefore the company, from claims that may be asserted against them,” Weinstein’s lawyer wrote in an email to the Weinstein company, according to Thursday’s filing.
Nothing is going to exonerate Harvey Weinstein at this point. His name is less than mud and his company probably won’t survive, certainly not with his name on it. The steady trickle of accusations against him has slowed but the details of some of those accusations continue to make national news, such as this interview Ashley Judd gave ABC News earlier today.
Weinstein was described as being suicidal by his daughter a couple weeks ago. But at this point, he still seems to be living under the delusion that he’s going to come through this and be vindicated in some way. I honestly wonder if that delusion is the only thing keeping him going at this point. What happens when he finally realizes how completely and utterly alone and powerless he is going to be for the rest of his life.