He used to ring me via his assistants and make me wait on hold. It was normal; he was, after all, the biggest Hollywood tycoon of them all. This time he called me directly, there was no ‘Harvey Weinstein wishes to speak to you, please wait on the line’ stuff. The old growly voice was the same and he went straight to the point: “I’ve got a world exclusive for you, are you interested?” We agreed that I go to him, as I live in a very stuffy building on the Upper East Side of New York and Harvey’s reputation has taken a beating of late.
The last time we met I had gone to his downtown office where many of the alleged sexual assaults had taken place. Michael Mailer, son of Norman and a movie producer himself, had an appointment with Harvey to discuss the making of a film of my prison book Nothing to Declare. Harvey had a beautiful assistant keep us company for at least half an hour while we waited for the great man. After hearing us out, he proposed a documentary on my love life instead. Naming names and gory details. That was a no-no on my part, but we parted as friends. “You’re nuts not to do it, it’s a great story, just think of all the babes and stars you’ve had, you’ll be a star in no time…” or words to that effect.
This time there was no wait. His office is a small one just above Cipriani’s across Grand Central station. A pretty German secretary came down and took me straight to him. He looked the same, a bit paler than usual. Ben Brafman, his lawyer, joined us and Harvey gave me the exclusive. It was his take on Rose McGowan’s account of the ‘open borders’ nature of the relationship between Asia Argento, another woman who claims to be a Harvey victim, and Anthony Bourdain. Argento was canoodling with a Frenchman half her age and was photographed doing it before Argento’s boyfriend Anthony Bourdain committed suicide. Her friend McGowan claimed that Asia and Anthony had an open relationship. It was obviously not true, says Harvey, but dead men tell no tales, so the girls made it up. Harvey made a sketch of the twisted story for me and I couldn’t help feel sorry for him. He was, to use a terrible cliché, clutching for straws.