It seems like everyone in Hollywood has a story about Harvey Weinstein. On Thursday, the New York Times released a bombshell report detailing the most nefarious allegations: multiple women, including Ashley Judd, accused him of sexual harassment. The women allege that Weinstein’s behavior varied from “appearing nearly or fully naked in front of them, requiring them to be present while he bathed or repeatedly asking for a massage or initiating one himself.” But guess what, tales of his misbehavior aren’t just limited to sexual-harassment allegations! New York once described him as “neither indie hustler nor studio boss, a different beast altogether: a New York City behemoth with avid fingers in all corners of the pie.” Here are 11 of the most notorious tales, all of which — unlike the sexual-harassment allegations — have been on the record for years:
1. When two filmmakers Brian Inerfeld and Tony Leech sued the Weinstein Company for sabotaging an upcoming movie through (among other things) general incompetence, a curious factoid came forward. According to Inerfeld and Leech’s filing, Harvey interrupted a screening to get on his hands and knees to eat M&M’s off the floor after they spilled. (This also happened the week that Weinstein’s The King’s Speech won Best Picture, which is also an insane and notorious thing in and of itself.)
2. Oh, but about those M&M’s. In an explanation to New York about his outbursts, he launched his own oddball defense: “I would just eat M&M’s all day, sweets, you know, for what I thought was energy, which is not energy at all, now that I’m off of it,” he said. “And what happened was the glucose level would go from 50 to 250 in my case. It’s not in everybody’s case. Some people handle sweets better.”
3. “You know what? It’s good that I’m the fucking sheriff of this fucking lawless piece-of-shit town,” Harvey told Andrew Goldman, then a reporter for the New York Observer, at a party. A New York profile reported that Harvey ushered Goldman out of the party after the reporter’s tape recorder accidentally knocked a woman’s head. After the Times story went up, New York’s Rebecca Traister (who was also attempting to interview Weinstein that night) gave her own account of what went down:
Weinstein didn’t like my question about O, there was an altercation; though the recording has alas been lost to time, I recall that he called me a cunt and declared that he was glad he was the “fucking sheriff of this fucking lawless piece-of-shit town.” When my colleague Andrew (who was also then my boyfriend) intervened, first calming him down and then trying to extract an apology, Weinstein went nuclear, pushing Andrew down a set of steps inside the Tribeca Grand — knocking him over with such force that his tape recorder hit a woman, who suffered long-term injury — and dragging Andrew, in a headlock, onto Sixth Avenue.
4. This, when he didn’t like how Julie Taymor described a test audience’s response to her movie Frida:
“You are the most arrogant person I have ever met!” Weinstein screamed, spittle flying out of his mouth. “Go market the fucking film yourself!” Weinstein turned to Taymor’s agent, Bart Walker, and told him to “get the fuck out of here.” He then turned to Taymor’s companion, Elliott Goldenthal. “I don’t like the look on your face. Why don’t you defend your wife, so I can beat the shit out of you.” Finally, he turned to a group of Miramax executives and picked them off, one by one. “You’re fired. You’re fired. You’re fired. You’re fired.”
5. Harvey shuffled Tulip Fever, the clearance-bin Shakespeare in Love, around TWC’s calendar for years before it (finally!) arrived in theaters this summer. Even he, in a Deadline column, had to admit that the rumors were true: Tulip Fever wasn’t perfect (but it is sexy). But! “Alicia Vikander also reached out to tell me that her mom’s friend gave her a rare call just to tell her how much she enjoyed it,” he offered.
6. Disillusioned with A Single Man’s Oscar campaign, Matthew Goode told Vulture he didn’t think the Weinsteins put all their might behind the indie. “I mean, we have 250 Oscar nominations and 72 wins,” Weinstein said when Vulture asked him about it later. “But I think Matthew might know a little bit more than me.”
7. Desperate to get The Reader out for awards consideration, Harvey badgered the families of producers Sydney Pollack and Anthony Minghella to rush director Stephen Daldry along. “HW went to Minghella’s widow and tried to insert himself into Mirage’s editorial rights so as to insist the film be released this year — which Sydney stopped just before he died,” wrote Scott Rudin in an email obtained at the time by Deadline. “Harassed Sydney on his deathbed until the family asked him to stop because he wanted Sydney to warrant that we would deliver for release this year.” (Harvey told “Page Six” he’d personally donate $1 million to charity if Deadline could produce the e-mail. They did.)
8. “You motherfucker! I’ll rip your balls off!” he screamed at Terry McAuliffe, then-chairman of the Democratic Party, according to Vanity Fair.
9. When a Weinstein movie needs more attention in the press or during an Oscar cycle, Harvey pulls the exact same publicity stunt: start a ratings battle with the MPAA and then blast them for not giving his movie the rating he thinks it deserves.
10. He christened an intern “Fuckface,” after a run-in introduction. “Who the fuck are you,” Harvey asked the intern when they crossed paths, according to Gawker. The neophyte identified himself, but Harvey had another idea. “Really? Well guess what [redacted]? from now on I’m going to call you Fuckface.”
11. Harvey got into a notorious brawl at the Sundance Film Festival in 1996. When a Miramax employee lost out on the rights to Scott Hicks’s schizophrenia drama, Shine, Harvey “materialized out of nowhere — if such a thing were possible — and blindsided” the guy who got them instead, Peter Biskind wrote in Down and Dirty Pictures. “According to [Jonathan] Taplin, [Weinstein] grabbed him by the shirt and bellowed, ‘You fuck! You fucked me! You told Tony Safford he had it. You bid me up, you weren’t going to — you fucker!’ Harvey claims, ‘I didn’t physically touch him.’” When producer Deb Newmyer tried to intervene, Harvey called her a bitch. Later, Taplin told New York: “It was very unpleasant to have this guy strangle you in a restaurant, but I give him credit for being passionate enough about Shine to hunt me down and confront me. He was totally out of control and had to be thrown out of the restaurant, but you would have to put me down on the side of people who are passionate and crazy about movies.”
12. A birthday party for Hillary Clinton in October 2000 was prime time for petty feuds: An assistant, supposed to be guarding Harvey’s seat, allowed Jimmy Buffett, Harrison Ford, and E.T. screenwriter Melissa Mathison to sit on the then-Miramax boss’s reserved couch. He was onstage speaking, and the underling let them sit down for a moment. “Furious, but trying to put a good face on it in front of Ford, Mathison, and Buffet, [Weinstein] laughed, and replied, ‘Yeah, it’s your fault, you’re fired!’” He then yelled at the assistant’s managers, who in turn yelled at her some more, calling her stupid. The intern was rehired the next day, reports Down and Dirty Pictures. Later, Weinstein lashed out at the party’s master of ceremonies, Nathan Lane: “He took exception to a silly joke about Mayor Giuliani’s comb-over, and exploded, yelling something like, ‘This is my fucking show, we don’t need you.’ He threw Lane up against a wall.”
13. When Harvey wasn’t pleased with a Los Angeles Times column drubbing Miramax’s Oscar campaign, he called the columnist directly. “You’re a piece of shit, your column is a piece of shit, no one cares what you write, they throw the newspaper away and wrap fish in it,” Patrick Goldstein recounted in Biskind’s book.
14. Four Rooms — an anthology film with segments directed by Quentin Tarantino, Robert Rodriguez, Allison Anders, and Alexandre Rockwell — was a nightmarish production that eventually flopped. Harvey was overheard saying, “You know what the problem is with this movie? It’s working with two geniuses and two hacks,” according to Down and Dirty Pictures. Once, Harvey phoned Rockwell while he was at the dentist:
The filmmaker recalls, “My dentist went, ‘There’s someone on the phone for you.’ I thought, Is there something wrong with my mother? Who calls you in your dentist’s office? I’m getting a root canal! Harvey got on, I said, ‘I can’t talk, I gotta go’ — I was dodging him ’cause he wanted me to make cuts in my episode. So he said, ‘Lemme talk to the fuckin’ dentist.’ He told him, ‘Knock all his teeth out, I don’t give a good goddamn how much it is, I’ll buy him a whole new set of teeth if he makes the changes.’”
15. This, from the 2000 Golden Globes, according to Down and Dirty Pictures:
When Juliette Binoche lost to Renée Zellweger (Nurse Betty) at the ceremony on January 2001, after Chocolat lost to Almost Famous, Harvey had a public meltdown. He gathered his publicity troops in the lobby of the Beverly Hills Hilton, lit into them, singling out favorite Marcy Granata for particular abuse.
16. The rollout of Tim Blake Nelson’s O was particularly fraught. The producer eventually sued, saying the movie “was never released by Miramax because Mr. Weinstein feared its violent content would undermine his political aspirations,” according to a New York Observer report. The complaint recounted a March 2001 meeting between Harvey and the producer, Eric Gitter. The meeting is covered by a confidentially agreement, but Gittner recalled to Biskend that Weinstein “overturned furniture, and says that although Harvey never laid a hand on him, he got close enough so that ‘I could smell what he had for lunch.’”
17. He made The Artist.