Author of the Definitive Harvey Weinstein Text Explains Why He Didn’t Look Into Harassment Allegations: ‘I Didn’t See the Connection’

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Harvey Weinstein. Photo: Dave Kotinsky/Getty Images for Spike

Well before Peter Biskind wrote Down and Dirty Pictures, the definitive account of Miramax, Sundance, and the rise of indie movies, he interviewed Brad Pitt, who told him of Gwyneth Paltrow’s accusation that Harvey Weinstein sexually harassed her. Biskind was profiling Pitt for Vanity Fair in 2001, but decided not to look into the matter any further. “I mean, I did hear, you know, the Gwyneth Paltrow story — I heard from Brad Pitt, but it was off the record and so I never used that. I was writing a profile of Brad Pitt for Vanity Fair,” Biskind told HuffPost. He said he didn’t approach Vanity Fair editor Graydon Carter about it because “it was off the record, and it was a kind of parenthetical in the interview.”

Down and Dirty Pictures, published in 2004, does include chapters of infamous Weinstein stories — the time he put a reporter into a headlock and ushered him out of a party, and the time he threw Nathan Lane against the wall, among others. Those stories were hard to get on the record, Biskind said, and even during his reporting Weinstein offered him a book deal with Miramax Books if he agreed to stop pursuing Down and Dirty Pictures. But Biskind said that even though he heard the rumors, he didn’t feel it was appropriate to look too deeply into Weinstein’s personal life because he thought it was outside of the book’s focus on business and industry power. When HuffPost pointed out that these allegations affected Miramax’s business and that Weinstein wielded his influence to silence his accusers, Biskind replied: “I think that’s true that it does keep them docile, but on the other hand if you are giving a freshman actress a role in a feature film, that keeps them pretty docile, too. … I didn’t feel like it affected the business that much. I didn’t see the connection.”

Author Explains Why He Ignored Weinstein Rumors