In a shocking development that discredits claims by top Weinstein Company executives that the company was unaware of disgraced co-founder Harvey Weinstein’s lecherous behavior, a former Hollywood show runner has come forward to accuse Bob Weinstein, who co-founded the eponymous film studio with his brother in 2005, of harassment during production of a Spike TV film series, Variety reports.
Amanda Segel, an executive producer of “Mist,” said Weinstein repeatedly made romantic overtures to her and asked her to join him for private dinners. The harassment began in the summer of 2016 and continued on and off for about three months until Segel’s lawyer, David Fox of Myman Greenspan, informed TWC executives — including COO David Glasser — that she would leave the show if Bob Weinstein did not stop contacting her on personal matters.
“’No’ should be enough,” Segel told Variety. “After ‘no,’ anybody who has asked you out should just move on. Bob kept referring to me that he wanted to have a friendship. He didn’t want a friendship. He wanted more than that. My hope is that ‘no’ is enough from now on.”
A representative for Bob Weinstein denied that he engaged in any inappropriate behavior in a statement to Variety.
“Bob Weinstein had dinner with Ms. Segel in LA in June 2016. He denies any claims that he behaved inappropriately at or after the dinner. It is most unfortunate that any such claim has been made,” the statement said.
A rep for Weinstein Co. also denied that Glasser was contacted by Segel’s lawyer.
The revelation will only accelerate the process of industry figures distancing themselves from the Weinstein Co. The company has reportedly been sent into a tailspin after more than 30 women came forward to accuse Bob’s brother Harvey of being a serial sexual predator. Harvey, who is currently in rehab in Arizona, is facing criminal investigations in both the US and the UK.
Yesterday, Weinstein Co. revealed that it had received an emergency infusion of cash from Colony Investments, a firm run by Trump friend and adviser Thomas Barrick. The investment firm is reportedly in talks to purchase most of Weinstein’s major assets.
In the days after the scandal, Bob Weinstein publicly condemned his brother’s actions and claimed that he was unaware of his brother’s history of sexual assault and harassment. He said in a recent interview that his brother has not expressed “one shred of remorse” for his actions, and is solely fixated on how he can rehabilitate his image and regain his position of power within the industry. Segel said her experiences with Weinstein left her shaken and angry. Segel told Variety that Weinstein’s untoward advances began after she accepted a dinner invitation during 2016 in the hopes of establishing a professional relationship with the producer of a show called “the Mist” that had a 10 episode run that wrapped in August.
Segel’s discomfort with Bob Weinstein began in June 2016 when he invited her out to dinner in Los Angeles, at Dan Tana’s restaurant. Segel had been told by coworkers that Bob Weinstein had inquired with them whether she was single. She agreed to go to dinner with him in an effort to establish a professional relationship with the head of the company behind “The Mist.”
During the dinner, Weinstein asked Segel highly intimate questions and made romantic overtures to her, according to Segel. He wanted to know her age because he told her he didn’t want to date anyone younger than his daughter. He told Segel that he was staying at the Beverly Hills Hotel because his daughter was staying at his home in Los Angeles.
About halfway through the dinner, Weinstein asked Segel if she would drive him back to the hotel so that he could let his driver go for the night. Segel agreed. When she took him to the Sunset Boulevard hotel, he asked her to come up to his room. She declined.
Weinstein’s advances continued. He would send Segel creepy emails and even once invited her to a “party” at his place that she avoided because she suspected it was a ruse to get her alone.
Eventually Weinstein gave up, but he soon started unfairly targeting Segel for criticism, leading to a breakdown in their working relationship. Segel told her lawyer about the harassment, and eventually reached an agreement with the Weinstein Company that she would never be in the presence of Weinstein, or on calls with Weinstein, during production of “the Mist”. The studio said it would release her from her contract if the show was picked up for a second season.
After that night, Weinstein began sending emails to Segel with questions that were outside the scope of work on “The Mist.” He said he wanted them to be friends. She said that was possible but in a non romantic way, and reiterated that she was not open to dating.
In a scenario that echoes some of the allegations against Harvey Weinstein, Segel asserts that during this period Bob Weinstein invited her to a house he’d rented in Malibu for a party. When he called Segel to tell her the address of the house, she gathered that it was not a party but an invitation for the two of them to be alone. She did not attend.
Bob Weinstein continued to ask Segel out to dinner between June and August of 2016 joking at times that he was her boss and could fire her if she didn’t agree. Segel agreed to another dinner with him in which she was accompanied by “Mist” executive producer and writer Christian Torpe. Weinstein was clearly unhappy with Torpe’s presence at the dinner, according to Segel.
Eventually, Weinstein stopped the unwanted attention toward Segel. During a notes conference call with network executives about the show, Segel says Weinstein became angry and screamed at Segel over a production issue that she says was out of her control. When questioned about the outburst by others on the call, Segel expressed her view that she had been sexually harassed by Weinstein for three months. After that incident, Segel had her lawyer contact TWC executives with the ultimatum that she would leave the show if Weinstein did not stay away from her.
After much back and forth between Segel, her lawyer and TWC executives, an agreement was reached that Segel would continue her work on the show but arrangements were made that she was never to be in the same room as Weinstein or on telephone calls with him, an agreement that was honored by Weinstein. It was also agreed that TWC would let Segel out of its option to keep her on the show if it was picked up for a second season.
Segel is presently working on a new series, in a work environment she described as pleasantly low-key. She’s also focused on developing her own projects.
Unfortunately, as is the case with Bob’s brother and many other serial abusers in Hollywood, this type of behavior is rarely an isolated incident. Now, we wait and see if more accusers come forward implicating the brother, in a scandal that has changed the discourse and exposed a culture of sexual exploitation at the highest levels of the entertainment industry.
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In a separate report published Tuesday evening, the Wall Street Journal – who were first to report that the Weinstein Company’s board was in talks to sell – published a lengthy feature about Bob’s workplace behavior. Former employees and colleagues – most of whom were anonymous but a handful of whom were named – recounted Bob Weinstein’s history of aggressive, bullying workplace behavior and his tendency to abuse employees and mistreat or insult business partners.
While not as aggressive and mean-spirited as his brother Harvey, Bob reportedly compensated for being shy and socially awkward by acting like a bully after coming to prominence with Miramax in the early 1990s.
Once, when a marketing executive showed him a potential trailer for the film “I Got the Hookup” and asked, “What do you think?” Bob Weinstein responded, “I think it f—ing sucks,” and threw the videotape over an employee’s head after which it smashed against a wall, according to a person who witnessed the incident. Mr. Weinstein denied the incident occurred.
At the 2000 premiere of “Scary Movie,” a Dimension executive attempted to introduce his wife to his boss. Bob Weinstein stuck out his arm and shoved the woman back, the former executive recalled, as he made a beeline for stars Marlon and Shawn Wayans and director Keenen Ivory Wayans, with whom he hoped to sign a deal to make more movies. Mr. Weinstein denied that that occurred.
The story included details about the incident that led to a rift between the two families (as Bob has repeatedly said, he hasn’t spoken to his brother much over the past five years). WSJ noted that their families hadn’t spent holidays together, or any time, really, outside of work. It’s also been rumored that Bob was the one who initially pushed the Times to pursue its expose.
In about 2011, after an argument over how to allocate the studio’s resources between their respective movies, Harvey Weinstein punched his brother in the face in front of about a dozen other Weinstein Co. executives, knocking him to the ground, said people who were present. “I’ve been assaulted!” Bob yelled, according to those people. Bob, who was bloodied, wanted to press charges, but was talked out of it, according to a person familiar with the incident.
WSJ seems to think that Bob Weinstein’s track record producing smash hit horror films might be savable, and that when Weinstein Compant sells its assets, Bob might be left to run his Dimension films label as an independent company. But the question now is: Will Bob’s reputation be forever sullied thanks to his association with his brother?