Entertainment behind the scenes
On a dare, Harvey Weinstein may cut $1 million charity check
It takes gusto to be a Hollywood mogul. So when mega-producer Harvey Weinstein questioned the validity of a journalist’s controversial story about himself, he told the New York Post he would cut a $1 million check for charity if the journalist produced the e-mail at the center of the story.
The original story showed comments from an e-mail in which it was claimed that Weinstein harassed Sydney Pollack just before he died to get the release date on a movie changed.
Well, Weinstein just might have to pull out his checkbook.
On her blog, deadlinehollywood.com, L.A. Weekly journalist Nikki Finke this week posted the e-mail in question that appears to be written by Scott Rudin, an Oscar-winning producer who is responsible for upcoming movie “The Reader.”
In the e-mail, which was sent to an unknown recipient whose name was blacked out by Finke, the writer described how someone named “HW” went to “Minghella’s widow” and also harassed “Sydney on his death bed” because he wanted “The Reader” to be released on time this fall.
Finke writes that the “HW” in question was Harvey Weinstein and that the e-mail refers to director Anthony Minghella and writer/producer/director Sydney Pollack, both deceased, who worked on “The Reader,” a period film starring Kate Winslet and Ralph Fiennes.
A Weinstein representative, who declined to be named, confirmed that the producer pledged to donate $1 million to charity if the e-mail was produced, and said the charity would be Robin Hood, an organization that fights poverty in New York City.
“Once we can verify if it is a valid e-mail, of course Harvey will do the right thing and Robin Hood will be the beneficiary,” the representative said. Weinstein sits on the board of Robin Hood.
The release date for “The Reader” is Dec. 12.
Weinstein and his brother Bob Weinstein founded Miramax Films — the studio behind such hits as “Pulp Fiction,” “Shakespeare in Love” and “The English Patient” – but they left Miramax in 2005 to create The Weinstein Co.
(Reporting by Alex Dobuzinskis)