LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – Celebrity attorney Lisa Bloom – daughter of Gloria Allred — is no longer advising embattled movie mogul Harvey Weinstein as he deals with the fallout of sexual harassment allegations that date back several years.
“I have resigned as an advisor to Harvey Weinstein,” Bloom tweeted Saturday. “My understanding is that Mr. Weinstein and his board are moving toward an agreement.”
Weinstein, 65, issued a bizarre, rambling apology Thursday announcing a leave of absence from his company. In it, he said that Bloom would “tutor” him moving forward. Bloom’s work for Weinstein had drawn criticism in some quarters since her firm usually defends women in such cases.
Allred herself released a statement to Variety Thursday in which she said: “Had I been asked by Mr. Weinstein to represent him, I would have declined, because I do not represent individuals accused of sex harassment. I only represent those who allege that they are victims of sexual harassment. While I would not represent Mr. Weinstein, I would consider representing anyone who accused Mr. Weinstein of sexual harassment, even if it meant that my daughter was the opposing counsel.”
When the allegations became public Thursday, Bloom released a statement saying that Weinstein “is not going to demean or attack any of the women making accusations against him, although he does dispute many of the allegations,” the statement read. “Instead, he is going to use this as a painful learning experience to grow into a better man. I will continue to work with him personally for as long as it takes.”
On Friday, Weinstein’s company announced the hiring of a team of lawyers to conduct an investigation into sexual harassment claims against the movie mogul outlined in a New York Times story.
According to the Times story, Weinstein has reached at least eight legal settlements with women over allegations of sexual harassment, with his accusers including actresses Ashley Judd and Rose McGowan.
In his rambling apology, Weinstein did not address any specific allegations in the Times piece.
“I realized some time ago that I needed to be a better person and my interactions with the people I work with have changed,” he said. “I appreciate the way I’ve behaved with colleagues in the past has caused a lot of pain, and I sincerely apologize for it.”
He quoted lyrics from rapper Jay-Z: “I’m not the man I thought I was and I better be that man for my children.”
He mentioned giving the National Rifle Association “his full attention” and holding a retirement party for Wayne LaPierre — former executive vice president of the NRA – at the same “place where I held my bar mitzvah.”
He also claimed to be making a movie about President Donald Trump.
The Weinstein Company board of directors issued a statement late Friday, saying the board members “strongly endorse” Weinstein’s leave of absence and take “extremely seriously the accusations” raised in the Times story.
“It is essential to our company’s culture that all women who work for it or have any dealings with it or any of our executives are treated with respect and have no experience of harassment or discrimination,” the board said, according to a copy of the statement released by The Hollywood Reporter.
The company announced the hiring of attorney John Kiernan, along with his partners Matthew Fishbein, a former chief assistant U.S. attorney; and Helen Cantwell, a former federal and state prosecutor. The attorneys will “undertake a thorough and independent investigation and report to the full board on the results of that investigation,” according to the company.
Weinstein’s brother, Bob, and COO David Glasser will lead the company during Harvey Weinstein’s absence.
“As Harvey has said, it is important for him to get professional help for the problems he has acknowledged,” according to the company. “Next steps will depend on Harvey’s therapeutic progress, the outcome of the board’s independent investigation and Harvey’s own personal decisions.”
Meanwhile, organizers of the Outfest UCLA Legacy Project’s annual Legacy Awards — the LGBTQ group’s gala fundraiser honoring entertainment industry figures who “made a profound and lasting impact on LGBT storytelling and the LGBT community” — announced The Weinstein Company would no longer be honored at the Oct. 22 ceremony.
Harvey Weinstein and his brother Bob founded the Miramax film-production house in the late 1970s. The company produced hit films including “Pulp Fiction,” “The Thin Blue Line,” “Sex, Lies and Videotape,” “Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down!,” “The Crying Game” and “Clerks.”
The brothers sold the company to Disney in 1993 but continued to run it until 2005, when they left to create The Weinstein Company. The studio’s credits include “The King’s Speech,” “Silver Linings Playbook,” “The Butler” and “The Imitation Game.”
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