Harvey Weinstein

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Hours after a report in Variety said that Harvey Weinstein would be suspended from the Weinstein Company, the company's board has officially announced his leave on Friday. The move comes in the wake of the New York Times' blockbuster story on Thursday alleging decades of sexual harassment on the film executive's part.

The board also publicly announced Friday it has hired an outside attorney — John Kiernan of Debevoise & Plimpton LLP — to conduct an investigation of the allegations. "We take extremely seriously the accusations published in today's New York Times about our Company’s co-chairman Harvey Weinstein," the statement read in part. "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 full statement is below.)

In the board's statement, Weinstein's leave was framed as an endorsement of his own decision: that he would go on voluntary leave to get therapy and reflect on his past behavior, as he said in his statement Thursday. "I've brought on therapists and I plan to take a leave of absence from my company and to deal with this issue head on," Weinstein wrote in his meandering statement. In it, he also said he would channel his anger toward the NRA and misquoted Jay-Z.

On Friday, the Weinstein board stated: "We strongly endorse Harvey Weinstein’s already-announced decision to take an indefinite leave of absence from the Company, commencing today. As Harvey has said, it is important for him to get professional help for the problems he has acknowledged. Next steps will depend on Harvey’s therapeutic progress, the outcome of the Board’s independent investigation, and Harvey’s own personal decisions."

The Weinstein Company will be run by Bob Weinstein, its co-founder and CEO, and David Glasser, its president and COO. According to Variety, the board is weighing "terminating him with cause." A New York Times story Friday evening reported that three board members — Marc Lasry, Dirk Ziff, and Tim Sarnoff — resigned on Friday, and that a fourth, Paul Tudor Jones, did not sign the letter below.

The New York Times chronicled 30 years of accusations against Weinstein, with many former employees and Ashley Judd going on the record about his alleged inappropriate behavior. Charles Harder, one of Weinstein's lawyers, told BuzzFeed News Thursday that Weinstein is going to sue the New York Times for unspecified damages. The lawsuit has yet to be filed.

A source told BuzzFeed News that another investigative story about Weinstein — this one in the New Yorker by Ronan Farrow — has yet to be published, though it has been fact-checked, indicating it will post soon.

Here is the Weinstein Company's full statement:

The undersigned members of the Weinstein Company’s Board of Representatives, constituting a majority of the Board, make the following statement.

We take extremely seriously the accusations published in today’s New York Times about our Company’s co-chairman Harvey Weinstein. 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.

We believe it is important to learn the full truth regarding the article’s very serious accusations, in the interests of the Company, its shareholders and its employees. To that end, we have retained an independent and leading lawyer and firm, John Kiernan of Debevoise & Plimpton LLP, to undertake a thorough and independent investigation and report to the full Board on the results of that investigation. Working with Mr. Kiernan will be his partners Matthew Fishbein, former Chief Assistant United States Attorney for both the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York, and Helen Cantwell, former prosecutor in the Southern District of New York and the New York County District Attorney’s Sex Crimes Unit, who have extensive experience in these kinds of investigations. The investigating lawyers will be reporting to a special committee of the board composed exclusively of independent directors

We strongly endorse Harvey Weinstein’s already-announced decision to take an indefinite leave of absence from the Company, commencing today. As Harvey has said, it is important for him to get professional help for the problems he has acknowledged. Next steps will depend on Harvey’s therapeutic progress, the outcome of the Board’s independent investigation, and Harvey’s own personal decisions.

In the meantime, the Company is under the leadership of its Co-Chairman, Bob Weinstein, and its Chief Operating Officer, David Glasser, who plan to proceed with business in the ordinary course.

Robert Weinstein

Tarak Ben Ammar

Lance Maerov

Richard Koenigsberg



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