A new report reveals that movie producer Harvey Weinstein sought to raise $25 million from Netflix just weeks before numerous allegations of sexual harassment against him became public.
Apparently aware of upcoming reports by The New York Times and The New Yorker detailing his transgressions, Weinstein approached Netflix and proposed a deal.
The movie mogul offered part of his film catalog to Netflix for a price of $25 million, but Netflix declined his offer.
It is unknown whether Weinstein sought approval from the board of The Weinstein Company prior to approaching Netflix.
The deal was purportedly aimed at garnering “emergency cash” for Weinstein.
“Clearly, Harvey didn’t go to Netflix saying he needed ‘hush money,'” said a source. “He put it into a business context, saying he was looking to sell the rights to parts of his catalog. But they were wise to decline.”
Previous media reports revealed that Weinstein spent large sums of money to attempt to discredit his accusers and ensure their silence. He reportedly paid $600,000 for one invoice for “intelligence” to “stop the publication of a new negative article.”
The Weinstein Company had a history of working with Netflix. One deal brokered between the two giants made Netflix the sole U.S. source of the company’s recently-released films, from 2016 onward.
“The deal that we’ve just completed with Netflix is probably the biggest deal in the history of The Weinstein Company,” said Weinstein at the time the deal was signed.
The Weinstein Company also produced the Netflix series “Marco Polo,” one of the most expensive shows on television.
Following Weinstein’s removal from his company amid multiple allegations of sexual misconduct, Ted Sarandos, Netflix’s chief content officer, downplayed the connection between the two.
“Our business with the Weinstein Company is pretty arm’s distance,” Sarandos said in October.
Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance is looking into whether Weinstein paid hush money to his accusers using funds embezzled from The Weinstein Company — from which he was fired in October — or from his former firm Miramax.
When asked about Weinstein’s Netflix proposal, representatives for Weinstein said, “Untrue. Nonsense.”
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