In his first comments to the press in more than a year, and first sit-down interview since settling civil cases filed against him and his bankrupt film studio by more than 30 women, disgraced media mogul, former Democratic fundraiser and living embodiment of misogyny Harvey Weinstein admitted a reporter from the New York Post to his hospital room for a lengthy interview consisting – from what we can tell – of mostly softball questions seemingly angled to help rehabilitate Weinstein’s image, according to Page Six.
Just like he tried to communicate when he first surrendered to police last spring, Weinstein expounded during the interview that he has been wrongfully pilloried by a gang of opportunists and zealots, and as a result, the world has forgotten all of his efforts to help advance the careers of women in Hollywood.
Though his name will likely live in infamy, Weinstein says that he feels like “the forgotten man.”
“I feel like the forgotten man,” the 67-year-old alleged rapist griped last week.
“I made more movies directed by women and about women than any filmmaker, and I’m talking about 30 years ago. I’m not talking about now when it’s vogue. I did it first! I pioneered it!” he bragged.
“It all got eviscerated because of what happened,” Weinstein said bitterly. “My work has been forgotten.”
The interview took place while Weinstein was convalescing from a spinal surgery, an obvious attempt to try and shore up the claims of failing health that his lawyers have employed during his endless legal battles. Weinstein refused to discuss the allegations against him, seemingly the only thing that any reporter would want to discuss with Weinstein.
Weinstein insisted that “this was a major operation,” and that his health issues are no joke. Weinstein lamented the fact that it’s now impossible for him to go out in public in NYC because the city has lost sight of “who I was.” A recent incident in a nightclub reminded all of us just how radioactive he is (hell, the female comic who verbally attacked him got a nice little career bump from the ordeal).
“I want this city to recognize who I was instead of what I’ve become,” he added, wearing a pair of loose blue jeans, black T-shirt and a tube draining blood from his bandaged incision into a container hung from his walker.
For most of the interview, it seems, Weinstein rambled about Gwyneth Paltrow (who accused him of calling her to his room when she was 22 and trying to corner her into giving him a “massage”). He claimed to have gotten Paltrow enormous sums for movies, sums that often eclipsed the payouts of her male co-stars. He even claimed that Paltrow became “the highest-paid female actor in an independent film. Higher paid than all the men,” because of him.
One of the women who has alleged harassment but is not part of the settlement is Paltrow, who won an Oscar for Miramax’s 1999 “Shakespeare in Love.’’ She has said Weinstein lured her to his hotel room under the guise of a business meeting and tried to massage her in 1994, when she was 22.
“Gwyneth Paltrow in 2003 got $10 million to make a movie called ‘View from the Top,'” Weinstein said, referring to the romantic comedy and his decision to pay the star the hefty sum while he was at the helm of Miramax.
“She was the highest-paid female actor in an independent film. Higher paid than all the men,” he crowed.
Weinstein also defended Miramax and the Weinstein company’s record of releasing films with progressive messages, like 2005’s “Transamerica.”
The Weinstein Company released “Transamerica” in 2005, although Huffman didn’t win the Oscar.
He also rattled off countless other films that Miramax and The Weinstein Company produced or distributed with social-justice agendas.
“This was a company that took social issues and tackled them,” he said.
It wasn’t just the movie industry where he said he flexed his humanitarian muscle.
He also spent time bragging about his charity work.
After 9/11, he helped produce a charity concert that raised $100 million for first responders through the Robin Hood Foundation, he said. He resigned from the foundation’s board in 2017 after the misconduct allegations surfaced.
Weinstein remained the characteristic bully throughout The Post interview, threatening to terminate the sit-down each time a question was posed that he didn’t like.
When asked if he felt that the torrent of disturbing allegations against him had canceled out his charitable deeds and perhaps left him in the karmic red, he snapped, “I’ll move on.”
In what appears to be a rare bout of honesty, Weinstein copped to trying to tamper with his ankle monitor.
Weinstein did challenge recent assertions by Manhattan prosecutor Joan Illuzzi-Orbon that he tampered with his ankle monitor to hide his whereabouts.
“I think they wanted to embarrass me,” he claimed.
His monitoring device includes a slim ankle bracelet and a signaling component, which is the size of a cell phone.
The signaling device was docked in a black box, which looks like a phone receiver, by his hospital bed during the interview.
Finally, the NY Post’s interview ended with a comment from Weinstein reminding the public that he is a self-made man who climbed his way to the top of the Hollywood latter through sheer force of will.
“I made a success out of myself. I had no money, and I built quite an empire with Miramax and decided to give back,” Weinstein said, referring to his modest upbringing in Flushing, Queens, and his charity work.
“If you remember who I was then, you might want to question some of this.”
Weinstein was discharged from the hospital Sunday morning.
Accompanying the interview was a series of photos showing Weinstein with a walker in his hospital room – an obvious sympathy play (click here if you want to see them). Given the soft-ball tone of the interview, we can’t help but wonder: Did Rupert Murdoch (owner of the NY Post) owe Weinstein some kind of favor?