Weinstein: Women should thank me
Disgraced Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein claims he is not getting the credit he deserves for promoting the cause of women in the movie industry, despite more than 80 women accusing him of sex assault or harassment.
The alleged serial sex predator told the New York Post that he should be remembered for doing more professionally for women than anyone in history - rather than the slew of sickening accusations against him.
Weinstein even boasted about what a lucrative contract he once gave actress Gwyneth Paltrow - one of his alleged victims.
"I feel like the forgotten man,'' the 67-year-old alleged rapist said.
"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!
"It all got eviscerated because of what happened. My work has been forgotten.''
But actress Rose McGowan - The 46-year-old actress - who sued Weinstein over his alleged attempts to put a lid on her rape claims - fired back at Weinstein on Twitter, saying: "I didn't forget you, Harvey. My body didn't forget you. I wish it could."
I didn’t forget you, Harvey. My body didn’t forget you. I wish it could. I refused to sign an NDA after it happened because I knew I would come for you. And I did. This is about stopping a prolific rapist. You.— rose mcgowan (@rosemcgowan) December 16, 2019
Weinstein talked to The Post while recuperating at the New York-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center after three-hour spinal surgery to remove a trio of bone plates compressing his vertebrae. He said he sustained the back injury in an August 17 car accident.
While refusing to speak about any of the allegations against him, Weinstein said he only agreed to the interview, his first in more than a year, to prove that he hasn't been exaggerating about his ailments.
He relied heavily on a walker at a Manhattan court appearance last week, but his condition didn't stop him from recently going out on the town at night and shopping. He told The Post that his back ailment had seriously deteriorated.
Weinstein described reports that he is over-blowing his physical condition as fake news, insisting, "This was a major operation.
"I want this city to recognise who I was instead of what I've become."
The fallen mogul was in an elite wing of the hospital that features marble bathrooms, Italian linens and original framed artwork, all designed to look like a plush hotel. A private chef and concierge cater to the patients while visitors can sip cucumber-infused water.
Weinstein, who looked pallid and weary, goes on trial for rape January 6 in Manhattan Supreme Court.
He is accused of raping a longtime lover, who has not been named publicly, in 2013, and forcibly performing oral sex on production assistant Mimi Haleyi in 2006.
He is charged with five counts of predatory sexual assault, criminal sex act and rape in the cases and faces up to life in prison if convicted.
Weinstein has previously denied any wrongdoing.
He and his bankrupt film studio, The Weinstein Company, reportedly just reached a tentative $A36 million civil settlement with more than 30 accusers. Weinstein refused to discuss the reputed deal.
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 $10 million ($A15 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.
The movie ended up widely panned, even by Paltrow.
Weinstein also touted his charity work.
He recalled that Madonna sent him to see the documentary Paris is Burning in the early 90s, which has become a cult classic, about the city's drag ball culture.
"I understood the celebratory nature of the film and bought the distribution rights," he said. "The same thing is true for Transamerica for which Felicity Huffman got an Academy Award."
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.
After 9/11, he helped produce a charity concert that raised $A145 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.
During the interview with The Post, Weinstein threatened 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 cancelled out his charitable deeds, he snapped, "I'll move on."
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 signalling component, which is the size of a cell phone.
The signalling device was docked in a black box, which looks like a phone receiver, by his hospital bed during the interview.
"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."