Harvey Weinstein Made to Look Really Bad Over 'Reader' Flap
Harrassing Sydney Pollack on deathbed? Oh Harvey...
I have never met Nikki Finke of Deadline Hollywood Daily and quite frankly I hope I never do. She has an arrogance about her that is extremely off-putting and the way she feeds off the negativity that she generates is not at all flattering. However, that doesn't mean she isn't good at her job, which is probably best described as a Hollywood power blogger and she is offering up quite a doozy this evening.
On Sunday, Finke made a claim that Harvey Weinstein had harrassed the widow of the late Anthony Minghella as well as Sydney Pollack while on his deathbed, all in relation to getting The Reader into theaters in time for an Oscar run. Finke then went on to quote an email from Scott Rudin saying:
"HW went to Minghella's widow and tried to insert himself into Mirage's editorial rights so as to insist the film be released this year -- which Sydney stopped just before he died. Harassed Sydney on his deathbed until the family asked him to stop because he wanted Sydney to warrant that we would deliver for release this year."
She also has an email from Reader director Stephen Daldry saying he won't be able to finish the film by the time requested. "I cannot be party to a process that strips me of my ability to make my work good. That is not something you can require of me," he says in the paraphrased email. "I have to call a halt to this process, this arguing over a date, and simply say that there is a line I will not cross, and this is it."
All of this was posted on Finke's site the same day we got the joint announcement by Scott Rudin and Harvey Weinstein saying the following:
"We are issuing this statement together to emphasize the fact that we are in complete agreement on the date we have chosen to release The Reader. Working together, we developed a plan to extend the post-production schedule in order to give Stephen Daldry the additional time he needs to successfully complete the film in time to release it on December 12, 2008."
You already knew that though because I reported it on Sunday. However, I didn't post the statement Daldry made because at the time I didn't even know about all of this. His statement went as such:
"On their own, Scott and Harvey spent this weekend working together to find a way to accommodate my needs so that I may fulfill my obligation to the studio without compromising my vision for the film. I am thrilled and relieved that we have all found a way forward to work together to bring The Reader to theaters this year."
Of course, all statements aside, the real story here is Harvey Weinstein's insistence and badgering of a grieving widow and a man on his deathbed. Well, we all take that with a grain of salt. Who is this Nikki Finke and why should we believe her? That's what I thought and I wasn't going to report on something that seems so slanderous, but Finke upped the ante today with the following post:
The New York Post's Page Six just called me saying Harvey Weinstein has told them he'll give $1 million to charity if I can produce the Scott Rudin email about HW's alleged callous treatment of Anthony Minghella's and Sydney Pollack's families. Because Harv doesn't think it exists. Question is, do I get to choose the charity? (I've blacked out the recipient of the email as well as SR's email address):
Here's the scanned email:
So, we will get The Reader in December, but this really doesn't make Harvey Weinstein look too good does it? I just feel sorry so much negativity has to surround a film that is expected to be good and will now certainly taint the experience Stephen Daldry has for certain.