WHAT’S THE STORY?

AT the age of 65, the multi-Oscar-winning film producer Harvey Weinstein has been kicked out of the company he co-founded after allegations of sexual harassment dating back nearly 30 years were made against him.

High-profile actresses such as Ashley Judd and Rose McGowan spoke of their mistreatment at his hands, and more details emerged from other sources.

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The New York Times reported the allegations last week and Weinstein apologised, saying he was “working on becoming a better human being” and acknowledging that “the way I’ve behaved with colleagues in the past has caused a lot of pain, and I sincerely apologise for it. Though I’m trying to do better, I know I have a long way to go.”

It was a good attempt at damage limitation but the reports just kept growing and on Sunday the board of the Weinstein Company, including his own brother, sacked him.

They stated: “In light of new information about misconduct by Harvey Weinstein that has emerged in the past few days, the directors of The Weinstein Company – Robert Weinstein, Lance Maerov, Richard Koenigsberg and Tarak Ben Ammar – have determined, and have informed Harvey Weinstein, that his employment with The Weinstein Company is terminated, effective immediately.”

President Donald Trump is a friend of Weinstein’s, allegedly. He said at the weekend: “I’ve known Harvey Weinstein a long time ... I’m not at all surprised to see it.”

HARVEY WHO?

BORN in New York in 1952, Weinstein’s Jewish father was a diamond cutter to trade, but from an early age Harvey wanted to get into showbusiness. He and his younger brother Bob started putting on rock concerts in Buffalo in upper New York state where Harvey attended university.

They had a joint passion for cinema, and in 1979, with the profits from their concert business, they started a film distribution company called Miramax named after their parents – Miriam and Max. The idea was they would buy up films from independent film makers and distribute them under the Miramax label – they were not an immediate overnight success, but the Weinsteins would not give up.

Their first big success was based on splicing the two Secret Policeman’s Ball films – shows in aid of Amnesty International – into one movie that was a hit in the USA in 1982. They had found a surefire way of making profits – buy films from abroad or from small-scale American producers and rebrand them for the global market.

WHAT DROVE HIM?

HARVEY genuinely appeared to be driven by a love for the movies, but he also had a mercurial temper and a seemingly insatiable need to be successful.

A genius with a foul mouth, he was also not afraid to enter non-American markets as a producer – he co-produced Scandal about the Profumo affair in 1989 – and he even tried his hand at documentary.

The explosion in independent movies in the 1990s saw Miramax become a leading cultural force as well as being a massively successful operation.

HIS SUCCESSES?

IN Scotland, Weinstein co-produced The Big Man, starring Liam Neeson and directed by David Leland from William McIlvanney’s book of the same name, before he hit the big time in with Quentin Tarantino’s True Romance and the extraordinary Pulp Fiction in 1994, one of the most influential films of all time. By then the Weinsteins had sold Miramax to Walt Disney for a reported $60 million, but kept control of the firm.

He came back to Britain to be executive producer – in effect the money man behind the film – on Jane Eyre and Emma, which starred Gwyneth Paltrow, Alan Cumming and Ewan McGregor. The Crying Game was also made in Britain while Sex, Lies And Videotape was a huge success worldwide.

His first Best Picture Oscar came with The English Patient in 1996, but in case anyone should think he was only interested in high-brow movies, that was also the year he produced Wes Craven’s slick horror movie Scream. Another Tarantino hit, Jackie Brown, was followed by Shakespeare In Love, another Best Picture Oscar winner.

There were ventures into stage – he has won two Tony awards – as well as television series and family films, but it was the Oscar and Bafta winners that made Miramax famous. His production list includes The Lord Of The Rings trilogy, Iris, Gangs Of New York, Chicago, Confessions Of A Dangerous Mind, Kill Bill Vol 1 and 2, Cold Mountain, Sin City, The Aviator, The Nutty Professor, Inglourious Basterds (with Tarantino again), The King’s Speech, Django Unchained, Macbeth and so many more.

He is the holder of an honorary CBE for his contribution to the British film industry.

HIS FAILURES?

MOSTLY personal – he has acknowledged his temper many times. But he also had a business fallout with Disney and left to form the Weinstein company in 2005. He has five children by his two wives, the current Mrs Weinstein being English fashion designer Georgina Chapman.

The ongoing sleaze allegations against him are by far his biggest setback, however, and the backlash against him is growing by the hour.