How Harvey Weinstein Used His Book Imprint to Cover His Tracks | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED


How Harvey Weinstein Used His Book Imprint to Cover His Tracks

But in other ways, Weinstein did undermine the book. Even though foreign rights were sold in about nine countries, the manuscript was never released in England. Pine suspects it was because Harvey was dating second wife-to-be Georgina Chapman, who lived in London, and he didn’t want her to see it. And when the book started picking up sales right as the Weinsteins were negotiating funding for their post-Disney venture, The Weinstein Company, the publisher pulled the plug on any more publicity. Her book publicist told her, “You can’t repeat this, but Harvey basically told us to stop working on it.”

Pine’s story illuminates just one of the ways Weinstein used his company’s publishing imprint — first known as Talk Miramax Books and then later, after he and brother Bob split from Disney and set up The Weinstein Company, as Weinstein Books — to further his aims over nearly two decades. (After the recent news of Weinstein’s predatory sexual behavior broke, Hachette Book Group, which was Weinstein Books' publishing partner, shuttered the imprint and reassigned books in the pipeline to other divisions.)

Though it was never a huge moneymaker, the publishing imprint was far from just a plaything for the Weinstein brothers. It was staffed by respected people — originally Jonathan Burnham, now the publisher of Harper division of HarperCollins, and recently by Georgina Levitt and Amanda Murray, who won plaudits for making it a strong female-centric imprint. And it had its share of notable successes, including smash kids series Percy Jackson and the Olympians and Artemis Fowl. It was reported to be profitable within two years of starting up.

But it also served as a vehicle for Weinstein to reward friends, curry favor with the powerful and perhaps try to silence and even buy favorable coverage from journalists. Weinstein made clear he was very much involved in the publishing operation. “Every final decision is mine,” he told The New York Times in 2002, adding, “I have strong input into the creative side.” He went on to say, “When I meet with people who I find interesting or innovative and there is a concept for a book...Tina [Brown, then chairwoman of Miramax Talk’s media division] and Jonathan [Burnham] can execute it brilliantly.”

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