I can’t get enough of the Harvey Weinstein scandal. Speaking of intersectionality, which I never have, we find ourselves at a particularly bloody crossroads of Hollywood, media, crime, sex, law, culture and Democratic politics. And it’s not over yet. New story lines open up daily. Good grief! Get with Mr. and Mrs. Ammo Grrlll and tune in if you haven’t done so yet.
Now TMZ reports on the unusual contractual provisions in Weinstein’s employment agreement with his self-titled company. As the headline has it, “Harvey Weinstein contract with TWC ALLOWED FOR SEXUAL HARASSMENT” (caps in original).
TMZ claims it is “privy to Weinstein’s 2015 employment contract.” TMZ does not expressly state the contract was current as of Weinstein’s termination by the company this week, but it implies that it is, and it does not provide a copy of the contract. Rather, it summarizes certain provisions of interest:
TMZ is privy to Weinstein’s 2015 employment contract, which says if he gets sued for sexual harassment or any other “misconduct” that results in a settlement or judgment against TWC, all Weinstein has to do is pay what the company’s out, along with a fine, and he’s in the clear.
According to the contract, if Weinstein “treated someone improperly in violation of the company’s Code of Conduct,” he must reimburse TWC for settlements or judgments. Additionally, “You [Weinstein] will pay the company liquidated damages of $250,000 for the first such instance, $500,000 for the second such instance, $750,000 for the third such instance, and $1,000,000 for each additional instance.”
The contract says as long as Weinstein pays, it constitutes a “cure” for the misconduct and no further action can be taken. Translation — Weinstein could be sued over and over and as long as he wrote a check, he keeps his job.
The contract has specific language as to when the Board of Directors can fire Weinstein — if he’s indicted or convicted of a crime, but that doesn’t apply here.
There’s another provision … he can be fired for “the perpetuation by you [Weinstein] of a material fraud against the company.” The question … where’s the fraud? Lance Maerov, the board member who negotiated Weinstein’s 2015 contract, said in an interview — and we’ve confirmed — the Board knew Weinstein had settled prior lawsuits brought by various women, but they “assumed” it was to cover up consensual affairs. The Board’s assumption does not constitute fraud on Weinstein’s part.
Allahpundit comments on the contract in the Hot Air post “Pay to prey.” In this aspect of the story we discover new frontiers in employment contracts and corporate corruption.
We sense the possibilities in this inexhaustibly rich story. A compelling movie series along the lines of the Bourne variations awaits its producer, all leading to The Weinstein Contract: The Weinstein Identity, The Weinstein Supremacy, The Weinstein Ultimatum, The Weinstein Legacy. In this series, however, extreme memory loss is the cure rather than the problem.