For much of his career as a Hollywood power broker, Harvey Weinstein entrenched himself inside a malicious pit of evil so deep it’s hard to see the bottom of it. Unsealed court documents from Weinstein’s trial now reveal additional details of his trial—including assertions made by his lawyers that he was suicidal in the days following his conviction–and show a complex network of bids he made to billionaires and media titans like Michael Bloomberg and Jeff Bezos, men whose resources he believed might save him from his fate.
The documents, which have been reported on by the New York Times and Page Six depict a strategy to use his many connections to paint Weinstein as a sympathetic character: leaking to a gossip columnist that he was the victim of childhood sexual abuse and appealing to the public by suggesting that he would enter rehab for sex addicts. Page Six cites a moment in the documents when Harvey Weinstein appears to threaten Jennifer Aniston. He had been forwarded a story in the National Enquirer—notorious for its dubious accuracy—which claimed that Jennifer Aniston had “confided to a friend during the production of the 2005 movie ‘Derailed’ Weinstein sexually assaulted her.” In response, he wrote back: “Jen Aniston should be killed.”
Last year, while speaking with Variety, Aniston said that Weinstein had exhibited “piggish” tendencies during the film’s post-production and release. She also alleged that Weinstein had attempted to force her to wear a Marchesa gown designed by ex-wife Georgina Chapman on the red carpet during the film’s premiere. She refused. When asked for comment by Page Six regarding the unsealed court documents, spokespeople for Aniston didn’t not respond. The New York Times, however, reports that Aniston’s publicist “denied that Mr. Weinstein ever assaulted her.”
Alongside appeals to Jeff Bezos and Mike Bloomberg, the New York Times also reports that Weinstein pled with his wealthy friends to help him. Among them: vice chairmen of NBC Universal Ronald Meyer, Tim Cook, and Netflix’s CCO Theodore Sarandos Jr. In his contacts with them, he wrote: “My board is thinking of firing me. All I’m asking for is, let me take a leave of absence and get into heavy therapy and counseling [...] and allow me to resurrect myself with a second chance.”
In an email to Weinstein, his brother Bob Weinstein, who confronted the media mogul two years prior to the explosive New York Times and New Yorker stories in 2017, expressed what seems like a common feeling: “U deserve a lifetime achievement award for the sheer savagery and immorality and inhumanness, for the acts u have perpetrated. I pray there is a real hell. That’s where u belong.” The same, I believe, is also true for the countless people who helped aid and abet the monster hiding in plain sight.