Bob Weinstein, who co-founded Miramax and The Weinstein Company with his disgraced older brother, Harvey Weinstein, told The Hollywood Reporter that his brother deserves the "justice" he is getting for his "sick and depraved" ways. Insisting that he did not know just what type of a "predator" his brother truly was, Bob Weinstein revealed in the interview that he voted to fire his own brother from The Weinstein Co., vowed to force him to sell his share of the company, and said he was personally urging the Academy to revoke his brother's membership.
Bob Weinstein's interview with THR is the first time he offered extended thoughts publicly on the flood of allegations against his older brother, which includes sexual harassment, sexual assault, and rape, spanning some three decades. The interview was published on the same day the 54-member board of the Academy voted to revoke Harvey's membership.
Bob Weinstein described his life as a "waking nightmare" amid the fallout from the seemingly endless series of allegations against his brother, for whom he made clear he had no sympathy whatsoever.
"I find myself in a waking nightmare," said Bob Weinstein. "My brother has caused unconscionable suffering. As a father of three girls I say this with every bone in my body — I am heartbroken for the women that he has harmed. I'm a fighter. For my entire adult life, I fought for the films I want to see the light of day. I have fought for my employees, who have dedicated their lives to achieving the vision of this company that me and my brother founded. But I cannot fight what is indefensible."
In a carefully phrased line, Weinstein insisted that The Weinstein Company board, of which he is a member, "did not know the extent of my brother's actions." However, he admitted that he knew that his brother had treated people, including women, horribly in the past, and that he "needed help and that something was wrong."
"The members of the board, including myself, did not know the extent of my brother's actions," he said. "I know him on a personal level better than anyone. It’s hard to describe how I feel that he took out the emptiness inside of him in so many sick and depraved ways. It's a sickness but not a sickness that is excusable. It's a sickness that's inexcusable. And I, as a brother, understood and was aware as a family member, that my brother needed help and that something was wrong."
"I saw it and I asked him to get help for many years," he said of his brother's verbal abuse and mistreatment of people, including himself. "And that's the truth. He avoided getting the help. We begged him."
Weinstein said he did not believe his brother felt "an ounce" of remorse for his actions and slammed his "lame excuse" and attempts to shift blame as "utter insanity."
"I don't feel he feels anything to this day. I don't," he said.
Pressed by the interviewer as to how he could have really not known what was going on, Bob Weinstein said he had barely spoken to his brother "on any personal level" over the last five years, noting that they oversee "separate divisions" in the company. While he admitted to knowing that Harvey was regularly sleeping with women, he insisted that he believed it was simply "philandering" and "consensual":
I actually was quite aware that Harvey was philandering with every woman he could meet. I was sick and disgusted by his actions. But that's the extent of what [I knew]. I said, “Harvey, you're just cheating. Why do you constantly cheat?” I could see it. But I wasn't in the room with him.
For me, I thought he was literally just going out there cheating in a pervasive way. It wasn't like he even had a mistress. It was one after another and that I was aware of. But as far as being in a room and hearing the description in The New York Times? No way. No F-in way was I aware that that was the type of predator that he was. And the way he convinced people to do things? I thought they were all consensual situations.
I'll tell you what I did know. Harvey was a bully, Harvey was arrogant, he treated people like shit all the time. That I knew. And I had to clean up for so many of his employee messes. People that came in crying to my office: “Your brother said this, that and the other.” And I'd feel sick about it.
Pressed on why he didn't take more action, he replied, "Because it didn't rise to a certain level."
Asked why he didn't take action when Harvey once physically assaulted him, Bob Weinstein decried his own "cowardice" for failing to stop his brother and his indefensible ways.
"I'm mortified and disgusted by my brother's actions," said Bob Weinstein when asked if he had anything to say to the entertainment industry. "And I am sick for the victims. And I feel for them. I feel for them."
Bob Weinstein also sounded a somewhat defiant note, saying he was not his brother and that he was going to keep fighting for his company, its employees and the projects he is currently working on.
"This brother is not that brother," he said. "This brother made just as much money, ran a successful division, more successful financially than Harvey's. But I'm a different guy and I run it differently and people know it and they know I can be successful and we don't need to do any of the Harvey stuff. And there is a plan. All I'm trying to do right now is go forward, figure out a plan, me and David Glasser and the board members have an idea of what we'd like to do, that we think would be the responsible thing to do for all the critics, rightfully so, with regards to the TWC side and yet for people to keep their jobs. And the pieces of the business that still can be resurrected and continue, we think that they should."