Report: Harvey Weinstein Used AIDS Charity Donations To Pay Off His Own Debt
Photo: The Graham Norton Show (BBC)
Along with the many women who have stepped forward to accuse Harvey Weinstein of sexual harassment and assault, a new bombshell report from the Huffington Post alleges that the former Hollywood studio executive took $600K from an AIDS charity to pay off his own personal debt.
Yashar Ali says he spoke to 20 sources to gain insight into the controversy.
In the spring of 2015, Harvey Weinstein had an idea. He would solve a nagging financial obligation he had to one organization while supporting an organization that brought him praise from celebrities and other powerful figures in the entertainment business. Weinstein relished his role as a patron of the arts and progressive causes, and this idea would burnish his reputation in both capacities.
The vehicle would be a charity auction for amfAR, an organization he had supported for decades. Weinstein needed to raise $600,000 for the nonprofit American Repertory Theater, which is associated with Harvard University but is set up as a separate organization. The theater had staged a trial run of the Broadway musical “Finding Neverland,” which Weinstein had produced, and had an arrangement whereby it would reimburse Weinstein and other show investors for money they put into the trial run, provided the investors got third parties to donate the amounts.
The Foundation for AIDS Research, also known as amfAR, is an internationally recognized nonprofit organization devoted to supporting AIDS research, HIV education and prevention, and more.
The report goes on to state the lavish items that Weinstein offered up for a fundraise in Cannes, France: A photo shoot with renowned fashion photographer Mario Testino, tickets to an Oscar party; things that didn't personally cost the producer a thing.
Photo: PopSugar (YouTube)
The report also implicates fashion designer Kenneth Cole.
Weinstein spoke to Kenneth Cole, the fashion designer and longtime non-executive chairman of amfAR. They agreed to split the proceeds of the lots providing up to $1.2 million, with half the money going to amfAR and the other half to ART. Any proceeds above $1.2 million would belong to amfAR. Weinstein needed exactly $600,000 for ART, so this worked well for his purposes. But if he was interested in helping ART, why not push for a 50/50 split on all proceeds? Multiple sources told me Weinstein never pushed Cole for anything beyond $600,000. Only later would The New York Times reveal why he needed to send that exact amount to ART.
Click HERE to continue reading at Huffington Post.