Harvey Weinstein — the monster of Hollywood — is fighting on several fronts. The film producer who once ruled the A-list is trying to appeal his February conviction for rape and sexual assault.
But of the many battles the now-frail mogul is fighting, surely the most painful is the one with his two ex-wives.
In a stunning legal pincer movement, first wife Eve Chilton and second wife, British fashion designer Georgina Chapman — who reportedly loathed one another before Weinstein’s downfall — have succeeded in freezing £4.5 million of his remaining assets.
This has left him to rot in Wende jail in Buffalo, New York, because now he doesn’t have the money to pay the lawyers who are supposed to be preparing his appeal.
Weinstein is being sued for millions by numerous alleged victims, has further rape and assault cases coming up in Los Angeles and London, and his company faces bankruptcy
This week, Weinstein’s spokesman Juda Engelmayer confirmed: ‘He’s in poor health and hasn’t been able to file his appeal because his ex-wives have frozen his accounts.
‘His appeal probably will get filed at some point but his lawyers are not doing the paperwork because he can’t pay for it.
‘He’s not doing very well. It’s a hard time emotionally and it’s a hard time physically.’
Indeed, his lawyers this week told the Mail they think Weinstein will probably be dead before all the many legal strands are settled.
Now 68, he is wheelchair-bound, going blind, has diabetes, arthritis, spinal stenosis, anaemia, sleep apnoea, high blood pressure and coronary artery disease.
Chapman (pictured right) married Weinstein in 2007 and refused to give a statement to the judge in support of his character before he was sentenced
Chapman and Chilton (pictured left) started to have contact with each other soon after the scandal broke in October 2017
He contracted Covid in prison in March and was tested again for the disease last week when he fell ill — his health is said to have gone downhill dramatically.
A source close to Weinstein said: ‘He had a high temperature last week and it’s calmed down, but he’s far from a picture of health.
‘What’s going on with the lawsuits and his ex-wives is a feeding frenzy. Fortunately, he has the mental capacity to fight these battles.’
Meanwhile, in London, the Court of Appeal this week handed down judgment which will allow a tribunal to go forward.
One of Weinstein’s British former assistants, who remains anonymous, is set to disclose harrowing accusations against him of repeated sexual assaults — and to accuse seven of his associates of a cover-up.
The woman’s lawyer Negar Yazdani told the Mail: ‘My client was subjected to the most horrific sexual assaults and harassment by Weinstein in circumstances where he was given the confidence to continue such behaviour by his enablers, who knew, or ought to have known, about his sexual misconduct.’
So what of the women who were married to him — and how did they form their Ex-Wives Club to take revenge?
Eve Chilton and Georgina Chapman are a study in contrasts. One is a statuesque blonde who hates publicity; the other a delicate brunette who was a contemporary of Kate Middleton’s at Marlborough College, and is now dating an Oscar-winning actor.
Chilton is now married to businessman Sal Martirano, with whom she lives quietly in the suburbs of New York.
She met Weinstein in 1987 when she was his assistant at The Weinstein Company.
They had three daughters and split in 2004. In the divorce, Eve got their massive apartment overlooking Central Park, which she has since sold for £17 million.
Weinstein’s legal team claim he has paid her an astonishing £45 million over the years. She and her successor, Chapman, who married Weinstein in 2007, refused to give a statement to the judge in support of his character before he was sentenced.
Chapman told Vogue magazine she had no idea about his depravity: ‘There was a part of me that was terribly naive. I have moments of rage, I have moments of confusion, I have moments of disbelief. And I have moments when I just cry for my children.’
Chapman reportedly got £15 million in the divorce. She lives in a large farm in the millionaires’ enclave of Bedford, New York. She has two children with Weinstein — India, ten, and Dashiell, seven — and has confirmed a romance with actor Adrien Brody.
A former model, Chapman met Weinstein at a party in 2004, and they married in 2007.
He invested in her Marchesa label, and persuaded stars to wear it on the red carpet.
Since the scandal, which ignited the #MeToo movement, only a few actresses are willing to wear Marchesa, and the company has diversified into bridal wear and a diffusion line.
Chapman and Chilton started to have contact with each other soon after the scandal broke in October 2017. Both declined to comment this week, but it is clear they are united in their repudiation of Weinstein.
In April this year, they filed a motion noting the perilous state of Weinstein’s finances.
Then, in July, they made further submissions, including receipts for private jet trips and huge expenses run up on legal fees — and a judge froze his assets.
The impetus seems to have come from Chilton, who started making legal moves against Weinstein two years ago.
Initially, she asked for £3.7 million in support for her and their three daughters. This was declined.
She then asked for more money — for child support, healthcare and college fees — and said she was concerned Weinstein would stop paying.
His downfall began in October 2017 after the New York Times and New Yorker magazine detailed dozens of claims of sexual assault.
In February he was convicted in New York of criminal sexual assault and third-degree rape and jailed for 23 years. He awaits further trial in Los Angeles on four counts of rape and seven sexual assaults, and faces a sentence of up to 140 years.
He is also fighting numerous civil lawsuits filed by alleged victims including actresses Ashley Judd and Rose McGowan, and bankruptcy proceedings related to the collapse of The Weinstein Company.
It can also be revealed that Weinstein owes money to film stars including Robert De Niro and Jennifer Lawrence, plus to ex-employees including Barack Obama’s elder daughter, Malia, who served an internship with his company.
There is also the forthcoming British employment tribunal action against Weinstein and seven associates.
Weinstein’s spokesman Juda Engelmayer said: ‘You’ve got to ask what these women are trying to get out of this. The guy will probably be dead by the time he is extradited to the UK.’
- Additional reporting: Daniel Bates in New York