Harvey Weinstein’s Company Could Be Kept Afloat By Real Estate Executive
Disgraced film producer Harvey Weinstein’s company may get a lifeline from real estate executive Thomas Barrack.
Barrack, a close friend of President Donald Trump and the founder of Colony Capital, a multibillion-dollar investment firm that merged this year with two real estate investment firms to become Colony NorthStar, is in discussion to acquire Weinstein Co., Bloomberg reports.
Weinstein Co. is in quicksand following a slew of sexual harassment and rape allegations that surfaced this year against the company's namesake, and it is considering a potential sale to recover. The company is set to receive an immediate cash infusion from Colony, and is in talks to sell either in part or entirely to the investment firm. Should the takeover move forward, it will help stabilize operations of the film and television studio, known for award-winning hits like "Project Runway" and "The Artist."
This will not be the first time Barrack has come to the rescue of an ailing elite. In the past, he rescued famed portrait photographer Annie Leibovitz from bankruptcy by buying out $24M of her debt. He also helped Michael Jackson avoid foreclosure on his Neverland estate in 2008 by taking on $23.5M in debt. Colony Capital was also one of the company’s involved in the acquisition of Weinstein’s former company, Miramax, from Walt Disney Co. for $660M in 2010, Bloomberg reports.
Weinstein was fired from his own company shortly after a New York Times piece outed him for allegedly engaging in decades of sexual harassment dating back to the 1990s. However, some reports claim the company’s board was aware of his behavior the entire time, yet failed to deliver on any repercussions prior to the exposé.
Weinstein has since been expelled from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, as well.