Biographer Explains Why He Didn't Write About Sexual Harassment Allegations

posted by Josh Hart -

In 2004, Peter Biskind released "Down and Dirty Pictures: Miramax, Sundance and the Rise of Independent Film." The 500-page book looked at how the Weinstein brothers built Miramax and while there was plenty of insight into Harvey Weinstein's aggressive business tactics, there's no mention of any sexual harassment or assault allegations. Why? According to Biskind, he didn't think it would have worked.

"I felt that if I got into it, it was going to skew the book completely and turn it into a different kind of book," he explains. "I did hear some rumors. It’s impossible not to. But as I said, I didn’t really follow them up." 

In fact, he did hear Gwyneth Paltrow's story from her then-boyfriend, Brad Pitt. but claims it was off the record. Biskind also knew that Harvey, who he describes as a "scary guy," was acting that way to keep actresses "docile." "But on the other hand if you are giving a freshman actress a role in a feature film, that keeps them pretty docile, too," the author adds. "I didn’t feel like it affected the business that much. I didn’t see the connection."

With all the drama surrounding Weinstein, Biskind's book is getting a few more rereads than usual. One section that's catching people's eyes? Ben Affleck's comments on Weinstein putting a journalist in a headlock and throwing him out of a party. Affleck told Biskind Harvey's behavior is "kind of charming." The actor adds that his "pretty good friend" "doesn't have a lot of restraint" and is "all id." He does stand by his statement in the book saying that he's only seen the "human" side of Weinstein. 

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