A weird development in the Harvey Weinstein scandal: His firing by the company he co-founded may have been illegal despite his alleged abysmal behavior, according to TMZ. The site says it has seen Weinstein's 2015 employment contract and it leaves room for sexual harassment or other "misconduct." The contract states that if Weinstein treats someone "improperly" in violation of the company's code of conduct, he must reimburse the company for any settlement it pays and "pay the company liquidated damages" starting at $250,000 "for the first such instance" and rising to $1,000,000 for the fourth instance and any after that. The contract states that the payoff "cures" the misconduct, meaning no further action is taken. In other developments:
- Uncertain future for TWC. Variety reports that business partners and stars are deserting the Weinstein Company and a bankruptcy filing is a possible next step for the firm, which is believed to be loaded with debt.
- Career ruined. Women who say they were victimized by Weinstein are continuing to come forward, including English actress Sophie Dix. She tells the Guardian that she abandoned a promising career in the early 1990s after a disturbing incident with Weinstein, who she says invited her to his hotel room for work reasons, pushed her onto a bed, and started trying to take her clothes off. The then-22-year-old says she fled to the bathroom and locked the door—and when she opened it again, he was "standing there masturbating." "I decided if this what being an actress is like, I don't want it," she says. The Guardian has an extensive list of the allegations against Weinstein.
- "I was afraid of him." Canadian actress Erika Rosenbaum says Weinstein grabbed her by the neck and masturbated in front of her during one of three ugly encounters with him early in her career, the CBC reports. "I was afraid of him," she says. Like many other accusers, she says Weinstein assaulted her after luring her to a hotel room to talk about work.
- Project Runway. Weinstein has been stripped of his producer credit on hit Weinstein company show Project Runway. Heidi Klum, a host and judge on the show, tells People that she admires the "brave women" who are sharing their "horrible stories" after Weinstein's behavior.
- Oliver Stone U-turn. Oliver Stone declined to condemn Weinstein at a South Korean film festival Friday, saying "it's not easy what he's going through" and he would reserve judgment "until this thing gets to trial." But later in his day, he changed his tune, the Hollywood Reporter notes: He said he had been unaware of the extent of the allegations because he had been traveling and he will no longer direct his Guantanamo TV series if the Weinstein Company is still involved.
- Cannes. The leaders of the Cannes film festival have joined those condemning Weinstein, the AP reports. "These actions point to a pattern of behavior that merits only the clearest and most unequivocal condemnation," said festival president Pierre Lescure and general delegate Thierry Fremaux.
(Police in the US and UK say they are investigating allegations against Weinstein