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Harvey Weinstein: The downfall of a Hollywood king

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Harvey Weinstein was the man Meryl Streep jokingly called “God” at the 2012 Golden Globes.

But his world came crashing down when the New York Times published a story on October 5th alleging sexual harassment, sparking a dramatic downfall worthy of his own hit films.

New York-born Weinstein, 65, began his career in 1979 when he and his younger brother Bob set up a distribution company, Miramax, which the duo named after their parents Miriam and Max.

Animal Ball – London
Harvey Weinstein attends the Animal Ball at Victoria House, Bloomsbury Square, London (David Mirzoeff/PA)

Their first big success was Sex, Lies, And Videotape in 1989.

The Weinsteins, sons of a diamond cutter, sold Miramax to Disney and later left to form the Weinstein Company.

The pair were known for their golden touch on the big screen.

Successes include Pulp Fiction, The English Patient, Good Will Hunting, Gangs Of New York and Shakespeare In Love, and Weinstein’s films notched up more than 300 Oscar nominations.

The movie producer has a British wife – Weinstein married Marlborough College-educated Georgina Chapman, 41, co-founder of high-end fashion label Marchesa, in 2007.

BAFTA Film Awards 2014 – Arrivals – London
Harvey Weinstein and his wife Georgina Chapman arriving at the 2014 EE British Academy Film Awards at the Royal Opera House, London (Ian West/PA)

The pair have two children together and Weinstein has said that Chapman is standing by him but will be “kicking my ass to be a better person”.

He was previously married to Eve Chilton, the mother of his first three children.

As well as becoming one of the most powerful men in Hollywood, the movie producer built up a reputation as a liberal role model.

A high-profile Democrat supporter and donor, he endorsed Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama and hosted a star-studded fundraiser for Mrs Clinton in his New York apartment last year.

Meryl Streep joked that Harvey Weinstein was
Meryl Streep joked that Harvey Weinstein was “God” (Ian West/PA)

In Britain, he was made an honorary CBE by the Queen in 2004 for his contribution to the British film industry, and there are now calls for that to be revoked.

His combustible nature was laid bare in Peter Biskind’s book Down And Dirty Pictures.

And now several women are reported to have come forward to allege serious sexual misconduct.

Those involved include Kiss The Girls star Ashley Judd and Scream actress Rose McGowan, according to the New York Times.

After the allegations, Weinstein announced he was taking leave of absence from his company.

But he has now been dismissed from the Weinstein Company with immediate effect “in light of new information about misconduct”, the board of directors announced.

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