Tina Brown writes: What I learned about Harvey in the two years of proximity with him at Talk was that nothing about his outward persona, the beguiling Falstaffian charmer who persuaded — or bamboozled — me into leaving The New Yorker and joining him, was the truth. He is very Trumpian in that regard.
He comes off as a big, blustery, rough diamond kind of a guy, the kind of old-time studio chief who lives large, writes big checks and exudes bonhomie. Wrong. The real Harvey is fearful, paranoid, and hates being touched (at any rate, when fully dressed).
Winning, for him, was a blood sport. Deals never close. They are renegotiated down to the bone after the press release. A business meeting listening to him discuss Miramax deals in progress reminded me of the wire tap transcripts of John Gotti and his inner circle at the Bergin Hunt and Fish Club in Queens. “So just close it fast, then fuck him later with the subsidiary rights.”
Like all bullies, he folds when he’s faced down and becomes wheedling and sycophantic. His volcanic rage erupts from raw insecurity. I often used to wonder if the physical dissonance between his personal grossness and his artistic sensibility — which was genuine — made him crazy. It’s no accident that Harvey’s preferred routine for sexual entrapment was to strip down and open the door of his hotel suite in an open bathrobe, or nothing at all. A rich, powerful movie mogul could now do what he couldn’t all those years in high school and tell a beautiful, cowering girl: This is who I am. Now that everyone knows the truth, deep down it may be, for him, a relief.
It takes one brave whistleblower and then two to get the ball rolling and give the shattered sharers of the same story permission to speak out to The New York Times. Kudos to Ashley Judd and Rose McGowan, and now all the many new voices captured by Ronan Farrow in The New Yorker. Harvey is an intimidating and ferocious man. Crossing him, even now, is scary. But it’s a different era now. Cosby. Ailes. O‘Reilly, Weinstein. It’s over, except for one — the serial sexual harasser in the White House. [Continue reading…]