Harvey Weinstein used Michael as a Distraction

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Online ~Souza~

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Harvey Weinstein used Michael as a Distraction

  • on: August 22, 2018, 04:39:55 AM
Credits to MJJCommunity, I am going through old threads there to see what interesting stuff we might have missed. This is an interesting story. I'll post the part about Michael, the whole article can be found here: https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2017/12/05/us/harvey-weinstein-complicity.html

Quote
Keeping the Media Close
Shortly after the news investigations of Mr. Weinstein’s alleged abuse were published, A. J. Benza, a former New York Daily News gossip columnist, received a two-word text from the producer: “Help me.”

Mr. Benza had been integral to the network of friendly journalists — gossip columnists, magazine writers, editors and authors — whom the producer relied on to promote his entertainment empire and sometimes punish rivals or deflect threats.

Over dinner in West Hollywood in late 2003 or early the next year, the men had discussed a plan to help Mr. Weinstein avoid embarrassment. While married to his first wife, he had become involved with someone else, Mr. Benza discovered. A clerk at a Los Angeles art studio where he commissioned a gift for Mr. Weinstein — a painting of a reimagined “Hollywood” sign reading “Harveywood” — volunteered to Mr. Benza that a friend, Georgina Chapman, was seeing the producer. Mr. Weinstein, who would later marry Ms. Chapman, was separated and wanted to keep the relationship confidential until he was divorced, according to his spokeswoman, Sallie Hofmeister.

Mr. Benza, then between jobs, had a suggestion. “I could supply your P.R. girls with a lot of gossip — a lot of stories — and if people come at them with the ‘Harvey’s having an affair story,’ they can barter,” Mr. Benza recalled telling Mr. Weinstein. “He said, ‘A. J., it’s got to be good stories,’ and I said, ‘Don’t you worry about it.’”

Collecting a monthly retainer, Mr. Benza said, he reported items on Roger Clemens, Michael Jackson and others and sent them to Mr. Weinstein’s communications team, though he didn’t know whether they were used to trade away stories about the producer. Mr. Weinstein’s spokeswoman said the payments to Mr. Benza were for public relations work during Miramax’s dispute with Disney.

After 10 months, Mr. Weinstein said, “I think the coast is clear; I think we beat this thing,” according to Mr. Benza, who recently had a brief stint as a writer for American Media and also runs his own gossip podcast, “Fame Is a Bitch.”

Mr. Benza and Mr. Weinstein were exploiting a longstanding system of favor-trading between the press and the movie business. Gossip writers need a stream of insider scoops, industry beat reporters need exclusives on the next big deal and glossy magazines need celebrities who can drive newsstand sales. Mr. Weinstein, who wanted glowing coverage, could provide that and more.

The producer often held out business opportunities to those who covered him. He had book and movie deals with writers and editors at Fox News, The New York Post, Premiere magazine, Vanity Fair, Varietyand elsewhere. In Mr. Benza’s case, a book contract came immediately after he left The Daily News. In interviews, several journalists who had business ties to him said the arrangements did not cause them to pull punches.

He had particularly strong ties to the tabloid giant American Media — owner of The Enquirer, Globe, OK!, Radar Online and others — with which he teamed up to pursue several media and production deals.

Via http://www.mjjcommunity.com/forum/threads/141131-Predator-Harvey-Weinstein-Used-MJ-as-a-Distraction

Offline trublu

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Re: Harvey Weinstein used Michael as a Distraction

  • on: August 22, 2018, 05:35:49 PM
I've thought this for a while. It felt like the good side were winning when Harvey was exposed. I don't think that would have ever been possible pre 2009. Things are surely happening behind the scenes.