by Natalie Finn | Thu., Oct. 5, 2017 6:09 PM
If Harvey Weinstein were casting a movie, he probably wouldn't go with himself as the romantic lead.
Yet there he was, starring in his own fairy-tale wedding almost 10 years ago opposite the stunning British fashion designer Georgina Chapman, the power couple swapping vows just a month after Weinstein proposed.
Meanwhile, in a statement released Thursday, Weinstein said that he's spent the past 10 years trying to repair his reputation and be a better man after behaving in a way with colleagues that "caused a lot of pain." At the same time, an attorney for the co-founder of The Weinstein Company also said Thursday that his client is planning to sue The New York Times for a story "saturated with false and defamatory statements," with all proceeds going to women's organizations.
The Times' story details allegations of harassment against Weinstein that go back decades, as well as states that the famed producer has reached at least eight financial settlements with women over that time. Ashley Judd is among the women quoted in the article, her story of being sexually harassed by Weinstein dating back 20 years.
"Women have been talking about Harvey amongst ourselves for a long time, and it's simply beyond time to have the conversation publicly," the actress told the Times.
"I realized some time ago that I needed to be a better person and my interactions with the people I work with have changed," Weinstein asserted in his Thursday statement, which was issued in response to the allegations in the Times story. "I appreciate the way I've behaved with colleagues in the past have caused a lot pain, and I sincerely apologize for it." His plan, he said, is to take a leave of absence to work on himself with the help of a "team of people" put together by attorney and women's rights advocate Lisa Bloom.
Meanwhile, two years ago Weinstein was investigated and ultimately cleared after a 22-year-old model accused him of groping her in his office at the Tribeca Film Center in New York. "After analyzing the available evidence, including multiple interviews with both parties, a criminal charge is not supported," the Manhattan District Attorney's Office said in April 2015.
While authorities were looking into the model's claim, Weinstein and Chapman were spotted together at their Connecticut estate, but the New York Daily News heard from a source that Chapman was "furious" at the story. A few days before news of the allegations broke, she was asked by Fashionista what was in the works for Charles James, the defunct fashion house Weinstein had purchased the rights to and on which his wife was supposedly going to be consulting.
"I'm not actually," she replied. "My husband has bought the brand, but I don't think that anything has been confirmed as to what they're doing with it. You'd have to talk to him about it; I really don't know what his plans are."
"Though I'm trying to do better, I know I have a long way to go," Weinstein said Thursday.
Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images
In a random paraphrase of Jay-Z, the movie mogul, who co-founded Miramax and then the Weinstein Company with his brother, Bob, also talked about not being the man he thought he was, but that "I better be that man for my children."
He has five children, three daughters with his first wife, Eve Chilton, and two with Chapman, daughter India Pearl, 7, and son Dashiell, 4.
As for his wife, Weinstein tells the New York Post, "She stands 100 percent behind me. Georgina and I have talked about this at length. We went out with Lisa Bloom last night when we knew the article was coming out. Georgina will be with Lisa and others kicking my ass to be a better human being and to apologize to people for my bad behavior, to say I'm sorry, and to absolutely mean it."
Though they don't shy away from red carpets, including the one at this year's Vanity Fair Oscar party, he and Chapman lead an otherwise private life as a couple, splitting their time between New York, Connecticut and L.A. and keeping their kids out of the spotlight aside from the occasional artistic shot on Instagram.
A post shared by Georgina Chapman (@georginachapmanmarchesa) on
Moreover, aside from sharing anecdotes about their courtship or the children, neither talks about the ins and outs of their marriage, as so many celebrities do. However, it's understandable that neither one of the most powerful producers in Hollywood, nor one of the most recognizable designers in fashion—both of whom are fiercely business-minded—would want to spill too many details.
Weinstein started dating Chapman in 2004, not long after he and Chilton split up and right around the time Chapman was launching Marchesa with partner Keren Craig. They first met when he approached her at a party in New York.
"I had no idea who he was," Chapman told Vogue in 2013. "He's not a person you can sort of ignore or brush off. He's incredibly charming and so charismatic, it sort of draws you in."
Patrick McMullan/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images
Weinstein joked years later about the odd-couple factor, Chapman—who worked as a model before focusing on fashion—being 24 years younger than he is and decidedly more statuesque.
"On the first date that I took my wife out...she walks into the restaurant and she trips and falls right on her butt," Weinstein told CBS News in 2013. "I go first, 'There is a God!' because that evened the playing field right away, and secondly, I said to her, 'That was the opening scene when Myrna Loy walked into William Powell in The Thin Man.' 'I said, 'Georgina, meet Dashiell Hammett,' and she read The Thin Man."
Hence the inspiration for their son's name, the author of the book that inspired the classic 1934 film.
But first the courtship, which lasted for several years. The pair became a fixture of New York and L.A. society, hitting every important fashion and film event. It wasn't long before Marchesa took off, either, the New York-headquartered, British-bred brand fast becoming a go-to red carpet favorite among the celebrity set.
Asked about the chatter that he was pulling one Hollywood string after another to get Marchesa off the ground, Weinstein told the New York Times in 2007, before he and Chapman were engaged, "The people who say things like that are just jealous,It takes away from the talent that Marchesa has exemplified."
Not that he wasn't involved at all.
"Maybe I helped, but just very, very little, with Renée Zellweger," Weinstein, who was also among Marchesa's early investors, told Vogue. Zellweger, fresh from winning an Oscar for Cold Mountain, a Miramax production, wore Marchesa to the premiere of Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason in 2004, and Cate Blanchett donned the brand at the premiere of The Aviator (also from Miramax) later that year.
Recalling that time, when the story of the day was that her success wouldn't have been possible if not for the man in her life, Chapman said, "It's no different from being in school and someone says something. Your whole life is filled with things like that." In more jocular fashion, to the The Times of London in 2013, she cracked, "Have you seen the way he dresses? I would not let him near this brand."
Besides, it wasn't long before Weinstein was merely a stepping stone on the way to getting a hold of Chapman to see if she and Craig could whip up a custom Marchesa for a carpet, a gala, a wedding and any other event where a woman might want to look and feel like a princess. The brand has since grown to include Notte by Marchesa, the contemporary line Marchesa Voyage, handbags, fragrances, fine jewelry and engagement rings, stationery and tabletop home decor.
Ian Gavan/Getty Images
They married on Dec. 15, 2007, at Weinstein's waterfront estate in Westport, Conn., in front of a Met Gala's worth of luminaries, including Zellweger, Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony, Naomi Watts, Anna Wintour, Cameron Diaz, Quentin Tarantino, Karolina Kurkova, Helena Christensen and Rupert Murdoch.
Chapman designed her own dress, so you could say, for the 1 millionth time, "the bride wore Marchesa." The reception featured catering by Nobu and Cipriani, and the couple asked that the guests donate to charity in lieu of sending gifts. A fireworks display launched from a barge on Long Island Sound festively punctuated the evening.
"Unlike her husband, she's really nice," Weinstein told Vogue about his wife. "People will believe that, trust me. Sometimes people don't associate people who look like that with compassion and that kind of kindness—but that's who she is more than anyone else."
Daughter India was born on Aug. 30, 2010, and would soon become her mom's favorite companions.
"I make sure I carve out time to be with my daughter," Chapman, pregnant with Dashiell at the time, told People in December 2012. "My family is my number-one priority."
She continued, "India comes into the office with me most days—she has her little area with a desk and she draws. I leave later in the mornings now and spend the mornings with her, so I do see her. She spends a lot of time with me at work. I don't know how that's going to work once she's at school—I'm going to miss her, it's going to be hard."
When Dashiell was born in 2013, Weinstein told CBS News that he was excited to finally have a boy, mainly because his older daughters were just over him.
Driving them to the mall, he cracked, "they say, 'Dad, park three miles [away], we don't want to be seen with you. Meet us at the pizza store four miles over here because we're embarrassed of you and you're annoying.'"
Weinstein and Chapman, who is also a judge on Project Runway: All Stars, have joked that they make a point of attending red carpet events together because those are often the only date nights they have time for. The Vogue story noted that, when Weinstein had to work late, he'd try to stop by their townhouse in the West Village for a few hours before going back to Tribeca. They travel together, with the kids, whenever they can—and they always seem to be flying somewhere.
In 2013, the family, including Weinstein's three daughters from his first marriage, rented a villa in Baker's Bay in the Bahamas for the holidays, and in 2014 they were planning a big family holiday in London, followed by a New Year's ski trip in Gstaad, Switzerland.
Chapman told Haute Living in August 2016 that when she and her husband were both in New York, they try to limit nights out of the house to two a week (not likely during award season), and they would watch three or four movies in a weekend. On typical weekdays, she takes the kids to school, gets in a workout, spends the rest of the day at her studio or otherwise working and is back for dinner, playtime and bath time with India and Dashiell at night. "We hang out," she said.
Afterward, the doting mom likes to unwind with a glass of wine and some good TV—Peaky Blinders (courtesy of The Weinstein Company) was in her queue at the time.
Family weekends in Connecticut or Amagansett, "just being there with my kids and husband and going for walks on the beach with them and the dogs," made for the ideal weekend.
This year, however, the couple listed the Amagansett house, which they bought in 2014 for $11.65 million. Over the summer they lowered the asking price to $12.4 million from $13.5 million for the 9,000-square-foot, 7-bedroom, 7-bathroom mansion. Weinstein told the Wall Street Journal that they simply couldn't get away to their Hamptons home as often as they would like.
And while it should be about time to start planning another one of those perfect-sounding holiday vacations, first thing's first.
"I have got to change, I've got to grow, I've got to deal with my personality, I've got to work on my temper, I have got to dig deep," Weinstein tells the Post. "I know a lot of people would like me to go into a facility, and I may well just do that—I will go anywhere I can learn more about myself. I want to be able to look at the people I have hurt and say, 'I am sorry, I have changed and I've progressed.' I am terribly embarrassed for my company, my staff and the only person who could fix this is me. I am going to fix myself, I am going to fix how I deal with women and how I deal with my temper and power."
UPDATE: On Oct. 10, Chapman announced that she was leaving Weinstein. "My heart breaks for all the women who have suffered tremendous pain because of these unforgivable actions," she said in a statement to People. "I have chosen to leave my husband. Caring for my young children is my first priority and I ask the media for privacy at this time."
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