What was Harvey Weinstein thinking? The movie mogul is already being dissed by once-pliant reporters and magazines, and struggling to right his company and other investments. Now he's given more ammunition to the haters and socked his pocketbook, all in one fast miscalculation. The Weinstein Company chief reportedly told the Post's Page Six he doubted the authenticity of an email quoted by aggressive Hollywood blogger Nikki Finke, and offered $1 million for charity if Finke could produce the original. The email, from movie producer Scott Rudin, concerned a feud over the release date of Kate Winslet vehicle The Reader. Page Six called Finke tonight and guess what? She has the email, and has already posted it. UPDATE: Rudin told Page Six Finke is lying. UPDATE 2: Rudin admits he lied to Page Six! See below.
"Question is, Do I get to choose the charity?" Finke writes.
Answer: Doubtful. Weinstein is also in the spotlight for allegedly paltry charitable contributions. In this case, it seems he wins by losing.
Except, of course, for the fact that the email confirms Finke's allegation that Weinstein harassed a dying Sidney Pollack to win leverage in a stupid Hollywood pissing match. It also lends further credibility to Finke's allegation that he also tried to use Pollack's death itsefl as leverage, stating, "'If I can't get a movie nominated that has Sydney's and [late co-producer] Anthony [Minghella]'s name on it this year, I should leave the business.' "
UPDATE:The Page Six item is online, containing a denial issued by Rudin prior to Finke's post.
That is not my e-mail. The contents of it are categorically untrue. We had a dispute, we got through the dispute, and there is complete, lasting peace in the kingdom.
If Rudin is lying, he would hardly be the first to cave under pressure from Harvey Weinstein. Still, faking an email is trivial. Full headers are now called for!
Finke has updated her item with this shocking admission from Rudin:
As for Scott Rudin, he confirmed to me Monday night that it is his email and claimed that Weinstein's people pestered him "to protect Harvey and deny the email and lie to Page Six" — so he said he did "in order to keep peace for the next weeks that the two of us still have to work together on The Reader."