After defending her decision to represent Harvey Weinstein against numerous accusations of sexual harassment, lawyer Lisa Bloom has announced her decision to resign as the movie mogul’s advisor.
“I have resigned as an advisor to Harvey Weinstein,” Bloom tweeted on Saturday. “My understanding is that Mr. Weinstein and his board are moving toward an agreement.”
The board of The Weinstein Company hired an independent law firm “to undertake a thorough and independent investigation” after The New York Times published an exposé alleging Weinstein, the company’s co-chairman, committed “decades of sexual harassement.” Eight women, including Ashley Judd, came forward with claims of various acts, including Weinstein allegedly appearing naked in front of some and requesting massages.
Appearing on ABC’s Good Morning America on Friday, Bloom said, “I think Harvey has acknowledged, yes, that there was misconduct over a period of years. He has, certainly, a very bad temper and that’s a big part of the problem. He’s well-known for that. He’s a big, loud guy. People are intimidated by him. I’m not. I’m a big-mouth lawyer myself. I’ll stand up to him, but if I’m a 23-year-old in his workplace, of course, they’re intimidated.”
She clarified to host George Stephanopoulos that she was “using the term ‘workplace misconduct'” in reference to Weinstein’s behavior, while Stephanopoulos was “using the term ‘sexual harassment.'”
Bloom’s mother, lawyer Gloria Allred, had spoken out against Bloom’s decision to advise Weinstein. “Had I been asked by Mr. Weinstein to represent him, I would have declined, because I do not represent individuals accused of sex harassment,” Allred said in a statement. “I only represent those who allege that they are victims of sexual harassment. While I would not represent Mr. Weinstein, I would consider representing anyone who accused Mr. Weinstein of sexual harassment, even if it meant that my daughter was the opposing counsel.”
But her daughter defended her reasons in statements to Variety. “I have a different kind of law practice,” Bloom said. “My mother does only plaintiff side discrimination and harassment work. I have a successful, 12-lawyer general practice law firm that includes business litigation, defamation, revenge porn cases, entertainment matters, family law, and much more. … I believe that we can do good by suing, but also working behind the scenes to encourage accused people to respond with dignity and respect.”
She added, “I would never take a case where either my lawyer mother or my lawyer daughter is opposing counsel. That’s another area where we differ. I believe in family before business.”
But now, Bloom is out.
Weinstein released an apology to the Times, saying he “bear[s] responsibility for my actions” and is sorry for “the way I’ve behaved with colleagues in the past.” Though, an earlier statement from Bloom stated Weinstein “denies many of the accusations as patently false.”
In another statement, Weinstein’s lawyer Charles Harder added the producer is preparing a lawsuit against the Times for its report. “The New York Times published today a story that is saturated with false and defamatory statements about Harvey Weinstein. It relies on mostly hearsay accounts and a faulty report, apparently stolen from an employee personnel file, which has been debunked by 9 different eyewitnesses. We sent the Times the facts and evidence, but they ignored it and rushed to publish. We are preparing the lawsuit now. All proceeds will be donated to women’s organizations.”
According to The Weinstein Company, Weinstein’s “indefinite leave of absence” began Friday. “We take extremely seriously the accusations published in today’s New York Times about our Company’s co-chairman Harvey Weinstein,” a statement read in part. “It is essential to our Company’s culture that all women who work for it or have any dealings with it or any of our executives are treated with respect and have no experience of harassment or discrimination.”