Real Housewives star Barbara Kavovit demolishing Harvey Weinstein's NYC office
"As we rip out the studs and use the sledgehammers to tear down the walls, I feel like I am doing it for them," Kavovit said of Weinstein's victims.
In a recent interview with The Hollywood Reporter, the ex-RHONY guest star, construction firm owner, and infamous spray-tan connoisseur opened up about her latest gig after Olsham Properties — owner of the movie mogul-turned-convicted-rapist's former Weinstein Co. headquarters — contracted her to remodel the 15,000-square-foot space.
"We are taking it down to the walls and building it new," Kavovit told the publication, claiming that she beat out three other (male-run) firms to secure the contract to demolish, renovate, and eventually occupy the Weinstein Co. building in the city's Tribeca neighborhood, where the disgraced executive ran a portion of his empire before he was convicted of a criminal sex act in the first degree and rape in the third degree on Feb. 24.
Kavovit, who appeared in a supporting capacity alongside main cast members Luann de Lesseps, Ramona Singer, and Bethenny Frankel across seven seasons of the Bravo reality series, estimated that the job will take approximately 16 weeks to complete, and that she'll be thinking of the women who testified against Weinstein in New York City court — including Project Runway production assistant Miriam Haley and actresses Jessica Mann and Annabella Sciorra — the whole time.
"This is so personal, emotional, and passionate for me because I feel the pain of those women," Kavovit said, posing for photos of herself holding a hammer while standing over posters of Weinstein-distributed movies. She later elaborated on her choice to demolish the property before rebuilding. "Demolition is crucial for starting over, and we are taking this down to the bones," she said. "When I walk in here, I can feel the emotional ghosts. There were such brave women who stood up in that courtroom and faced Harvey. As we rip out the studs and use the sledgehammers to tear down the walls, I feel like I am doing it for them."
Of the 50 workers Kavovit brought on for the job, she said 20 percent are female — a hiring practice that was as important to her as a plan that involved cutting costs down by $50,000 and construction time down by two weeks.
"I've had a lot of Harveys in my life," she added. "I'm part of an industry that has been 98 percent male and very unwelcoming to women. I've met a lot of adversity, a lot of door slamming, and a lot of propositioning. I've been fighting for 25 years to stake my claim. I had to go out with people I had no interest in. I repeatedly had to sit across from men I wouldn't give the time of day to in order to get work. Many of them just lead me on because they wanted to date me."
Read Kavovit's full interview with THR.