Miramax’s Weinstein brothers grew up in Flushing

Miramax’s Weinstein brothers grew up in Flushing
Photo by Joel Ryan/AP
By Gina Martinez

More than 30 women have come forward claiming Flushing born-and-raised film producer Harvey Weinstein has sexually harassed them.

The Miramax co-founder has been accused by dozens of Hollywood actresses and female employees, including A-listers Angelina Jolie and Gwenyth Paltrow, of inappropriate behavior. A New York Times article released earlier this month exposed the Oscar-winning producer’s misconduct in which multiple actresses claimed that Weinstein had invited them up to his hotel room and acted inappropriately throughout the last three decades.

According to The Times, Weinstein has paid off multiple actresses and employees in settlements to keep quiet, including actresses Ashley Judd and Rose McGowan. Following the bombshell article Weinstein was by the board of The Weinstein Company, with his brother Bob taking over as chairman. Weinstein’s wife, fashion designer Georgina Chapman, announced she was filing for divorce.

Weinstein released a statement saying he expressed remorse for the people he hurt and said he plans to do right by them.

In his statement he referred to coming of age in the ‘60s and ‘70s “when all the rules about behavior and workplaces were different.”

“I realized some time ago that I needed to be a better person and my interactions with the people I work with have changed,” the statement read. “I appreciate the way I’ve behaved with colleagues in the past has caused a lot of pain, and I sincerely apologize for it.”

Weinstein was born in Flushing in 1952. He and his younger brother Bob grew up in Electchester, a city housing co-op backed by the Electrical Workers Union. He attended John Bowne High School before attending the State University of New York at Buffalo. The Weinstein brothers’ father, Max, was a diamond cutter in Manhattan.

The two brothers put together rock concerns in the 1970s before moving on in the next decade to found Miramax, which released mostly indie films. In the 1990s the company gained traction after producing hits like “Pulp Fiction” and “The English Patient,” which won the Best Picture Academy Award in 1997. In 2005 the brothers left Miramax and founded the The Weinstein Company, which solidified Harvey’success with films like “Inglourious Basterds” and “Silver Linings Playbook.”

Harvey’s brother, Bob, is also in hot water after a female producer accused him of sexual harassment. Angela Siegel, an executive producer on the Spike show “The Mist” claims the younger Weinstein brother harassed her, constantly asking her out on romantic dates despite her saying no.

“No should be enough” the producer told Variety. “After ‘no’ anybody who has asked you out should just move on. Bob kept referring to me that he wanted to have a friendship. He didn’t want to have a friendship. He wanted more than that. My hope is that ‘no’ is enough from now on.”

A representative for Bob Weinstein denies he engaged in any inappropriate behavior with the producer.

Neither brother has been charged.

Reach Gina Martinez by e-mail at gmartinez@cnglocal.com or by phone at (718) 260–4566.