Harvey Weinstein asked Bill Clinton for advice on his Oscar campaign
“I saw how much access the Clintons gave Harvey,” recalled a “shocked” Miramax employee.
Long before Andrea Riseborough’s controversial campaign for Leslie, there were Harvey Weinstein’s regularly questionable campaign affairs. In one case, Weinstein, who was a friend of the Clintons, even enlisted the help of Bill Clinton for his Oscar-nominated drama about a convicted rapist and former producer.
In an excerpt from Michael Schulman’s “Oscar Wars: The Story of Hollywood in Gold, Sweat and Tears,” a former Miramax employee revealed that megaproducer Harvey Weinstein asked then-President Clinton to discuss how to promote Billy Bob Thornton’s “Sling.” Blade,” is set in Clinton’s home state of Arkansas. The 1996 film earned Thornton an Academy Award nomination for Best Actor and eventually won Best Adapted Screenplay for Writer-Director-Star.
“I was so shocked that the president of the United States would spend half an hour on the phone with us,” said the unnamed Miramax employee. “Long before Monica Lewinsky, I lost all respect for her because I saw how much access the Clintons gave Harvey.”
Weinstein asked Clinton for “hints on Thornton’s Oscar campaign” in “Oscar Wars.” The Miramax founder knew Clinton after he was a fundraiser for the president and they vacationed together on Martha’s Vineyard.
Later, during the 1998 Oscar campaign for “Shakespeare in Love,” First Lady Hillary Clinton gave a 15-minute speech before the premiere of the film, congratulating my friend Harvey. Advertising for “Shakespeare in Love” also appeared in Barbara Walters’ televised interview with Monica Lewinsky, and Weinstein used his friendship with the Clinton family to deny the sandbagged claims of the “Save Private Shakespeare” Oscar campaign by promoting “Shakespeare in Love” in order to .”
“I called Steven (Spielberg) to congratulate him,” Weinstein said at the time. “I told Mrs. Clinton that the film was a masterpiece and that she should see it, and that Mrs. Clinton had an aversion to violent films.”
In 2020, amid Weinstein’s multiple rape and assault allegations, alleged victim Jessica Mann testified that Weinstein “liked to tell me that Bill Clinton was his neighbor” (via Page six).
Mann added: “He would talk about all this money he would raise for big organisations. He had a story for most people in the world who actually asked him, but the biggest one for me was Bill Clinton.”
The actress claimed she witnessed Weinstein raise money for Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign. “When you raise so much money for a powerful person that you can just call them on your phone, they don’t want to deal with somebody raping you and ruining that,” Mann said.
Weinstein’s relationship with Clinton was brought it up during the trial. Weinstein is currently serving several prison terms for sexual assault. Clinton is alleged that they were in a relationship with convicted sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein, who died in a prison cell.
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