I was Harvey's assistant for a little under two years right out of college.
I can tell you that while I was with him I did not see him do anything illegal. I'd like to think that if I did, I would've done something about it right then and there. What I did witness was that he was a complete and utter piece of shit the entire time I worked for him. He was rude. He was obnoxious. He was hostile. He threw things. He was verbally abusive. The way he ate was disgusting, the way he smoked was disgusting, the way he drank Diet Coke, then ashed in the can and then often drank from it again was disgusting…
But he was also a genius when it came to film. I can also say that the volume of calls and visits that came in from women vying for some of his time and attention was well…Voluminous...And Men too.
Traveling all over the country with him I got to see a lot. I told him to "fuck off" when I finally had had enough and walked out the door, never to return again.
Did it end my career in the film business? No. I went on to produce a few films. After that, I chose not to be in the film business any longer. It was my choice. I do not believe that there is one person who can ever get in the way of stopping someone from accomplishing their goal. Being in film just wasn’t my goal.
There were plenty of other people at Miramax and in the industry that felt like I did. That wanted to tell him to Fuck Off, or worse…However, most don’t possess that type of strength or conviction. They choose to stay to put up with him, to try and get ahead or think that this is some sort of rite of passage. And yes, there are some who even willingly and consenually make that deal with the devil. Many have gone on to great success. Many have been shattered.
This is how bullies exist.
This is how absolute power corrupts absolutely.
What you saw today is the result of strong people who finally decided that they were going to fight back and that enough was enough.
I can't say for certain what he did or did not do. He has been found guilty as charged. I certainly believe that all of the evidence and stories were looked upon, considered appropriately and carefully and that all of these individuals that came forward believe in their heart of hearts everything that they've said under oath. That justice prevailed.
He deserves to be punished for what he did, physically, emotionally, mentally and financially to the women out there.
While this is about the women, the effect he had on men is also significant. He cost men their careers as well. He damaged the reputations of men. He hurt men as well. He bullied, demeaned and threatened men constantly.
I remember saying when I was leaving, “It's your company, you run it however you want, it's my choice whether or not I'm going to be a part of it.” This type of behavior occurs and continues when people choose to look the other way, when people choose to accept it, when people think that this is the way it is or that a person of power can just get away with it. Men and women alike.
Is it somewhat sad to see him as a fraction of the man that he used to be? Perhaps. When you had seen him negotiate deals or edit a film or do something magical with a script, it was impressive. It is far more gratifying to see that justice has finally won out.
Justice has finally been had.
After I walked out of those offices that day I was thinking “What the fuck did I just do?” At 21 years old I was running around the country on private jets with the chairman of Miramax Films, with an expense account and living the life…All I had to do was put up with his crap. I remember it like it was yesterday. Getting a message from “Harv”. Back then it was on a answering machine, “Greg. It's Harv. I'm sorry. You should come back, boy, did you really give it to me, boy, do you really get it. And I want you to be here”.
I just knew. I just knew that it was lip service. That nothing was going to change with him. That my father would be turning over in his grave if he knew I allowed somebody to talk to me that way and I didn’t either kick their ass or simply leave and move on to bigger and better things.
Today is a huge win.
A huge win for women.
A huge win for punching the bully in the mouth.
A huge win for anyone and everyone who's ever been hurt by somebody abusing their power or their position.
No matter what industry, place, time, gender, religion, socio-economic status this verdict is a huge win for everyone.
I sincerely hope they got it right. Not in the court of public opinion, but that they got it right based on the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.