It’s well-known that Hollywood mogul and convicted rapist Harvey Weinstein was a longtime friend and financial backer of Bill and Hillary Clinton.
But how close was the relationship, exactly?
A former staffer for Weinstein’s production company, Miramax, says that Clinton took time away from his presidential duties to help Weinstein with show business. Talk about crossing a line.
The anonymous staffer says they were “appalled” at the generosity Clinton showed toward Weinstein, who felt comfortable asking Clinton for advice on an Oscar campaign for the Miramax movie Sling Blade.
Weinstein’s White House chats
The Miramax staffer said they “lost all respect” for Clinton even before Monica Lewinsky was a household name. Weinstein would later help Clinton fight the Lewinsky scandal by donating to his legal defense fund.
“I was so appalled that the president of the United States would spend half an hour with us on the phone,” the staffer said. “I lost all respect for him well before Monica Lewinsky, because I could see how much access the Clintons were giving to Harvey.”
The quote appears in the book Oscar Wars: A History of Hollywood in Gold, Sweat, and Tears, by New Yorker writer Michael Schulman.
Sling Blade takes place in Clinton’s native Arkansas. The movie made its lead actor, Billy Bob Thornton, famous and earned him an Oscar for best screenplay.
“Realizing that both Clinton and Thornton were Arkansas boys, Weinstein picked the president’s brain for tips on Thornton’s Oscar campaign,” Schulman wrote.
Clinton’s sex offender ties
Weinstein’s empire came crumbling down after a flood of sexual assault and harassment accusations in 2017, which triggered the #MeToo movement. He has since been convicted of sexual offenses in New York and Los Angeles and sentenced to consecutive 23-year and 16-year sentences.
The Clintons have downplayed their past ties to Weinstein since his fall from grace.
“How could we have known? He raised money for me, for the Obamas, for Democrats in general,” Hillary Clinton said in 2020.
Weinstein wasn’t the only sex offender Clinton was close with during his time in the White House. Pedophile Jeffrey Epstein visited the Clinton White House numerous times.
The Clintons’ ties to Epstein have been a cause for speculation over the years, but Clinton has denied ever visiting Epstein’s notorious “Pedophile Island.”