Was Hollywood mega-producer Harvey Weinstein betrayed by his own flesh and blood?
There is rampant speculation among 'insiders' that Bob Weinstein leaked details that led to the explosive NYT story about his brother's alleged sexual harassment of a number of women, according to Page Six.
Bob Weinstein, who co-founded The Weinstein Company with his brother and who currently serves as a board member, has reportedly been trying for years to unseat Harvey Weinstein as the sole head of the studio.
'Bob's wanted Harvey out for years,' a former staffer told Page Six.
The source claimed that 'the two brothers are becoming increasingly suspicious of each other.'
It has even been suggested that Bob Weinstein 'may have even fed this story' to the Times as a means of orchestrating Harvey Weinstein's downfall.
'Bob wanted Harvey to get what's coming to him,' Page Six quoted a source as saying.
The brothers jointly own 42% of The Weinstein Company, according to NYT.
Harvey Weinstein announced on Friday that he was taking an indefinite leave of absence.
A statement issued by four board members said that The Weinstein Company will be run in the meantime by Bob Weinstein and David Glasser, the president and COO.
By all appearances, if the rumors of a fraught relationship between the brothers is true, that means Bob Weinstein wins this round.
'There has always been a love-hate relationship between the brothers,' says a former Weinstein employee.
'There have been times they wouldn't speak for months. Let's just say they have an 'inconsistent' relationship.'
Page Six quoted another source who agreed with the assessments among insiders about a fraternal rift.
'Bob's trying to take over and push Harvey out,' the source said.
Bob Weinstein has denied talk that he plotted his brother's fall from grace.
'These assertions are untrue,' he told Page Six.
The NYT reported that Harvey Weinstein, 65, had reached eight previously undisclosed settlements with women who made allegations of sexual harassment and unwanted physical contact.
The alleged victims included an actress, a model and two assistants and their allegations spanned almost 30 years, the newspaper reported.
On Friday, former New York broadcast anchor Lauren Sivan told Huffington Post that the influential producer once trapped her in the hallway of a restaurant during a private event and masturbated in front of her until he ejaculated.
The Weinsteins broke into show business together.
In the 1970s, they produced rock concerts in Buffalo.
They then used profits from their concerts to found Miramax, which at the time was a small independent film distribution company.
In the 1980s and 90s, Miramax gained a reputation for releasing critically acclaimed films.
On Friday, former New York broadcast anchor Lauren Sivan told Huffington Post that Harvey Weinstein once trapped her in the hallway of a restaurant during a private event and masturbated in front of her until he ejaculated
The studio's string of successes eventually led to its acquisition by the Walt Disney Company in 1993.
In 2005, the Weinstein brothers announced they would leave Miramax to form their own production company, The Weinstein Company.
After Harvey Weinstein announced Friday he was taking an indefinite leave as co-chairman, the film production company said it will conduct an internal investigation into the Times' report of sexual harassment allegations against one of the most powerful men in Hollywood.
The Weinstein Company board of representatives said in a statement that it takes 'extremely seriously' the accusations made in the Times story that said Weinstein had made eight settlements with women who had accused him of unwanted physical contact and sexual harassment over three decades.
Meanwhile, the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and several Democratic politicians including Senators Kamala Harris, Cory Booker and Chuck Schumer said Friday they will re-route Weinstein's political donations to women's rights groups.
Weinstein Co board representatives called it 'essential' to company culture 'that all women who work for it or have any dealings with it or any of our executives are treated with respect and have no experience of harassment or discrimination.'
The company said it has retained an outside legal firm to conduct an independent investigation into the allegations.
'As Harvey has said, it is important for him to get professional help for the problems he has acknowledged. Next steps will depend on Harvey's therapeutic progress, the outcome of the Board's independent investigation, and Harvey's own personal decisions,' the board representatives added.
Weinstein initially responded to the Times story on Thursday by apologizing for causing anyone pain, and saying he was taking a leave of absence.
His lawyer later threatened to sue the NYT.
Weinstein, one of Hollywood's best-known figures, has produced or distributed Oscar-winning movies including 'Shakespeare in Love' and 'Chicago.' He was a prominent donor to Democrats during the 2016 general election campaign.
'The DNC will donate over $30,000 in contributions from Weinstein to EMILY's List, Emerge America and Higher Heights because what we need is more women in power,' DNC communications director Xochitl Hinojosa said in a statement.