Amid the mounting allegations of sexual misconduct waged against him, film executive Harvey Weinstein wrote a desperate email to friends that surfaced Monday. One of those friends, Jeffrey Katzenberg, has made his response public.
“You have done terrible things to a number of women over a period of years,” Katzenberg wrote in an email shared Tuesday by The Hollywood Reporter. “I cannot in any way say this is OK with me…It’s not at all, and I am sickened by it, angry with you and incredibly disappointed in you.”
Katzenberg currently runs digital media firm WndrCo, but once acted as the chairman of Walt Disney Studios and CEO of DreamWorks Animation, a role he occupied when Disney acquired Weinstein’s Miramax production company.
In Tuesday’s Hollywood Reporter article, Katzenberg said he’s known Weinstein for more than 30 years and was unsure how to respond to his old friend’s plea.
“My board is thinking of firing me,” Weinstein’s initial email read. “All I’m asking, is let me take a leave of absence and get into heavy therapy and counseling. Whether it be in a facility or somewhere else, allow me to resurrect myself with a second chance.”
Katzenberg says he was “paralyzed” by the request as varied accounts of sexual abuse continued to roll in. The executive told THR that he was unsure whether or not to respond.
Katzenberg said that he was advised to not answer Weinstein. After writing a response and reading it to his friends, however, he said they all suggested he send it.
“I sat down and wrote a response and I called them back and I read it to them,” he said. “There wasn’t a single person who didn’t say, ‘Send it.’”
The email reads as follows:
Hey Harvey, Here is the bottom line. You stated in your email below that “A lot of the allegations are false as you know.” Well actually I don’t “know” and given the timing of the circumstances, I have no way of knowing.
However, you yourself, in your quotes, have acknowledged that you have behaved inappropriately…so it seems to me we are now down to degrees of horrible.
You have done terrible things to a number of women over a period of years.
I cannot in any way say this is OK with me…It’s not at all, and I am sickened by it, angry with you and incredibly disappointed in you.
There appear to be two Harvey Weinsteins…one that I have known well, appreciated and admired and another that I have not known at all.
As someone who has been a friend of yours for 30 years, I’m available to give you advice on how to at least try to make amends, if possible address those that you’ve wronged, and just possibly find a path to heal and redeem yourself. Having watched your reactions, seen the actions you have taken and read your statement, I will tell you, in my opinion, you have gone about this all wrong and you are continuing to make a horrible set of circumstances even worse.
I doubt this is what you want to hear from me and most likely you aren’t interested in my advice but this is the way I see it. I remain available. JK.
Weinstein was fired from the Weinstein Co. shortly after Katzenberg says he sent his email.
Since the allegations against him surfaced last week, Weinstein has been roundly condemned by other executives including Disney’s Bob Iger, as well as Hollywood heavyweights including Meryl Streep and Leonardo DiCaprio.