Amazon confirms it removed Harvey Weinstein autobiography that he likely didn’t write
Disgraced film producer Harvey Weinstein has been busy in jail — allegedly telling his life story to fellow inmates.
The convicted sex offender is the subject of a new memoir, “Harvey Weinstein: My Story,” that was independently published on Amazon in various formats on May 10. The book was available for purchase on Amazon until early Friday afternoon, when the listing was abruptly taken down.
While it appeared to be written by Weinstein and was billed as “an autobiography told with remarkable candor,” Newsweek reported Friday that the book was written by two of his fellow inmates and put out by Dennis Sobin, director of the nonprofit Prisons Foundation, which publishes the works of convicts.
“As an author, he is unafraid to face his detractors with a full and honest account of what he did. You be the judge,” read the “About the Author” section of the listing. (The Times reviewed the book’s Amazon page before it was removed.)
An Amazon representative confirmed to The Times on Friday that the book was no longer available on its platform.
“All publishers are required to follow our content guidelines and the terms and conditions of our service,” the company said in a statement. “This book is no longer for sale and we’ve taken appropriate action on the publisher account.”
At a court hearing in New York, prosecutors file new paperwork that gives the disgraced producer until May 30 to challenge his extradition to L.A.
The 203-page tome, whose cover features a black-and-white photo of a young Weinstein, boasts about the former mogul’s Oscar-winning career before his downfall in 2017. Helping to ignite the #MeToo movement, the New York Times and the New Yorker published damning, Pulitzer-winning investigations that year about his pattern of sexual misconduct and inappropriate behavior.
Was any of that mentioned in the autobiography’s description? Nope.
Here’s the book’s jaw-dropping take on the 70-year-old’s legacy:
“Many people in the movie field are lucky if they get a single Academy Awards nomination. Do you know how many of them Weinstein received? Not three, not 35, but 350. And do you know how many Oscars? A total of 80 in virtually every category. Eighty first-place wins. In this book, Weinstein not only tells of his unconventional (some say ‘inappropriate’) methods but of the accusations that inevitably followed his success.”
It gets worse.
The “About the Author” also branded the former Miramax power broker “an icon synonymous with the modern American movie industry.”
“He took chances in his professional and personal life. He weighed the odds and moved forward without hesitation. The results were astounding,” it said.
If you want to know how powerful men get away with abusing people for years, read “She Said.”
Astounding, indeed. Weinstein is serving a 23-year sentence after being convicted in New York in February 2020 of committing a criminal sexual act and third-degree rape.
He has been accused of sexual assault, misconduct and harassment by more than 80 women in the U.S. and the United Kingdom. Weinstein has vehemently denied any wrongdoing.
Newsweek obtained an excerpt from the book’s introduction that explained its unusual backstory.
“At this point, I must point out in the interest of full disclosure that our receiving this autobiography came in a circuitous way,” the book passage said. “It was mailed to us from the Twin Towers Correctional Facility, the prison in California housing Weinstein. But it was not mailed to us by Weinstein himself.”
The manuscript reportedly came by way of two inmates who said they had befriended Weinstein in confinement, and he relayed his story to them. Weinstein reportedly told the inmates that his lawyers won’t allow him to tell his story directly — now or previously during his New York trial.
Before Will Smith, how did Oscars punish Roman Polanski, Harvey Weinstein, Bill Cosby?
Before Will Smith, how did Oscars punished Roman Polanski, Harvey Weinstein, Bill Cosby?
In September, Weinstein will stand trial for alleged sex crimes in Los Angeles, where prosecutors charged him with four counts of forcible rape, four counts of forcible oral copulation, two counts of sexual battery and one count of sexual penetration by force.
He was extradited to L.A. last summer to stand trial after the case was delayed because of the COVID-19 pandemic, court backlogs and other objections by his legal team.
Weinstein is set to face 10 accusers in that trial — but not actors Rose McGowan and Daryl Hannah — and half of those witnesses will be alleging uncharged “prior bad acts,” according to USA Today. The 11 felony charges involve five other accusers.
“Harvey Weinstein: My Story” had arrived more than a month before Ken Auletta, media critic for the New Yorker, is set to publish his Weinstein biography for Penguin Press on July 12. Auletta, who profiled Weinstein at the height of his career, named his book “Hollywood Ending: Harvey Weinstein and the Culture of Complicity.”
That biography is billed as “a deep dive into the life and career of Harvey Weinstein — how he rose to become one of the most iconic figures in the world of movies, how he used that position to feed his monstrous sexual appetites, and why he was allowed to operate with such impunity for so many years.”
Times Books editor Boris Kachka contributed to this report.
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