ENTERTAINMENT
10/16/2017 11:52 EDT | Updated 10/16/2017 12:38 EDT

Weinstein Company May Be Sold To Firm Led By Donald Trump's Close Friend

The news comes after co-founder Bob Weinstein refuted rumors of a sale.

As allegations of sexual misconduct made against Harvey Weinstein continue to surface, The Associated Press and other outlets report The Weinstein Company is in negotiations with real estate investment firm Colony Capital for a potential sale. Colony will provide the embattled studio a cash infusion immediately as other solutions are considered, per The New York Times.

The AP first posted the news to Twitter on Monday morning. A representative for The Weinstein Company did not immediately respond to HuffPost’s request for comment.

Colony Capital is headed by billionaire Tom Barrack, a friend and defendant of Donald Trump who led the president’s inaugural committee, CNBC notes. Trump himself has been accused of sexual harassment by a number of women, and when asked about the Weinstein scandal, he said he wasn’t surprised by the allegations.

Barrack’s investment firm specializes in private equity and, according to Bloomberg, counts “special situations” and “turnarounds” among its focuses. It has a small connection to Bob and Harvey Weinstein, as well. In 2010, the Los Angeles Times notes, Colony provided guidance to a group of investors who purchased Miramax ― founded by the Weinstein brothers in 1979 ― from Disney. (The brothers had left Miramax about five years before the deal.)

“We believe that Colony’s investment and sponsorship will help stabilize the company’s current operations, as well as provide comfort to our critical distribution, production and talent partners around the world,” Weinstein Company board member Tarak Ben Ammar said in a statement obtained by The Los Angeles Times. “Colony’s successful experience and track record in media and entertainment will be invaluable to the company.”

Rumors began swirling last week that The Weinstein Company, which the brothers started in 2005, could be sold amidst the scandal. Bob Weinstein refuted the claims, however, saying the studio was continuing business “as usual.”

“Our banks, partners and shareholders are fully supportive of our company and it is untrue that the company or board is exploring a sale or shutdown of the company,” Bob Weinstein said in a statement obtained by Deadline on Friday.

According to a Variety report, however, leaders of TWC have been divided on what’s next for the company. Some in the industry said a bankruptcy reorganization seemed likely, according to the outlet, while certain company board members were said to be pushing for a sale. Variety also reported that Bob Weinstein and COO David Glasser were “advocating a batten-down-the-hatches strategy” as a law firm hired to look into allegations against Harvey conducts its investigation. 

Dozens of women, including actresses Ashley Judd, Rose McGowan, Gwyneth Paltrow, Angelina Jolie and Cara Delevingne, have come forward with allegations of sexual harassment or abuse against Harvey Weinstein. In a statement, the producer did not deny the allegations against him, which gained attention after a damning New York Times investigation was published earlier this month. 

As women continue to come forward with stories, many members of Hollywood, including Leonardo DiCaprio, Glenn Close and Jennifer Lawrence have condemned the producer’s actions. 

As a result of the allegations, Weinstein has been fired from TWC, and the company reportedly plans to remove his executive producer credit from future TV and film projects. He has also been kicked out of The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences

His wife, Marchesa designer Georgina Chapman, announced her decision to leave him last week.

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