Kevin Smith has said he “felt sick” after the sexual misconduct allegations against Harvey Weinstein broke because the shamed producer had called him only a week before.
The filmmaker worked with Weinstein on films including 1994’s Clerks and the 2006 sequel Clerks II, and 1999’s Dogma. Smith and Weinstein last worked together on 2008’s Zack And Miri Make A Porno.
A week before the New York Times published an exposé accusing Weinstein of decades’ worth of sexual misconduct (which he has always “unequivocally” denied), Smith said the producer called him out of the blue. “I said, ‘Hey, how are you?’ And he goes, ‘You know, we have ‘Dogma,’ I just realised, and we got to get it out there again,’” the director told Business Insider.
“I said, ‘We do! People online are always asking where they can get it.’ And he then goes, ‘You know, that movie had a big cast, we might even be able to do a sequel.’ And I was like, ‘Yeah man, right on. I might think about that.’ And he was like, ‘We’ll talk.’ And a week later The New York Times story breaks. I felt sick to my stomach.”
Smith said he told someone at Miramax about the call after the allegations broke and they said they had also received a similar call. “He was starting to circle the wagons,” he said of what he believed Weinstein’s motives to be. “It was him looking to see who was a friend still because his life was about to shift completely. And I used to be a defence guy. I wrote a piece in Variety on how he’s still got the edge when people would go after him like, ‘Harvey’s lost his touch.’”
He added: “There are people who are the real victims here, but I have to be honest with you, I felt like it was someone using something you love to provoke a reaction.”
Juda Engelmayer, a spokesperson for Weinstein, responded to Smith’s comments, saying: “I don’t know if that call even happened, and if it did, that there was any expectation other than making a creative business decision; it’s what Weinstein was well known for.”
Weinstein was charged with rape, criminal sex act, sex abuse, and sexual misconduct for incidents involving two separate women on May 25, 2018. He was released on bail after paying $1 million (£814k) and agreed to wear an electronic monitor, surrender his passport, and restrict his travel to New York state and Connecticut. His trial is currently set to begin in January 2020.
In a leaked round robin email sent at the end of 2018, the producer told friends and acquaintances: “I’ve had one hell of a year. The worst nightmare of my life.”