Lisa Bloom, a high-profile attorney and former adviser to Harvey Weinstein, had plans to discredit the women who accused the Hollywood mogul of sexual harassment, according to The New York Times.
In emails obtained by the Times, Bloom suggested to the Weinstein Company board that Weinstein’s team could do “more and different reporting” in response to the newspaper’s bombshell story, which reported the film executive had settled at least eight sexual harassment claims. Journalist Lauren Sivan added to the allegations on Friday, telling HuffPost Weinstein had once trapped her in a restaurant hallway and masturbated in front of her.
Bloom’s planned strategy, as written in her email, included “photos of several of the accusers in very friendly poses with Harvey after his alleged misconduct,” according to the Times.
After the Times published its first report on the allegations against Weinstein, Bloom issued a statement Thursday saying that although Weinstein “denies many of the accusations as patently false,” he would not “demean or attack” his accusers.
Bloom told HuffPost in an email that she did not have plans to gather or share photos of his accusers, but she declined to share the full copy of her emails with the board.
“There was no ‘plan.’ I was simply pointing out that there was intense media interest in the story and there would be more to come,” Bloom said. “That everyone should take a breath and wait until an investigation got to the bottom of the facts and then make a decision.”
“Hard to understand how someone could criticize that approach but the board would not have it until later they decided to do exactly that.”
Board members Bob Weinstein (Harvey’s brother and company co-founder) and Lance Maerov were reportedly upset with the plan laid out in Bloom’s email. According to the Times, Maerov asked Bloom to step down, saying that a business deal she has with Harvey Weinstein makes her unable to be impartial when giving the film executive legal advice.
When asked if Maerov’s criticisms played a role in her resignation, Bloom said, “The criticism I had of the board and the board had of me had as much relevance to my resignation decision as what I had for breakfast today.”
A self-described “women’s rights advocate,” Bloom also said she would be working on completing a “comprehensive review” of the Weinstein Company’s workplace and gender equality policies.
In the wake of its searing report, the Times has called for Weinstein to release his accusers from any nondisclosure agreements he may have with them so they can speak about issues of gender equality.
This story was updated on Saturday at 10:45 pm ET with a comment from Bloom.