Dirk Ziff, a billionaire investor, was the first board member reported to have resigned from his post on Friday, according to the New York Times and entertainment new sites The Wrap and Deadline. Ziff’s resignation was followed by reports of the departures of Technicolor executive Tim Sarnoff and hedge fund billionaire Marc Lasry.
The board members fled the company after the Times on Thursday published a searing report about the company’s founder Weinstein, detailing numerous accusations of sexual harassment by actresses, associates, and current and former employees of the Hollywood mogul.
The Weinstein Company’s board, which consists only of men, issued a statement Friday ordering an independent investigation into the allegations against Weinstein. The board also stated that they have retained outside lawyers to assist with the situation.
In the Times’ report, actress Ashley Judd described how early in her career, Weinstein allegedly called her up to his hotel room and pressured her to watch him shower and give him a massage. The article also mentioned a police report accusing Weinstein of grabbing Italian model Ambra Battilana’s breasts and putting his hands up her skirt.
After the Times’ story was published, actress Rose McGowan tweeted of “complicity” and called for women to “fight on.” Weinstein reportedly settled with McGowan for $100,000 two decades ago, according to the report.
Deadline noted that the board’s statement was signed by four of the board’s nine original members: Bob Weinstein, Tarak Ben Ammar, Lance Maerov and Richard Koenigsberg. Paul Tudor Jones, the eighth board member, did not sign the statement.
Harvey Weinstein, who is the ninth member of the board, is taking an indefinite leave of absence from the Weinstein Company.
After the Times’ report was published Thursday, Weinstein issued a statement on the accusations apologizing for his behavior, which he said “caused a lot of pain.” He also vowed to channel his anger at the National Rifle Association.
In a separate report published in HuffPost Friday evening, TV journalist Lauren Sivan accused Weinstein of trapping her in the hallway of a restaurant that was closed to the public and masturbating in front of her.