Inside Brothers Harvey and Bob Weinstein's 'Volatile' Relationship: Their Fighting Was 'Frightening to Watch'
The brothers disagreed over business decisions, which would play out in meetings
Harvey Weinstein‘s “intense” and “volatile” relationship with his younger brother, Bob, often led to conflicts in the workplace, a source tells PEOPLE.
“It was volatile, and as intense as any relationship between any two people could ever have,” says the source. “No two people can go at each other with such a level of poison and vitriol.”
Amid the dozens of sexual harassment and abuse allegations spanning three decades against Harvey, Bob has also been accused of sexual harassment — which he has denied.
The Weinstein brothers made their names starting two highly successful movie studios together, Miramax and The Weinstein Company, which they co-chaired until the scandal. But they often disagreed on business decisions — which could lead to explosive arguments.
“They typically would have differing opinions on ways to spend money or with a creative choice related to a movie,” says the source. “They would have violently competing opinions on things.”
According to the source, their disagreements would sometimes play out in meetings with other employees present.
“It was crazy name-calling by both,” adds the source. “They were typically fighting in a somewhat frightening way. It was a frightening thing to watch.”
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Another source close to the brothers notes that the disagreements were a regular occurrence.
“I’ve hardly ever seen them do anything other than fight,” says the source.
A third insider adds: “No one in [Miramax or The Weinstein Company] would dream of getting between the two brothers.”
And while Harvey was known for using his power as a means of intimidation, the first source says Bob has an “explosive” personality.
“In some ways, Bob is scarier than Harvey, as Bob is more unpredictable,” says the first source. “Bob is explosive in an unpredictable way. You’re more likely to anticipate things that that are going to anger Harvey.”
Even though the brothers were on level playing fields when it came to power, the source close to the brothers says Harvey would try to push Bob out.
“Bob definitely felt Harvey’s wrath like everyone else,” says the source. “When Bob’s movies weren’t making money— not that Harvey’s were either —then Harvey didn’t have a use for him.”
The brothers, raised in Queens, N.Y., are the sons of housewife Miriam and diamond cutter Max (for whom they named their first studio, Miramax). Despite their close upbringing, the two would often go for long periods of time without speaking, according to a source.
“There was never a time, unless they were on stage or in a public setting, that they would look supportive of each other,” says the source.
The two even fought after their mother Miriam passed away in 2016.
“When their mother passed away Harvey wanted to have a big celebratory service, Bob just wanted family and was totally against it and he didn’t attend,” says a source close to the brothers.
After The New York Times published the first bombshell exposé about Harvey that revealed eight women — including actress Ashley Judd — accused Harvey of sexual harassment, Bob (who is on the board that fired Harvey from The Weinstein Co.) called his brother “depraved.”
“I have a brother that’s indefensible and crazy,” Bob told The Hollywood Reporter. “I want him to get the justice that he deserves.”
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On Tuesday, Amanda Segel told Variety that while she was executive-producing the Weinstein Co. drama The Mist, Bob “repeatedly made romantic overtures to her and asked her to join him for private dinners.”
His attorney Bert Fields responded to the article in a statement to PEOPLE.
“Variety’s story about Bob Weinstein is riddled with false and misleading assertions by Ms. Segel and we have the emails to prove it, but even if you believe what she says it contains not a hint of any inappropriate touching or even any request for such touching,” Fields says. “There is no way in the world that Bob Weinstein is guilty of sexual harassment, and even if you believed what this person asserts there is no way it would amount to that.”
The number of women speaking out has ballooned as both the Times and The New Yorker published stories featuring numerous other allegations of sexual misconduct against Harvey, including claims of sexual assault. The paper also reported that he reached private settlements with eight women, including actress Rose McGowan. Gwyneth Paltrow, Angelina Jolie and several other women added their own accounts of alleged mistreatment, and more than two dozen women have now come forward.
Following the initial report, Harvey said in a statement that he was working with therapists and planned to “deal with this issue head-on.”
In response to several allegations made against Harvey, his spokesperson said, “Any allegations of non-consensual sex are unequivocally denied by Mr. Weinstein.”