"It was him looking to see who was a friend still because his life was about to shift completely," Kevin Smith said of Harvey Weinstein

By Eric Todisco
October 02, 2019 11:46 AM
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Kevin Smith is sharing details about a phone call he received from Harvey Weinstein just one week before sexual harassment claims against the producer rocked Hollywood in 2017.

The actor and filmmaker, 49, revealed in a recent interview with Business Insider that Weinstein, whom he had worked with in the past, called him out of the blue after not speaking for over two decades.

“I said, ‘Hey, how are you?’ And he goes, ‘You know, we have Dogma, I just realized, and we got to get it out there again,’ ” Smith recalled.

Dogma — Smith’s 1999 film that starred Ben Affleck and Matt Damon, and was produced by Weinstein — had never been available on a streaming platform, with no talks of a sequel.

“I said, ‘We do! People online are always asking where they can get it,'” Smith said. “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.’ ”

The Weinstein Co. Presents "Zack & Miri Make A Porno" - Red Carpet
Credit: John Shearer/WireImage

One week after the phone call, on Oct. 5, 2017, The New York Times released a story that featured dozens of women accusing Weinstein, 67, of rape, sexual assault and sexual abuse over a period of at least 30 years.

“I felt sick to my stomach,” Smith recalled upon reading the story.

The NYT story resulted in Weinstein’s dismissal from The Weinstein Company. He was arrested in May 2018 but was released on bail. He has denied all accusations against him.

After reading the story, Smith said he told someone who worked at Miramax, also founded by Weinstein, about the phone call. That person, according to Smith, told him they received a similar call from the now-disgraced producer.

“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,” he said regarding the phone call.

“He was starting to circle the wagons,” Smith continued. “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 defense 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.’ ”

In a 2004 editorial in Variety, Smith defended Weinstein after the release of Peter Biskind’s book Down and Dirty, which accused Weinstein and his brother Bob of bullying and intimidation to make Miramax a hit-making production company in the ’90s.

Film producer Harvey Weinstein arrives at the 1st Precinct in Manhattan in New York
Harvey
| Credit: REUTERS/Mike Segar

But after the NYT story broke, Smith no longer defended the producer, and tweeted that he was “ashamed” that Weinstein had financed his films.

In March, multiple reports revealed that Weinstein had reached a tentative $44 million agreement that would see him compensate women who have sued him for alleged sexual misconduct and board members of his former movie company, while settling a pending civil-rights lawsuit by the New York State Attorney General’s Office.

Weinstein is currently set to go to trial in January 2020 for charges of rape, predatory sexual assault and criminal sexual act based on the accusations of two women, according to The Washington Post.

He has plead not guilty to all charges.