The sexual harassment allegations uncovered by The Times stretched back decades and came from actresses as well as former employees of the Weinstein Company and Miramax, the previous company that Mr. Weinstein and his brother founded.
They sent the company scrambling to do damage control, with Bob Weinstein outlining the fallout in an email to Mr. Weinsteinâs legal adviser, Lisa Bloom.
âThe Democrats are giving Harveyâs money back,â he wrote on Friday morning, referring to politicians who were unloading political contributions they had received from Mr. Weinstein to womenâs groups. âWomenâs rights organizations are offended by his actions and are now calling for him to be fired. Actors and actresses in the community are appalled at Harvey and have gone on the record as such.â
The situation was complicated by Harvey Weinsteinâs response to the Times article, swinging wildly between contrition and attack. In a statement on Thursday, he acknowledged that âthe way Iâve behaved with colleagues in the past has caused a lot of pain, and I sincerely apologize for it,â while likening his personal flaws to those of the rapper Jay-Z, who apologized on his most recent album to his wife, BeyoncÃ©, for cheating on her.
Mr. Weinstein said he was planning to get help, but within hours, he had threatened to sue The Times for defamation. And in her own statement released on Thursday, Ms. Bloom said Mr. Weinstein âdenies many of the accusations as patently false.â
Ms. Bloom told the companyâs board on Thursday that Mr. Weinstein was planning to follow through with a lawsuit, and that board members could expect âmore and different reportingâ that would include âphotos of several of the accusers in very friendly poses with Harvey after his alleged misconduct.â
Mr. Maerov voiced anger in an email response to Ms. Bloom, saying her approach and public comments were âdefinitely fanning the flames and compounding the problemâ and contending that she had a conflict of interest because Mr. Weinstein had agreed to turn a book she wrote into a TV series.
âThis is not the time for Harvey or TWC to appear defiant or indignant,â he wrote, using an abbreviation for the Weinstein Company. âIt is time to repair, heal, accept responsibility and recover.â
He wrote that âpublishing pictures of victims in friendly poses with Harvey will backfire as it suggests they are exculpatory or negate any harm done to them through alleged actions.â
Bob Weinstein put it this way in his email to Ms. Bloom: âPerhaps, Harvey as he stated in the NY Times, to the world, should get professional help for a problem that really exists.â
On Saturday, Ms. Bloom resigned as an adviser to Mr. Weinstein. She offered no explanation, saying only that it was her understanding âthat Mr. Weinstein and his board are moving toward an agreement.â
She said in an interview Saturday afternoon that there was a large team handling Mr. Weinsteinâs defense and that she personally âdid not release photos of accusersâ to the news media. She also denied that her work with Mr. Weinstein created a conflict of interest.
Mr. Weinstein also parted ways with another adviser, Lanny Davis, a lawyer and crisis counselor who served as special counsel to President Bill Clinton. He and Mr. Weinstein had disagreed over how to handle the sexual harassment allegations, with Mr. Davis advising a more conciliatory approach than Mr. Weinstein seemed willing to adopt.
In recent days, other women have gone public with accusations of sexual misconduct by Mr. Weinstein, including a former news anchor who said he had trapped her in the hallway of a restaurant that was closed to the public and masturbated in front of her.
For decades, Mr. Weinstein had cultivated an image as a liberal power broker, raising money for Hillary Clinton, briefly employing Malia Obama as an intern and calling himself an advocate for women. President Trump, who has himself been accused of making unwelcome advances toward women, told reporters on Saturday that he had known Mr. Weinstein âfor a long timeâ and was ânot at all surprised to seeâ the reports.
For the past week, many women in Hollywood, frustrated with an industry that seems stuck perpetually sexualizing and mistreating women, had been watching closely to see where the Weinstein revelations would lead.
âI see this as a tipping point,â Jenni Konner, executive producer of the HBO series âGirls,â said on Sunday. âThis is the moment we look back on and say, âThatâs when it all started to change.ââ
The firing of Mr. Weinstein by his own company, Ms. Konner said, âis going to scare any man in Hollywood using his power for anything but making movies and television.â