Michael Moore's Weinstein Lawsuit: Shady Accounting or Oscar-Timed Hit?
Earlier today we were tickled by tales of Bob and Harvey Weinstein's genius early '80s sexifying shenanigans, but this afternoon brings allegations of shady accounting and legal chicanery lobbied by none other than former collaborator Michael Moore, who claims the Weinsteins deceived him out of millions in profits from his 2004 documentary Fahrenheit 9/11. Naturally, we wonder: What's this mean for the Oscar race?
Moore's lawsuit not only alleges that a 2008 audit came up $2.7 million short in profits from the $222 million grosser, but that the Weinsteins, through their affiliated acquisitions company the Fellowship Adventure Group, purposefully hid the extra cash from Moore in accounting reports. Lawyers on both sides have given choice quotes on the matter. "[Moore] should be ashamed of himself," says Weinstein rep Bert Fields. Meanwhile, Moore lawyer Larry Stein suggests that his client is owed even more than the initial estimate. "The $2.7 million is just the floor of what we believe is owed," said Stein in a statement. "When this goes to discovery I wouldn't be surprised if the amount of what was taken goes much, much higher."
However the lawsuit shakes out, one thing is certain: It seems like awfully conspicuous timing to lob a PR attack on ol' Harvey, whose campaigning for The King's Speech has launched the Tom Hooper biopic to the top of Oscar bloggers' lists. Somewhere in Hollywood Scott Rudin and his Social Network cohort are grasping to discover The King's Speech's Achilles heel; could this legal distraction be just the chance they've been waiting for?