Accusations of sexual harassment against Harvey Weinstein, the Hollywood entertainment mogul, cost him a close adviser on Saturday and may have lost his company a high-profile series of books.
Lisa Bloom, the prominent women's rights attorney, announced that she had resigned as an adviser to Weinstein after having counseled him on how to deal with the allegations. And Mika Brzezinski, the co-host of MSNBC’s "Morning Joe," said on Twitter that she would not let Weinstein Books publish three upcoming books that were part of a package deal, unless Weinstein resigns from the company.
Weinstein stands accused of using his position as a powerful producer to sexually harass women over a period of decades. A number of women, including the actress Ashley Judd, came forward in an article published by The New York Times on Thursday.
After numerous allegations, Weinstein admitted he had a problem but also maintained his innocence. On Friday, the Weinstein Company said its co-founder would be placed on an indefinite leave of absence and said it would hire a prominent law firm to investigate the charges.
Bloom, who led the charge against Bill O’Reilly when he faced allegations of sexual harassment at Fox News, had recently come under fire for her support of Weinstein. She released a statement on the same day of the article’s publication defending her continued support of Weinstein, calling him an "old dinosaur learning new ways” who wanted to learn from his mistakes.
“He is going to use this as a painful learning experience to grow into a better man,” she said on Thursday. “I will continue to work with him personally for as long as it takes.”
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But that all ended on Saturday, after she endured days of criticism for defending the kind of behavior she has been known to attack.
“I have resigned as an advisor to Harvey Weinstein,” Bloom tweeted. “My understanding is that Mr. Weinstein and his board are moving toward an agreement.”
Even Bloom's mother, the prominent attorney Gloria Allred, implicitly criticized Bloom for working with Weinstein.
"Had I been asked by Mr. Weinstein to represent him, I would have declined," she said in a statement, "because I do not represent individuals accused of sex harassment."
Bloom defended herself in a statement on Sunday.
"Any allegation that I had a plan to attack women is categorically false and personally hurtful," she said. "I believed that working with a man to approach this with an apology and a vow to change was a better way than what has been done in every prior case. And I still do.”
Bloom was not the only person to leave Weinstein’s crisis management team on Saturday. Sources familiar with the situation said that Weinstein adviser Lanny Davis will also no longer represent the Hollywood producer.
Davis, a former special counselor to Bill Clinton, declined to comment on the situation, but he allegedly told Weinstein to take immediate public responsibility when the allegations first came to light.
The majority of the company's board endorsed Weinstein's leave of absence on Friday. "As Harvey has said, it is important for him to get professional help for the problems he has acknowledged," board members said in statement.
But a leave of absence is not nearly enough for some, who are calling for Weinstein’s resignation.
Brzezinski is in that camp, as she made clear in a series of tweets threatening to pull out of the book deal if Weinstein does not resign. She later confirmed on Sunday that she intended to pull out of the agreement unless Weinstein resigned.
She called for Weinstein to “resign from his companies, face his sickness, and go into a long, self-imposed exile.”
She also urged a working boycott of Weinstein's companies until he resigned.
Authors, actors, and moviemakers should not work for any Weinstein company until he resigns. Not a close call. #knowyourvalue
Brzezinski has written several books, and signed a deal with Weinstein to publish an expanded version of her 2011 book, “Knowing Your Value: Women, Money, and Getting What You’re Worth." The other two books, according to The New York Post, are about comeback careers and a guide for millennials entering the job market.
"I am hopeful that leaders in Hollywood and Washington who have benefited from their business relationships with Weinstein will also feel compelled to act," Brzezinski said in a statement on Sunday. "We must all stand united against the mistreatment of women, even at our own personal expense."
Phil McCausland is an NBC News reporter focused on the rural-urban divide.