The house of cards continues to fall for Hollywood bigwig Harvey Weinstein, 65, as frightening allegations of sexual assault and misconduct were released in The New York Times on October 5. Now, the movie mogul is facing a divorce from his wife of ten years, Marchesa fashion designer Georgina Chapman, 41.
Chapman broke her silence regarding her husband’s alleged history of groping, rape, and sexual misconduct of 13 different women with a statement in People Magazine, formally announcing that she was divorcing her husband.
“My heart breaks for all the women who have suffered tremendous pain because of these unforgivable actions,” the statement read. “I have chosen to leave my husband. Caring for my young children is my first priority and I ask the media for privacy at this time.”
This marks a change in Chapman’s stance on the increasing allegations against her soon to be ex-husband, as Weinstein first claimed that Chapman was standing by him.
Asset Division: What Might be at Stake for Harvey Weinstein
Now facing a divorce, the power-couple is estimated to have a combined net-worth of $320 million ($300 million on Weinstein’s side of the ledger, and $20 million on Chapman’s), with Weinstein’s company itself having an estimated worth of $150 million. How much of this would be categorized as marital assets (the piece of a married couple’s financial “pie” that’s usually subject to division on divorce) is unknown. The couple is also said to have a prenuptial agreement, which could have a profound effect on how their assets are divided, as well as the amount and duration of spousal support, if any.
“If they have a prenuptial agreement that was put together properly, it will dictate how marital property and debt would be divided in their divorce,” says Kirk Stange, Missouri family law attorney and founding partner at Stange Law Firm.
“It would also be important to look at the facts behind how the prenuptial agreement was put together,” Stange adds. “Did both parties have separate legal counsel? Was their a full and fair disclosure of assets on both their parts? Was the prenuptial agreement entered without any fraud, duress, undue influence or coercion? And does the prenuptial agreement properly address all the property and debt they have?”
Early reports suggest that Weinstein’s attorney, Lisa Bloom, has already resigned from his case, and Chapman is said to be “attorney-shopping” for a divorce firm and attorney to represent her. It’s currently unknown as to whether these allegations against Weinstein could have an impact on the custody of their two young children, aged 7 and 4. Depending on Weinstein’s behavior in front of his children, it could affect the judge’s eventual decision regarding who will receive physical and legal child custody, as well as shape their parenting time (visitation) schedule.
“From a child custody standpoint, Chapman could end up with a more favorable custody award based on Weinstein’s behavior,” says Stange. “He’d have to argue that his behavior was compartmentalized, completely away from the children, and that he is a good father when he has the children. But that may be a hard case to make just based on the outrageous nature of the alleged behavior.”
If he were to be convicted, Stange says that conviction would certainly impact child custody.
A powerful movie producer, Weinstein is a co-founder of the Hollywood giant Miramax, producing several hit movies including Pulp Fiction, Clerks, and Good Will Hunting. In, 2006 he and his brother Bob co-founded their own production company: the Weinstein Company. On October 8, Weinstein was fired from his own company as a result of the sexual assault allegations against him.
Sexual Misconduct Allegations Spanning Three Decades
Since the New York Times broke the story, several prominent women have come forward with their own tales about Weinstein’s sexual misconduct throughout his entire career in Hollywood, including statements from actresses Gwyneth Paltrow and Angelina Jolie. Paltrow has since told The New York Times that Weinstein sexually assaulted her after he cast her in the lead role of the film Emma, encouraging the actress to give him a massage when she was 22 years old. Jolie recently told reporters that during the production of the film Playing By Heart in the early ’90s, she rejected sexual advances from Weinstein in a hotel room.
Perhaps the bitterest new allegation comes from actress Rose McGowan, who used on her Twitter account on October 12 to accuse Weinstein of raping her. McGowan is now the fourth woman to accuse Weinstein of rape.
A New York Times investigation revealed that Weinstein had settled with many actresses and former employees during his time at Miramax in the early ’90s, covering up what could be even more heinous details of the executive’s sexual deviance.
The media and public await the next steps of the impending divorce between Chapman and Weinstein.