DOING IT HIS WAY: He has been painted in press reports as a megalomaniac who has acquired the “reputation of a bullying monster.” Various other adjectives affixed to his name have included “dangerous,” “threatening,” “abusive,” “paranoid,” “coarse” and “obese.” New York Magazine called him “an unreconstructed Jew from Queens who wears power like a giant pinky ring,” and Barry Diller said simply that Miramax chairman Harvey Weinstein was “a thug.”
But the perennially embattled movie man is finally getting to tell his side of the story. That’s right, the brief mentions of a Weinstein autobiography in Ken Auletta’s New Yorker profile last year and then on Page Six were apparently serious. Weinstein is toiling on the tome right now, which is being written with James Kaplan who helped pen the autobiography of John McEnroe. Sources said the book could be out as soon as next year. Perhaps not surprisingly, it will be printed by Weinstein’s own imprint, Miramax Books.
What a perk it is owning your own book company.
But seriously, it’s all for a good cause. The proceeds will be divided among three charities: The Hole in the Wall Gang Fund, the American Foundation for AIDS Research, and the Robin Hood Foundation.
— Jacob Bernstein
WATER UNDER THE BRIDGE: Bill Clinton may not like Howell Raines (remember all those vituperative editorials in The Times on Clinton after Zippergate?) but even he decided to offer his support. According to a source, the former president actually called The New York Times publisher Arthur Sulzberger Jr. early last week to say that, while there was no love lost between the executive editor and Clinton, even he didn’t think Raines should lose his job. Of course, the phone call didn’t have much effect —by Thursday, Raines was gone. — J.B.
THE TALENTED MRS. B: Us Weekly is headed for TV. Starting this week, Bonnie Fuller’s celebrity obsess-athon will begin airing a series of 60-second slots on ABC Family about key features in the magazine. Using pickup shots from the magazine, the spots will be narrated to describe key things in the stories. The link-up with ABC Family means that the magazine’s discussions with E! Entertainment to do a reality series on life at Us won’t be happening — at least in the near future. Which might make some sense since life at the magazine has actually mellowed considerably since last summer. According to several sources at the magazine, its famously disastrous closings, which often went until 7 in the morning, have become far more quiet affairs with most of the staff home in time to watch the 11 o’clock news. What will do the staffers do with all their new free time? — J.B.
LUXE REDUX: Laurence Benaim, chief fashion critic at French daily Le Monde, plans to launch her own fashion magazine this September. Titled Stiletto, it will have a print run of about 30,000 and be published four times a year, according to Benaim. “The focus will be luxury and we’ll cover fashion, design, culture, food and jewelry,” she added. Matt Berman, formerly with defunct George magazine, has been tapped as art director. “We’re publishing in French, but by the second issue we hope to include English translation.” Benaim, who will continue reporting for Le Monde, declined to name her business partners.