The Clinton Foundation will not be returning $250,000 in donations from disgraced Hollywood film producer Harvey Weinstein.
The Weinstein money has already been spent, explained the foundation on Oct. 15, reports the Daily Mail.
Weinstein's career came to a crashing halt over allegations of sexual harassment and abuse in reports by The New York Times and New Yorker, notes The Washington Post.
“Everyone knew these stories,” said one Hollywood publicist. “Not the specifics. But people knew it was a hostile work environment, and that he was a bully to people. Because he could win you an Oscar, we were all supposed to look the other way.”
“He had this way of bending people to his will,” said Larry Hackett, former editor of People magazine. "Harvey was the Trump of the movie industry. He knew what was a good story. He knew how it worked. He knew what a deadline was. He knew about the caring and feeding of gossip columns.”
Weinstein’s representative, Sallie Hofmeister, defended her client in an email. “Mr. Weinstein obviously can’t speak to anonymous allegations, but with respect to any women who have made allegations on the record, Mr. Weinstein believes that all of those relationships were consensual,” she said. “Any allegations of non-consensual sex are unequivocally denied by Mr. Weinstein.”
On Oct. 14, just days after being fired from his own company, Weinstein was expelled from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
Politicians and philanthropic groups are now confronted with the question of what to do with donations they have received from Weinstein.
Over a dozen Democratic politicians have said they will either return Weinstein’s campaign contributions or donate them to charity.
Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said she would re-gift his campaign donations to charity. Weinstein, who hosted Clinton fundraising events attended by wealthy Hollywood donors, personally contributed over $35,000 to her 2016 presidential campaign.
A spokesman for the Clinton Foundation, however, told the Daily Mail that the group will not return Weinstein’s donations, which totaled between $100,000 and $250,000.
The spokesman said Weinstein’s last contribution to the group was in 2014, and that the foundation already spent the money on its programs.
Former first daughter Chelsea Clinton, an executive at the foundation, declined to answer questions Oct. 14 about returning Weinstein’s money, reports the Daily Mail.
Also not returning Weinstein's donation is Rutgers University, which announced that it is keeping the $100,000 given by Weinstein to support the school’s Gloria Steinem Chair in Media, Culture, and Feminist Studies.
However, the University of Southern California said it would return a pledged $5 million donation from Weinstein, which was earmarked to fund a program for female filmmakers, but had not yet been spent.