While Harvey Weinstein’s reputation couldn’t be getting any worse, Goldie Hawn disagrees.
The Oscar-winning actress told Variety Wednesday that she would be producing and starring in an adaptation of the musical Chicago when she was in her early 40s. However, Weinstein, the former head of Miramax Films, commissioned a new script — in which her character was 23 years old.
“Harvey basically undermined me and Madonna,” Hawn told Variety. “I really don’t know how she felt about it. You know, she just went with the flow.”
Hawn said she was cast as Velma Kelly in the project in the late 1980s, while Madonna – who had already found fame with ‘Like a Virgin’ – was set to star opposite her as Roxy Hart. When Weinstein stepped in, Hawn confronted the now-disgraced movie mogul.
“‘Don’t start me,’” she told him. “‘Because I know exactly what you’re doing. We made a deal.’”
However, Hawn stayed out, and Weinstein’s rewrite stuck around for decades. When his studio finally turned the project into an Oscar-winning film in 2002, Catherine Zeta-Jones won the Best Supporting Actress trophy for the same role Hawn had been working towards.
Open Image ModalWeinstein was sentenced to 23 years in 2020, followed by an additional 16 years in February.
Michel Dufour/WireImage/Getty Images
While Hawn was probably more interested in the project than the awards (and had already won a Best Supporting Actress Oscar in 1970 for “Cactus Flower”), she nonetheless demanded that Weinstein pay her what they negotiated for her work – and won.
“You face a bully and sometimes you win,” Hawn told Variety about getting Weinstein to compensate her. “I said to him afterwards, ‘You know what’s the best part about you paying me? Not the money. You have restored my belief in dignity and ethics.’ I did not know it.”
While sexual assault rumors had surrounded him for decades, Weinstein was officially convicted of one criminal sex act and third-degree rape in 2020 and sentenced to 23 years. He was convicted at a second trial in February and will essentially spend the rest of his life behind bars.
“He’s finally living his karma,” Hawn told Variety.
Do you need help? Visit RAINN National Online Sexual Assault Hotline or the National Resource Center on Sexual Violence website.