Why did AIDS charity auction money go to a Cambridge theater — and Harvey Weinstein’s pocket?

Oct 2017

The American Repertory Theater has become embroiled in a new financial controversy involving disgraced film producer Harvey Weinstein, who served as executive producer for its 2014 Broadway-bound production, “Finding Neverland.”

Weinstein has been the focus of intense scrutiny after bombshell investigations in The New York Times and The New Yorker detailed multiple allegations of sexual harassment and assault against the mogul.

Now new revelations indicate that Weinstein arranged for $600,000 raised at an auction for the New York-based AIDS charity amfAR to be sent to the ART. According to reports in The New York Times and the Huffington Post, the ART had agreed to reimburse Weinstein and fellow investors in “Finding Neverland” for earlier payments to develop the production if he could arrange third-party charitable donations to the Cambridge-based theater.

The $600,000 allegedly helped fulfill that agreement.

An internal report commissioned by amfAR’s board and obtained by the Globe stated that it appeared “the transaction was designed to accommodate Mr. Weinstein’s interest rather than amfAR’s” and found that amfAR’s failure to disclose that some of the proceeds would go to the ART constituted “fraud on the bidders.”

At a May 2015 amfAR fund-raiser auction in Cannes, France, a substantial amount of the proceeds from two fund-raising packages arranged by Weinstein — a photo shoot with fashion photographer Mario Testino and a “Hollywood Experience” including tickets to Oscar-related parties — would go to the ART.

According to the internal report, the two Weinstein-arranged auction packages brought in $909,669, and Weinstein and amfAR’s board chairman, the fashion designer Kenneth Cole, agreed that the ART would receive $600,000, while amfAR would get $309,669.

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