, about a young ingenue who goes to work at Glorious Pictures, run by the notoriously larger-than-life brothers Tony and Phil Waxman.It was pitched as a satirical roman a clef of her time as a publicist at Miramax in the 1990s. More than a dozen publishers bid in the first round of an auction for the publishing rights.But then around the second or third round a new bidder popped up: Harvey Weinstein.Having failed to secure a copy of the manuscript (which at that point consisted only of a few sample chapters and a proposal), Weinstein decided to just buy it.He called Pine from Rome, telling her, “How much money do you want?I don’t want to be your stalking horse” [to get more money from another publisher].
"I think it was about Harvey not being handsome or something.” (Pine thinks the brothers might have wanted other changes but they were in the middle of negotiating their 2005 exit from Disney and had other things on their minds.) But in other ways, Weinstein did undermine the book.Even though foreign rights were sold in about nine countries, the manuscript was never released in England.Pine suspects it was because Harvey was dating second wife-to-be Georgina Chapman, who lived in London, and he didn’t want her to see it.And when the book started picking up sales right as the Weinsteins were negotiating funding for their post-Disney venture, The Weinstein Company, the publisher pulled the plug on any more publicity.Her book publicist told her, “You can’t repeat this, but Harvey basically told us to stop working on it.” Pine’s story illuminates just one of the ways Weinstein used his company’s publishing imprint — first known as Talk Miramax Books and then later, after he and brother Bob split from Disney and set up The Weinstein Company, as Weinstein Books — to further his aims over nearly two decades.(After the recent news of Weinstein’s predatory sexual behavior broke, Hachette Book Group, which was Weinstein Books' publishing partner, shuttered the imprint and reassigned books in the pipeline to other divisions.) Though it was never a huge moneymaker, the publishing imprint was far from just a plaything for the Weinstein brothers.It was staffed by respected people — originally Jonathan Burnham, now the publisher of Harper division of Harper Collins, and recently by Georgina Levitt and Amanda Murray, who won plaudits for making it a strong female-centric imprint.And it had its share of notable successes, including smash kids series .It was reported to be profitable within two years of starting up. Those writers penned memoirs for Weinstein, while Al Gore's daughter Kristin Gore wrote a novel and her sister Karenna penned a book on female leaders.But it also served as a vehicle for Weinstein to reward friends, curry favor with the powerful and perhaps try to silence and even buy favorable coverage from journalists. All were signed to high-profile and likely high-dollar deals.Weinstein made clear he was very much involved in the publishing operation. Add in books from celebrities such as Cheryl Ladd, Jules Asner, Dick Van Dyke, Yanni, and frequent collaborator Quentin Tarantino (for the novel version of ).