Former Cannes Kingpin Harvey Weinstein Calls in Favors at Festival From Prison | Exclusive

CANNES — No one is canceled in Cannes. Not even Harvey Weinstein.

The jailed Hollywood producer, whose New York rape conviction was recently reversed, is reaching out from prison to haunt his former playground in the south of France, TheWrap has learned.

Two knowledgeable sources told TheWrap that Weinstein has been phoning friends at the Cannes Film Festival, and is actively in touch with Alexandra Vino, who he was dating before he went to prison, to help her with party invitations and connections. Vino was spotted on a yacht in Cannes on Saturday by a third individual who spoke to TheWrap.

Vino could not be reached for comment.

Another individual said Weinstein still frequently texts with a New York producer friend from prison. An additional individual said Weinstein is in touch with former associates in France.

Weinstein’s spokesman Juda Engelmayer denied this was the case. He told TheWrap: “He doesn’t have a cell phone. It’s a prison pay per call phone. I can’t confirm he’s calling anyone in Cannes, but if so, he’s calling someone local and having that person add a call to France.”

Engelmayer added, “He is in the West Facility on Rikers Island and does not have it easy. He and Alexandra are no longer an item and he is not helping her get into parties at Cannes.”

Prisoners can text from Rikers prison where Weinstein is currently using their Securus eMessaging program, which is strictly monitored.

Former Weinstein associates who spoke to TheWrap said they were astonished the producer could reach out from prison.

“I cannot believe that is true,” another former associate said, expressing revulsion.

“Incredible,” is how one festival executive responded to the news that Weinstein is believed to still have friends within the French distribution sector helping him.

Weinstein famously used the European festivals, especially Cannes and Venice, as his favored hunting grounds for women, according to dozens of testimonials from survivors which led to his eventual arrest, trial and conviction.

Vino, an actress and artist, began dating Weinstein during his New York trial and said she believed he was being scapegoated.

Pictured last year on the red carpet attending multiple premieres, Vino was captured by Getty Images at high-profile premieres from “Jeanne du Barry” to “Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny” and “Killers of the Flower Moon.”

Alexandra Vino attends the 2023 Cannes Film Festival (Photo by Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images)

Vino is in town again this year, and we are told that Weinstein has helped her again by phone to make contacts and get into events.

The source said Weinstein uses collect calling and has no idea what Vino gives him in return.

Another source told TheWrap that they didn’t know how Vino got into the yacht party: “When people asked her name, she replied, ‘It doesn’t matter. I am an heiress.’ Nobody seems to know how she got into the party.”

This person added: “She may be using a fake name or perhaps paid to go as somebody’s plus one? Harvey likely still has some powerful connections, but nobody wants his name associated with an event which many accomplished people in the film industry can’t attend or get on the guest list.”

According to the New York Post’s 2020 story about Vino and Weinstein’s relationship, Weinstein had, at that time, phone rights in prison until 5 p.m. each day to an approved list of people, including Vino.

In 2018, actress Asia Argento gave a speech at the Cannes Film Festival in which she called the event Weinstein’s “hunting ground.” She said Weinstein raped her at Cannes in 1997.

The former kingpin of indie films, Weinstein was accused of sexual assault and harassment by high profile celebrities, including Angelina Jolie, Annabella Sciorra, Gwyneth Paltrow, Ashley Judd and more than 100 others.

In 2020, the producer was convicted of first-degree criminal sexual act and third-degree rape in New York. He was sentenced to 23 years in prison in New York but maintained he was innocent. He was then convicted of rape in 2022 in Los Angeles and has another 16 years remaining of that sentence.

He was moved to the high security Wende prison in upstate New York in 2020.

But last month, his New York prison sentence was shockingly overturned, after the court ruled evidence was included that had no place there.

Interviewed this week at Cannes by Sharon Waxman, editor-in-chief and founder of TheWrap, one of the main voices of France’s #MeToo movement Judith Godrèche called Weinstein’s rape reversal “a nightmare.”

Thirty years ago in 1994, Weinstein won the Palme d’Or as executive producer with “Pulp Fiction,” and 20 years ago won the award with “Fahrenheit 9/11.” His first Palme was for “Sex, Lies and Videotape” in 1989, which Miramax picked up.

Sharon Waxman contributed to this report.

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