Steve Bannon, the former Trump White House chief strategist and current head of Breitbart News, is the latest politico touched by the Harvey Weinstein sex abuse scandal scandal.
Bannon, whose website has hammered Democrats for accepting Weinstein's political donations, himself profited from a relationship with the movie mogul, in an ill-fated joint venture more than a decade ago.
Bannon was chairman of a small company that distributed DVDs and home videos, and went into business in 2005 with The Weinstein Co., led by Harvey Weinstein and his brother Bob. The Weinsteins became 70 percent owners of the now defunct venture, Genius Products.
Bannon was not immediately available to comment, according to a spokeswoman.
The connection between Bannon and Weinstein began more than a decade ago when Bannon, who had been a Goldman Sachs banker, was dabbling in Hollywood investments. Transcripts of investor conference calls at the time show Bannon enthusing about the business opportunities with the Weinsteins.
"We are extremely honored to be in business with the new Weinstein Company," Bannon told investors in one such call, declaring that "the Weinsteins have the most impressive track record in the film industry" and that "Bob and Harvey are two of the most prolific studio heads in the history of Hollywood."
Genius Products ended up in bankruptcy in 2011, after Bannon reported substantial revenues from the venture. His company Bannon Strategic Advisers had a consulting agreement worth $500,000 with Genius Products in 2006, and he was awarded bonuses of more than $200,000, according to SEC filings. Bannon also was awarded stock options in 2005 that were valued at well over $1 million at the time.
Weinstein has been fired as co-chairman from The Weinstein Co. The company's board of directors has strongly denied that it knew about Weinstein's behavior, which allegedly stretched back decades.
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