Days after Hollywood film producer Harvey Weinstein was fired by the board of his company following sexual harassment allegations, news has emerged that the film mogul reportedly pleaded for help to avoid being sacked.
According to the New York Times, hours before his firing Weinstein sent an email to agents and studio executives explaining that he was 'desperate' for their support.
'Do not let me be fired,' he wrote in the email, according to three people who received the message or were briefed on it, according to the publication.
'If the industry supports me, that is all I need.'
Weinstein added: 'We believe what the board is trying to do is not only wrong but might be illegal and would destroy the company.'
Here is the producer's email in full:
My board is thinking of firing me. All I'm asking is let me take a leave of absence and get into heavy therapy and counseling. Whether it be in a facility or somewhere else, allow me to resurrect myself with a second chance. A lot of the allegations are false as you know but given therapy and counseling as other people have done, I think I'd be able to get there.
I could really use your support or just your honesty if you can't support me.
But if you can, I need you to send a letter to my private Gmail address. The letter would only go to the board and no one else. We believe what the board is trying to do is not only wrong but might be illegal and would destroy the company. If you could write this letter backing me, getting me the help and time away I need, and also stating your opposition to the board firing me, it would help me a lot. I am desperate for your help. Just give me the time to have therapy. Do not let me be fired. If the industry supports me, that is all I need.
With all due respect, I need the letter today.
Despite his plea for help, the Weinstein Company put out a statement on Sunday evening announcing the 65-year-old had had been fired with immediate effect.
The news of Weinstein's email to Hollywood agents and studio executives comes amid reactions from the likes of George Clooney, Meryl Streep and Judi Dench who have called out the producer following allegations of sexual misconduct.