Me Too? Harvey Weinstein’s Friend Thanks Cannes Chief Thierry Frémaux for Invite | Exclusive

An Instagram post thanking Cannes Film Festival director Thierry Frémaux for including Harvey Weinstein’s “friend” Alexandra Vino at a premiere party is raising further questions about his ongoing connections to the festival, despite the convicted producer being jailed in the United States.

“Thank you dear @thierry.fremaux and @festivaldecannes for a lovely evening,” wrote Vino in an Instagram post on Monday, adding the hashtag “#Rumours,” the title of the film by Guy Maddin and Evan and Galen Johnson that premiered out of competition on Saturday night.

Vino had been dating Weinstein during his trial, and last year took prison calls from him while in Cannes, according to an individual who spoke to TheWrap who was present at the time. A spokesman for Weinstein said they were merely “friends.”

Despite TheWrap’s multiple attempts to reach the Cannes Film Festival and Thierry Frémaux for comment, neither Cannes nor Frémaux responded. When TheWrap asked Vino about her time at Cannes, she hung up the phone. (Vino also texted TheWrap the words “fake news.”)

Vino’s Instagram account, featuring photos of the actress at the Hotel du Cap and premiere of “The Shrouds” by David Cronenberg, which debuted on Monday night, made clear that she was out and about at the festival.

The account was switched to private mode late on Tuesday, so now it can only be accessed by approved followers.

Actress Alexandra Vino wearing a dark metallic strapless dress on the red carpet in Cannes
Alexandra Vino on the red carpet for “Rumours” at the Cannes Film Festival on May 18. (Credit Instagram/Tastethevino)

A spokesman for Weinstein insisted he had not called on her behalf this year. “Let’s assume he helped her last year,” said Juda Engelmayer, speculating why Frémaux may have helped Vino attend premieres this year. “Maybe he (Frémaux) wants to stay in Harvey’s good graces, maybe he thinks it would be nice for Harvey — without Harvey having to make a phone call. Maybe he remembers the good things that Harvey did for him back when.”

Alexandra Vino Instagram Post
Alexandra Vino on the red carpet for “The Shrouds” premiere at the Cannes Film Festival Intstagram/Tastethevino

Engelmayer maintained that Weinstein has “not had phone access, not had text access” from Rikers, where he was recently transferred after his New York rape conviction was overturned.

However, The City reported as recently as May 6 that Weinstein was staying in a VIP suite at New York’s Bellevue hospital with a private phone, before he was sent to Rikers on May 7 following the publication of the story. 

Frémaux and Weinstein were close for decades, with the festival director soliciting films and talent for Cannes, while Weinstein used the festival as a successful launch pad for his movies.

Cannes Film Festival chief Thierry Fremaux in a black tux on stage at the event
Thierry Frémaux and Harvey Weinstein have enjoyed a long friendship. (Photo by Andreas Rentz/Getty Images

“Thierry and Harvey were as tight as two people could be,” said a former Weinstein Company executive who declined to be identified. “Harvey took every movie he could to Thierry. He could get anything he wanted into the festival.”

Before his fall from grace, Weinstein was also popular in France for championing French films like “The Artist,” which won Best Picture at the Academy Awards, and “Les Intouchables,” which became a huge international hit.

Indeed, some French and Italian entertainment executives criticized Americans for making a felony case out of Weinstein’s predatory behavior with women.

“When all of this went down with Harvey, the French said, ‘This is bullshit,’” said the former Weinstein Company executive, referring to distributors who were partners at the time.

Harvey Weinstein arrives at court using a walker.
Harvey Weinstein arrives at New York City Supreme Court in 2020. (Photo by Lev Radin/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

Two new sources told TheWrap that Weinstein was also pulling strings during Cannes because he believes he will be released from prison soon, and get back into the movie business — even though he is scheduled to be retried in September after his New York conviction was overturned.

“He’s actively working on stuff because he thinks he will be out in 18 months,” the individual said. “He is working on his company and plans but no one will talk. Being associated with him is the kiss of death.”

Weinstein has been battling health issues. He recently spent two weeks in the hospital.

Asked about a report from an industry insider who told TheWrap that Weinstein was getting his hands on screeners while in jail — and in some cases giving the filmmakers notes — Engelmayer added, “I do not know that he is or isn’t, nor who might be asking him for advice.”

What is clear is that Vino is a visible presence at this year’s festival. She attended the official “Rumours” premiere party at one of the beachside restaurants on the Croisette, which TheWrap also attended, along with cast members Cate Blanchett and Nikki Amuka-Bird, and a couple of hundred VIPs.

The party immediately followed the world premiere of the film, an absurdist satire about seven world leaders at a G7 summit who get lost in the woods after an apocalyptic world event.

Vino has been spotted at the lounge of a Cannes stylist and posted photos of herself at the Hotel Du Cap-Eden-Roc this week and at the premiere of David Cronenberg’s film in competition, “The Shrouds.”

She has some acting credits under her belt including working with Mark Wahlberg and director Peter Berg on 2020’s “Spenser Confidential” and 2018’s “Mile 22.”

Alexandra Vino Instagram Post, featured image
Alexandra Vino at the Hotel Du Cap IG: tastethevino

Vino has characterized the backlash against Weinstein — which has included rape convictions in Los Angeles and New York, though the latter was overturned — as an overreaction. “He is a scapegoat for this entire [#MeToo] movement and they’ve destroyed his life,” she told the New York Post in 2020. “It’s been like a human sacrifice. People get 23 years in prison for murdering people, not for what he did.”

In France, a petition published in LeMonde on May 14, signed by 140 signatories, said it was time that serious action was taken to change the fact that 94% of rape cases are overturned in France.

The festival’s response was to send out an email to accredited guests containing an abuse helpline number, and a text which stated it has a zero tolerance attitude towards sexual abuse and discrimination of any kind.

“Since 2018, the Festival has been committed in the fight against sexual harassment and violence during the event by implementing a dedicated assistance unit,” the email read. “This commitment is essential at a time when cinema, shaken by revelations of sexual violence that has gone on for far too long, must enter into a new era of awareness and collective action.”

Sharon Waxman contributed to this report.

The post Me Too? Harvey Weinstein’s Friend Thanks Cannes Chief Thierry Frémaux for Invite | Exclusive  appeared first on TheWrap.