If Georgina Chapman wants to save her company, her reputation, herself, she needs to file for divorce today from Harvey Weinstein and not wait a second longer, says one top L.A. lawyer who has handled cases similar to this one.
The Marchesa designer had issued a statement to People, reading: "My heart breaks for all the women who have suffered tremendous pain because of these unforgivable actions. I have chosen to leave my husband. Caring for my young children is my first priority and I ask the media for privacy at this time.”
But “leaving my husband” could mean anything. She needs to say the D word, and she needs to say it now, then actually follow through, says Christopher Melcher, founding partner of family law firm Walzer Melcher.
“She can kill this story [on her end] by doing a public court filing for divorce so everyone would see she means what she says and that she’s following through,” Melcher tells Personal Space. “Filing now will divert the attention away from her and back on him. Delays of a rebuke of a story become their own story- people talk instead about why you waited.”
Harvey and Georgina wed in 2007 and share two children together, India Pearl, 7, and Dashiell Max Robert, 4.
After The New York Times released a shocking exposé on the sexual misdeeds of The Weinstein Co. honcho, more and more women, including Gwyneth Paltrow and Angelina Jolie, have come forward with accusations, while his wife remained silent except for her statement.
Why saying she’s “leaving” is not enough:
“It’s to her advantage for mainly financial reasons to file divide their property quickly,” Melcher explains. “The women he’s abused may sue him and get very large settlements. This could impact his wife to the extent they share property. What we often see is when one spouse has a large fall, for personal and financial reasons the other other should extricate themselves from the mess the spouse caused.”
It would take less time to finish the divorce case than to finish just one a sex harassment lawsuit, Melcher says, so if she files now Harvey and her could settle and agree to divide their property.
The timing is right.
“I would advise Harvey to make peace with his wife now because he doesn’t want to be fighting with her and all these other women at the same time, it’s too overwhelming. It would be better to make a financial settlement with his wife, protect her, and not have her as an enemy,” he says. “Don’t fight her on what she wants, you can’t fight the world.”
Georgina needs to save what she can of her business.
“She needs to protect her business, that’s what’s probably driving the separation. She needs to protect her brand, and disassociate herself from him from a business standpoint, it’s toxic to her brand.”
In order to save her business, she should make this split very public.
“My guess is that this is going to be a public breakup to protect her from the fallout that he’s caused,” Melcher says. “She’s making it public to disown him so she’s not plagued by the problems he’s created. They may not actually have a whole lot to fight about, but she needs to separate herself from him totally because the image of staying with him would ruin her business and ruin her reputation. Even if she wanted to stay with him, she may be forced to publicly separate for him to save her brand.”
The designer would be wise to separate their finances now, so she is protected from the lawsuits that are going to happen from all of these instances.
“A divorce filling and separating of their finances now would show her resolve and satisfy people that she’s doing what she can to get away from him so all the focus is on him instead of them. She files and the story goes quiet on her end.”
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