The Big Picture

Patrick Goldstein and James Rainey
on entertainment and media

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Harvey Weinstein: Hollywood's worst gambler?

December 2, 2008 |  5:11 pm

After all these years, I think I've discovered the way to riches in Hollywood--making a bet with Harvey Weinstein. As you may remember, Harvey had to donate a cool $1 million to charity after losing a bet with Nikki Finke, having lost his wager that Finke couldn't produce proof of an incriminating e-mail from Scott Rudin alleging that Harvey had harassed the late Sydney Pollack's family during his rush to get "The Reader" ready for release. In fact, she had the e-mail and put it up on her website.

Now the struggling showbiz mogul gets to scoop a little more dough out of his deep pockets. New York Post gossip Cindy Adams says today that when she first saw "Young Frankenstein"--which closes next month after a disappointingly short run on Broadway--she predicted it wouldn't last. One reason: it was probably the world's most expensive show, with top tickets going for $450. Adams says Harvey, an investor in the play, insisted it would be a smash. In fact, Harvey was so convinced that it was a hit that he bet Adams $10,000 the show would run for five years.

Whoops! When Harvey coughs up the dough, Cindy will either give it to her favorite charities,  ASPCA or Meals on Wheels, or--better still--"put it toward some some schmatta" from Harvey's fashion-designer spouse. Meanwhile, I'm going to try to get Harvey on the phone and see if he wants to bet me on whether "The Reader" will get an Oscar best picture nomination. I've got a few favorite charities that could use a nice generous donation next year.