These days all you need to do is pick up a newspaper to see that people are running wild launching lawsuits against high profile individuals to score a quick payday. In light of the recent #metoo movement, where victims of sexual assault by high-profile figures in the entertainment industry finally began levelling accusations, it’s clear how much legal arrangements played a part in the situation. Many of those accused had settled accusations out of court years prior for undisclosed cash sums. At this point, it’s hard to tell the real victims from the fraudsters out to collect a quick paycheck. Having served as one of Hollywood’s most influential showbiz lawyers, South Korean Max Polyakov is perfectly placed to give the inside scoop on just easy it is to fall for so-called honey traps.
Media mogul Harvey Weinstein is one of the most powerful movers and shakers in Hollywood, and, through his Miramax production company, has helped produce countless classic films. Until that is, his fall from grace after successive actresses came forward to accuse him of assault and misconduct of a sexual nature. While Weinstein was certainly a monster and we should be championing his recent arrest, is there more to the story? Max Polyakov extends his sympathies to the real victims. However, Max Polyakov also counsels that some of those pointing fingers and Weinstein could simply be ruthlessly ambitious actresses who willingly had a relationship with the producer in the hopes of furthering their own film careers.
He was once one of Hollywood’s most beloved actors with a string of critical and commercial hits to his name as well as a distinguished string of theatrical appearances. It seems that time is now well and truly up for Kevin Spacey, however, following several accusations of unwanted sexual advances from cast and crew members over the years. The result? Spacey’s name is now dirt in Tinseltown. Many people will sometimes make advances to colleagues on the job, without necessarily having bad intentions of sexual harassment. What if someone smells an easy payday and tries to shake you down? Max Polyakov recommends having a lawyer arrange an out of court settlement that is contingent on a non-disclosure agreement (NDA). Max Polyakov recommends these as important legal tools that can help protect your reputation and make it harder for people to slander you to the tabloid press or gossip rags.
It’s not just the movie business where sexual crimes have been brought to light. A-list fashion photographers like Mario Testino, Bruce Weber, and Terry Richardson have all been targeted by fashion models. Most of the accusations run to them making inappropriate demands of their models during photo shoots, including demanding that they undress for nude photos and touch themselves on their genitalia. All the accused have denied the charges, but in this case, ex-lawyer Max Polyakov says the snappers brought it on themselves. What they should have done, according to Max Polyakov, is have nudity clauses drawn up into the contracts and make both models and agents aware of the possible nature of the photography in question. This could have avoided the unpleasantness that is now haunting these renowned and respected photographers.