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Old Foes Giuliani, Weinstein Sign $3-Million Book Deal

February 01, 2001|MEG JAMES | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Talk Miramax Books embraced an old enemy Wednesday, signing New York Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani to a two-book deal worth at least $3 million. It's a delicious twist considering Miramax co-chairman Harvey Weinstein spent the last two years working overtime to frustrate Giuliani's political ambitions.

Weinstein directly negotiated the deal with Giuliani, company officials said. Miramax is a division of Walt Disney Co.

Giuliani's first book, scheduled to be published in autumn 2002, will be a memoir describing his life through the recent tumultuous year when a cancer diagnosis and public revelations of an extramarital affair ended his U.S. Senate race against Hillary Rodham Clinton. The second book will be a management and leadership guide.

Giuliani had been talking with other publishing houses but the Miramax deal "was a tremendous one," said Bruce Teitelbaum, the mayor's former chief of staff. "He met with Harvey and Tina [Brown, chairwoman of Miramax's Talk Media] a few times and they really hit it off. The mayor likes Harvey. He thinks Miramax is a great company."

That's a surprising admission considering Weinstein campaigned vigorously for Clinton.

Giuliani and Weinstein first fell out with each other after the mayor initially supported then scuttled Weinstein's plans to build a film and television studio at the Brooklyn Navy Yard.

In a statement, Weinstein said, "Diehard New Yorkers like me know that New York City is the capitol of the world and he made life in the capitol shine bright. . . . Other than the things that he and I disagree on, he has a perfect record."

As for the Brooklyn Navy Yard brouhaha, "We all had a good laugh about that," Brown said. "We all thought that was very funny that we were sitting here two years later doing this deal."

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