We know what’s in store for Harvey Weinstein—a room with no white terry-cloth robes or room service. But what about his ex-wife Georgina Chapman?
On Monday, Harvey Weinstein was found guilty of rape and criminal sexual act, and then promptly transported to Bellevue Hospital Center after, according to his representatives, experiencing chest pain and showing signs of high blood pressure. Meanwhile, gossipy texts between West Village mommies were firing back and forth: Would the kids be able to visit their father after school before he was sent to Rikers?
The press has breathlessly speculated about Georgina Chapman’s move to the horsey suburban enclave of the Bedford area in Westchester. (In August, Weinstein smashed his Jeep into a tree off a road in the area of Chapman’s home, reportedly telling police that he was avoiding a deer.) But it appears that Chapman and her two elementary-school-age children have been hiding in plain sight in Lower Manhattan, not especially far from the Bank Street town house in the West Village they occupied with Weinstein in what could only be called happier times. Their children (India and Dashiell, both under 10) are still attending their tony private school, and while Chapman has been spotted there, “she lays very low,” says a fellow parent, often outsourcing pickup and drop-off.
In December 2018, after Chapman had vacated the town house, she was spotted at a holiday party on her block in the West Village with her mother, who has been living with the family for several months a year. “[Chapman] said that the two kids she has with Harvey were not aware of all that was going on,” recalls a West Village resident who also attended the soirée. “I’m sure that has changed since.”
It appears that Chapman and her two elementary-school-age children have been hiding in plain sight.
“She’s totally traumatized,” says one of Chapman’s close friends from London, where she grew up and lived until her mid-20s. “I went to see her at home last time I was in New York, and she wasn’t in a great place. She’s an odd fish; I’ve never been able to work her out. She’s incredibly polite and British, very friendly, loved a cocktail, but I always got the feeling there was something dark lurking in her past.”
The 43-year-old Chapman has long been a popular figure in the fashion industry, even with Anna Wintour. The Vogue editor, who had worked closely with Harvey Weinstein on political fundraising over the years, attempted to jump-start a rehabilitation campaign for Chapman—prematurely, perhaps—with a May 2018 spread in the magazine, where Chapman was photographed on a gray day, sitting on a rocky beach, wearing a knit sweater, chiffon skirt, and an appropriately distraught expression. (She still looked beautiful.) Chapman told writer Jonathan Van Meter that the allegations against Weinstein took her completely by surprise. “There was a part of me that was terribly naïve—clearly, so naïve,” she said. “I have moments of rage, I have moments of confusion, I have moments of disbelief! And I have moments when I just cry for my children. What are their lives going to be?”
I first met Chapman back in 2006, not long after she moved to New York from London, when I interviewed her and her partner, Keren Craig, about their then nascent brand, Marchesa. Chapman was, and is, beautiful, charming, and talented—the kind of woman that inspires a fair amount of jealousy. The gossip among the fashion set was that her marriage was strictly a strategic partnership to ensure that Marchesa dresses ended up on the red carpet. But I didn’t buy that Marchesa’s success was entirely contingent upon Weinstein’s influence; the brand’s frilly eveningwear was explicitly designed with commerce in mind, and it sold well. “Georgina and Harvey always seemed to get on,” recalls the friend from London, who spent several holidays with the couple. “They called each other ‘darling,’ and said ‘I love you’ at the end of calls. It was either an elaborate ruse and she was totally complicit from the start, or spectacularly naïve.”
“She’s incredibly polite and British, very friendly, loved a cocktail, but I always got the feeling there was something dark lurking in her past.”
In January 2018, Page Six reported that Chapman and Weinstein had reached a divorce agreement, with Chapman receiving a settlement between $15 and $20 million, with others reporting prior to the rumored settlement that, per their pre-nuptial agreement, she’d receive $400,000 in spousal support for each year of their marriage. Chapman’s future will be heavily impacted by what happens to Marchesa, and so she is forging ahead with the brand—now on her own for the first time since the line’s launch, 16 years ago. Her co-founder, Keren Craig, announced her exit in July 2019. “Marchesa will always be the realization of a dream,” said Craig in a press statement.
Although the brand has not shown its collection on the official Fashion Week calendar, Chapman has often invited journalists to view it in the company’s showroom. According to a glowing fall 2020 collection review that was published on Vogue’s Web site on February 14, Chapman and her team “have entered the design studio with a new sense of energy. Chalk it up to an increase in sales—particularly in the Middle East—and their growing confidence in creating more experimental, anti–ball gown looks.”
Despite all assumptions to the contrary, shoppers continue to support Marchesa; it is still sold on Net-a-Porter, and at Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom, Bloomingdale’s, and Saks Fifth Avenue. And actresses have not abandoned it, either—post-scandal, in a show of support for Chapman, Scarlett Johansson wore Marchesa on the red carpet, and Priyanka Chopra chose it for her bridal shower. Chapman even squired the actress Constance Wu to the 2019 Met Gala dressed in a dove-gray gown that finished with trompe l’oeil pearls.
“It was either an elaborate ruse and she was totally complicit from the start, or spectacularly naïve.”
The brand, which still occupies a full studio space on West 26th Street, in Manhattan, has relaunched jewelry and been promoting a collection of dresses aimed for the tween set called Marchesa Notte Mini. In January, Marchesa announced a collaboration with Beau Joie Champagne. For $599, fans of the line, perhaps looking to celebrate recent developments, could get a bottle that comes bedazzled with jewels.
Chapman seems to have moved on personally as well; slowly resurfacing on the social scene, where she was once among its most luminous fixtures. Last April, she went to Puerto Rico along with Carolyn Murphy, Brooke Shields, and Waris Ahluwalia to celebrate Helena Christensen’s swimwear launch. There, she reportedly reconnected with Oscar-winning actor Adrien Brody, whom she had initially met while married to Weinstein; the two are now said to be dating. “She was in great spirits the last time I saw her,” said someone who is in her social circle. “She’s strong, and putting the kids first.” Not quite a Hollywood ending, but couldn’t it be worse?
Ashley Baker is the Style Editor for Air Mail