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Posted at 05:12 PM ET, 03/04/2012

Harvey Weinstein delays French ‘Légion’ honor to avoid ‘Artist’ conflict

Weinstein arriving at the Academy Awards last month. (Lucy Nicholson/Reuters)
Harvey Weinstein, the Hollywood impresario with a knack for winning Oscars for his stars, now has a prize of his own: A Légion d’Honneur.

But the producer of trophy magnets like “Shakespeare in Love” and “The English Patient” told us he asked the French government to delay the announcement of the award, — which was decided last summer — until after the Oscars. He said he feared the tribute would be a conflict of interest as he worked on distributing the silent French film “The Artist.”

Really? A conflict how? He sighed.

“Maybe it was just me thinking there would be some journalist along the way saying, ‘Oh, God, look at him promoting ‘The Artist. . .’” Strategic modesty didn’t hurt in this case: “The Artist” won best picture and four other Academy Awards last week.

Weinstein is the latest in a crowd of Americans who’ve been honored with the French award, including Alan Greenspan, James Hoagland, Pamela Harriman, Barbra Streisand, David Petraeus and, naturally, Jerry Lewis.

By  |  05:12 PM ET, 03/04/2012

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