Harvey Weinstein has denied criticising ROBERT De NIRO on the set of 1997 movie Jackie Brown - insisting a leaked audio tape of his conversation with director Quentin Tarantino has been "taken out of context".
New York gossip column PageSix has obtained an audio tape of Weinstein purportedly complaining about the actor to Tarantino.
De Niro - who played ex-con Louis Gara in the movie - apparently believed he should have been paid more for his role in the film.
In the tape, Weinstein says, "He thinks he's going to... make John Travolta look like that was an amateur night in Dixie," referring to Travolta's big screen comeback in Tarantino's Pulp Fiction.
He adds, "This is a great actor and actually a great guy, who's going through a difficult time... I think he's really having like a scratching-his-head session, you know, with his own life and his own career.
"I think he knows he can play a certain kind of role from now for the next 20 years. But I think he wants to change the course of his career."
But Weinstein's lawyer, David Boies, says the content of the tape has been taken out of context.
He tells the publication, "We are disappointed that any member of the press is trafficking in illegal tape recordings and compounding the damage by taking them out of context."
Meanwhile, De Niro's spokesman says, "Unless you were privy to actual conversations... I would draw an analogy to the blind man who picks up the tail of an elephant and exclaims, 'This animal must be quite slender and very wiry'."