Things are continuing to get worse for former high-powered producer Harvey Weinstein. The one-time president of Miramax and the Weinstein Company has been living in relative seclusion in Arizona since the New York Times broke the story in October 2017 that Weinstein had reportedly sexually assaulted dozens of women over the past two decades.
Now it appears that the case against Weinstein is mounting. Excuse us while we don’t cry for him.
On Sunday, the New York attorney general announced that the state of New York is suing both the Weinstein Company and Harvey Weinstein on the grounds that the company, specifically the executives and the board of directors, did not do enough to protect its employees from Weinstein. The lawsuit, which has been filed after a four month investigation, alleges that Harvey Weinstein abused and threatened staff members, including telling some employees he would kill them.
Attorney General Eric Schneiderman is leading the lawsuit, which in addition to Harvey also names his brother Bob Weinstein. The Weinstein Company was in the midst of negotiating a sale, but with the new lawsuit filed this week, that puts the deal on hold.
In a statement released by Schneiderman, the Attorney General says that the upcoming sale prompted this week’s filing of the lawsuit, with New York state wanting to ensure that former and current employees who were assaulted will be rewarded with damages. “Any sale of The Weinstein Company must ensure that victims will be compensated, employees will be protected going forward, and that neither perpetrators nor enablers will be unjustly enriched,” said Schneiderman.
Weinstein and his team are denying any legal wrongdoing, instead focusing on Weinstein’s record of promoting women at his company. Says Weinstein’s lawyer Ben Brafman, “While Mr. Weinstein’s behavior was not without fault, there certainly was no criminality, and at the end of the inquiry it will be clear that Harvey Weinstein promoted more women to key executive positions than any other industry leader and there was zero discrimination at either Miramax or TWC.”
At this point, more than 70 women have come forward with allegations against Weinstein, including many who say the producer raped them. As for those promotions? Many of Weinstein’s former employees say that promotions were only given in exchange for sexual favours.
The new lawsuit filed by New York state isn’t the first instance of legal proceedings against Weinstein for his alleged assaults. A federal lawsuit was filed in December 2017 by six women, including Louisette Geiss, Katherine Kendall, Zoe Brock, Sarah Ann Masse, Melissa Sagemiller and Nannette Klatt. The women, many of whom are actors who were assaulted by Weinstein under the pretense of meeting to discuss business, say that Weinstein orchestrated a cover-up that allowed him to sexually assault and rape women. Thanks to his long list of friends in the tabloid industry, Weinstein’s name was kept out of the press whenever allegations arose throughout his career.
In January 2018, Weinstein’s former assistant Sandeep Rehal also filed a lawsuit against Weinstein, alleging that her former boss sexually harassed her, groped her, and referred to her by derogatory names during the two years she worked for him. Rehal also alleges that part of her duties were cleaning up after Weinstein’s ‘sexual liaisons’ with women, including disposing of condoms and wiping semen off couches and beds. Weinstein’s brother Bob and the Weinstein Company are also named in Rehal’s lawsuit.
So, why is this guy not in jail yet?