brand new York’s attorney general sued The Weinstein Company in addition to Harvey Weinstein on Sunday alleging years of sexual harassment in addition to misconduct by the movie producer, in a move which could jeopardize talks on a potential sale of the studio.
Weinstein, co-founder of the Miramax studio, was one of Hollywood’s most influential men before more than 70 women accused him of sexual misconduct, including rape. He denies having non-consensual sex with anyone, in addition to his lawyer said many of the latest allegations would certainly turn out to be unmerited.
The civil suit alleges which the company’s executives in addition to board repeatedly failed to protect employees by Weinstein, Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said in a statement. The suit also names Weinstein’s brother Bob, who co-founded the company.
The studio has been in talks to sell itself to a group of investors led by former Obama administration official Maria Contreras-Sweet, however Schneiderman’s lawsuit has put deal negotiations on hold, according to people familiar with the matter.
Schneiderman said he sued the company on Sunday in part because of reports which a sale of the studio could be imminent.
“Any sale of The Weinstein Company must ensure which victims will be compensated, employees will be protected going forward, in addition to which neither perpetrators nor enablers will be unjustly enriched,” Schneiderman said.
The state is actually seeking an unspecified amount of restitution in addition to damages, plus penalties, for harm to victims.
The lawsuit alleges which Weinstein, 65, sexually harassed employees in addition to abused women for years. which accuses Weinstein Company executives, including his brother in addition to co-CEO Bob, of failing to act despite repeatedly being presented with credible evidence of Weinstein’s sexual harassment in addition to misconduct.
In a statement, Weinstein’s attorney Ben Brafman said a fair investigation by Schneiderman would certainly prove which many of the allegations against his client were without merit.
“While Mr. Weinstein’s behavior was not without fault, there certainly was no criminality, in addition to at the end of the inquiry which will be clear which Harvey Weinstein promoted more women to key executive positions than any different industry leader in addition to there was zero discrimination at either Miramax or TWC,” Brafman said.
“If the purpose of the inquiry is actually to encourage reform throughout the film industry, Mr. Weinstein will embrace the investigation. If the purpose, however, is actually to scapegoat Mr. Weinstein, he will vigorously defend himself,” Brafman said.
Schneiderman said he used his subpoena power in an attempt to get around Non-Disclosure Agreements which Weinstein in addition to the company signed with employees in addition to others in what the attorney general described as an attempt to shield them by scrutiny.
The brand new York Times first reported in October on multiple allegations of sexual misconduct by Weinstein. Reuters has not been able to independently confirm the allegations.
Since then, similar allegations have been leveled against many powerful men in business, politics, in addition to entertainment, in addition to the #MeToo movement has emerged of victims using social media to share their stories of harassment in addition to abuse.