After allegations of sexual misconduct surfaced against Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein, New York’s attorney general filed a lawsuit against the producer and his company Weinstein Co. following an investigation.
State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman launched a civil rights investigation into Weinstein’s company back in October after The New Yorker and The New York Times exposed the allegations of sexual harassment. The company was accused of being responsible for the unlawful conduct since it failed to stop the abuse.
As per the court papers, co-owner Robert and the company “are liable because they were aware of and acquiesced in repeated and persistent unlawful conduct by failing to investigate or stop it.”
The court papers said, “As alleged in our complaint, The Weinstein Company repeatedly broke New York law by failing to protect its employees from pervasive sexual harassment, intimidation, and discrimination.”
Representatives for Harvey Weinstein denied all the accusations and any telephone and email messages seeking comments from the producer and the company were not answered immediately. The lawsuit also seeks to attach conditions to any possible sale of the company.
“Any sale of The Weinstein Company must ensure that victims will be compensated, employees will be protected going forward, and that neither perpetrators nor enables will be unjustly enriched,” Schneiderman said.
According to court papers, “To work for Harvey Weinstein was to work under a persistent barrage of gender-based obscenities, vulgar name-calling, sexualized interactions, threats of violence, and a workplace general hostile to women.”
Investigation revealed that employees were subjected to various verbal abuses and even threats to life from Weinstein. In one case, “in a fit of rage against one female employee, he yelled that she should leave the company and make babies since that was all she was good for.”
Weinstein was fired by the film company he founded with his brother Robert and expelled from Hollywood’s movie academy after scores of women that included many Hollywood actresses as well came forward with the allegations.