While Harvey Weinstein is spending his winter hibernating in Arizona, his lawyers back home are keeping warm under a thick layer of lawsuits. And there’s a new, extra-thick lawsuit that was recently added to the top of the pile. According to NBC News, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman filed a lawsuit on Sunday against Harvey Weinstein, accusing him of subjecting his employees to years of “pervasive sexual harassment, intimidation and discrimination.”
Eric Schneiderman’s lawsuit reportedly comes after a four-month investigation that included talking to employees, executives of The Weinstein Company, and “survivors” of Harvey’s alleged misconduct, and combing through company records and work emails. Harvey’s brother and TWC co-founder Bob Weinstein is also named in the lawsuit.
The lawsuit accuses Harvey of threatening to kill employees and their families, and bragging that he had Secret Service contacts who could “take care of problems.” Harvey allegedly made offers to trade sexual favors for career advancement. The lawsuit also claims to confirm the long-standing rumor that Harvey used female TWC employees as honeypots to lure in potential victims.
According to the lawsuit, Harvey and Bob broke New York law by failing to protect their employees. When employees complained to HR or managers higher up, no action was reportedly taken to investigate the complaints. The lawsuit accuses Bob of knowing about Harvey’s misconduct four years ago, and doing nothing about it.
Eric Schneiderman is seeking unspecified damages, and $500 to $500,000 per violation. And he wants it ASAP. Bob Weinstein is trying to sell The Weinstein Company, and Eric Schneiderman thinks that the conditions of the sale could make board members richer while preventing victims from receiving proper compensation. TWC’s board responded with the following statement:
“Many of the allegations relating to the Board are inaccurate and the Board looks forward to bringing the facts to light as part of its ongoing commitment to resolve this difficult situation in the most appropriate way.”
Harvey’s attorney Ben Brafman also released a statement. According to Ben, Harvey might have been bad, but he also totally respected women, so… (sorry Ben, you tried, but I don’t think anyone is buying that).
“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,” Brafman said, adding that Weinstein will ’embrace’ the suit if its purpose is to reform the entertainment industry. “If the purpose however is to scapegoat Mr. Weinstein, he will vigorously defend himself.”
Thanks to Salma Hayek, we already heard that Harvey had a history of threatened to make people disappear. But who knew he was also allegedly threatening to have his own employees taken out by an out-of-state goon squad? Wait a minute, things are starting to add up here. The money. The power. The threats of organized hits, and treating women like trash. The bathrobes. It’s pretty clear Harvey Weinstein was Single White Female-ing Tony Soprano.