Harvey Weinstein, along with brother Robert and The Weinstein Company, are facing a civil rights lawsuit in New York. It’s hard to believe that the #MeToo movement began only five months ago. In that time a number of the most famous men in the world have been publicly accused of sexual assault, harassment, and misconduct. Because many of these accusations have been over events which occured in the workplace – where the men accused had a position of power – several of the accused men have lost their jobs over the accusations. And in Hollywood, that all began with Harvey Weinstein.
And it looks like the repercussions for Weinstein, his brother Bob who was also accused, and TWC are continuing to occur. The state of New York has filed a civil lawsuit against both men and the company. After a four month investigation, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman filed the suit, claiming that the investigation uncovered “Egregious examples of sexual misconduct by Harvey Weinstein.” The charge against TWC claims that New York law was violated by the company not protecting its employees.
According to Buzzfeed, Schneiderman’s investigation learned that Weinstein employed a number of female employees to help him arrange and coordinate his sexual encounters with other women. Some of them would accompany him to events and facilitate his meetings with women, while others coordinated his schedule and yet others spoke to the women Weinstein was with after the sexual encounters. Schneiderman also learned that Weinstein would threaten to kill employees and their families, that he had his drivers carry condoms and erectile dysfunction injections, and that he offered to trade sex for career advancement. The investigation also found that the board of TWC were aware of everything, and instead of stopping Weinstein they simply fined him for breaking the code of conduct, meaning he could pay his own company for their silence. Weinstein attorney Ben Brafman believes that this suit will prove many of the allegations made against his client have no merit.
Over 60 women in Hollywood have made accusations against Weinstein, ranging from inappropriate behavior to sexual assault. And some accusations, such as the recent ones made by Uma Thurman, are still coming out. As a result, Weinstein was fired from his own company and removed from the Academy. Meanwhile, accusations were also made against Weinstein’s brother Bob and TWC released a statement denying knowledge of the extent of Weinstein’s actions. Even so, TWC has struggled financially since the accusations were made. The lawsuit, while not designed to prevent the sale of TWC, does put a hold on any potential sale.
Ever since Weinstein was first accused, many have argued that he should not be fired until the allegations have been proven. Some have even claimed that the firing of him and others in Hollywood are the result of a witch hunt, citing “innocent until proven guilty” even though that phrase refers specifically to legal actions only. Now that legal actions are being taken against Weinstein, maybe some of the others who have been accused will also have to face the courts.