Harvey Weinstein Sued by New York Attorney General’s Office for Civil Rights Violations

Written By | Meg Swertlow

On Sunday, the New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman filed lawsuit in the New York County Supreme Court against Harvey Weinstein, Bob Weinstein and the movie house that the brothers co-founded, The Weinstein Company, for extensive violations of New York’s civil rights, human rights and business laws.

According to a press release from the Attorney General’s office given to E! News, the 38-page suit filed against The Weinstein Company and its founders details new and extensive accusations about the fallen movie mogul’s “vicious and exploitative mistreatment of company employees,” who detail accounts of sexual harassment, intimidation and other misconduct in the suit.

The attorney general’s office said in the statement that if the company does get sold the “victims will be compensated, employees will be protected going forward, and that neither perpetrators nor enablers will be unjustly enriched.”

According to The Hollywood Reporter, the suit delays the sale of The Weinstein Company. TWC was was expected to close the deal on Sunday. Additionally, The New York Daily News reports that the suit “dooms” the fate of the $500 million sale of the company.

The statement also explained that the Attorney General’s office began an investigation, which included “exhaustive review of company records and emails,” following the explosive articles published by The New York Times and the New Yorker in October 2017, in which Weinstein was accused of rape and sexual assault by a number of women (Weinstein has vehemently denied all claims of non-consensual sex). The company is accused of violating gender discrimination laws.


Harvey Weinstein, Bob Weinstein

Mathew Imaging/WireImage

One of the many claims that the suit makes is that The Weinstein Company, “employed one group of female employees whose primary job it was to accompany [Harvey] to events and to facilitate [his] sexual conquests. … One of the members of this entourage was flown from London to New York to teach [his assistants] how to dress and smell more attractive.”

The suit also claims that employees were enlisted to “further [Harvey’s] regular sexual activity, including by contacting … prospective sexual partners via text message or phone at his direction and maintaining space on his calendar for sexual activity.”

The New York Attorney General also says that Harvey’s brother Robert was aware of his brother’s sexual misconduct, allowed Harvey to create a hostile work environment and engage in sexual misconduct—and did nothing to prevent it.

After the Attorney General’s statement, Ben Brafman, attorney for Harvey Weinstein, released his own statement to E! News denying the claims made in the suit.

“We believe that a fair investigation by Mr. Schneiderman will demonstrate that many of the allegations against Harvey Weinstein are without merit,” said the lawyer.

The statement continued, “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. If the purpose of the inquiry is to encourage reform throughout the film industry, Mr. Weinstein will embrace the investigation. If the purpose however is to scapegoat Mr. Weinstein, he will vigorously defend himself.”

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