A.G. Schneiderman Files Civil Rights Lawsuit Against The Weinstein Companies, Harvey Weinstein, And Robert Weinstein / NEWS RELEASE.
Four Month Investigation Reveals New and Egregious Examples of Sexual Misconduct By Harvey Weinstein and Repeated Violations of New York Law By Company Officials That Endangered Employees
AG’s Lawsuit Alleges Company Executives and Board Repeatedly Failed to Protect Employees From Then-CEO Harvey Weinstein’s Unrelenting Sexual Harassment, Intimidation, and Discrimination
AG Files Lawsuit to Ensure Victims Will Be Compensated, Employees Will Be Protected Moving Forward, and Parties Responsible For Egregious Misconduct Will Not Be Newly Empowered As Part of Any Future Sale
NEW YORK – New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman currently filed fit against The Weinstein Company (“TWC”), Harvey Weinstein, and Robert Weinstein for gross violations of New York’s polite rights, human rights, and business laws. The suit, filed currently in New York County Supreme Court, includes new and endless allegations about longtime company CEO Harvey Weinstein’s (“HW”) infamous and exploitative indignity of company employees. Today’s fit includes countless employee-victim accounts of passionate harassment, intimidation, and other misconduct.
According to the Attorney General’s (“OAG”) lawsuit, despite many complaints to TWC’s human resources dialect and widespread trust opposite the company’s caring of HW’s determined misconduct, TWC executives and the Board regularly unsuccessful to take suggestive stairs to strengthen company employees or quell HW’s misconduct.
“As supposed in our complaint, The Weinstein Company regularly pennyless New York law by unwell to strengthen its employees from pervasive passionate harassment, intimidation, and discrimination,” said Attorney General Schneiderman. “Any sale of The Weinstein Company must safeguard that victims will be compensated, employees will be stable going forward, and that conjunction perpetrators nor enablers will be unjustly enriched. Every New Yorker has a right to a workplace free of passionate harassment, intimidation, and fear.”
Today’s lawsuit is the outcome of an ongoing 4 month examination by the Office of the Attorney General (“OAG”). The examination enclosed interviews with mixed company employees, executives, and survivors of Harvey Weinstein’s passionate misconduct. The examination also enclosed an downright examination of company annals and emails.
Specific examples of HW’s harassment, intimidation, assault, and a antagonistic work sourroundings supposed in the censure include, among many others:
- HW told several employees around the applicable time duration that, in substance, “I will kill you,” “I will kill your family,” and “You don’t know what we can do,” or difference to that effect. HW touted his tie to absolute domestic total and asserted that he had contacts within the Secret Service that could take caring of problems.
- At HW’s direction, “TWC employed one group of womanlike employees whose primary pursuit it was to accompany HW to events and to promote HW’s passionate conquests…These women were described by some witnesses as members of HW’s TWC “roster” or his “wing women.” One of the members of this sourroundings was flown from London to New York to learn HW’s assistants how to dress and smell some-more appealing to HW…”
- A second organisation of primarily womanlike employees served as his assistants. HW’s assistants were compelled to take several stairs to offer HW’s unchanging passionate activity, including by contacting “Friends of Harvey” and other impending passionate partners around content summary or phone at his instruction and progressing space on his calendar for passionate activity.
- A third organisation of primarily womanlike TWC employees– a organisation of womanlike executives – also were forced to promote HW’s passionate conquests. These womanlike employees’ pursuit responsibilities should have been cramped to using their imagination to help TWC furnish films and radio projects. Yet despite their skills and settled pursuit responsibilities, HW compulsory them to meet with impending passionate conquests in sequence to promote HW’s passionate activity, and to follow by on HW’s guarantee of use opportunities to women who met with HW’s favor. This compelled service demeaned and flustered them, contributing to the antagonistic work environment.”
- As one [female] executive reported to TWC’s Human Resources department: “only womanlike executives are put in these positions with actresses with whom HW has a ‘personal friendship,’ which to my bargain means he has possibly had or wants to have passionate family with them. Female Weinstein employees are radically used to promote his passionate conquests of unprotected women who wish he will get them work.” TWC took no stairs to examine these allegations or to forestall future regularity of such conduct.
- HW made quid pro quo offers or demands of passionate favors in sell for career enrichment at TWC, or to equivocate inauspicious use consequences at TWC.
- On one arise in 2015, HW asked a womanlike TWC employee to go to his hotel room at the finish of the day to set up his phone and inclination for the next day or some other supposed work reason (work that TWC employees referred to as “turndown service,” and that was generally reserved to womanlike TWC employees). Upon her attainment at HW’s hotel room, HW seemed unprotected under a bathrobe and asked the employee for a massage. When the employee pronounced no, HW cajoled, badgered, and insisted until she relented and, against her wishes, submitted to massaging him out of fear of employment-based plea by HW. The occurrence was reported to Human Resources and to executives and Board members of the company in Nov 2015, but TWC took no movement to rigourously examine the complaint, to strengthen employees from HW, or to forestall future regularity of such conduct.
- On other occasions in 2014 and 2015, HW unprotected himself to a womanlike employee and finished her take dictation from him while he leered at her, unprotected on his bed. That same employee described how HW would insist that she lay next to him in the back chair of his chauffeured automobile and would place his palm on her top thigh and bum nearby her genitals and massage her physique but her consent. When she attempted to place bags or other barriers between them to make it harder for him to strech her, he changed the barriers or repositioned himself so that the unwelcome passionate hit could continue. This employee, and other TWC employees, believed that they would face inauspicious use consequences unless they acquiesced to such demands.
- On one occasion, HW asserted that he competence have to fire a womanlike employee since his daughter (for whom the employee was providing assistance at HW’s direction) was angry with her, and he asked the employee what she was “prepared to do” to keep her pursuit – a tender that the womanlike employee accepted was a direct for quid pro quo sexual activity. The employee quit rather than contention to the direct for sex in sell for continued employment.
- HW’s assistants were unprotected to and compulsory to promote HW’s sex life as a condition of employment.
- HW compulsory his assistants to report “personals” for passionate activity both during the workday and after work. Upon arranging a “personal,” assistants were compulsory to transparent or adjust any and all other scheduled plans which potentially conflicted with the “personal.”
- Assistants hexed copies of a request famous as the “Bible,” an assistant-created beam to operative for HW which was upheld down by Assistants. The request sat in tough duplicate on several Assistants’ desks, and was permitted to and famous to exist by some TWC executives. The Bible enclosed information about HW’s likes and dislikes, and a list of his “friends” with directions for assistants on how to arrange HW’s endless and visit “personals.”
- HW’s drivers in both New York City and Los Angeles were compulsory to keep condoms and erectile dysfunction injections in the automobile at all times, in sequence to yield them to HW as needed.
Specific allegations of bungle by company government include, among others:
- On some-more than one occasion, on forwarding a censure or information about a censure to the COO, the Human Resources Director was not concerned in any examination or fortitude process. Based on papers obtained by the OAG to date, such matters were rubbed by the COO and other members of TWC comparison management, as good as warn defended to hit victims of misconduct.
- On countless occasions during the applicable time period, victims of HW’s bungle complained to the Human Resources Director or to other TWC government about several aspects of the control described herein. On no arise was HW theme to a grave investigation, nor to restrictions on his function or inauspicious use consequences, as a outcome of any complaint.
- Evidence collected during the march of the examination reflects that the Human Resources Director was not empowered to take any stairs residence HW’s ongoing passionate nuisance of womanlike employees.
- On certain occasions when people did complain to Human Resources, those complaints were not treated confidentially and investigated. For example, on one occasion, an partner to HW wrote an email to Human Resources angry of certain bungle by HW. Soon thereafter, the assistant, who had entrance to HW’s email comment due to her role at TWC, saw that her censure had been forwarded directly to HW around HW’s email account.
- On several occasions when TWC employees complained about critical bungle by HW, TWC took stairs to apart the employee from the company while securing an NDA that would forestall the employee from disclosing the bungle to others or warning others about the misconduct.
- Robert Weinstein (“RW”), as co-owner, co-Chairman, and co-CEO, was obliged for progressing a protected workplace, free of passionate nuisance and other wrong conduct. Yet instead of doing so, RW acquiesced in permitting HW to create a antagonistic work sourroundings and rivet in passionate bungle that was famous to him, or which he was obliged for preventing.
- RW also perceived by email in late 2014 and 2015, and was differently sensitive of, claims of steady and determined passionate nuisance and misconduct, nonetheless he took no measures to examine offer the claims of misconduct, to cancel HW’s employment, to shorten or demarcate HW from supervising women or having or seeking passionate hit with TWC employees or women seeking to do business with TWC, from having private meetings with employees or women seeking opportunities in hotel bedrooms or TWC bureau space, or any other petrify magnitude that may have prevented HW’s ongoing misconduct.
- In response to the information obtained from TWC management, eccentric Board members sought to obtain entrance to HW’s crew file so that warn representing the Board could use the crew file and other information to weigh either the Board would suggest renovation of HW’s contract. HW resisted the eccentric directors’ efforts to obtain a duplicate of his crew file and differently examine misconduct, on the supposed grounds that the essence of the file would be leaked to the press if disclosed to the Board. There was no basement for this claim; instead, HW sought to forestall entrance to his crew file to equivocate find of the border of his own misconduct. A infancy of the Board refused to back the eccentric Directors’ efforts to obtain HW’s crew file; thus, efforts that may have resulted in find of at slightest a apportionment of HW’s bungle were not undertaken by the Board.
- HW’s agreement prolongation also contained an surprising sustenance that effectively monetized, rather than prohibited, ongoing acts of passionate nuisance and misconduct. In particular, it settled that, if TWC had to “make a remuneration to prove a explain that you [i.e., HW] have treated someone improperly in defilement of the Company’s Code of Conduct,” he would face sharpening financial penalties: $250,000 for the first such instance, “$500,000, for the second such instance, $750,000 for the third such instance, and $1,000,000 for any such additional instance.”
- This agreement contained no sustenance for any penalties if HW privately covered the costs of any payments required to prove claims of crude treatment, and it supposing for no inauspicious use consequences in the eventuality that one, two, three, or even 4 or some-more such payments had to be finished by TWC and/or HW as a outcome of HW’s passionate nuisance or misconduct. Thus, pursuant to HW’s use contract, HW could continue enchanting in passionate nuisance and bungle with impunity, supposing that he paid the costs of any settlements and that he avoided avowal of bungle that competence risk causing “serious mistreat to the company.”
- Board mins simulate that the Board validated HW’s new use agreement unanimously. No future efforts were undertaken by the Board to examine HW’s bungle or TWC’s practices concerning that control until HW’s stop in Oct 2017.
As minute above, according to OAG’s investigation, nothing of the saturated complaints filed with TWC Human Resources resulted in suggestive examination or service for victims, or consequences for HW. Instead, TWC Human Resources variously claimed there was “nothing” that could be finished to residence the misconduct; immediately sensitive HW of the complaint, thereby facilitating plea by HW against the complainant; or helped promote quick depart of the complainant from the company in tie with a allotment that contained an NDA at the instruction of the HR Director’s superiors.
TWC’s enlightenment of nuisance and danger remained hidden in privacy since of HW’s and TWC’s use of securing overpower by Non-Disclosure Agreements (“NDAs”) that taboo people from speaking about their practice at TWC. In Oct 2017, Attorney General Schneiderman non-stop an examination after initial reports per HW – using the Attorney General’s inquisitive authorities, including inquisitive summons power, to start stealing that hide of secrecy.
While the Attorney General’s examination stays ongoing, OAG is bringing fit currently to find justice involvement in light of its inquisitive commentary to date and the reported approaching sale of TWC – which OAG has a concrete basement to trust would leave victims but adequate redress, including a miss of a sufficient victims remuneration fund. OAG also believes that the due terms of the sale would concede the perpetrators or enablers of the bungle to see a windfall, and concede top officials at TWC who share shortcoming for the bungle to offer in executive positions of the new entity – where they would again manage the adjudication of HR complaints, including those of passionate harassment, intimidation, and assault.
Those who trust they were victims of or witnesses to the bungle described in the censure should call the Civil Rights Bureau hotline at 212-416-8250 or Civil.Rights@ag.ny.gov.
The Civil Rights Bureau of the New York State Attorney General’s Office is committed to combating gender taste and passionate nuisance faced by women opposite all industries. The Civil Rights Bureau encourages those who confront such control to hit the bureau at 212-416-8250 or Civil.Rights@ag.ny.gov.
This case is being rubbed by Howard Master, Senior Enforcement Counsel, and by Anjana Samant, Assistant Attorney General, and Amanda Addision, proffer Assistant Attorney General, in the Civil Rights Bureau. Lourdes Rosado is the Chief of the Civil Rights Bureau. The Civil Rights Bureau is partial of the Division of Social Justice, which is led by Executive Deputy Attorney General Matthew Colangelo.