Six women have filed a proposed class-action lawsuit in New York’s federal court against Harvey Weinstein and The Weinstein Company. This news arrives against the backdrop of a bombshell New York Times report uncovering the lengths to which people at TWC company went to enable him, and attempts others made to reveal his alleged wrongdoing.
Weinstein has been accused of sexual harassment, assault and rape by dozens of women, many of them prominent actresses. He denies allegations of nonconsensual sex.
- “Harvey Weinstein is a predator. Bob (Weinstein) knew it. The board knew it. The lawyers knew it. The private investigators knew it. Hollywood knew it. We knew it. Now the world knows it,” the plaintiffs said in a joint statement. The six plaintiffs are: Louisette Geiss, Katherine Kendall, Zoe Brock, Sarah Ann Masse, Melissa Sagemiller, and Nannette Klatt.
- “We have watched with horror, amazement, pride and gratitude in the last two months as women (and men) the world over have come forward and named their abusers. We stand with all those brave people who have had the courage and temerity to shine a spotlight into the darkness. Predators thrive in the shadows. It is only by keeping their secrets for them that we allow them to get away with it,” the statement said.
- Hagens Berman and Armenta Law Firm is handling the suit, and hopes to expand it to include “hundreds” of other victims, the firms said.
- “Weinstein’s widespread sexual misconduct did not occur without the help of others,” the suit states. “Rather, over time, Weinstein enlisted the aid of other firms and individuals to facilitate and conceal his pattern of unwanted sexual conduct. This coalition of firms and individuals became part of the growing ‘Weinstein Sexual Enterprise,’ a RICO enterprise.”
- Miramax and current and former board members of TWC are also named in the suit. Plaintiffs are seeking a jury trial.
- Meanwhile, Weinstein’s former personal assistant, Sandeep Rehal, tells the New York Times that as part of her job, she was forced to provide him with erectile dysfunction medication, and stock an apartment for him with bathrobes, flowers and women’s lingerie. She says she plans to sue as well on sexual harassment ground.