New York’s Attorney General, Eric Schneiderman, filed a lawsuit against disgraced mogul, Harvey Weinstein, and the Weinstein Co. for extensive violations of New York’s civil rights, human rights and business laws. The lawsuit would disrupt talks of a potential sale of The Weinstein Company.
“Any sale of The Weinstein Company must ensure that victims will be compensated, employees will be protected going forward…,” Schneiderman said in a press release.
The New York Attorney General added that every New Yorker has a right to a workplace free of sexual harassment, intimidation, and fear.
Schneiderman’s office launched a civil rights probe into the Weinstein Company, which is based in New York, in October of last year. The investigation commenced right after several media outlets exposed Weinstein’s history of sexual assault and harassment that spanned decades. The Weinstein Company later fired the producer.
The Weinstein Company commented on the latest lawsuit expressing their disappointment in the situation. More so, they stressed that many of the allegations described in the lawsuit involving the company’s board are “inaccurate”. The Weinstein Company explained that their ongoing sales process is to preserve jobs and create a victim fund.
Schneiderman confirmed that the lawsuit was filed partly due to reports of the company’s sale, claiming that such an action would leave victims without adequate redress.
A proposed sale for the Weinstein Company reportedly fell apart after the suit was filed on Sunday. According to a media source, a group led by businesswoman, Maria Contreras-Sweet, was in talks to buy Weinstein’s production company for approximately half a billion. While the lawsuit did not include any orders to halt the sale, it did inject enough uncertainty to take a potential buyout off the table, according to people familiar with the situation.
Ben Brafman, Weinstein’s attorney, said that the investigation will reveal many allegations to be “without merit”.
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