Weinstein threatened to kill employees
The US state of New York has filed a civil rights lawsuit against Harvey Weinstein, the notorious film producer whose alleged sexual misconduct kicked off the #MeToo movement.
In the 39-page complaint, filed by Attorney-General Eric Schneiderman, it is claimed that Weinstein threatened to “kill” employees and used them to “fulfil [his] sexual conquests”.
The lawsuit alleges that Weinstein verbally threatened employees with physical violence, with statements such as “I will kill you” and “I will kill your family”.
He is also reported to have boasted of connections within the US Secret Service that could "take care of problems".
In addition, the court papers claim that Weinstein also threatened to use his position to “blacklist a person across the industry”, saying, “You don’t know what I can do.”
It is further alleged that Weinstein had a cadre of female employees to accompany him to events and as act as “wingwomen” to enable his “sexual conquests”: “One of the members of this entourage was flown from London to New York to teach HW’s assistants how to dress and smell more attractive to [Weinstein].”
Another group of “predominantly female” executives were “required” by Weinstein “to meet with prospective sexual conquests in order to facilitate [his] sexual activity, and to follow through on [his] promise of employment opportunities to women who met with [his] favour.
“This compelled service demeaned and humiliated them, contributing to the hostile work environment,” the papers added.
In response to the suit, a lawyer for Weinstein acknowledged that his client’s behaviour was “not without fault”, but noted that “there certainly was no criminality”.
“[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 [the Weinstein Company],” he said.
The suit has been filed Weinstein, his brother and Robert, and the Weinstein Company, which was jointly founded by them both.