News ID: 209882
Published: 0439 GMT February 12, 2018

New York sues ex-Hollywood mogul over sexual misconduct

New York sues ex-Hollywood mogul over sexual misconduct

The attorney general of the US state of New York has sued the Weinstein Company and Harvey Weinstein, alleging years of sexual harassment and misconduct by the disgraced Hollywood film producer.

The civil suit alleges that the company's executives and board repeatedly failed to protect employees from Weinstein, Eric Schneiderman, the state’s chief legal officer, said in a statement on Sunday.

The state is seeking an unspecified amount of restitution and damages, plus penalties, for harm to victims. The lawsuit also names Weinstein's brother Bob, who co-founded the company.

Schneiderman said he sued the company in part because of reports that a sale of the studio could be imminent.

"Any sale of The Weinstein Company must ensure that victims will be compensated, employees will be protected going forward, and that neither perpetrators nor enablers will be unjustly enriched," Schneiderman said.

The lawsuit alleges that Weinstein, 65, sexually harassed employees and abused women for years. It accuses Weinstein Company executives, including his brother and co-CEO Bob, of failing to act despite repeatedly being presented with credible evidence of Weinstein's sexual harassment and misconduct.

Weinstein's attorney Ben Brafman said in a statement that a fair investigation by Schneiderman would prove that many of the allegations against his client were without merit.

"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," Brafman said.

In October, The New York Times first reported on multiple allegations of sexual abuse by Weinstein.

Since then, similar allegations have been leveled against many powerful men in politics, business and entertainment in the US and the UK and the #MeToo movement has emerged to help demonstrate the widespread prevalence of sexual assault and harassment.



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