Harvey Weinstein threatened to kill employees and their families, according to claims in a new civil-rights lawsuit filed against the now-notorious movie mogul, his brother Bob Weinstein, and their empire, The Weinstein Company.
Shocking allegations about the alleged serial sexual harasser were submitted in a suit filed by New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman. The complaint was filed in New York County Supreme Court late Sunday. It alleges stunning violations of the state’s human rights, civil rights, and business laws.
It claims Weinstein “regularly berated women using gender-based obscenities”—calling female employees “c--t” or “pussy” instead of using their first names when he was angry. In addition to the sexual harassment, bullying, and allegations of sexual assault, Weinstein allegedly threatened the lives of his employees, saying “I will kill your family,” and, “You don’t know what I can do.”
Weinstein often bragged about his connection to political figures and said he had “contacts within the Secret Service that could take care of problems,” the lawsuit alleges.
The court documents also claim that the management and board at the company “were repeatedly presented with credible evidence of [Weinstein]’s sexual harassment” of employees “and his use of corporate employees and resources to facilitate sexual activity with third parties.”
In one episode, Weinstein fired a male assistant for being “just a fucking f----t boy, a stupid fucking f----t boy,” according to an email complaint sent to human resources about the incident.
According to another formal complaint made to the company’s human-resources department, Weinstein berated a female employee in 2012, threatening to “cut [her] loins,” which traumatized her and made her feel “forced out” of her own job. She said in the complaint that the episode caused her “severe stress.” Her complaint was allegedly resolved through a deal involving a non-disclosure agreement.
In addition to the threats, at least three sets of employees were required to help Weinstein make “sexual conquests,” according to the suit.
The company employed one group of female employees whose primary job it was to go with Weinstein to events and “facilitate” his “sexual conquests,” the lawsuit states. Those women were kept on the payroll in various cities, including London, Los Angeles, and New York. Witnesses claimed they were called Weinstein’s “wing women.”
The second group was made up of women who “were compelled to take various steps to further [Weinstein]’s regular sexual activity, including by contacting ‘Friends of Harvey’ and other prospective sexual partners via text message or phone or at his direction and maintaining space on his calendar for sexual activity.”
Members of this group at various times allegedly had to handle Weinstein’s erectile-dysfunction shots—and even administer the injections. Others had to prepare rooms in his office for sexual activity—and clean up after it was over.
The third, predominantly female group of employees responsible for such demeaning work, according to the lawsuit, had to facilitate Weinstein’s sexual activity by meeting with prospective sexual conquests and then following through on the employment opportunities promised by Weinstein afterward.
Women in each of the groups, according to the lawsuit, described a hostile work environment created by such activities that was demeaning and humiliating.
His assistants, according to the lawsuit, maintained copies of a document they called the “Bible,” which detailed Weinstein’s likes and dislikes and names that would help arrange sexual activity for him.
Weinstein’s drivers, in Los Angeles and New York City, were all said to be required to keep condoms and erectile-dysfunction injections in their cars at all times.
Schneiderman alleges that Bob Weinstein, who was deeply aware of his brother's sexual misconduct, did nothing to stop it.
In a press conference on Monday afternoon, Schneiderman said the 4-month investigation revealed “flagrant” misconduct worse than anything else he’s seen at any other company.
Per The Hollywood Reporter, the suit—which seeks restitution and damage payments for Weinstein’s alleged victims—will likely delay the sale of the company, which was expected to close this weekend. According to The New York Times, the company was anticipating a deal that would have brought in $275 million, as well as the assumption of $225 million in debt.
“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 in a news release.
“We believe that a fair investigation by Mr. Schneiderman will demonstrate that many of the allegations against Harvey Weinstein are without merit,” the movie mogul’s lawyer told USA Today, in a statement. “While Mr. Weinstein’s behavior was not without fault, there certainly was no criminality, and 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 TWC.”
More than 50 women have come forward since October with allegations against Weinstein that include everything from rape to sexual harassment. His alleged victims include starlets like Kate Beckinsale, Rose McGowan, Lupita Nyong’o, Uma Thurman, and Gwyneth Paltrow.