The same day that Time magazine named the #MeToo Movement sexual harassment and sexual assault revealing Silence Breakers its Person of the Year, Harvey Weinstein, Bob Weinstein and The Weinstein Company has been hit with a new potential class action. This latest legal action also comes as a former personal assistant to the much accused and disgraced producer says she is planning a sexual harassment lawsuit of her own.
“Harvey Weinstein is a predator,” said Louisette Geiss, Katherine Kendall, Zoe Brock, Sarah Ann Masse, Melissa Sagemiller, and Nannette Klatt in a statement Wednesday as they filed in federal court in New York. “Bob 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.”
“Weinstein’s widespread sexual misconduct did not occur without the help of others,” says the RICO Act linking language similar to a previous potential class action suit also filed by the Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro LLP And Manhattan Beach’s The Armenta Law Firm, who are representing the half dozen women in this matter. Today’s suit claims, “the proverbial ‘casting couch’ was Harvey Weinstein’s office of choice, a choice facilitated and condoned by Miramax, The Weinstein Company and its Board of Directors” (read it here).
The 77-page jury seeking filing names not just Weinstein, his brother Bob Weinstein, The Weinstein Company, and Miramax as defendants but current TWC board member Tarak Ben Ammar too. Ex-TWC board members Dirk Ziff, Tim Sarnoff, Marc Lasry, Paul Tudor Jones, Lance Maerov, Richard Koenigsberg, Jeff Sackman and James Dolan are also defendants in this new action.
“Despite knowledge of Weinstein’s sexual misconduct, no disciplinary action was taken and he was allowed to be alone with women while on TWC business,” the deep but as of yet unspecified damages and certification seeking suit says. “TWC and TWC’s Board of Directors are thus responsible for Weinstein’s acts of assault, battery, and intentional or negligent infliction of emotional distress.”
“These individuals and companies chose to put ad revenue and movie sales, profits and ledgers before compassion and integrity,” the six initial potential class members declared in their statement Wednesday. “If money is the language they speak, then so be it. Let them learn that it is costlier to cover up assault, harassment, rape and violence. Let them learn the hard way: wallet first.”
As that potentially sprawling action was filed today, Sandeep Rehal, Weinstein’s former personal assistant of two years, is preparing what could be a very revealing and damning sexual harassment lawsuit of her own. “No one should have to endure what Ms. Rehal experienced at the hands of Harvey Weinstein,” said Rehal’s attorney Genie Harrison on Wednesday, announcing that a filing also in federal court in the Empire State is forthcoming. “We look forward to holding Harvey Weinstein, the Weinstein Company, and all other responsible parties, accountable for the trauma and harm inflicted on Ms. Rehal,” the lawyer asserted. I hear the suit could come as early as this week.
Mentioned in the yesterday’s latest New York Times piece on Weinstein and the enablers around him, Rehal worked for Weinstein for approximately two years. Sexually harassed throughout her time with the producer, according to her lawyer, Rehal quit in February 2015 because of “the intolerable work environment.”
Facing a plethora of lawsuits since the NYT expose of October 5 first put the spotlight on his decades of alleged vile actions, Weinstein is also under investigation by the NYPD, the LAPD, UK police and the Beverly Hills cops for sexual assault allegations. In the past two months, more 80 women such as Ashley Judd have gone public with tales of harassment, abuse, unwanted advances, retaliation and even rape by Weinstein.
Neither reps for Harvey Weinstein nor Bob Weinstein and TWC responded to request for comments on today’s legal moves.