More than a month after a former personal assistant to the much-accused and disgraced Harvey Weinstein said she was planning a sexual harassment lawsuit of her own, Sandeep Rehal has taken her ex-boss and The Weinstein Company to court, gruesome details and all.
“For over two years Plaintiff Sandeep Rehal was forced to work in a pervasive and severe sexually hostile work environment at The Weinstein Company LLC and The Weinstein Company Holdings LLC, defined by endless offensive, degrading, and sexually harassing actions, statements, and touching at the hands of her boss, Harvey Weinstein,” said the New York Supreme Court filing (read it here) today that seeks a jury trial.
“By February 2015, the hostile work environment created by Harvey Weinstein and condoned and enabled by TWC, Robert Weinstein, and the head of Human Resources Frank Gil, escalated to an emotional breaking point for Ms. Rehal,” the wide-ranging complaint adds of the aide, who worked for Weinstein from 2013-2105. “She had no choice but to leave the job she needed to support herself,” added the filing, which also names Bob Weinstein and Gil as defendants and seeks unspecified damages and an injunction. “As a result of the hostile work environment caused by the incessant sexual harassment, Ms. Rehal has suffered, and continues to suffer from severe emotional distress, anxiety, depression, humiliation, fear, anguish and loss of self-esteem.”
“No one should have to endure what Ms. Rehal experienced at the hands of Harvey Weinstein,” said the former TWC employee’s attorney Genie Harrison in early December, after Rehal was mentioned in a New York Times story about the producer and his alleged vile behavior.
Facing a plethora of lawsuits since the NYT exposé of October 5 first put the spotlight on allegations of sexual harassment and sexual assault, Weinstein is also under investigation by the NYPD, the LAPD, UK police and the Beverly Hills cops. In the past several months, more than 80 women including Ashley Judd have gone public with tales of harassment, abuse, unwanted advances, retaliation and even rape by Weinstein. The revelations of the alleged behavior of Weinstein and others have also seen the rise of the #MeToo movement and the creation of the Time’s Up legal defense fund, among other responses.
Today’s lawsuit by Rehal details frequent harsh and anatomy-specific language from Weinstein, as well as what is described as “leering,” naked emailing, constant pawing, having to wipe his semen off sofas after sexual encounters and clean up used condoms. “Harvey Weinstein repeatedly emphasized his absolute power to Ms. Rehal and others,” the 11-page filing reads. “He constantly bragged about his power, stating to Ms. Rehal and other employees, ‘I am Harvey Weinstein and you are at Weinstein University. I decide whether or not you graduate.’ ”
Additionally, the filing unveils how Weinstein had his then-personal assistant orchestrate his rendezvous.
“In addition to maintaining his list of available women, Ms. Rehal was forced to do many other offensive chores to ‘assist’ in Harvey Weinstein’s sex life,” the document from LA-based Harrison and Laura Schnell of NYC’s Eisenberg & Schnell LLP says. “She was required to manage the stock of Caverject shots for his erectile dysfunction. She had to obtain the shots and keep them stocked in a cabinet behind her desk at Harvey Weinstein’s TWC office. Every time Harvey Weinstein went to meet a woman at a hotel, in the office, or elsewhere, which occurred on average at least three times a week when he was in New York, Ms. Rehal was required as part of her job to provide Harvey Weinstein with a shot, which she placed in his jacket pocket or in a brown paper bag.”
“Mr. Weinstein categorically denies these claims and his lawyers will respond in the appropriate legal forum with evidence proving they are untrue,” said a spokesperson for Harvey Weinstein on Thursday. Reps for TWC did not respond to request for comment on the latest lawsuit.