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New York sues Weinstein Company on eve of sale

by Lynde Langdon
Posted 2/12/18, 11:11 am

New York’s attorney general filed a civil rights lawsuit against The Weinstein Company on Sunday, alleging systemic mistreatment of women in the workplace. In addition to the widely reported accusations of forced sexual encounters by former producer and owner Harvey Weinstein, the lawsuit claims the film company failed to protect its female employees. “To work for Harvey Weinstein was to work under a persistent barrage of gender-based obscenities, vulgar name-calling, sexualized interactions, threats of violence, and a workplace … hostile to women,” according to court papers. New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman’s office said the lawsuit was filed Sunday partly due to reports of the company’s imminent sale, which could leave victims without adequate redress. A group of investors led by Maria Contreras-Sweet, former head of the Small Business Administration, had planned to buy The Weinstein Company and install a majority-female board of directors. The New York Post reported Contreras-Sweet withdrew the offer after learning of the lawsuit. Weinstein’s attorney, Ben Brafman, said an investigation would prove the claims of the suit meritless and that, while Weinstein was not without fault, “there was certainly no criminality.”

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Lynde Langdon

Lynde is a WORLD Digital assistant editor and reports on popular and fine arts. She lives in Wichita, Kan., with her husband and two daughters. Follow Lynde on Twitter @lmlangdon.

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