Summary: Harvey and Bob Weinstein have been sued for allegedly organizing Harvey’s sex crimes.
Alleged victims of Harvey Weinstein are fighting back, and this time, they’re going after his wallet.
The Hollywood Reporter stated that six women are suing Harvey Weinstein, his brother and former business partner Bob Weinstein, and their company The Weinstein Company. The group claims that they and hundreds of others were subjected to sexual misconduct and lived in fear of retaliation because of the defendants.
Louisette Geiss, Katherine Kendall, Zoe Brock, Sarah Ann Masse, Melissa Sagemiller and Nannette Klatt are suing for battery, assault, negligent supervision and retention, intentional and negligent infliction of emotional distress, and most interestingly, a RICO claim.
The plaintiffs stated that Harvey Weinstein and his enablers created essentially an organized crime unit they dubbed “the Weinstein Sexual Enterprise.” For instance, according to The New York Times, Weinstein used a network of agents, assistants, and others to help procure women for sex under the guise of a professional opportunity.
“One thing is clear: to create a permanent change in the culture, we need to send a message to the powerful and wealthy individuals, companies and industries that feted their Harvey Weinsteins, instead of protecting the victims,” a statement released by the women said. “These individuals and companies chose to put ad revenue and movie sales, profits and ledgers before compassion and integrity. 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.”
The plaintiffs are being represented by Steve Berman, who filed a class action lawsuit against Harvey Weinstein in November for similar charges.
The fall of Weinstein has been credited for the current conversation about sexual harassment and it inspired the movement #MeToo, where women shared their stories of being the victim of sexual misconduct from powerful men.
This week, TIME Magazine named sexual harassment victims who came forward Person of the Year for 2017, and the publication featured an article with Harvey Weinstein accusers Ashley Judd and Rose McGowan. Judd was the first person to go on the record with the New York Times that Weinstein had sexually harassed her, and she has been largely credited for helping other women abused by Weinstein to come forward publicly.
“I started talking about Harvey the minute that it happened,” Judd said to TIME. “Literally, I exited that hotel room at the Peninsula Hotel in 1997 and came straight downstairs to the lobby, where my dad was waiting for me, because he happened to be in Los Angeles from Kentucky, visiting me on the set. And he could tell by my face—to use his words—that something devastating had happened to me. I told him. I told everyone.”
Weinstein has denied the allegations against him and maintains that any sex he had was consensual. Since the New York Times story broke, he has been fired from The Weinstein Company.
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