Harvey Weinstein & Weinstein Co. sued by New York State.

The Attorney General for the state of New York, Eric Schneiderman, has filed a lawsuit against the Weinstein Company and the film producer, Harvey Weinstein. The lawsuit alleges Mr Weinstein abused and sexually harassed female employees and made verbal threats to kill staff members. 

More then 70 woman are accusing the film producer of of sexual abuse, including
rape, but he denies non-consensual sex with any of the women.

The lawsuit also accuses the company's senior executives including , Harvey's brother, Robert Weinstein, of repeatedly failing to prevent the mistreatment of staff.

Schneiderman said the potential sale of the company informed his decision to sue the company as victim's of Mr. Harvey abuse deserved to be compensated and to ensure that the employees will be protected in the future.

“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.

Mr Weinstein's lawyer Ben Brafman responded that "while his client's behaviour was not without fault, there was no criminality. 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 the Weinstein Company." he said.

“If the purpose of the inquiry is to encourage reform throughout the film industry, Mr. Weinstein will embrace the investigation. If the purpose however is to scapegoat Mr. Weinstein, he will vigorously defend himself,” Brafman said.

The studio which has been battling bankruptcy, has been in talks to sell itself to a group of investors led by Maria Contreras-Sweet (a former Obama administration official) to buy the studio for $500m, but news of Schneiderman’s lawsuit means that negotiations are on hold.

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