New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman announced Sunday that his office was filing suit against Harvey Weinstein, his brother, and his namesake production company, on behalf of employees who say that Harvey Weinstein made them do humiliating, degrading, and embarrassing things to keep their jobs.
According to a release that accompanied the filing, the lawsuit seeks to right "egregious violations of New York’s civil rights, human rights, and business laws” and to protect Weinstein Company employees in the event the company is sold and the organization dissolved or declared bankrupt.
The suit alleges that Weinstein kept a bevvy of employees whose sole job it was to procure women for Weinstein to meet, and then facilitate the resulting sexual encounters. It also claims that Weinstein used Weinstein Company employees as pawns in his game of sexual harassment and assault, forcing them to provide him with erectile dysfunction drugs, administer those drugs, and clean up his messes.
If they didn't do what he wanted, the lawsuit claims, Weinstein would become verbally abusive.
Some of the claims are downright sickening.
“Two employee witnesses described having to procure [Weinstein]'s erectile dysfunction shots, one of whom received a bonus for obtaining them and was at times directed by to administer the injections,” according to the lawsuit.
In addition, Weinstein's "drivers in both New York City and Los Angeles were required to keep condoms and erectile dysfunction injections in the car, in order to provide them to Weinstein as needed."
Employees were also required to keep Weinstein's "go bags" — his carry on travel bags and other duffels — stocked with the ED drugs just in case he needed them on the fly, the suit claims. An adequate supply of ED drugs had to be on hand at all times.
But if that seems like a dirty job, it's nothing compared to what Weinstein's female employees had to do, the New York Attorney General alleges. In the suit, it claims that Weinstein had an entire team of women whose only job was to find other women for Harvey Weinstein to sleep with.
“While they had different titles, as a practical matter their primary responsibility included taking the Defendant to parties at which he could meet young women, and introducing him to young women seeking opportunities at TWC with whom he could attempt to engage in sexual relations. These women were described by some witnesses as members of the Defendant's TWC ‘roster’ or his ‘wing women," the suit says.
But there's more: “a second group of employees served as his assistants. Predominantly female assistants were compelled to take various steps to further the Defendant’s regular sexual activity, including by contacting 'Friends of Harvey' ('FOH') and other prospective sexual partners via text message or phone at his direction and maintaining space on his calendar for sexual activity.”
One employee even claims she had the unenviable job of preparing rooms at Weinstein's corporate offices so that Weinstein could have sex with these women during the work day. They were also, the lawsuit alleges, required to clean up after Weinstein's encounters, removing clothes and other errant items.
When employees didn't do what he wanted, the AG says, Weinstein could get violent. Several witness accounts are included in the suit, but none quite comes close to the allegation that Weinstein “told several employees throughout the relevant time period that, in substance, ‘I will kill you,’ ‘I will kill your family,’ and ‘You don't know what I can do,' or words to that effect.”
Weinstein has not yet responded to the Attorney General's suit, but it is unlikely that he will admit to any of the claims. Weinstein has stridently denied that he sexually harassed, assaulted, or raped any of the dozens of women who have accused him of being a sexual predator. Where he says he has had relationships, he claims they were consensual.