NY attorney general files lawsuit against Weinstein

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New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman is suing Harvey Weinstein and the Weinstein Company for "failing to protect its employees from pervasive sexual harassment, intimidation and discrimination", as violations of New York state law. In October, the New York Times published an expose of how Harvey had sexually harassed or abused actresses and employees for nearly three decades, and his behavior was allegedly faciliated by talent agents, assistants, and executives at the Weinstein Company.

"To work for Harvey Weinstein was to work under a persistent barrage of gender-based obscenities, vulgar name-calling, sexualised interactions, threats of violence, and a workplace general hostile to women", according to court papers. The lawsuit now threatens to delay the sale. Some women have accused Weinstein of raping them.

The attorney general is urging anyone looking to purchase the Weinstein company to take serious considerations before signing the dotted line.

The twice-married father of five is being investigated by British and U.S. police, but has not yet been charged with any crime. Weinstein continues to deny all allegations of "non-consensual sex".

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Investigators obtained a digital copy of Weinstein's personnel file.

They said one employee flew from London to NY to teach his assistants "how to dress and smell more attractive" to Weinstein. Drivers for Weinstein in NY and Los Angeles were required to keep condoms and erectile dysfunction injections in the vehicle at all times, according to the law suit. "They knew what was happening".

The suit details numerous instances where Harvey Weinstein, identified in the complaint by his initials, allegedly assaulted, harassed or intimidated female employees.

In response to the newly-filed civil rights suit, Weinstein's attorney said in a statement: "While Mr. Weinstein's behavior was not without fault, there certainly was no criminality, and 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".

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Weinstein intends to fight the lawsuit if Mr Schneiderman seeks to "scapegoat" him, the lawyer added. "If the objective however is to scapegoat Mr. Weinstein, he will vigorously defend himself".

An investment group planned to buy the Weinstein Company, but this acquisition may go on hold because of a lawsuit filed by the New York Attorney General. That brings the total number of sexual assault cases Weinstein is facing in Los Angeles County to five, while Beverly Hills police separately submitted two cases to prosecutors last December.

The lawsuit has thrown into jeopardy the pending sale of the company, to a group backed by investor Ron Burkle and fronted by Maria Contreras-Sweet, the former head of the Small Business Administration.

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