Harvey Weinstein sues former company

2017-10-27 14:49
 

New York — Disgraced film mogul Harvey Weinstein sued his former company on Thursday, seeking access to emails, his personnel file and other records he contends may exonerate him from multiple allegations of sexual harassment and assault.

Weinstein's lawsuit filed Thursday in Delaware seeks access to the records, which Weinstein's lawyers argue are key to the Oscar-winner's defense from the avalanche of harassment claims made against him since a 5 October report by The New York Times.

Weinstein was fired from The Weinstein Co. three days later. His lawsuit makes clear that if he is able to obtain the records, he may use them to pursue a wrongful termination case or other legal actions against the company.

The lawsuit notes the numerous legal troubles facing Weinstein and his former company, including criminal investigations, a civil lawsuit that alleges The Weinstein Co. knew of decades of harassment allegations lodged against the producer and a civil rights investigation launched by the New York attorney general.

"Mr. Weinstein believes that his email account — which is the primary, if not only, account he used during the term of his employment by the company — will contain information exonerating him, and therefore the company, from claims that may be asserted against him or the company. Further, Mr. Weinstein is in a unique position to offer insight, and further explain and contextualise his emails."

Weinstein is asking a judge to expedite a ruling on his case.

A representative for The Weinstein Co. did not immediately respond to an email message seeking comment.

The lawsuit came hours after actress Ashley Judd described on-camera Weinstein's sexual advances toward her, which she said she escaped by making a deal.

Weinstein company fallout

Fallout continues to Weinstein and the film production company he co-founded. The Lexus luxury vehicle brand said Thursday it was ending its partnership with The Weinstein Co., which included sponsorship and product placement in company's Project Runway television show.

Weinstein has been fired from the company he co-founded with his brother and is now facing criminal investigations in London, New York and Los Angeles.

ABC is spreading its interview with Judd throughout its programming Thursday, with segments expected to air during its nightly newscast and its Nightline late-night show.

In the GMA interview, Judd said the business meeting in Weinstein's hotel room turned into a negotiation not about work, but about things the producer wanted the actress to do to him.

Weinstein first offered to give her a massage, then, when she demurred, asked her to give him one, she said.

"I fought with this volley of no's," she said.

Then she made a "deal." She said she agreed to submit to him, but only "when I win an Oscar in one of your movies — OK?"

"When you get NOMINATED," Weinstein counter-offered.

"And I said, 'No. When I WIN an Oscar.' And then I just fled."

Judd said she remains of two minds about how she handled the shocking situation.

"Am I proud of that? . The part that shames myself says, 'No.' The part of me that understands the way shame works says, 'That was absolutely brilliant. Good job, kid, you got out of there. Well done!'"

Judd said a couple of years after the hotel encounter she was seated across from Weinstein at a dinner. She said he brought up "that little agreement we made," and claimed he was "looking around for the material."

Then he looked at her and said, "You know, Ashley, I'm going to let you out of that little agreement that we made."

Judd said by then "I had come into my own, I had come into my power, I had found my voice. And I said, 'You do that, Harvey. You DO that.'

"And he has spat my name at me ever since."




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