Embattled movie producer Harvey Weinstein was sued by New York officials for creating a hostile work environment at the Weinstein Co. that allegedly featured “pervasive sexual harassment,” intimidation and discrimination.
New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman’s lawsuit comes as Weinstein is seeking to sell his troubled studio to Maria Contreras-Sweet, a former Obama administration official, in a $500 million bid backed by billionaire Rob Burkle. The suit may create a major obstacle for the deal.
Schneiderman seeks steep financial penalties from Weinstein, his brother Robert and the company, restitution for the victims, court oversight of the company’s compliance with an eventual settlement, and a court order that would remove the constraints of the non-disclosure agreements signed by many women.
The attorney general also wants to block any transaction that would strip his office from having legal authority over the company.
Representatives for the company and the Weinstein brothers couldn’t immediately be reached for comment.
— With assistance by Anousha Sakoui