Harvey Weinstein's Lawyer Says There Was 'No Criminality' In Producer's Behaviour

Over 30 women have come forward with allegations of sexual assault and harassment against the film producer.

MOST POPULAR

In October, The New York Times published allegations against film mogul Harvey Weinstein by women who claimed he sexually harassed and assault them. In the following months, over 70 women came forward with allegations - including rape - against the Hollywood heavyweight.

Any allegations of non-consensual sex are unequivocally denied by Mr. Weinstein however and his lawyer has now come forward to claim there was 'no criminality' in his client's behaviour.

ADVERTISEMENT - CONTINUE READING BELOW

In a statement issued on Sunday and first published by Deadline, Weinstein's lawyer Ben Brafman responded to the civil rights lawsuit now filed against Weinstein, his brother Bob, and The Weinstein Company by New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman.

'While Mr. Weinstein's behaviour was not without fault, there certainly was no criminality,' said Brafman's statement.

Brafman claims Weinstein would welcome an investigation as long as the purpose of it was to 'encourage reform' in the film industry.

'If the purpose however is to scapegoat Mr. Weinstein, he will vigorously defend himself,' he added.

Here's the full statement:

We believe that a fair investigation by Mr. Schneiderman will demonstrate that many of the allegations against Harvey Weinstein are without merit. 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 and there was zero discrimination at either Miramax or TWC.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.

ADVERTISEMENT - CONTINUE READING BELOW

Reuters reports that Schneiderman claims the company's board and executives failed to adequately protect employees from Weinstein.

On Sunday, Attorney General Eric Schneiderman revealed he'd filed the lawsuit against the Weistein Company and was seeking an unspecified sum to cover damages, plus penalties, for victims of alleged abuse by the media mogul.

The BBC reports the lawsuit follows a four-month investigation and cites multiple examples of alleged misconduct by Mr Weinstein, including:

  • Verbal threats, such as telling employees 'I will kill you' or 'I will kill your family'
  • Employing female staff as 'wing women' to 'accompany [Mr Weinstein] to events and facilitate [his] sexual conquests'
  • Demanding sexual favours in return for career promotion at the studio
  • Requiring his drivers to 'keep condoms and erectile dysfunction injections in the car at all times'
  • The requirement for his assistants to schedule 'personals for sexual activity' both during office hours and after work
  • Belittling female members of staff with insults about their periods, and shouting at one member of staff that she should leave the company and make babies as that was all she was good for

The company is also accused of failing employees by:

  • Not investigating complaints or treating them confidentially, with one assistant saying she saw her email detailing Mr Weinstein's misconduct allegations had been forwarded directly to him
  • Creating a contract for Mr Weinstein which allegedly contained the proviso that mistreatment claims would result in a financial penalty, rather than be prohibited, which 'effectively monetised' sexual harassment.
More from ELLE UK: