Eric Schneiderman, the New York attorney general who is preparing a sexual misconduct case against producer Harvey Weinstein and his former company, has said that it’s the worst his office has ever encountered.
Speaking to reporters yesterday, he said: “We have never seen anything as despicable as what we’ve seen right here.”
Schneiderman’s office filed a 39-page complaint about the actions of Weinstein and The Weinstein Company, including his brother Bob Weinstein, which alleges that the misconduct and its covering up was rife.
“It’s clear the company’s management was complicit in this pattern of misconduct,” Schneiderman went on.
“They knew what was happening. It was flagrant, it was flamboyant, they knew how pervasive it was and not only did they fail to stop it, they enabled it and covered it up.”
The suit is being filed in order to ensure that money from the planned sale of the company, for a reported $500 million, will be set aside to ensure that no other abuses can take place, and that victims will be properly compensated.
“We have to ensure that this all cleaned up and that any deal that removes the two Weinstein brothers, but essentially leaves the rest of the management team intact, should be unacceptable to the purchasers,” Schneiderman added.
Weinstein has been accused of dozens of instances of sexual assault and rape, but has denied any of his encounters were non-consensual.
The producer, who presided over a wealth of Oscar-winning movies, was fired from The Weinstein Company soon after allegations of him paying off actresses and employees were made in an article in the New York Times.
The purchase of the company was due to go ahead fronted by Maria Contreras-Sweet, formerly the head of the Small Business Administration under the Obama government.
However, according to the New York Post, she has now withdrawn her $500 million offer.
Schniederman has claimed that there was was no mention in the sale documents of a compensation fund for victims, and that he was concerned that David Glasser, who has been called ‘the third Weinstein’, would remain in place.
The suit claims that the company’s human resources department, overseen by Glasser, ‘not once launched a formal investigation into any of the complaints of discrimination, harassment and abuse’.
Maria Contreras-Sweet had previously said that she planned to install a majority female board of directors in a new iteration of the company.