On Wednesday a class action lawsuit was filed against Harvey Weinstein, Miramax, The Weinstein Company and members of its board of directors, alleging that these entities worked to "perpetuate and conceal Weinstein's widespread sexual harassment and harassment," a cover that amounts to to organized civil crime.
In a joint statement, the six plaintiffs said: "We are only six women representing hundreds" who have been harassed or assaulted by Mr. Weinstein.
Two of the defendants named in the are James Dolan, owner of the New York Knicks, and Marc Lasry, co-owner of Milwaukee Bucks. Both men are former members of the Weinstein Company board of directors: Mr. Dolan from mid-2015 to June 2016, and Mr. Lasry from mid-2016 to October-2017, according to the lawsuit.
The entertainment tycoon was fired after an avalanche of accusations since October, when The New York Times reported that Mr. Weinstein had paid accusers of sexual harassment for decades.
"Harvey Weinstein is a predator," says the joint statement. "Bob knew it, the board knew it, the lawyers knew it, private investigators knew it." Bob Weinstein, Harvey's brother, is the director of The Weinstein Company, which they founded together in 2005.
The statement continues: "How could so many women have been raped, how could so many people cover it up, how is it possible that so many people have not done anything to help? Money."
The statement requests that Mr. Weinstein and his legal team present a "complete mea culpa and the admission of errors perpetrated by him and his facilitators".
The plaintiffs were identified as Louisette Geiss, Katherine Kendall, Zoe Brock, Sarah Ann Masse, Melissa Sagemiller and Nannette Klatt. [Read their statement and the court filing here.]
A spokeswoman for Harvey Weinstein did not immediately respond to a request for comments on Wednesday. His company fired him in October.
The lawsuit was filed in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York by Hagens Berman and The Armenta Law Firm. He claims that actresses and other women in the film industry were attracted to industrial events, hotel rooms, Mr. Weinstein's home, office meetings or auditions to discuss projects, only to be victims of Mr. Weinstein.
"The Weinstein Sexual Enterprise" had many participants, it grew over time as the obfuscation of Weinstein's behavior became more difficult to hide, "says the lawsuit.
" Producer Harvey Weinstein relied on powerful relationships between industries to provide coverage while accusations of sexual misconduct accumulated for decades, "the law firm said in a statement.