Vanity Fair – “The Lawyers Are Coming for the Weinsteins” – The first legal ramifications of the Harvey Weinstein fallout: a $5 million lawsuit brought against the Weinstein Company

Vanity Fair – “The Lawyers Are Coming for the Weinsteins” – The first legal ramifications of the Harvey Weinstein fallout: a $5 million lawsuit brought against the Weinstein Company

REBECCA KEEGAN

It’s Wednesday, and I hope God forgives Mark Wahlberg for dissing Boogie Nights.

Hello from Los Angeles, where we’re lawyering up to fight the Weinsteins, opening our checkbooks for the Kardashians, and mourning Robert Guillaume.

A person doing a business deal with the Weinstein Co. once told me he didn’t expect full and timely payment, because “money goes through the Weinsteins’ hands like concrete.” Well, there’s another way to get one’s cash: sue. Attorneys for actress Dominique Huett have filed a $5 million civil suit in Los Angeles Superior Court against the Weinstein Co., alleging that the company’s board of directors knew about Harvey Weinstein’s pattern of sexual misconduct and was negligent in failing to put a stop to it. “Whether it is a criminal case is not for me to say; we are saying that the company knew he was doing this to women,” Huett’s Florida-based attorney, Jeff Herman, told Deadline’s Dominic Patten. “What [Huett] wants to do is take on Hollywood, force a change of its attitude toward women.” Huett’s complaint describes a by now familiar-sounding pattern—a 2010 meeting at the Peninsula Hotel ostensibly about Huett’s career, the odious bathrobe appearance, persistent demands for a massage and other touching Huett said she didn’t want.

Bob Weinstein and the other Weinstein Co. board members have said they had no knowledge of Harvey’s behavior—which now includes allegations from more than 50 women—and fired him on October 8. But as V.F.’s Yohana Desta notes, the T.W.C. board was made aware of at least three or four settlements the producer had struck with women, at least as far back as 2015; board member Lance Maerov told The New York Times the board believed the settlements were “used to cover up consensual affairs.” This new civil suit is clearly unwelcome news for the Weinstein Co., which is clinging to life thanks to a cash infusion by Colony Capital as talent and business partners run for the hills. But the suit may be the least of Harvey’s problems. The New York, Los Angeles, and London police departments are all investigating allegations that could lead to possible criminal charges against the producer as well. A spokeswoman for Weinstein has said that “any allegations of non-consensual sex are unequivocally denied by Mr. Weinstein.”

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