A class-action lawsuit has been filed against film mogul Harvey Weinstein. Following multiple allegations of sexual abuse and assault against the former The Weinstein Company head, Variety shares that six women have filed a class-action lawsuit in federal court in New York.
The six plaintiffs are: Louisette Geiss, Katherine Kendall, Zoe Brock, Sarah Ann Masse, Melissa Sagemiller and Nannette Klatt. They claim that Weinstein as well as the larger Hollywood network of lawyers, agents and The Weinstein Company (which includes his brother Bob) were aware of the predatory behavior.
“Harvey Weinstein is a predator. Bob (Weinstein) knew it. The board knew it. The lawyers knew it. The private investigators knew it. Hollywood knew it. We knew it. Now the world knows it,” the plaintiffs said in a joint statement.
“We have watched with horror, amazement, pride and gratitude in the last two months as women (and men) the world over have come forward and named their abusers. We stand with all those brave people who have had the courage and temerity to shine a spotlight into the darkness. Predators thrive in the shadows. It is only by keeping their secrets for them that we allow them to get away with it,” they said.
The 14 counts named in the suit include witness tampering, mail and wire fraud, assault, civil battery, negligent supervision and retention and negligent and intentional infliction of emotional distress. Others named in the suit include Miramax, the Weinstein brothers’ former company, as well as current and former board members of The Weinstein Company.
When these allegations first came to light in early October, Sallie Hofmeister, a spokesperson for Weinstein, issued a statement saying, "Any allegations of non-consensual sex are unequivocally denied by Mr. Weinstein."
Weinstein has since been fired by his company.
Earlier today, The New York Times also ran an investigative story exposing what appears to have been a vast cover-up of complicity in Hollywood of Weinstein's behavior.
The assault allegations are part of a bigger cultural movement of exposing sexual abuse. Today, Time announced its annual Person of the Year is an entire group known as "The Silence Breakers," who are the women and men speaking out against sexual harassment and assault.
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