Harvey Weinstein Sexual Harassment
Feds Exploring RICO Charges
According to recent news, federal prosecutors are investigating whether former Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein violated wire fraud or other laws in his systemic silencing of his victims, and creation of an enterprise to sustain and protect his acts of sexual harassment.
“We are hopeful and encouraged to hear news that federal prosecutors examining the evidence against Harvey Weinstein may see the issues the same way we do: that Harvey Weinstein orchestrated an illegal enterprise. We look forward both to their findings and continuing our clients’ class-action lawsuit against Harvey Weinstein and his co-conspirators to recover for the significant damage they inflicted.”
— Beth Fegan, partner at Hagens Berman representing the proposed class of survivors in the lawsuit against Harvey Weinstein
If you were in any way threatened or assaulted by Harvey Weinstein, find out your rights »
ABOUT THE CASE
Hagens Berman and Cris Armenta, founder of The Armenta Law Firm, have filed a lawsuit on behalf of a proposed class of actresses who met with Harvey Weinstein to audition or discuss involvement in a project in a lawsuit filed against Weinstein, Miramax and The Weinstein Company Holdings, stating these entities colluded together to perpetuate and conceal Weinstein’s widespread sexual harassment.
The lawsuit, filed Nov. 15, 2017, in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California states that Miramax and The Weinstein Company (which Weinstein co-founded) facilitated Weinstein’s organized pattern of predatory behavior, equating to an enterprise that violates the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, commonly referred to as the RICO Act, the same law brought against members of the Mafia for organized criminal behavior.
The lawsuit brings various charges against Weinstein and his companies for violating the RICO Act, mail and wire fraud, assault, civil battery, negligent supervision and retention, and intentional infliction of emotional distress.
HARVEY WEINSTEIN’S SEXUAL HARASSMENT ENTERPRISE
The lawsuit states that “under the guise of meetings ostensibly to help further Class Members’ careers or hire them for roles,” Weinstein isolated those bringing the suit, to engage in unwanted sexual conduct that took many forms: flashing, groping, fondling, battering, sexual assault, attempted rape and/or completed rape.
The suit highlights that at all times, Weinstein’s victims and those who met to discuss projects or audition for him “operated under duress and the threat of being blacklisted” by Weinstein and major producers at Miramax if they refused, or spoke up.
Weinstein and the companies he co-founded worked in unison with many other participants across various industries, and that this enterprise cover-up grew over time as Weinstein’s actions became more widespread and harder to conceal. Other participants named in the lawsuit included corporate risk and intelligence companies, lawyers and law firms that worked actively to keep news of Weinstein’s sexual harassment from being published, as well as other members of the entertainment industry.
The suit highlights reports from The New Yorker detailing “Weinstein’s Army of Spies” that he engaged to harass, threaten, extort, investigate and mislead his victims and the media to prevent the prosecution, reporting or disclosure of his sexual misconduct. These enterprise members also destroyed and concealed records and other evidence.
The suit seeks retribution for class members’ loss of work opportunities and devastating damage to their careers, as well as damages for emotional distress, all of which can be tripled under RICO law. If you were in any way involved in discussions of projects with, or auditioned for Harvey Weinstein, find out your rights. Hagens Berman’s attorneys achieved a nationwide sexual harassment settlement on behalf of 16,000 women and also tried the first ever sexual harassment case in Washington state in 1985.
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