A lawsuit filed today accuses companies linked to Harvey Weinstein of creating a “Weinstein Sexual Enterprise,” The Washington Post reports.
The class-action racketeering lawsuit was filed in federal court in New York by six women, and seeks to represent “dozens, if not hundreds” of women, the story reports. The suit likens Weinstein’s operation to “an organized crime group that relied on film agents, producers and others to lure young women seeking a break in a breakneck industry,” The Post reports.
“The lawsuit seeking unspecified compensatory and punitive damages followed the filing of a similar lawsuit in Los Angeles last month that did not identify plaintiffs by name,” The Post reports. “It said the ‘proverbial “casting couch” was Harvey Weinstein’s office of choice’ in an arrangement condoned by defendants Miramax LLC, The Weinstein Co. Holdings LLC and its board of directors. It said the companies were complicit in Weinstein’s flashing, groping, fondling, harassing, battering, false imprisonment, sexual assault, attempted rape or rape of women.”
The report quotes the lawsuit saying the women “were aware of Weinstein’s ability to make or break their careers, as well as to continue to inflict emotional distress. Moreover, Weinstein wielded and was outspoken about his power and ability to either launch their careers or ruin their personal and professional reputations forever.”