Harvey Weinstein hit with civil rights violation lawsuit

The disgraced movie producer could be in even more trouble.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Harvey Weinstein has been sued by the New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman. The lawsuit, which was filed in the New York County Supreme Court on Sunday, Feb. 11, 2018, accuses Harvey — along with his brother, Bob Weinstein, and the film company they co-founded, The Weinstein Company — of creating "a years-long gender-based hostile work environment." They also alleged that they'd engaged in "a pattern of quid pro quo sexual harassment" and "routine misuse of corporate resources for unlawful ends that extended from in or about 2005 through at least in or about October 2017."

The suit also pushes for victim compensation if the company is sold in the near future. It notes, "Any sale of The Weinstein Company must ensure that victims will be compensated, employees will be protected going forward, and that neither perpetrators nor enablers will be unjustly enriched."

The lawsuit also alleges that the Weinstein brothers and their company violated gender discrimination laws. According to E! News, it claims they "employed one group of female employees whose primary job it was to accompany [Harvey] to events and to facilitate [his] sexual conquests," noting that an employee was reportedly "flown from London to New York to teach [his assistants] how to dress and smell more attractive."

Additionally, the lawsuit claims that employees were ordered to help "further [Harvey's] regular sexual activity, including by contacting … prospective sexual partners via text message or phone at his direction and maintaining space on his calendar for sexual activity."

The New York Daily News reports that the lawsuit could have potentially halted the sale of the movie company by Maria Contreras-Sweet, who'd reportedly been in talks to purchase the company for $500 million.

In response to the lawsuit, The Weinstein Company's board released a statement. "We are disappointed that the New York Attorney General felt it necessary to file today's complaint. Many of the allegations relating to the Board are inaccurate and the Board looks forward to bringing the facts to light as part of its ongoing commitment to resolve this difficult situation in the most appropriate way," the statement read. "With respect to the Company's ongoing sale process, the Board sought a transaction to preserve jobs and create a victim fund. Any suggestion that the Company or its Board somehow impeded or discouraged the buyer's access to the New York Attorney General is simply untrue."

The statement continued, "Indeed, the Company and its Board actively encouraged the buyer to communicate with the Attorney General. The Company looks forward to continuing our discussions with the Attorney General in order to reach our common goal of bringing this situation to an appropriate resolution."

As Nicki Swift previously reported, Harvey's alleged history of sexual abuse was exposed in articles by The New York Times and The New Yorker back in October 2017. Since then, dozens of women have come forward with their own personal accounts of experiencing sexual misconduct at the hands of the producer, who later resigned from The Weinstein Company, including Salma Hayek and Uma Thurman.

Harvey has denied all accusations of sexual assault and rape. His lawyer, Ben Brafman, told E! News, in part, "If the purpose of the inquiry is to encourage reform throughout the film industry, Mr. Weinstein will embrace the investigation. If the purpose however is to scapegoat Mr. Weinstein, he will vigorously defend himself."