Harvey Weinstein’s sex assault victims have been freed of so-called “non-disclosure agreements” and can finally go public without fear of legal retribution from the Weinstein Company, according to New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman.
The Weinstein Company, which is going through bankruptcy, announced that victims of, and witnesses to, Harvey Weinstein’s sexual misconduct are no longer bound by non-disclosure agreements.
“This is a watershed moment for efforts to address the corrosive effects of sexual misconduct in the workplace,” said Schneiderman in a statement.
“The Weinstein Company’s agreement to release victims of and witnesses to sexual misconduct from non-disclosure agreements — which my office has sought throughout this investigation and litigation — will finally enable voices that have for too long been muzzled to be heard.”
The announcement has no bearing on Schneiderman’s lawsuit against The Weinstein Company, Bob Weinstein, and Harvey Weinstein. It “remains active and our investigation is ongoing,” the AG said, adding:
My office will continue to fight for victims’ best interests throughout the bankruptcy proceedings, and engage with all parties, including The Weinstein Company and Lantern, in an ongoing effort to advance the principles we set forward when we filed our complaint: ensuring that victims are compensated, employees are protected moving forward, and perpetrators and enablers of abuse are not unjustly enriched. We welcome the parties’ efforts to preserve jobs and pursue justice for victims.
According to victims, Weinstein conducted a virtual reign of terror in Hollywood during his 30-year career, hitting on starlets for sex and threatening them with ruined careers if they protested.
Many of the cases ended in monetary settlements that always included non-disclosure agreements to keep Weinstein’s behavior secret and thwart prosecution.
In 2015, Model Ambra Battilana, then 22, filed a complaint with the NYPD alleging Weinstein groped her. Police set up a telephone conversation between the two and listened in.
During the conversation, the Hollywood producer did not deny groping her, according to The New York Daily News. Publicly, Weinstein has denied all of the allegations against him.
Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. refused to go forward, claiming not enough proof existed to bring charges. But now he’s under investigation by the New York State’s Attorney, according to the latest reports.
Weinstein finally got his comeuppance last November when The New York Times published an expose quoting a number of women who had been assaulted by the movie mogul.
He was fired and his company was forced into bankruptcy after it failed to find a buyer. New criminal investigations have been opened in New York and Los Angeles.