A new report called Weinstein’s Complicity Machine reveals how producer Harvey Weinstein was able to hide his deeds for decades, including making his employees procure penile injections for him.
According to the report from The New York Times, payoffs to women date back as far as 1990 and low-level assistants were called upon to create “bibles.”
They compiled “bibles” that included hints on facilitating encounters with women, and were required to procure his penile injections for erectile dysfunction. His lawyers crafted settlements that kept the truth from being explored, much less exposed. “When you quickly settle, there is no need to get into all the facts,” said Daniel M. Petrocelli, a lawyer who handled two agreements with accusers.
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A second actress filed an anonymous case claiming she was sexually harassed by Weinstein and has also asked for class-action status against Weinstein and the two companies he co-founded in a lawsuit on Wednesday.
Filed in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles, the lawsuit claims The Weinstein Company and Miramax helped facilitate and cover up Weinstein’s sexual misconduct.
“There are dozens, and likely hundreds, of proposed class members,” according to the lawsuit. It is the first lawsuit filed against Weinstein to seek class-action status.
Damages being sought exceed $5 million, which could be tripled under federal racketeering accusations made in the lawsuit. The Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) targets ongoing patterns of criminal conduct. The 1970 law has been used to target Mafia bosses, professional sports leagues, anti-abortion activists, and Catholic dioceses accused of covering up sexual abuse by priests, among many others.
Weinstein and the companies are accused in the suit of violating federal racketeering laws, assault, civil battery, and intentional and negligent infliction of emotional distress, according to the lawsuit. The companies are also accused of negligent supervision.
A lawyer and a spokeswoman for Weinstein did not immediately respond to requests for comment. Nor did two representatives of the Weinstein Co.
Reuters contributed to this report.