As women continue to come forward with allegations of rape and sexual assault against film mogul Harvey Weinstein, the scandal-hit producer has launched legal action against the production company he co-founded with his brother Bob, The Weinstein Company.
Weinstein is demanding that the company give him access to his personnel file and email account as he prepares to defend himself against multiple lawsuits.
He also says that giving him access to the information will assist the company in its defense against litigation. Actress Dominique Huett has filed a $5 million lawsuit which alleges that Weinstein sexually assaulted her and the company was complicit in the assault.
The film producer also claims that some information was leaked by the company to the media and is looking for proof with a view to a future lawsuit."Mr. Weinstein believes that his email account — which is the primary, if not only, account he used during the term of his employment by the Company — will contain information exonerating him, and therefore the Company, from claims that may be asserted against him or the Company," Weinstein's lawyers wrote.
"By obtaining his personnel file, Mr. Weinstein can confirm that the information being reported in the press could have come only from his personnel file, and then pursue potential claims against the Company and its Representatives or officers for mismanagement by leaking confidential Company information," the lawsuit states.
Weinstein also complains that he was fired from the company's board of directors, accused of violating the firm's code of conduct, but the Board's statement "did not say what that code of conduct was."
Referring to "press reports [which] have indicated that the Board is exploring a sale of the Company," he warns that if it is forced to pay "unjustified settlements or judgements" his share of the company's eventual sale would suffer.
"If the Board agrees to sell the Company for less than it would be worth because of the threat of unsubstantiated or false allegations, Mr. Weinstein will receive less than he should have received as a Member."
Weinstein's legal action pits him against his brother Bob, who remains chairman of The Weinstein Company. The company is reportedly considering changing its name as a result of the bad publicity surrounding Harvey's misconduct.
After the allegations about Harvey's behavior were reported, Bob Weinstein told the entertainment website TMZ that his brother is a "very sick man" who needs to "seek immediate professional help."
The allegations against Weinstein were first published in a New York Times expose earlier this month, which alleged that Weinstein had paid off accusers of sexual harassment over a period of decades. Since then, scores of woman have come forward with accusations that Weinstein sexually harassed or assaulted them, including allegations of rape.