Harvey Weinstein’s former companies and their officers and directors were dismissed from a federal lawsuit filed by 10 women, who claim the firms and executives helped facilitate widespread sexual misconduct that led to the movie mogul’s ouster.
The women — actors and screenwriters who claim they were assaulted or mistreated by Weinstein after meeting with him for auditions or to pitch projects — sued in December 2017, alleging Weinstein Co., its officers and directors and Miramax, the studio Weinstein formerly ran, enabled his conduct.
U.S. District Judge Alvin Hellerstein on Thursday threw out most of the suit’s claims, including those alleging violations of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, or RICO, leaving only one claim remaining, against Harvey Weinstein himself, for violations of the Trafficking Victims Protection Act.
Elior Shiloh, an attorney for Harvey Weinstein, didn’t immediately respond to a voice-mail seeking comment on the decision.
Hellerstein said that while Weinstein Co. “undoubtedly benefited” from Harvey Weinstein’s employment through revenue from his movies and influence, it did so in spite of his alleged predatory acts, “which caused many women not to work with TWC, diverted company resources towards supervision of H. Weinstein and away from business activities and exposed TWC to potential liability.”
The suit “does not allege that H. Weinstein secured TWC’s alleged complicity in his sexual violence as a condition of his employment,” the judge wrote. “In fact, H. Weinstein’s employment agreements made conviction for such an offense grounds for termination.”
Weinstein Co. was sold out of bankruptcy last year to Lantern Capital Partners for about $440 million, including debt. Under the arrangement, Harvey Weinstein himself won’t profit from the new venture.
The case is Geiss v. Weinstein Co., 17-cv-09554, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan).