Since October, dozens of women have come forward to allege that Harvey Weinstein sexually harassed or assaulted them. But Weinstein’s abuse of power apparently didn’t stop at sexual misconduct. A new lawsuit filed by New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman claims that in addition to his sexual harassment and assault, Weinstein made death threats to several of his victims.
Schneiderman filed the lawsuit against Weinstein and his brother Bob on February 11th, citing civil rights violations discovered through a four-month investigation into the Weinstein Company. In a statement, Schneiderman said that the Weinstein Company failed to protect its employees against “sexual harassment, intimidation, and discrimination.”
The suit claims that Weinstein hired female employees to arrange meetings in which he sexually harassed or assaulted other women. It also reveals that Weinstein frequently used intimidation to get his way. Schneiderman’s suit describes him as “prone to fits of rage, including infliction of personal injury.” And Weinstein reportedly told his staff “I will kill you” and “I will kill your family” and threatened them with his connections to the Secret Service.
Weinstein also apparently made other threats of violence. In 2012, he told one female employee that he would “cut [her] loins.” The suit also states that the producer routinely used gendered slurs such as “pussy” to attack both women and men.
Salma Hayek also chronicled Weinstein’s rage in an op-ed for the New York Times. She wrote that when she worked with Weinstein on the movie Frida, he routinely criticized her decisions as an actress and producer, sometimes threatening Hayek to get what he wanted.
Based on the evidence Schneiderman presented in his lawsuit, it’s apparent that Weinstein relied on violence that was both sexual and physical in nature. It’s disgraceful that Weinstein was able to use his power to hurt others for so long. We need to stop abusers like Weinstein from taking power and ensure that all people feel safe in the workplace.