Disgraced movie producer Harvey Weinstein may be in a New York prison, but he faces a new legal fight in a London employment tribunal.
A woman in Britain, who can’t be identified, said Weinstein assaulted and harassed her, and that seven other executives at his company and its British unit “knowingly helped” him. The former employee is bringing an employment case while Weinstein is serving a 23-year sentence for sexual assault.
The lawsuit, one of the first related to the producer in a London court, came to light after a former Weinstein Co. board member, Tim Sarnoff, lost an appeal to avoid providing information ahead of a full trial. Sarnoff denies the allegations against him, the tribunal judge said in a ruling Wednesday.
While the fallen Hollywood mogul faces multiple lawsuits in the U.S., few cases have emerged in publicly in Europe. London police are investigating allegations from nine accusers spanning a period from the late 1980s to 2015, and there are also six British individuals among a group pursuing a separate civil class action.
A lawyer for Weinstein in Britain declined to comment. Attorneys for Sarnoff weren’t immediately available to comment but said a year ago that his name “should have never been associated with the allegations asserted against Harvey Weinstein.”
Negar Yazdani, an attorney at BlackLion Law representing the claimant, said the ruling would help to weaken the “culture of silence” surrounding Harvey Weinstein.
“It is inexplicable that the powers behind the throne who worked so closely with Harvey Weinstein were not fully aware of his alleged behavior in this case and either enabled it or turned a blind eye; this silence protected him from consequences and allowed his behavior to continue,” she said.
The British unit of the Weinstein Co. was dissolved in September, according to the British companies registry.