The recent allegations that Harvey Weinstein, the Oscar-winning producer behind such award-winning films as Shakespeare in Love, Good Will Hunting, Pulp Fiction and The King’s Speech, and the namesake behind the indie film dynamo Weinstein Company and his previous company, Miramax, has victimized numerous women over the last 30 years, have rocked Hollywood.
The explosive sexual misconduct, assault and rape allegations against him are still being made public, as are the – at least – eight legal settlements, that he made with some of the women who accused him of alleged harassment. Often these settlements came after the victims filed police reports.
The scandal against the movie mogul has resulted from New Yorker and New York Times investigations that published the accusations. The claims are eerily similar – he would ask the victim to have a business meeting with him alone, usually, in his hotel room, ask for or offer a massage and then behave inappropriately.
The women – employees of his and high-profile actresses – felt powerless in the situation, and guilty, as if it were their fault; they also felt pressured to reciprocate for the sake of their career and they felt that the industry was complicit in Mr. Weinstein’s behavior.
The once-powerful producer has now been fired from The Weinstein Company; the company is also conducting an internal investigation.
However, these scenarios are not unique to the film industry; they happen in every business where men have power over women.
Recent sexual harassment claims have been filed in every profession: finance, medicine, academia, publishing, technology, restaurants. There were even claims made just this past week of harassment made 20 years ago at a research facility in Antarctica.
New York state allows an injured party to file a claim against the responsible party as well as those who caused their injury by not acting to protect them. These claims can include mental as well as physical damages. Sexual harassment and sexual assault are unacceptable both inside and outside the workplace.
However, in cases of sexual misconduct, there are strict time limits. The statute of limitations on sexual harassment claims is three years from the date of the harassment.
If you are a victim of such behavior, contact the sexual assault attorneys at Goldstein and Bashner as soon as possible to discuss your situation and make sure all claims are filed in time.