Harvey Weinstein is an American Oscar-winning film producer best known for movies like Shakespeare in Love, The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, and Gangs of New York. In late October 2017, multiple women began coming forward accusing Weinstein of sexual abuse. The allegations have gotten so extensive that there are now over 90 women claiming Weinstein has sexually abused or harassed them in some manner. As a result, Weinstein is facing several lawsuits (Pumphrey, 2018).
On January 25th 2018, Harvey Weinstein’s former assistant, Sandeep Rehal, filed her own sexual harassment lawsuit against him. Her lawsuit claims that she was forced to work for over 2 years “…in a pervasive and severe sexually hostile work environment…” that was “…defined by endless offensive, degrading, and sexually harassing actions, statements, and touching at the hands of her boss, Harvey Weinstein,” (Rehal vs Weinstein et. al, 2018).
The claims in the lawsuit are extended through not only Weinstein, but also through to his company, his company’s head of human resources and his brother. Rehal claims that Weinstein’s inappropriate sexual behavior towards her and other women was common knowledge throughout the company including management. She also claims that his brother, Robert Weinstein, aided and abetted Harvey Weinstein’s creation of a sexually hostile work environment (Rehal vs Weinstein et. al, 2018). The lawsuit goes on to claim that Rehal was required in her job duties to prep for and clean up after Weinstein’s sexual encounters, take weekly dictation of emails from him while he was nude, and endure a myriad of inappropriate touching instances where he would rub her thighs and butt or press himself against her. She was also instructed to maintain his supply of Caverject injections for his erectile dysfunction.
As a result of enduring this sexually hostile work environment, Rehal claims that she has suffered and is still suffering from severe emotional distress, depression, anxiety, humiliation and loss of self-esteem (Rolling Stone, 2018).