As the wheels of justice slowly turn in the Harvey Weinstein case, ugly details are spilling forth on those who enabled him to allegedly commit sexual assault and sexual harassment for decades. Further, the litigation continues to pile up against the disgraced film producer. Now, six women have filed a federal class action lawsuit in New York against Weinstein, his former companies, and several of his associates while claiming that system that kept Weinstein in power engaged in racketeering — similar to an organized crime operation. Here’s part of the accusers’ statement via Variety:
“Harvey Weinstein is a predator. Bob (Weinstein) knew it. The board knew it. The lawyers knew it. The private investigators knew it. Hollywood knew it. We knew it. Now the world knows it.
“We have watched with horror, amazement, pride and gratitude in the last two months as women (and men) the world over have come forward and named their abusers. We stand with all those brave people who have had the courage and temerity to shine a spotlight into the darkness. Predators thrive in the shadows. It is only by keeping their secrets for them that we allow them to get away with it,” the statement said.
According to the suit, Weinstein enlisted the help of other individuals and organizations to “facilitate and conceal his pattern of unwanted sexual conduct,” which the suit claims turned it into the “‘Weinstein Sexual Enterprise,’ a RICO enterprise.”
The claims in the suit include (among other alleged offenses) witness tampering, mail and wire fraud, and negligent and intentional infliction of emotional distress. The hope for these plaintiffs is that the court will allow a jury trial, so a panel of Weinstein’s peers can make the call.