Harvey Weinstein sued his embattled film and TV company on Thursday to gain access to his phone records, email and personnel file, which his lawyers say he needs to defend himself against a series of sexual harassment allegations.
More than 60 women have come forward to accuse the Hollywood mogul of sexual misconduct, from harassment to sexual assault. Through a spokeswoman, Weinstein has unequivocally denied allegations of nonconsensual sex.
He was fired from the Weinstein Company on Oct. 8 after the allegations were first reported.gi
The lawsuit on Thursday says lawyers for the company have refused to provide Weinstein access to his company phone, email and personnel records. The suit says Harvey Weinstein needs the records to help him defend himself and the company — which he founded with his brother, Bob Weinstein — and to protect his shareholding interest in the firm.
Harvey Weinstein also believes certain information in the press could have come only from his personal files, so possession of them would allow him to pursue claims against the company of "mismanagement by leaking confidential company information," according to the lawsuit.
Weinstein's lawyer, Patricia Glaser, filed the suit Thursday in Delaware.
The filing comes days after the New York attorney general issued a subpoena to the Weinstein Company seeking several documents, including personnel files, as part of an inquiry into whether company officials violated state civil rights law or New York City human rights law, according to a person familiar with the investigation.
The lawsuit filed Thursday says Weinstein is in "a unique position to explain" his emails, which would help the Weinstein Company defend itself against the New York investigation.
It also seeks to protect Weinstein's financial interests in his company, which has canceled several projects since the scandal broke.
"Should the company be forced to pay out unjustified settlements or judgments, Mr. Weinstein's interest as a Member will suffer as a result," the lawsuit said. It also points out that Weinstein is entitled to annual distributions by the company.
Gloria Allred, a lawyer for several of the women who have made accusations against Weinstein, has called for a special fund to be created to compensate the accusers.
"It's time for the Weinstein Co. to put their money where their mouths are," she said at a news conference on Wednesday.
Representatives for the Weinstein Co. didn't respond to requests for comment.