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Sale of Weinstein Company halted after New York lawsuit: report

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The sale of The Weinstein Company hit an obstacle on Sunday after New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman filed a lawsuit against the business and its founding brothers.

The company had been near a deal to sell itself for roughly $275 million, plus an assumption of $225 million in debt, The New York Times reported Sunday night.

But Schneiderman’s lawsuit caused the sale, talks for which were in the final stages, to be abruptly delayed on Sunday, sources told the Times. 

The lawsuit alleges that the company broke New York law and violated the company’s employees’ rights by “failing to protect its employees from pervasive sexual harassment, intimidation, and discrimination,” Schneiderman said in a statement.

{mosads}Schneiderman’s lawsuit alleges numerous instances of sexual harassment by Harvey Weinstein, and claims Bob Weinstein failed to maintain a safe workplace while serving as co-owner and co-CEO.

The lawsuit stipulates that any sale of the company must ensure victims are adequately compensated, employers are protected and those who enabled Harvey Weinstein’s sexual misconduct are not unjustly enriched.

The buyer of the company is an investor group led by Maria Contreras-Sweet, a former Obama-era official. She has said her group would create a settlement fund for women who have accused Weinstein of misconduct.

Amy Spitalnick, the press secretary for Schneiderman, told The New York Times that the attorney general’s office had recently reached out to Contreras-Sweet’s representatives to discuss the stipulations of any potential sale.

“We were surprised to learn they were not serious about discussing any of those issues or even sharing the most basic information about how they planned to address them,” Spitalnick told the newspaper.

A spokesman for Contreras-Sweet declined to comment.

Tags Eric Schneiderman Harvey Weinstein
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