New York State Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman announced a civil rights probe Monday into The Weinstein Co. to determine whether officials at the company engaged in sexual harassment.
The inquiry comes on the heels of a scandal that has embroiled company co-founder Harvey Weinstein with numerous allegations from women that he sexually harassed or assaulted them.
In a brief statement, Schneiderman said that “No New Yorker should be forced to walk into a workplace ruled by sexual intimidation.”
Schneiderman’s civil rights bureau on Monday subpoenaed company records pertaining to “all complaints, whether formal or informal, related to sexual harassment or other discrimination on the basis of gender or age, against any employee or management employee.”
The subpoena also sought documents about how those complaints were handled, including why or why not a matter was pursued internally, according to a source familiar with the investigation.
Since the story broke three weeks ago, Weinstein has been dogged by numerous allegations from women that he acted inappropriately, tried to coerce them into sexual conduct or in some cases forced them to have sex. Through his representatives, Weinstein has denied having any nonconsensual sex with anyone. The company, which fired Weinstein earlier this month, reportedly reached settlements with a number of women over the years.
A woman who answered the phone in The Weinstein Co.’s media relations office said the company had no comment on the subpoena or news of the investigation.
The NYPD had received a number of calls alleging misconduct by Weinstein. But officials said last week that many of them related to matters that occurred outside of New York City and thus could not be prosecuted in the city. Law enforcement officials said some of the calls related to allegations of sexual harassment of a noncriminal nature. NYPD officials said their investigation is still open.
According to news reports, police in Los Angeles and London are probing possible criminal allegations against the Hollywood producer. Weinstein’s wife, Georgina Chapman, has said she is leaving him, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences revoked his membership, and other industry groups have been contemplating action against him.
A spokesman for The Weinstein Co. didn’t return a request for comment.