Weinstein Co. to be investigated by New York attorney general

The state civil rights bureau subpoenaed the company for documents.

ByABC News
October 23, 2017, 3:50 PM

— -- New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman announced Monday that he has opened an inquiry into the Weinstein Co. to investigate claims of sexual misconduct and harassment made against co-founder Harvey Weinstein.

ABC New York station WABC has confirmed a New York Times report that Schneiderman is trying to determine whether those allegations could be indicative of discrimination and other civil rights violations.

"No New Yorker should be forced to walk into a workplace ruled by sexual intimidation, harassment or fear. If sexual harassment or discrimination is pervasive at a company, we want to know," Schneiderman said in a statement.

According to a person familiar with the investigation, the civil rights bureau of the New York State Attorney General's Office issued a subpoena today as part of an investigation into whether officials at the Weinstein Co. violated state or local laws pertaining to civil and human rights. The subpoena seeks, among other information, all documents, records and correspondence related to all complaints relating to sexual harassment or other discrimination against any employee; all documents, records and correspondence concerning how that complaint was handled; and all documents concerning management's criteria to hire, promote, cast, select, reject or terminate applicants or employees.

More than three dozen women have accused Weinstein, 65, of harassment and sexual misconduct. Though he has admitted wrongdoing, he "unequivocally denied" any allegations of nonconsensual sex, according to a statement provided by his publicist this month.

Despite his pleas for a second chance, he has faced serious consequences for his alleged actions. His employment was terminated by the board of his namesake company almost immediately, and shortly thereafter, he tendered his resignation from the board of directors. Weinstein was expelled from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, and the Producers Guild of America has voted to begin termination proceedings against him as well. That organization will make a final determination next month.

The Weinstein Co. has undergone big changes too. Last week ABC News confirmed that the studio is setting itself up for a possible sale, accepting an immediate cash infusion from the private equity firm Colony Capital. The board will also negotiate with the firm for a possible sale of some or all of its assets.

Weinstein is receiving inpatient and outpatient medical attention at an undisclosed location, his spokesperson added in a statement from last week. He will remain in treatment for the next month or so, she added.

ABC News' Aaron Katersky contributed to this report.

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