The world breathed a collective sigh of relief on March 11th when Harvey Weinstein was sentenced to 23 years behind bars. Despite a vigorous and often controversial defense strategy, the serial rapist was convicted and is now serving his sentence in Wende Correctional Facility, a Super Maximum Security Prison. Even more gratifyingly is he’s being treated like any other inmate, with his legal team revealing that he doesn’t have any possessions except those issued by the prison.
But though the monster has been caged, this doesn’t mean everyone involved has received justice. Yesterday, four women filed a sexual abuse lawsuit in New York, naming not just Harvey Weinstein as a defendant, but also The Walt Disney Company (who owned Miramax) and Robert Weinstein. The suit, which you can read in full here, makes the shocking claim that Weinstein raped an underage girl in 1994 in New York. Following the assault, he took the actor’s ID and told her that if she went public he would “not only make sure she never got to act in any films, but also have his associates track her down and physically harm her and her family.”
The other three women allege rapes and assaults taking place in 1984, 2008 and 2013. In an interesting legal twist, some of these cases are only now able to be brought because of New York State’s new Child Victims Act, which allows formerly underage victims to take their abusers to court with no statute of limitations.
But while Weinstein’s team have not yet released a statement, Disney has been very quick to defend themselves and put distance between them and the case. Regarding The Walt Disney Company’s relationship with Miramax, a Disney spokesperson said:
“The Weinsteins operated and managed their business with virtual autonomy. There is absolutely no legal basis for claims against the company and we will defend against them vigorously.”
Beyond this case, Harvey Weinstein is currently facing allegations from almost 100 women who claim that he raped or assaulted them. His lawyers are trying to settle them without going to court, but however these cases pan out, you can expect to see his name in headlines for years to come.