12:59pm PT by Eriq Gardner
Harvey Weinstein Sues Weinstein Co. to Obtain His Personnel File
Harvey Weinstein is now officially in court against the company that for now bears his family name. On Thursday, he filed papers in Delaware in a bid to obtain personnel and employment records from The Weinstein Co.
The embattled movie mogul is facing sexual harassment and rape allegations while TWC is suffering financial woes and litigation in the wake of bombshell exposés about its former leader's behavior.
With government investigations ongoing and the possibility of many more lawsuits to come from women, investors and employees, Weinstein claims through his new legal action that any "unjustified settlements or judgments" will diminish his economic interest in the company.
"In addition, press reports have indicated that the Board is exploring a sale of the Company," states the complaint. "If the Board agrees to sell the Company for less than it would be worth because of the threat of unsubstantiated or false allegations, Mr. Weinstein will receive less than he should have received as a Member.
"Further, Mr. Weinstein is in a unique position to offer insight, and further explain and contextualize his emails," the complaint adds. "By providing Mr. Weinstein access to his emails, he can more efficiently assist the Company in its investigation of these issues and defense of the NY AG investigation and any other claims asserted against the Company, such as the one filed on October 25, 2017, against TWC based on Mr. Weinstein's alleged conduct."
Weinstein's lawyer first made the demand via letter. The plaintiff says he's entitled to access company books under the LLC agreement, and that he's not demanding any confidential or proprietary documents. TWC's lawyer allegedly responded by rejecting his request and providing the company's code of conduct.
The lawsuit over records certainly puts Weinstein and his brother Bob in court against each other, although it represents a soft action rather than the all-out war that would explode if he contested his termination from the company's board or if TWC sued hlm for contributing to its collapse. According to insiders, the parties have been in settlement talks on these issues with the need to attract a financial injection looming over everything.
That said, the complaint filed in Delaware certainly hints at the moves to come.
According to the complaint, "By obtaining his personnel file, Mr. Weinstein can confirm that the information being reported in the press could have come only from his personnel file, and then pursue potential claims against the Company and its Representatives or officers for mismanagement by leaking confidential Company information."
Weinstein's lawyer also writes that although Weinstein has been provided notice that he violated the company's code of conduct, the board has not specified the violation.
TWC has its own demands.
Although the company hasn't gone to court over this yet, TWC has asked Weinstein to produce any documents he removed from the office, any financial statements reflecting his expenses since 2005 and access to his phone and electronic devices, emails and other information relevant to its investigation.
"From the stated purpose of the Investigation Letter to the categories of documents and information it seeks from Mr. Weinstein, it is clear that the Company is performing an investigation to determine whether and to what extent the Company may face liability because of the allegations against Mr. Weinstein," writes Weinstein's lawyers, including Peter Ladig at Morris James and Patricia Glaser at Glaser Weil.
Weinstein is also asking the Delaware court to expedite a hearing over his demands.