Harvey Weinstein is suing his own company—a move he claims is in his, and the company’s, best interest.
In a lawsuit filed on Thursday, the disgraced movie mogul demanded that The Weinstein Company, the studio he co-founded with his brother Bob, turn over records that he says can be used to defend himself and the company from potential liability.
Weinstein is asking that TWC provide him with all emails sent to and from his corporate email account, his personnel file and a copy of the company’s code of conduct. He also claims that he has already asked for these materials several times and was rebuffed.
The producer says he needs the files because he believes they “contain exculpatory information which would aid the Company in its investigation and defense of investigations and claims against the Company.”
By “assisting” the company in its investigation, Weinstein says he “can help to prevent the Company from entering into unjustified settlements with, or making unwarranted payments to, persons or regulatory agencies making allegations against Mr. Weinstein.”
Citing media reports that the company is in negotiations with a potential buyer, Weinstein’s attorney warns in the documents, “If the purchaser pays less for the Company because of unsubstantiated or inaccurate allegations that could be disproven by the information Mr. Weinstein seeks, he will suffer, as a Member, by receiving less than he would have received had the Company been sold with full information.”
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The motion notes that Weinstein’s brother Bob also “recently asserted that his emails would exonerate him from claims similar to those being asserted against Mr. Weinstein.” It adds, “Mr. Weinstein simply requests that he have the same information available to him to assist the Company as does his brother.”
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Weinstein lists three main investigations he believes his emails and personnel file could help with: the Weinstein Company’s internal liability assessment, an investigation by the Attorney General of New York and a $5 million lawsuit filed by an actress who alleged that the company “had knowledge of Mr. Weinstein’s alleged misconduct.” (Actress Dominique Huett filed a lawsuit against the company on Tuesday).
Weinstein is a primary shareholder, so any payouts made by the company would hurt his own bottom line. “Every unjustified payment that the Company makes reduces the amount of available cash the Company has to distribute to Mr. Weinstein, as a Member, at the end of the year,” the documents explain.
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The Oscar-winning producer has been accused of sexual misconduct by over 50 women since The New York Times and The New Yorker documented decades of alleged abuse in detailed articles earlier this month.
A spokesperson for Weinstein previously told People in a statement that “any allegations of non-consensual sex are unequivocally denied by Mr. Weinstein. Mr. Weinstein has further confirmed that there were never any acts of retaliation against any women for refusing his advances.”