Harvey Weinstein’s former assistant sues for sexual harassment
Drew Angerer/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — In a lawsuit filed Thursday in New York federal court, Harvey Weinstein’s former assistant Sandeep Rehal said she “was forced to work in a pervasive and severe sexually hostile work environment at The Weinstein Company LLC.”
Rehal worked for The Weinstein Company as the producer’s personal assistant for two years, but by February 2015 she reached what her suit called “an emotional breaking point” and she left.
“As a result of the hostile work environment caused by the incessant sexual harassment, Ms. Rehal has suffered, and continues to suffer from severe emotional distress, anxiety, depression, humiliation, fear, anguish and loss of self-esteem,” the lawsuit says.
In response Weinstein’s representative released a statement that said, “Mr. Weinstein categorically denies these claims and his lawyers will respond in the appropriate legal forum with evidence proving they are untrue. “
The lawsuit names Weinstein, his brother Bob and Frank Gil, TWC’s senior vice president for human resources.
Bob Weinstein and Frank Gil did not respond to ABC News’ requests for comment.
In the lawsuit, Rehal described her job as “awful and terrifying,” leaving her with no boundary between work and personal life.
“As Ms. Rehal soon learned, Harvey Weinstein’s assistants were expected to be available at all times; there was no boundary between Harvey Weinstein’s work life and personal life. Much of Ms. Rehal’s work as an employee of TWC involved catering to Harvey Weinstein’s sexual appetites and activities, and catering to his demeaning and often abusive family members.”
She said Weinstein often worked naked and forced her to take dictation of emails while he was. She also claimed that he subjected her to unwelcome touching.
“Almost every time Ms. Rehal accompanied Harvey Weinstein in his chauffeured Lexus SUV, he made her sit in the back with him and touched her thigh. After Ms. Rehal started wearing pants instead of skirts, Harvey Weinstein would rub between her thighs. When Ms. Rehal sat cross legged in an attempt to prevent him from being able to touch her thigh, Harvey Weinstein would touch the back of her legs and butt,” the document says.
Rehal said she was also responsible for procuring Weinstein’s erectile dysfunction medication.
“She was required to manage the stock of Caverject shots for his erectile dysfunction. She had to obtain the shots and keep them stocked in cabinet behind her desk at Harvey Weinstein’s TWC office. Every time Harvey Weinstein went to meet a woman at a hotel, in the office, or elsewhere, which occurred on average at least three times a week when he was in New York, Ms. Rehal was required as part of her job to provide Harvey Weinstein with a shot, which she placed in his jacket pocket or in a brown paper bag,” according to the suit.
Over the past few months, Weinstein, 65, has been accused by dozens of women of sexual misconduct, with several alleging sexual assault. Weinstein has denied all allegations of non-consensual sex. He is currently facing criminal investigations in several jurisdictions, as well as multiple lawsuits.
Rehal’s suit seeks unspecified compensatory and punitive damages, as well as attorney’s fees.
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