Sandeep Rehal, a former personal assistant to movie producer Harvey Weinstein, says the former movie mogul created “a pervasive and severe sexually hostile work environment” during her two years on the job.
Rehal was 26 in 2013 when she started working for Weinstein at the company he helped to establish. Weinstein dictated e-mails to her while he was naked and regularly touched her thigh when they rode in his chauffeured Lexus SUV, she said in a lawsuit filed in federal court in New York Jan. 25. He frequently referred to her as “cunt” or “pussy,” according to the complaint. Rehal seeks an undetermined amount of compensatory and punitive damages.
The Weinstein Co. fired Weinstein as an employee in October after numerous women claimed he had abused his position of influence in the movie industry throughout the decades to sexually harass and proposition them.
Allegations of misconduct have been levied against several high-profile businessmen, politicians, and media figures since reports of Weinstein’s conduct came to light last year. Several companies are defending against allegations that they permitted sexually hostile work environments, including the Weinstein Co. in a different lawsuit, Fox News, and Wells Fargo.
Rehal’s duties included setting up an apartment for Weinstein’s “prolific sexual encounters,” buying lingerie for his sexual partners, and managing his supply of erectile dysfunction medication, according to the complaint.
Until she quit in February 2015, Rehal also was required to clean up Weinstein’s semen from his office couch and to pick up his used condom before housekeeping personnel arrived, the complaint says.
Rehal also is suing the company and other company officials, including Harvey Weinstein’s brother Robert, for allegedly aiding Harvey Weinstein’s “depraved abuses of power.”
The Weinstein Co. didn’t immediately respond to Bloomberg Law’s request for comment, sent outside of regular business hours. Earlier efforts to contact the company by email and telephone weren’t successful.
Rehal is represented by the Genie Harrison Law Firm in Los Angeles and Eisenberg & Schnell LLP in New York.
The case is Rehal v. Weinstein, S.D.N.Y., No. 1:18-cv-00674, complaint 1/25/18.