Image: Georges Biard
On Friday, October 13, 2017, Wigdor LLP Founding Partner Douglas Wigdor was interviewed by Fran Kelly of Radio National Breakfast, a morning radio show run by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. During the segment, titled “The legal fallout from the Weinstein sex scandal could be big,” Mr. Wigdor discussed legal ramifications amid a growing number of allegations that Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein sexually harassed, sexually assaulted, and in three instances so far, raped women. Mr. Weinstein has denied all allegations.
Mr. Wigdor noted that unlike many states, in the State of New York (where many of the alleged instances of misconduct took place) there is no statute of limitations for rape in the first degree, meaning that Mr. Weinstein could potentially be prosecuted regardless of how far back the alleged rape occurred. Civil claims, on the other hand, do have statutes of limitations, going back at most seven years in New York, according to Mr. Wigdor. Ms. Kelly pointed out that some of the alleged instances of sexual misconduct by Mr. Weinstein are more recent than seven years.
When asked how much money in damages could potentially result from civil and/or criminal charges against Mr. Weinstein, Mr. Wigdor responded with, “Certainly multiple millions of dollars, especially if the victim was an employee, because then the company would be liable for the actions of Mr. Weinstein. So it would not only be him personally but also the company, especially when we’re hearing that the company had knowledge of his behavior for so many years and they turned a blind eye to it.”
Whatever happens, Mr. Weinstein’s reputation is clearly going to be ruined for the rest of his life, says Mr. Wigdor.
Mr. Wigdor also said he believes that the trend of publicly exposing high-powered men who use their influence to sexually harass and sexually assault women will continue: “I think we’re going to see a lot more of this sort of outing of people and their behaviors as time goes on for sure.”
Douglas Wigdor has extensive experience litigating high-profile cases on behalf of victims of sexual harassment. He represented former Fox contributor Scottie Nell Hughes in a lawsuit alleging she was blacklisted by Fox News after she told the network that she had been raped by Fox Business host Charles Payne. He also represented the hotel maid Nafissatou Diallo in a civil lawsuit alleging she was sexually assaulted by the former head of the International Monetary Fund, Dominique Strauss-Kahn.
Wigdor LLP’s experienced attorneys can assist you in understanding your legal rights. Our reputation has been built on thousands of workplace sexual harassment cases including some of the most high-profile matters of our time. If you believe you or someone you know may have been a victim of sexual harassment, call Wigdor LLP at (212) 257-6800.
National Radio Breakfast
“The legal fallout from the Weinstein sex scandal could be big”
October 12, 2017