Harvey Weinstein’s insurer refuses to pay for legal defence

Harvey Weinstein’s insurer refuses to pay for legal defence

Los Angeles: Disgraced Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein’s insurance company has refused to defend him against 11 sexual harassment lawsuits, saying his alleged misconduct is not covered under his personal liability policies.

The insurance company filed a suit on Wednesday at a court here, seeking a declaration that it is not obliged to fund the disgraced producer’s legal defence. According to the suit, Weinstein’s attorneys have asked the firm on several occasions to commit to fund his legal defence. Weinstein has taken out 16 separate policies with the insurer since 1994, including coverage for fine art and homeowners policies.

Some of the policies cover damages Weinstein is obligated to pay ‘for personal injury or property damage’. The damages must arise from ‘an accident or offence’ to be covered. As per company’s policy, Weinstein’s alleged pattern of sexual assault and harassment does not qualify.

“The Underlying Lawsuits allege that the claimed damages arose out of Mr. Weinstein’s ongoing and pervasive, and allegedly criminal, acts of premeditated, forcible, nonconsensual sexual and physical assault, physical threats and abuse in the context of Weinstein’s invitation to his victims to discuss potential acting or producing roles in the film industry.” the insurer has stated in its complaint.

The insurance policies also excludes coverage for ‘intentional acts’, the lawsuit said. Weinstein is facing lawsuits in New York, Los Angeles, Toronto and London. Among them is one from New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, alleging violations of New York’s anti-discrimination laws.