The latest explosive Harvey Weinstein report from the New York Times not only sheds light on how the mogul allegedly used journalists and agents to help him cover up decades of sexual misconduct, but also how he manipulated low-level employees into aiding his toxic workplace behavior.
While some of Weinstein's employees, like Emily Nestor, were allegedly direct victims of his sexual harassment, others were tasked with the uncomfortable job of stocking up on their boss's erectile dysfunction medication. Former assistants Sandeep Rehal and Michelle Franklin told the Times they had to go out and get the injections, which Weinstein allegedly paid for on his company card. Rehal told the Times she stored the shots at her desk and delivered them to Weinstein in brown paper bags, sometimes running them to hotels where he met with women—a job that apparently earned her a $500 bonus.
Franklin told the Times she often had to guide women to Weinstein's hotel rooms, but grew uncomfortable when she noticed they left the meetings looking disturbed. She says she was fired shortly after confronting Weinstein about the strange task, telling him "it’s not my job, and I don’t want to do it."
Rehal and former employee Lauren O'Connor claimed they also had to escort their boss to sex-addiction therapy in 2015. Rehal added that she had to rent Weinstein an apartment, personally keeping it supplied with lingerie, bathrobes, and flowers.
"You become more and more aware of everything going on, then you realize what it is you’re cleaning up, and you don’t ever want to tell anyone that—friends, family, my parents—what kind of job this is," Rehal told the Times.
According to former employees, the Weinstein Co. human resources department worked to protect Weinstein and shrugged off workplace complaints. Lawyers like Steve Hutensky (reportedly nicknamed the "Cleaner-Upper") allegedly drew up harsh nondisclosure agreements preventing employees from saying a word about Weinstein and his family, friends, and associates, at the risk of massive financial penalties.
Even when higher-ranking executives attempted to raise the alarm about Weinstein's behavior, they failed to make headway out of intimidation. Amy Israel, Miramax’s former co-head of acquisitions, told the Times Weinstein and his brother, Bob, used "fear, intimidation, psychological and emotional abuse" to keep their executives from addressing his behavior at the company.
"As a spectator to the abuse you were silenced by the fear that you would become the next target," she told the Times. "The only alternative seemingly was to quit—to throw away everything you had worked so hard for and walk out the door."
Follow Drew Schwartz on Twitter.