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Sexual Abuse in the Entertainment Industry

When the New York Times and the New Yorker reported that dozens of women accused film producer Harvey Weinstein of sexual abuse over a thirty-year period, a wave of litigation against powerful and wealthy Hollywood insiders revealed the extent of misconduct within the industry. Since the initial allegations, more than eighty women have accused Weinstein of sexual harassment. For Hollywood celebrities, that was just the beginning- hundreds of victims have come forward in the months following revelations of Harvey Weinstein’s sexual misconduct and accused other entertainers, actors, and celebrities of sexual abuse.

It is well known that sexual harassment is prevalent in the entertainment industry. Sexual assault has impacted many individuals including actors, actresses, models, performers, musicians, and employees who work for them. Sexual assault is not limited to rape. Any inappropriate touching or hugging, using threatening language to compel victims to perform sexual acts, the unauthorized use of another’s body, or forcible intoxication to compel sexual activity is considered sexual assault. Unfortunately, many incidents of sexual assault are never reported. In the entertainment industry, victims of assault are often worried that reporting such activity will have an adverse effect on their employment prospects. Victims may be forced into sexual acts in return for promises of recognition and opportunity. Victims may also be reluctant to report abuse due to the fear that others will not believe their version of events.

Children in the entertainment industry may be particularly vulnerable to sexual misconduct by adults. Children may not be supervised by parents when they are in the company of adults who take advantage of them. They also lack the judgment to refuse sexual overtures that are tied to promises of career advancement.

Allegations of sexual abuse in the entertainment industry are often kept secret through duress and intimidation by individuals and corporations with extensive resources. It can be extraordinarily difficult to publicly disclose wrongdoing by powerful and well-known entities. However, sexual assault in the entertainment industry is a crime like any other sexual misconduct and should be redressed through criminal and civil penalties. Famous and wealthy celebrities should not be protected from the consequences of their illegal behavior. Due to changes in the laws in most states, victims of sexual assault in the entertainment industry can file claims against their abusers even when the abuse occurred many years ago. The “look back” window differs in each state so it is important to consult with an experienced attorney to understand your right to file a civil claim for compensation for your emotional and physical injuries.

Levy Konigsberg LLP is a nationally recognized law firm that has recovered millions of dollars in settlements for victims of sexual abuse. If you or a member of your family has been the victim of sexual misconduct by someone in the entertainment industry, please contact our lawyers for a free consultation by calling (800) 315-3806 or submit an email inquiry.

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