Hours before the Weinstein Company decided to fire founder Harvey Weinstein after allegations of predatory sexual conduct surfaced, Harvey sent a letter to people in the entertainment industry, seeking support. The letter, which went public Monday night, claims that “what the board is trying to do is not only wrong but might be illegal[.]” Entertainment lawyer Seth Berenzweig discussed the legal issues involved in the situation on Tuesday with the LawNewz Network’s Jesse Weber.
“It’s a desperate act by a desperate guy,” Berenzweig said about Weinestein’s letter, doubting that Weinstein’s termination broke any laws. The board has a duty to its shareholders to make decisions in the best interest of the company, he said. “I don’t think it’s illegal at all,” Berenzweig said, saying the only possible issue could be if Weinstein’s contract provided for employment in perpetuity, which would prevent him from being terminated for no reason. However, he added, “if somebody under contract commits a first breach … he’s probably not going to have much of a leg to stand on,” saying that Weinstein’s alleged actions could be breach of his contract.
Despite this, however, Berenzweig noted that while the Weinstein Company could easily terminate Harvey’s status as an employee, he would still maintain his shareholder status, allowing him to continue to profit off of the company and have a say in certain business decisions.
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