The former Lionsgate Entertainment general counsel Wayne Levin, who resigned last November, left due to allegations of sexual abuse, it has been claimed. According to a recent report in the Wall Street Journal, Mr Levin resigned because a former subordinate, Wendy Jaffe, alleged he had mistreated her for more than a decade, including non-consensual sexual conduct in 2002 and 2003. Ms Jaffe left the company in 2016, and received a $2.5 million settlement. At the time, she signed a non-disclosure agreement. However, Ms Jaffe told all to the Journal because she alleged the company had violated the agreement. In a statement to entertainment newspaper Variety, she said, ‘I hoped leaving quietly would make the abuse stop but it didn’t. So, I stood up for myself and other employees, and Lionsgate treats that as the problem rather than what its executives do. This has to stop, and that’s why I’m speaking out.’
A Lionsgate spokesperson responded: ‘We never comment on specific personnel actions, but we take sexual harassment allegations very seriously, investigate them thoroughly and independently and take appropriate remedial action. We are committed to a safe, respectful and tolerant environment for all of our employees.’ Ms Jaffe was executive vice president of legal affairs, and reported to Levin during her tenure. She told the Journal that she looked up to Levin and was initially afraid to report the alleged abuse. She alleged that soon after she began working for him, Levin ordered her to engage in “dehumanising” sexual acts. She believed that he was trying to initiate an S&M relationship, and she consented to some of the acts out of ‘shame and fear,’ according to the report. She alleged that even after the sexual conduct stopped, Mr Levin continued to be abusive at work, forcing her to work so much that she developed health problems.