Sexual Harassment hits Hollywood -- Three lawsuits accusing individuals of misconduct move foward
While most complaints of sexual harassment in entertainment are made in the music industry (Entertainment Weekly, 95), Hollywood was rocked recently by an unusual film-related suit, in which an unknown screenwriter filed charges against a well-known producer. But that wasn’t the only extraordinary aspect of the case. This time, both the accused and the accuser were men:
* Screenwriter Wayne Mogilefsky, 23, in early March filed a formal complaint of sexual harassment against Michael Levy, 32, president of Joel Silver’s Silver Pictures (Lethal Weapon 3). In it, he accused Levy of propositioning him during two February meetings (it’s rumored Mogilefsky was wired on the second occasion). Levy strongly denies the allegations. Some Hollywood insiders expect the matter to be settled before it goes to court, although Silver’s attorney has already turned down one settlement offer.
There have also been developments in two other significant harassment cases:
* Penny Muck, 29, whose harassment lawsuit against former employer Marko Babineau, 40, and Geffen Records is pending, quit Geffen late last year to head the L.A. office of a small music management firm. Babineau was fired from his job as general manager of Geffen’s DGC label in September, just before Muck filed her suit. He now runs his own firm, MJB & Associates, which promotes various acts, including Geffen’s Robbie Robertson.
* Lori Harris, 29, recently settled her lawsuit against Mike Bone, 42, former copresident of PolyGram’s Mercury Records, reportedly for a five-figure sum. He allegedly pressured Harris, his administrative assistant, for sex in 1990 and fired her when she refused his advances; Bone was fired in November 1990, & two days before the case surfaced in the press. Bone is said to have recently taken an executive position at Def American Records. Harris has gone back to school.