Mogilefsky says harassment rife in H’wood

Making his first public statements since filing charges of sexual harassment against former Silver Pictures president Michael Levy, Wayne Mogilefsky said Monday that he thinks sexual harassment is widespread and taken lightly in Hollywood.

Speaking at a press conference at his attorney’s office in Venice, Mogilefsky said, “With people working as closely as they do in the entertainment industry, there’s a high potential for harassment.

“It has been suggested that sexual harassment in Hollywood is a tradition rather than a legal and moral offense. I don’t feel sexual harassment against men or women is any more of a tradition than child abuse is. To accept it is to perpetuate it.”

Mogilefsky made his statements three days after the 2nd District Court of Appeals reinstated his suit against Levy, Silver Pictures, producer Joel Silver and Warner Bros.

A lower court had ruled that the case involving two men was not sexual harassment under the Fair Employment & Housing Act, but the 2nd District Court overruled that decision.

The allegations have been denied by Silver Pictures and Levy, who resigned as prez of the Warner Bros.-based production company for reasons unrelated to the suit. Attempts Monday to reach Levy were unsuccessful. WB declined comment.

The handsome, soft-spoken Mogilefsky said two years of litigation has “disrupted” his career as a screenwriter. A former creative exec at Silver Pictures, Mogilefsky said it was unlikely that he would try to land an executive job in Hollywood in the future.

With the case reinstated, Mogilefsky’s attorney, V. James De Simone, said he will pursue “recognition either by a court of law or the defendants that male sexual harassment is against the law.”

Zia F. Modabber, Levy’s lawyer, said Monday that a settlement had been reached weeks before Friday’s ruling. But Mogilefsky’s lawyer, V. James De Simone, declined comment, indicating only that there had been negotiations.

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