Wayne Levin resigned from the company in November of last year. A former subordinate, Wendy Jaffe, told the Journal that Levin mistreated her for more than a decade, including non-consensual sexual conduct in 2002 and 2003. Jaffe left the company in 2016, and received a $2.5 million settlement.
At the time, she signed a non-disclosure agreement. But she spoke about her experiences to the Journal because she alleged that the company had violated the agreement.
“I hoped leaving quietly would make the abuse stop but it didn’t,” Jaffe said in a statement to Variety. “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 speaking out.”
A Lionsgate spokesperson declined to discuss the details of the situation.
“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,” the spokesperson said. “We are committed to a safe, respectful and tolerant environment for all of our employees.”
Levin’s attorney also declined to respond to the claims.
“Mr. Levin will not respond in the press to Ms. Jaffe’s allegations,” the attorney said.
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 “dehumanizing” 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.
Jaffe alleged that even after the sexual conduct stopped, Levin continued to be abusive at work, forcing her to work so much that she developed health problems.