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As #Me Too pioneers are honored, Weinstein faces racketeering suit

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Time honored those who have come forward with stories of surviving sexual harassment and assault as its 2017 Person of the Year. (Courtesy photo)
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Ashley Judd and Taylor Swift are the most famous of the catalysts for social change on Time magazine’s 2017 Person of the Year cover.

On Wednesday, Time named the Silence Breakers, those who have come forward in a fight to end all-too prevalent sexual assault and harassment, and unveiled the cover, which also pictures former Uber engineer Susan Fowler; Adama Iwu, a corporate lobbyist from Sacramento; and Isabel Pascual (who used a pseudonym), a Mexican woman who works picking strawberries.

The photo also significantly shows the arm of an anonymous person, representing women and men who fear coming forward with their own stories, Time editor-in-chief Edward Felsenthal said on TV’s “Today” (where Matt Lauer, ousted on sexual misconduct allegations, no longer appears).

The show also featured activist Tarana Burke, who created the “#Me Too” movement, which gave voice to sexual assault and harassment survivors in 2006, and was taken to new, astronomical levels when actress Alyssa Milano shared it in a tweet in the wake of the Harvey Weinstein sex abuse scandal.

Donald Trump was runner-up for this year’s honor, ”because he has changed the very nature of the presidency,” said Fesenthal; the president was on a list with other finalists including Chinese President Xi Jinping, Robert Mueller, special counsel probing Trump campaign’s ties to Russia, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick and “Wonder Woman” director Patty Jenkins.

Time’s website also acknowledged work by determined reporters — such as Emily Steel and Michael Schmidt, Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey, Ronan Farrow, Brett Anderson, Oliver Darcy and Irin Carmon and Amy Brittain — who “picked up” where human-resources departments, government committees and district attorneys failed.

WEINSTEIN SUED

Six women have filed a lawsuit against Harvey Weinstein claiming his efforts to cover up his alleged crimes are civil racketeering.

The suit, filed in New York, claims that the fallen mogul’s former companies Miramax, The Weinstein Company and members of its board conspired with the producer to “perpetuate and conceal [his] widespread sexual harassment and assault,” People reported.

“We are but six women representing hundreds,” the plaintiffs said in a statement. “Harvey Weinstein is a predator. … The board knew it. The lawyers knew it. The private investigators knew it,” they said.

The women, who already have told their stories publicly, include Louisette Geiss, Katherine Kendall, Zoe Brock, Sarah Ann Thomas, Melissa Sagemiller and Nanette Klatt.

The filing comes one day after The New York Times published and exposé into what it called Weinstein’s “complicity machine.”

Individuals named in the suit include investor Paul Tudor Jones and Weinstein board member Lance Maerov.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY

Singer Aaron Carter is 30. … Singer Sara Bareilles is 38. … Football player Terrell Owens is 44. … Singer Tom Waits is 68. … Actress Ellen Burstyn is 85.

— Staff, wire reports

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