The one-sentence statement did not specify what the cause was. Still, the move represents yet another twist in an ongoing saga that has engulfed the embattled company.
It comes at an urgent moment for the company, which has been trying to avoid bankruptcy since October, when reports by The New York Times and The New Yorker revealed decades of sexual harassment allegations against one of its founders, Harvey Weinstein.
The company had been nearing a deal to sell itself to an investor group, but it hit a last-minute snag this week when Eric T. Schneiderman, New York’s attorney general, filed a lawsuit against the studio and its founders alleging that they repeatedly violated laws barring gender discrimination, sexual harassment and other offenses.
The investor group, led by Maria Contreras-Sweet, had been willing to buy the company for roughly $275 million and assume $225 million of debt, two people briefed on the deal who spoke on condition of anonymity previously told The Times.
Contreras-Sweet’s group had pulled ahead of other bidders like Lions Gate Entertainment by promising to keep the studio intact and retaining its employees, including senior managers like Glasser. Under the deal, Weinstein’s younger brother, Bob Weinstein, would leave the studio, two people said.
Schneiderman’s lawsuit does not name Glasser, but it refers to him by his title and says that the sale of the company could result in employees’ reporting to some of the same managers “who failed to investigate” Weinstein’s conduct or protect female employees from him.
Glasser, 46, was a longtime top lieutenant at the company, and the Weinsteins have called him their “third brother.”
Efforts to contact Glasser early Saturday were unsuccessful.
In October, after the public complaints of sexual harassment against Harvey Weinstein led to his firing, Glasser tried to rally his shaken staff members at a meeting.
“We are going to be OK,” two people who attended the meeting recalled Glasser saying. He said his door was open to anyone who wanted to talk.
Glasser, who had said he would depart as president of the Weinstein Co. in August 2015, announced a month later that he would instead remain under a new three-year contract.
At the time, Bob Weinstein — who led the effort to retain Glasser — attributed Glasser’s change of heart in part to a personal friendship between Glasser and the brothers.
“Harvey and I sometimes don’t even want to be brothers,” Bob Weinstein said at the time. “I don’t know why anyone would want to be another brother.”
But Glasser, “should he want it,” Bob Weinstein said, “has become the third brother.”
This article originally appeared in The New York Times.
MATT STEVENS © 2018 The New York Times