An unnamed Canadian actress has filed a multi-million dollar lawsuit against Harvey Weinstein and Disney for an alleged sexual assault that took place in 2000. The Toronto Sun reports:
According to her proposed statement of claim, the woman, identified only as Jane Doe, said the famous movie mogul introduced himself on the Toronto set of his Miramax film when she was on her third and final day of filming and told her she looked like a famous actress.
That actress is among the 60 women who have since accused the movie producer of misconduct, including sexual assault and rape.
The next day the actress got a call from Weinstein’s assistant Barbara Schneeweiss who invited her to come to Weinstein’s hotel for a meeting about her career. The actress met Schneeweiss at the hotel only to discover the meeting had been moved to Harvey’s hotel room. Schneeweiss walked her up to the room and sat there taking notes as Weinstein discussed the woman’s career. Then Weinstein dismissed the assistant and began asking her for a massage. She attempted to deflect by walking around the room, admiring Weinstein’s suite. He offered her a tour and then, when they got near the bedroom, assaulted her:
Once by the bedroom door, Weinstein, who was substantially larger, assaulted Doe. He overpowered her, pushed her onto the bed, and took his penis out of his pants. After exposing his penis, he told Doe that he had made various ‘famous actresses’ careers and could make Doe’s career as well,” alleges the statement of claim.
“He said words to the effect of ‘I do think you are a very talented young girl but the best thing you could do for your career …’ He then gestured and looked at his penis,” the lawsuit claims. “He forced down her skirt and held her down by her wrists. Doe said ‘No,’ either two or three times. Weinstein persisted in his assault.”
While holding her down, Weinstein allegedly performed oral sex on her without her consent. When he loosened his grip, she managed to get one of her hands free, push his face away and bolt for the hotel room door. While visibly distraught as she went through the lobby, she said Schneeweiss met her gaze and then looked down.
According to the complaint, Weinstein then called the actress repeatedly asking her to return to the hotel so he could clear up a misunderstanding. She agreed to return thinking Weinstein would destroy her career unless she complied. For security, she brought along her own agent with whom she had already shared the whole story. When she arrived, Schneeweiss told her Weinstein wanted to speak to her privately first. The actress went back up to Weinstein’s room while her agent and Schneeweiss remained downstairs.
You won’t be shocked to learn that Weinstein did not call her back to the hotel to apologize. Instead, he asked her into his room and immediately pressed her against the wall and tried to put his tongue in her mouth. She escaped, again, and told her agent what had happened. It’s not clear if she ever got an apology but she was given two more weeks of work on the film.
The actress is suing Weinstein, Schneeweiss, Miramax, and Disney, which owned Miramax at the time. Schneeweiss has moved up in the world and is now an executive at the Weinstein company. The Hollywood Reporter got a response from Disney this morning:
The Weinsteins operated and managed their business with virtual autonomy, and we were unaware of any complaints, lawsuits, or settlements. There is absolutely no legal basis for this claim against The Walt Disney Company and we will defend against it vigorously.
As for Weinstein, this is the second lawsuit filed against him as allegations against him continue to pile up. Yesterday it was revealed that Scotland Yard is now investigating complaints by seven women. From the Telegraph:
Officers have received 11 separate allegations of sexual assault on dates ranging from the 1980s to 2015. Two are said to have taken place outside of the UK.
The seventh alleged victim went to police on October 28 saying she was assaulted in Westminster in 1994.
Meanwhile, the LA Times reports today that Beverly Hills police have launched investigations into allegations of sexual assault by both Weinstein and James Toback.