Harvey Weinstein scandal: New claim alleges sex trafficking
Erin Jensen, USA TODAY
The Harvey Weinstein scandal continues to unfold.
The latest updates:
A civil claim of sex trafficking filed in New York
British actress Kadian Noble filed a civil suit on Monday in New York alleging that Harvey Weinstein forced her into sexual acts while abroad in 2014. Even more damning: The suit, obtained by USA TODAY, claims The Weinstein Company violated federal sex trafficking law “by benefiting from, and knowingly facilitating” Weinstein’s foreign business travels in which he would “recruit or entice female actors into forced or coerced sexual encounters on the promise of roles in films or entertainment projects.”
Noble says she was summoned to the producer’s hotel room at Cannes Film Festival in 2014 to talk about a role. He began massaging her shoulders and told her to “relax.” According to the complaint, Weinstein called an unnamed Weinstein Company producer, who told the actress that she needed to be “a good girl and do whatever (Weinstein) wished,” and if she did, “they would work” with her further. Weinstein then began groping her, pulled her into a bathroom, and forced her to fondle him.
The suit says Bob Weinstein and The Weinstein Company “knowingly participated in Weinstein’s” trips to foreign countries for such purposes.
“I filed under the Federal sex trafficking law because I believe the facts as alleged in the complaint fit squarely within the statute,” Jeff Herman, Noble’s lawyer, told USA TODAY in a statement. “The benefit of filing under this Federal law is that it allows us to bring a claim in the United States for an assault that occurred overseas and it has a 10 year statute of limitations.”
Noble and her lawyer will hold a news conference in New York on Tuesday.
Weinstein repeated his denial that anything non-consensual occurred. “Mr. Weinstein denies allegations of non-consensual sex,” his representative Holly K. Baird told USA TODAY in a statement. “Mr. Weinstein has further confirmed that there were never any acts of retaliation against any women for refusing his advances.”
Weinstein resigns from Directors Guild
Facing disciplinary action from the Directors Guild of America, Weinstein has announced that he’s resigning from the entertainment guild.
Weinstein confirmed his resignation on Monday and said he has “nothing but the utmost respect for the organization” in a statement sent to USA TODAY by his publicist Holly Baird.
The Directors Guild broke with its policy of not disclosing internal affairs by announcing it had filed disciplinary charges against Weinstein on Oct. 13.
“As directors and team members who solve problems for a living, we are committed to eradicating the scourge of sexual harassment on our industry,” said president Thomas Schlamme. “Unless we recognize what has become so acceptable in our culture and how we possibly, even unconsciously, are participants, everything else will be meaningless.”
Weinstein has two directorial credits in IMDb: The Gnomes’ Great Adventure (1987) and Playing for Keeps (1986).
A civil claim has been lodged in the U.K.
The first civil claim against Weinstein for a series of sexual assaults has been filed in the U.K.
In the claim issued Nov. 23 and obtained by USA TODAY, Weinstein is named as a defendant, along with The Weinstein Company (UK) Limited and The Weinstein Company LLC.
Personal injury lawyer Jill Greenfield represents the accuser, who previously worked for Weinstein, and has filed applied for an anonymity order on behalf of her client who wishes to remain anonymous.
The accuser’s claim “is for damaged for personal injury, expenses, consequential loss including aggravated and exemplary damages and interest arising out of a series of sexual assaults inflicted” by Weinstein during her employment, according to the claim form. The companies are also listed as the accuser sees they are “vicariously liable.”
“Both the assaults and the psychiatric damage cause to the Claimant were caused by the intentional assault by (Weinstein), the negligence and/or breach of the statutory duty and/or breach of contract of the (companies) and/or their Agents and/or their respective predecessors in title,” the claim alleges.
Reps for Weinstein did not immediately respond to USA TODAY’s request for comment, but has previously denied any allegations of non-consensual sex in statements through spokeswoman Holly Baird.
Uma Thurman says #metoo. USA TODAY
In a statement issued to USA TODAY Monday, Greenfield said she expects the claim to exceed £300,000, or roughly $400,000. She also says that the accuser has not filed a complaint with police about the alleged incidents that occurred after the year 2000 but believes she will do so.
Earlier this month, London’s Metropolitan Police Service, also known as Scotland Yard, confirmed its 12th report against Weinstein received through its Child Abuse and Sexual Offenses Command’s Operation Kaguyak investigation.
Contributing: Andrea Mandell