9:28am PT by Eriq Gardner
Harvey Weinstein Accuser Not Allowed to Sue Him Anonymously
A New York federal judge has refused a woman's request that she be allowed to sue Harvey Weinstein without having to disclose her identity.
The woman, who filed a complaint as "Jane Doe" on Aug. 7, says she's an actress who met with Weinstein at the Cannes Film Festival in 2007 to discuss her career. She alleges being forced into a bedroom at a hotel and groped. Later, the woman says Weinstein flew her around the world, and despite her attempts to rebuff him, she says he continued to pursue. In Los Angeles and at at the Toronto Film Festival,, she alleges she was lured into sex acts with Weinstein by fraud and force.
Shortly after her attorneys filed a complaint on her behalf, they brought a motion to allow her to proceed under a pseudonym.
U.S. District Court Judge Mary Kay Vyskocil is denying the motion.
In a 13-page order, the judge agrees that the litigation will include highly sensitive and personal allegations, but adds that the plaintiff's allegations of harm through disclosure are insufficient.
"Plaintiff generally alleges that public disclosure of her identity could 'spark . . . trauma,'" states the order. " Without corroboration from medical professionals, however, her general allegation of potential trauma is 'mere speculation' about a risk of psychological injury that cannot support her motion to proceed under a pseudonym. … Plaintiff also accuses Weinstein of specific 'tactics' that, if Weinstein used them against her, could subject her to severe public humiliation, including hiring an investigator to investigate her sexual history, 'feed[ing] damaging stories about [her] to gossip columnists,' and publicly arguing that she simply does not want to take responsibility for her own actions. The Court is sympathetic, but Plaintiff’s concerns do not outweigh the interests of both the public and Weinstein in 'the customary and constitutionally-embedded presumption of openness in judicial proceedings.'"