11:15am PT by Ashley Cullins
New Harvey Weinstein Lawsuit Alleges Rape in Cannes
Weeks after Harvey Weinstein was charged with several additional sex crimes in New York, a German actress has filed a lawsuit alleging the embattled mogul raped her during the Cannes Film Festival in 2006.
Emma Loman says Weinstein used his status to lure her to his hotel room and then raped her, two years after they first met, according to a complaint filed Monday in California federal court. At the time, she was transitioning from modeling to acting and alleges that Weinstein invited her to Cannes as his guest to discuss a role in one of his films.
Loman claims she was hesitant to accept the invitation, but Weinstein wouldn't give up. She says his assistant bombarded her with phone calls — ringing her up to 30 times a day. She ultimately agreed, and flew to the fest on The Weinstein Co.'s dime.
When they met in Cannes, Loman says Weinstein was charming and friendly over the course of several encounters, during which he offered advice and gained her trust. He told her there were multiple parts in upcoming films that she could be a fit for but the scripts were confidential and would need to be discussed in his office, which during the festival was his hotel suite, according to the complaint.
"Upon arriving at Weinstein’s suite, however, Weinstein quickly dropped his professional demeanor," writes attorney Joseph Ferrucci in the complaint, which is posted in full below. "He instead overpowered Loman and raped her. Shocked and betrayed, Loman did not know what to do. Furthering Loman’s disorientation, Weinstein proceeded to treat the rape like a standard component of their business, as if the professional discussion he offered Loman had actually taken place."
She claims Weinstein later cornered her after another meeting and told her his security guards wouldn't let her leave until she promised to keep quiet about the assault.
"The following year, when Loman was visiting Los Angeles to shop a film that she had been cast in, Weinstein sent another pointed reminder of both his power and his memory," writes Ferrucci. "He had TWC purchase the film Loman had been cast in — solely because Loman had been cast in the film — and then unilaterally had Loman fired from its cast."
Loman is suing Weinstein for violation of human trafficking laws, assault, battery and false imprisonment.
In other Weinstein legal news, Axis Surplus Insurance Company on Friday filed a complaint asking a New York federal judge to declare that it is not responsible for providing defense or indemnity coverage to Weinstein in connection with a policy issued to Disney for its primary directors and officers. It claims the civil and criminal matters Weinstein is fighting are outside of the scope of the $25 million policy and that coverage is precluded by the California Insurance Code. It states: "An insurer is not liable for a loss caused by the wilful act of the insured; but he is not exonerated by the negligence of the insured, or of the insured’s agents or others."
The insurer lists more than a dozen Weinstein-related legal matters for which it says it isn't obligated to pay claims, including confidential written demand letters that have been submitted to Axis for coverage. With the exception of a suit filed by actress Ashley Judd, Axis claims the matters were personal in nature and not performed within the scope of Weinstein's capacity as a Miramax employee. (Read the filing here.)
Weinstein's attorney Phyllis Kupferstein sent The Hollywood Reporter a statement Wednesday in response to the Loman complaint: “This lawsuit is an attempt to continue the legal barrage and public attention on Mr. Weinstein. The allegations are untrue and the claims are barred by the statute of limitations. We intend to immediately move to dismiss the complaint.”
Aug. 22, 9:35 a.m. Updated with a statement from Harvey Weinstein's attorney.