4:51pm PT by Ashley Cullins
Harvey Weinstein Sued by Actress Over Multiple Alleged Sexual Assaults
An unnamed actress is suing Harvey Weinstein and The Weinstein Co., claiming the embattled producer repeatedly sexually harassed and assaulted her over the course of more than two years.
She says Weinstein "manipulated, harassed, flashed, groped, fondled, sexually battered, forcibly performed oral sex, sexually assaulted" her and threatened her career, all while setting a series of meetings tied to promises of roles in TWC's films.
The actress was 22 when she first met Weinstein in 2013 at the Sundance Film Festival, where she claims he walked in on her in the restroom during a meeting in his suite and began masturbating. Afterward, she claims, he told her it was "fun" and "things would be okay for her" as long as she was his friend.
After a meeting about Vampire Academy back in New York, she says he forced oral sex after telling her "we've been dating for weeks (which was not accurate) and I have been so good to you...now you need to be good to me." After she started sobbing, according to the complaint, the woman claims Weinstein said he was the "gatekeeper" to her dreams of being an actress and bragged about allegedly sleeping with Jennifer Lawrence.
A rep for Lawrence sent The Hollywood Reporter this statement from the actress: “My heart breaks for all the women who were victimized by Harvey Weinstein. I have never had anything but a professional relationship with him. This is yet another example of the predatory tactics and lies that he engaged in to lure countless women.”
According to the complaint, the woman claims she believed Weinstein was the gatekeeper he claimed to be, and met with him again because she was concerned he was disparaging her. She says she told him his behavior hurt her and he responded by saying, "Don't be such a prude. I didn't even fuck you." She continued taking meetings about potential projects, believing Weinstein could ruin her career, and says she thinks she would have only been cast in them if she had slept with him.
"Because she would not consent, Weinstein and TWC strung her along, through a carefully orchestrated series of misrepresentations, to prevent her from reporting him and instituting legal proceedings," writes attorney Genie Harrison in the complaint, which is posted below.
The woman is suing for discrimination and harassment, retaliation, assault, sexual battery, gender violence and negligent hiring and retention.
A rep for Weinstein sent THR a statement Friday in response to the complaint: "This lawsuit was filed and updated strategically with no notice given or any attempt to reach out to Mr. Weinstein's attorneys for one reason; It was meant to embarrass Mr. Weinstein and garner unchecked media attention. There is absolutely no truth to the malicious claims made in this lawsuit, and we are reviewing our options with an eye on filing for an immediate dismissal. Mr. Weinstein is embarrassed for Ms. Lawrence with whom he has only had a professional and respectful relationship, who has sadly been dragged into this ugly attempt at defamation. This filing further proves that anyone can say whatever they want in a lawsuit for maximum shock value, to defame and debase, without having to offer any facts or reality."
Dec. 14, 8:06 p.m. Updated with a statement from Weinstein's representative.