Four women filed a sexual assault lawsuit against convicted rapist Harvey Weinstein in New York City on Thursday; one of these women alleges that Weinstein raped her when she was “approximately 17 years old.” The women are referred to as Jane Doe I, Jane Doe II, Jane Doe III, and Jane Doe IV in court filings. Jane Doe II, 43, has alleged that “in or about 1994 when Plaintiff was approximately 17 years old, Harvey Weinstein falsely imprisoned, sexually assaulted, sexually battered, and raped her.”
According to the suit, Jane Doe II was trying to get into the entertainment business when a Weinstein associate encouraged her to meet with him for business. A few days later, she was picked up by a Weinstein associate and taken to his hotel room. When she went inside, she noticed that he was “already nearly naked.” The suit says that “because she was on her own in a hotel several miles from her home, with no way of getting home without Weinstein’s associate taking her there, she decided to keep her cool and try to get through the ‘meeting’ as quickly as possible. The two then had a brief conversation wherein Weinstein feigned interest in Plaintiff’s desire to work in the entertainment industry, and shortly thereafter, the much larger and stronger Weinstein insisted that in order for him to get Plaintiff a job, she had to sexually gratify him.”
Weinstein ultimately “cornered Plaintiff and forced her to remove her clothes and he climbed on top of her and demanded she perform oral sex on him. Once stimulated, Weinstein proceeded to rape Plaintiff until he ejaculated,” the suit alleges. “Before leaving the room, Weinstein made Plaintiff give him her driver’s license and told her that if she ever told anyone about what had just happened, he would not only make sure she never got to act in any films, but also have his associates track her down and physically harm her and her family.”
Jane Doe III, now 38, claims that she went to Weinstein’s Soho apartment for what was supposed to be a “business meeting” around 2008. Weinstein “quickly steered the conversation away from business and into a sexual nature.” After she rejected his initial advances, “Weinstein threatened that he was not going to let Plaintiff leave the apartment unless she did what he wanted, and Weinstein raped her,” according to the suit.
Plaintiff Jane Doe IV, now 35, says that around 2013, Weinstein took her hand and “put it on his crotch” during a meeting in his hotel suite. She “was intimidated and laughed awkwardly, stating she has a boyfriend.” Weinstein, undeterred, ultimately forced her to perform oral sex on him, court papers claimed. Jane Doe 1, now 70, claimed that Weinstein assaulted her at a hotel in Cannes around 1984. He “pinned her against [his] suite’s front door, jammed his tongue into her mouth and fondled her breasts and then vagina,” the suit states.
The women’s attorneys, Jordan K. Merson and Jesse R. Mautner, said they were not aware of criminal investigations into their clients’ allegations. “We very much appreciate these four women coming forward,” Merson told Vulture. “We know it takes a lot of courage to do so.” A rep for Weinstein did not immediately comment on the lawsuit.
The suit also accuses Weinstein’s brother, Robert Weinstein, of failing to stop the alleged abuse. Asked for comment, Robert Weinstein’s lawyer said in an email, “This is yet another attempt to hold our client responsible for alleged sexual assaults committed by Harvey Weinstein. We want to remind the public that, to date, each and every claim like the ones asserted here have been dismissed against our client. We are confident that the same will be true with respect to the allegations in this complaint.”
Harvey Weinstein was sentenced on March 11 to 23 years in prison; a Manhattan jury convicted him of third-degree rape and first-degree criminal sexual act several weeks prior. He also faces sexual-assault charges in Los Angeles.
Update, May 29 12:00 p.m.: Weinstein’s civil lawyer commented Friday on the new lawsuit against him. “Mr. Weinstein intends to defend against the claims filed anonymously against him yesterday,” Imran H. Ansari of Aidala, Bertuna & Kamins PC, said in an email to Vulture. “Some of these claims, including those alleged to have occurred in the 1980s and 1990s, may be barred by the applicable statute of limitations, and not subject to any exceptions under the law, as these plaintiffs do not appear to be complainants in the Mr. Weinstein’s criminal case.”
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