Harvey Weinstein Faces New Rape Charge In Class Action Lawsuit
Three women have filed a class action lawsuit alleging rape, sexual assault and harassment by Harvey Weinstein.
What you need to know
- Three women have filed a class action lawsuit against Harvey Weinstein
- One woman alleges Weinstein raped her in 2011 after she met him to pitch her start up
- Another alleges Weinstein told her, "Gwyneth Paltrow and Ashley Judd were exactly where you are at one point"
- Weinstein pleaded not guilty to charges of rape and criminal sexual acts in New York on Thursday
Harvey Weinstein is facing another rape allegation, in a class action lawsuit filed by three women on Friday.
One woman, Melissa Thompson, is accusing Weinstein of raping her after pitching her startup to him in 2011.
The lawsuit alleges that Weinstein began caressing her legs during their meeting at his Tribeca office, before he promised to make a deal with her if she met him that afternoon at the Tribeca Grand Hotel.
It then says that he lured her to a hotel room, where the alleged rape occurred.
"Thompson was fighting back, but could not out-muscle him," the lawsuit states. "Thompson closed her eyes, traumatised, praying for the assault to end."
The lawsuit also alleges that Weinstein's attorneys used "deceptive tactics" in October 2017, causing her to believe that they were working for the victims in order to entice her to turn over her visual and audio evidence of Weinstein's actions, which she did.
The second woman, Caitlin Dulany, alleges that Weinstein imprisoned and sexually assaulted her at the Hotel du Cap in Cannes in 1996.
The lawsuit alleges that Weinstein performed oral sex on her without her consent, and then masturbated. (Dulany had previously written for The Wrap about Weinstein taking his clothes off in her apartment -- an incident that allegedly occurred several months prior to Cannes -- but did not mention the alleged sexual assault.)
"She stared at the ceiling, frozen solid with fear, and waited in agony for him to finish," the lawsuit states. "She did not consent, reciprocate, or respond in any way. Inside, she felt herself shutting down."
The third woman, actress Larissa Gomes, alleges that Weinstein cornered her in a hotel room in Toronto in 2000, trying to get her to give him a massage and asking to see her breast.
When she recoiled, the lawsuit says that Weinstein got angry.
"You know Gwyneth Paltrow and Ashley Judd were exactly where you are at one point," Gomes recalls him saying. "Look at them now. Ashley Judd had no problem f***ing me."
(Ashley Judd and Gwyneth Paltrow have both come forward with allegations against Weinstein.)
Gomes says she told Weinstein, "I think I should go now, my boyfriend is waiting for me, and he will be worried," but that he forcibly tried to kiss her before she fled.
Since October 2017, more than 60 women have reported that Weinstein used his power in the entertainment industry to sexually harass them.
It sparked the #MeToo movement and changed the narrative around sexual harassment and assault. That in turn paved the way for the #TimesUp to launch, which seeks to dismantle power structures that allows predators to flourish, unchecked.
Weinstein has consistently maintained his innocence. He pleaded not guilty to charges of rape and criminal sexual acts in New York, charges that were indicted by a grand jury following a months-long investigation by the NYPD.
The most serious of those charges carry a maximum of 25 years in prison.
If you need help and advice, call 1800 RESPECT on 1800 737 732, or Lifeline on 13 11 14. A range of sexual violence resources based around the country can be found here.