Harvey Weinstein is being sued in Los Angeles by a German actress who alleges the disgraced Hollywood film producer raped her during the Cannes Film Festival in 2006, according to court documents obtained Wednesday.
Attorneys for the actress — who is using the pseudonym Emma Loman — filed the suit Monday in federal court, alleging violation of human trafficking laws, assault, battery and false imprisonment. The suit seeks compensatory damages of no less than $75,000 and punitive damages to be determined.
Phyllis Kupferstein, an attorney representing Weinstein, said the complaint is without merit.
“This lawsuit is an attempt to continue the legal barrage and public attention on Mr. Weinstein,” Kupferstein said in a statement. “The allegations are untrue and the claims are barred by the statute of limitations. We intend to immediately move to dismiss the complaint.”
Loman’s suit alleges Weinstein lured her to his hotel room in Cannes, France, where he “forced himself on her” and then threatened “her into silence.” The complaint alleges that Weinstein’s actions “appear to have been carefully planned well in advance of the festival.”
Loman is described in the document as a citizen and resident of Germany, who has worked as an actor, producer and model for more than 14 years. She alleges she first met Weinstein in 2004 at the Venice Film Festival, where they had a short conversation and exchanged contact information.
Two years later, the producer allegedly asked the actress to come to the Cannes festival as his guest to discuss appearing in one of Weinstein’s films.
“At the time, while Weinstein was known as demanding, the sexual abuse allegations against him were not yet widely known,” the lawsuit says.
Weinstein appeared “persistent” and had his assistant call Loman “up to 30 times a day,” suggesting that it would be important that she attend the festival as his guest, according to the suit.
Flattered, Loman agreed to attend and was flown to France and put up in a luxury suite, according to the lawsuit. Weinstein appeared “charming and friendly and praised Loman’s acting work,” the suit states.
Soon after, Loman was invited to meet with Weinstein in his suite, reachable “via a private elevator that only operated with a special key and led to the hotel’s exclusive top floor,” according to the complaint.
Once in the elevator with Weinstein and a male assistant, the assistant, “claiming he had forgotten something necessary for the meeting, left just before the elevator doors closed, leaving Loman no opportunity to object,” the lawsuit alleges.
Alone with Weinstein, Loman felt “uncomfortable,” but claims she trusted him due to their recent professional discussions. However, upon arriving at his suite, “Weinstein quickly dropped his professional demeanor,” the suit alleges.
“He instead overpowered Loman and raped her,” according to the complaint. “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.”
The plaintiff also alleges that Weinstein threatened her not to tell anyone about the assault.
Weinstein also faces lawsuits alleging sexual assault filed in Los Angeles federal court by actresses Dominique Huett and Ashley Judd.
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