A Los Angeles federal judge tossed Rose McGowan’s racketeering claims against jailed former movie mogul Harvey Weinstein and his associates, but the actress can move forward with fraud allegations and may amend her coercion assertions, according to court papers obtained Tuesday.
McGowan filed suit last year against Weinstein, alleging a “diabolical and illegal effort” to discredit her claims that she was sexually assaulted by the disgraced ex-film producer.
The complaint, filed in Los Angeles federal court, also names Weinstein’s former attorneys Lisa Bloom and David Boies, as well as the private intelligence firm Black Cube, described in the document as part of the “Weinstein Protection Enterprise.”
McGowan alleged Weinstein unleashed his legal and security team against her to ensure that her rape claims weren’t revealed in her 2018 book, “Brave.”
On Monday, U.S. District Judge Otis D. Wright II denied dismissal motions filed by the defendants with regard to McGowan’s claims for fraud and dismissed with allowance to amend claims for racketeering, violations of the Federal Wiretap Act, invasion of privacy, and intentional infliction of emotional distress.
The judge wrote that McGowan’s theory of fraud set in motion by Bloom, Boies and Weinstein and perpetrated by Black Cube’s agents is “plausible” and may go to trial. Wright gave McGowan 21 days to amend her complaint.
The lawsuit alleges “a diabolical and illegal effort by one of America’s most powerful men and his representatives to silence sexual-assault victims. And it is about the courageous women and journalists who persisted to reveal the truth.”
The actress contends that when Weinstein discovered that she planned to write a memoir and would include allegations that the ex-producer raped her in 1997 at the Sundance Film Festival, his team of “fixers” attempted to buy her silence and, when that failed, undertook an effort to damage her credibility.
The suit also refers to Bloom’s efforts to defend Weinstein, in which she allegedly put forth a plan to enhance her then-client’s reputation and discredit McGowan. McGowan also accuses Bloom of invading her privacy.
According to the lawsuit, McGowan “has suffered tremendously from defendants’ conspiracy and lies. Her book sales suffered; her expenses mounted; her job opportunities vanished; and her emotional health cratered. She has experienced trauma and depression from defendants’ actions, and the deep betrayal will have life-long effects.”
The 68-year-old Weinstein is serving a 23-year sentence in a prison near Buffalo, N.Y., for rape and sexual assault. He is facing 11 felony counts in Los Angeles involving alleged sex crimes with five women.
He could face up to 140 years to life in state prison if convicted as charged in the Los Angeles case, according to the District Attorney’s Office. It remains unclear exactly how soon Weinstein will be brought to Los Angeles County.
The case remains under investigation by the Los Angeles and Beverly Hills police departments and the District Attorney’s Bureau of Investigation.