Harvey Weinstein and The Weinstein Company have filed separate responses in U.S. District Court in New York denying sex-trafficking claims made in a lawsuit filed in November by a woman who said Weinstein sexually assaulted her in Cannes in 2014 and TWC covered it up.
The civil suit from actress Kadian Noble seeks damages under the federal sex trafficking statute, with her lawyers arguing Weinstein “was able to force or coerce Kadian into sexual activity in his hotel room because of his promise to her of a film role and use of his influence on her behalf.” She is seeking damages from Weinstein, his brother Bob Weinstein and TWC.
Harvey Weinstein’s lawyers argued in their response (read it here) that the sex trafficking claim should be dismissed because she wasn’t paid.
“Not every alleged sexual assault constitutes a federal violation, however, and plaintiff fails to allege essential elements of the sex trafficking statute, which give rise to a private cause of action,” the response reads. “In particular, Plaintiff fails to allege that she was caused to engage in a ‘commercial sex act,’ as neither she nor Weinstein paid or received anything of value in exchange for the alleged sex act. Without this allegation, Plaintiff cannot assert a viable claim under 18 U.S.C. § 1591, her sole claim against Weinstein.”
Kadian, a British citizen, claimed in the original suit that Harvey Weinstein assaulted her in February 2014 at the Le Majestic Hotel in Cannes. It came after a first meeting with Weinstein where she alleges he promised her a role in a TWC film, after which she dropped off her acting reel at the TWC London offices. She said he later invited her to his Cannes hotel room to watch the reel.
“Multiple TWC employees participated in the recruitment or enticement of Kadian into a victim of a commercial sex act,” her November statement reads. “In an apparent attempt to entice KADIAN into sex with Harvey Weinstein, an unnamed TWC producer told Kadian that she needed to be ‘a good girl and do whatever [he] wished’, and if she did, then ‘they will work with [her] further.’ ”
The Weinstein Company also wants the claim dismissed, per its memorandum of law (read it here) filed yesterday.
“Even the most generous reading of Plaintiff’s allegations in the complaint do not support her claim that Harvey Weinstein’s alleged conduct was in furtherance of a larger “sex trafficking enterprise” with TWC,” it read. “Indeed, Plaintiff fails to identify a single TWC employee by name who allegedly participated in the alleged venture, and therefore her claims lack the necessary specificity that the Twombly and Iqbal decisions require. “