Disgraced and much accused producer Harvey Weinstein is seeking to have a sexual misconduct class action lawsuit against him thrown out of court and he’s using some of Hollywood’s leading ladies as a partial blunt object to get his way.
“These proposed class definitions are fatally overbroad as to be not ascertainable,” says documents supporting Weinstein’s desire to have the RICO Act citing federal suit of late last year from Louisette Geiss, Katherine Kendall, Zoe Brock, Sarah Ann Masse, Melissa Sagemiller, and Nannette Klatt dismissed. “As drafted, they would include all women who ever met with Weinstein, regardless of whether they claimed to have suffered any identifiable harm as a result of that meeting,” the 26-page memorandum of law adds. “Such women would include, presumably, Jennifer Lawrence, who told Oprah Winfrey she had known Weinstein since she was 20 years old and said ‘he had only ever been nice to me,’ and Meryl Streep, who stated publicly that Weinstein had always been respectful to her in their working relationship,” it incredulously goes on to say (read it here).
Clearly reframed for advantageous context that comment by Streep is at odds with what the Iron Lady Oscar winner has said recently about her feelings about Weinstein since the New York Times published its October 5 expose on his apparent decades of sexual harassment and sexual assault.
“Not every actor, actress, and director who made films that HW distributed knew he abused women, or that he raped Rose in the 90s, other women before and others after, until they told us,” Streep said in a December 18 response to Rose McGowan professing they were on the same side against abusers. “We did not know that womens’ silence was purchased by him and his enablers,” the three-time Oscar winner added. “HW needed us not to know this, because our association with him bought him credibility, an ability to lure young, aspiring women into circumstances where they would be hurt. He needed me much more than I needed him and he made sure I didn’t know.”
With footnote references to Gwyneth Paltrow, the attempted defanging of the class action in the use of comments by Lawrence and Streep plus a definition of what constitutes sexual contact, the document filed by Weinstein’s NYC and LA lawyers comes one day after TWC filed its own paperwork to get out of the pending matter.
“Even if their sole federal claims under RICO were not time barred, Plaintiffs fail to state a claim on which relief can be granted,” Weinstein’s lawyers at LA’s Kupferstein Manuel LLP and New York’s Morrison Cohen LLP state in the filing yesterday. “They fail to allege that they were injured in their business or property by any actionable RICO violation, and therefore lack standing,” they add of the December 6, 2017 filed class action, which followed a different class-action suit brought in November. “The alleged predicate acts – witness tampering, sex trafficking, and mail and wire fraud – are not properly pleaded to support a claim.”
As more and more women come forward with claims against Weinstein, this suit is one of many that the producer and TWC face over the former’s seemingly vile acts and the role the company he co-founded may have played in covering up for him. With the L.A. County District Attorney’s office looking at multiple cases, Weinstein is currently under investigation by the LAPD, the NYPD, the Beverley Hills police and UK police.
Weinstein and his attorneys are looking for an April 11 or sooner hearing in NYC on their motion to dismiss this case.