UPDATED from story posted at 9:19 AM to include Weinstein attorney statement and Loman attorney statement: Harvey Weinstein is being sued by a woman accusing the disgraced mogul of raping her at the Cannes Film Festival in 2006. Attorneys on behalf of Emma Loman, who court documents say is a citizen and resident of Germany and has worked as an actor, producer and model, filed a civil complaint (read it here) on Monday with the U.S. District Court Central District of California, Western Division.
Loman is suing for violation of human trafficking laws, assault, battery and false imprisonment and seeking compensatory damages of no less than $75,000 as well as punitive damages.
“Our client brings her claims in an effort to achieve justice for herself, and she hopes that by doing so she can help open the door to justice for the women in her industry who have undergone similar experiences,” said Loman’s attorney, John G. Balestriere. “Mr. Weinstein must answer these allegations and be held accountable for any damage he has caused our client.”
The suit alleges Weinstein “used his status, which arose from his many connections within Los Angeles and its world-dominating film industry, to lure Loman to his personal hotel room at the 59th Cannes Film Festival, where he then forced himself on her.”
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Said Weinstein lawyer Phyllis Kupferstein: “This lawsuit is an attempt to continue the legal barrage and public attention on Mr. Weinstein. The allegations are untrue and the claims are barred by the statute of limitations. We intend to immediately move to dismiss the complaint.”
Seeking a jury trial, the filing alleges Loman met Weinstein in 2004 at the Venice Film Festival and exchanged information but had no further contact until before Cannes 2006, when Weinstein asked her to come to that festival as his guest “to discuss her appearing in one of Weinstein’s films.”
Loman’s complaint says she was “initially wary,” but Weinstein “was persistent.” The suit alleges Weinstein had his assistant call Loman “up to 30 times a day, and told her that it would be important for him and TWC that she attend the festival as his guest so that they could discuss her acting career.”
Loman agreed to attend Cannes as Weinstein’s guest, says the complaint, with The Weinstein Company paying for flights and accommodation at the Majestic Hotel. The suit describes Loman’s concerns being “abated” in Cannes as Weinstein “presented as charming and friendly and praised Loman’s acting work.”
Loman alleges Weinstein invited her to his “office” to discuss potential film projects. Upon arriving at the office (a hotel suite), the suit claims, “Weinstein quickly dropped his professional demeanor. He instead overpowered Loman and raped her.”
During the alleged rape, the suit claims Weinstein “bragged that he had recently received a negative result from an HIV test. Then, over Loman’s continued protests, he removed the condom he had been wearing and continued to rape Loman.”
Per the complaint, “Immediately after raping Loman, Weinstein told her that he would follow up with a call and quickly made her leave his suite, citing his busy schedule.”
At a later, unspecified, time during the festival, Loman visited the mogul believing she “would be able to escape the situation if Weinstein attempted to rape her a second time.” After Weinstein allegedly indicated he wanted a threesome with Loman and another woman who was present, Loman attempted to leave, the suit says. But Weinstein allegedly became physically aggressive, blocking Loman from leaving and saying that his security guards would not allow her to leave.
The complaint says Weinstein then “changed tactics” and “fell to his knees… and began crying” as he told her that he was engaged, and said that journalists were waiting downstairs “who would ruin his marriage and career if they saw a distraught woman who had come from his suite.” Loman left after about an hour.
Subsequently, when Loman was in Los Angeles to shop a film that she had been cast in, the suit alleges Weinstein “had TWC purchase the film Loman had been cast in — solely because Loman had been cast in the film — and then unilaterally had Loman fired from its cast.” (The name “Emma Loman” does not turn up any credits on IMDbPro.)
The suit further alleges that a Weinstein assistant “demonstrated his knowledge or reckless disregard of Weinstein’s misconduct by transporting Plaintiff to a suite in which Weinstein attempted to engage in commercial sex acts.”
Re TWC, the complaint says the company “demonstrated its knowledge or reckless disregard of Weinstein’s misconduct by stationing six guards outside of a suite in which Weinstein attempted to engage in commercial sex acts with the intent of controlling any admittance or departure from the suite.”
Adds the complaint, “Plaintiff suffered serious physical, mental, financial, and reputational harm as a result of Weinstein and the venture exploiting her and using means of force, including rape and sexual assault, to force Plaintiff to engage in commercial sex acts.”
Attorneys for the plaintiff are Joseph A Ferrucci of the Ferrucci Law Group and Balestriere and Matthew W Schmidt of Balestriere Fariello.
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