A Canadian actress is reportedly planning to sue Harvey Weinstein and Walt Disney Co., contending that the producer sexually assaulted her twice in 2000. The complaint would be the first known instance of Disney being sued for a sex-related allegation against Weinstein, whose company Miramax was owned by Disney at the time.
The unnamed actress is seeking $14 million in damages, including $4 million from Weinstein, and $4 million from both Miramax and Disney, according to a report from the National Post in Toronto.
The plaintiff is also seeking $2 million from Barbara Schneeweiss, a longtime Weinstein associate who, the actress asserts, knew about her boss’ proclivities but still arranged the meetings.
In a proposed statement of claim filed in a Toronto court, the actress, who is identified only as “Jane Doe,” alleges that Weinstein invited her to his Toronto hotel room while she was working on a Miramax movie during the summer of 2000. There, the producer began talking about massages, which, the actress told him, was “not appropriate for a business meeting,” according to the Post report.
Weinstein later led her to the bedroom and allegedly took out his penis, telling her he had made the careers of many famous actresses. He then allegedly pulled down her skirt, held her by the wrists and, despite her saying “no” several times,“forcibly performed oral sex on her without her consent.”
The second alleged incident took place at the same hotel after Weinstein asked her back to explain the “misunderstanding,” according to the report. The producer allegedly “threw his weight onto her and tried to stick his tongue down her throat.”
Arguments on the new claim are scheduled to be heard Monday.
A representative for Weinstein didn’t reply for a request for comment. He has denied claims of nonconsensual sex. Disney also didn’t respond to a request for comment.
The Burbank-based entertainment giant said in a statement published by other outlets that “the Weinsteins operated and managed their business with virtual autonomy, and we were unaware of any complaints, lawsuits, or settlements. There is absolutely no legal basis for this claim against The Walt Disney Company and we will defend against it vigorously.”
Disney acquired Miramax in 1993. The company parted ways with Harvey and Bob Weinstein in 2005 and sold off Miramax five years later.
The new allegations appear to be different from those made by another Canadian actress, Larissa Gomes, who contends Harvey Weinstein sexually harassed her about 17 years ago.
More than 60 women have accused Weinstein of sexual harassment and assault since the New York Times first broke the story Oct. 5.