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Actress Paz de la Huerta sues Harvey Weinstein, alleging rape and professional retaliation

Actress Paz de la Huerta sues Harvey Weinstein, alleging rape and professional retaliation
Steve Buscemi, left, and Paz de la Huerta appear in a scene from the HBO series "Boardwalk Empire." (Abbot Genser / HBO)

Actress Paz de la Huerta is suing Harvey Weinstein, alleging that the Oscar-winning producer raped her in two instances, and later embarked on a retaliatory campaign that resulted in her losing a role on HBO’s “Boardwalk Empire.”

De la Huerta was one of numerous women who publicly stepped forward last year to accuse Weinstein of sexual assault. Her accusations were at the center of a recent criminal investigation in New York into the disgraced movie mogul.

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In her new civil suit, filed Tuesday in Los Angeles County Superior Court, the actress is also targeting the Four Seasons Beverly Hills, claiming that the hotel was negligent in renting out rooms to Weinstein, who was a regular at the establishment.

An attorney for Weinstein dismissed De la Huerta’s accusations in a statement released Tuesday.

“It is our understanding that the Manhattan district attorney's office carefully reviewed Ms. De la Huerta's claims of sexual assault by Mr. Weinstein many months ago and made a conscious decision to reject her as a complainant for obvious reasons,” said Ben Brafman, who represents the producer.

“We also believe that her newly minted version of events including her new California claims are equally preposterous and, unfortunately, the product of an unstable personality with a vivid imagination.”

The complaint alleges that Weinstein raped De la Huerta in December 2010 in New York after a party celebrating the opening of the movie “Blue Valentine,” which was a Weinstein Co. release. The actress says Weinstein drove her home and insisted on coming up to her apartment, where, she says, he raped her.

The second alleged rape occurred later the same month, two days before Christmas. De la Huerta alleges that Weinstein showed up at her New York apartment and forcibly entered the premises. He then performed “unconsented vaginal intercourse through overpowering physical force,” according to the complaint.

At the time of the alleged assaults, De la Huerta had a role on the acclaimed HBO series “Boardwalk Empire,” in which she played an ex-showgirl who has a relationship with the protagonist played by Steve Buscemi. She alleges that she lost the role on the show in 2012, after a meeting between Weinstein and Martin Scorsese, who was an executive producer on the series.

“The close timing of this meeting of Weinstein with Scorsese occurring just before her termination led her to reasonably believe that Weinstein was making good on threats to harm her career if she defied him,” the suit claims.

The actress also alleges the Four Seasons Beverly Hills was negligent in allowing Weinstein to be a regular customer. She claims that Weinstein exposed his genitals to her at the hotel and sexually harassed her there on a few occasions.

De la Huerta is seeking unspecified punitive and compensatory damages.

12:53 p.m.: This article was updated with a statement from Weinstein’s attorney.

This article was originally published at 12:30 p.m.

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