Harvey Weinstein and his namesake production company are facing a new sexual harassment and misconduct lawsuit from an employee, “Marco Polo” associate producer Alexandra Canosa.
Canosa’s lawsuit filed in New York state court on Wednesday contends that over a period of several years including 2017, Weinstein subjected Canosa to repeated sexual harassment, assault and battery.
The lawsuit alleges that Weinstein, whose company produced the Netflix show about the Venetian explorer, made it clear to her that there would be serious consequences for spurning him.
“Harvey Weinstein threatened [Canosa] and made it clear that if she did not succumb to his demands or if she exposed his unwanted conduct there would be retaliation, including humiliation, the loss of her job and any ability to work in the entertainment business,” the lawsuit alleges.
Canosa is seeking more than $10 million in damages. The lawsuit also named as defendants Weinstein’s brother, Bob Weinstein, and several current and former Weinstein Co. board members, some of whom have resigned following the mushrooming sexual misconduct scandal that erupted three months ago.
The complaint alleges that New York-based Weinstein Co. and its board of directors “knew or should have known” about the businessman’s alleged misbehavior and “facilitated, hid, and supported his unlawful conduct.”
News reports in recent months have detailed Weinstein’s use of an Israeli intelligence gathering firm to track his accusers. Members of Weinstein Co.’s board have denied having knowledge of the scale of the mogul’s alleged misbehavior.
Weinstein, 65, has been accused by more than 80 women of various acts of sexual misconduct, ranging from harassment to rape. He has denied all claims of nonconsensual sex. The mogul is the subject of criminal investigations in London, New York, Los Angeles and Beverly Hills, and has been fired by Weinstein Co. and expelled from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and other organizations.
A spokesman for the Weinstein Co. did not respond to requests for comment on Canosa’s claims. Weinstein’s personal representative did not respond to her specific allegations, but reiterated the businessman’s blanket denial of engaging in nonconsensual sex.
Since multiple allegations against Weinstein were reported in October by the New York Times and the New Yorker, dozens of additional men in entertainment, media and politics have faced accusations of misbehavior — including filmmaker Brett Ratner, music mogul Russell Simmons, television journalist Charlie Rose and Sen. Al Franken.
Weinstein and his company, of which he still is an owner, face other civil lawsuits. Earlier this month, six women sued both parties, alleging a scheme that facilitated the businessman’s predatory behavior. The women, who filed the case in federal court in New York, are seeking class-action certification. Other civil cases against Weinstein and his production house include a mid-November action filed in Los Angeles Superior Court by an anonymous actress who accused the businessman of sexual battery and assault.