Actress Rose McGowan on Wednesday filed a lawsuit against Harvey Weinstein and his team of high-powered lawyers and covert investigators, accusing them of carrying out a plot to discredit and silence her.
The 72-page complaint, filed in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles, adds to the already extensive legal troubles for the disgraced former film producer, who faces charges of rape and other sex crimes in New York stemming from years of abuse he allegedly carried out as one of Hollywood’s most powerful figures.
Along with Weinstein, the lawsuit names attorneys David Boies and Lisa Bloom, who worked for Weinstein, and Black Cube, a private investigation firm allegedly hired to dig up dirt on McGowan.
“Harvey Weinstein was able to perpetrate and cover up decades of violence and control over women because he had a sophisticated team working on his behalf to systematically silence and discredit his victims,” McGowan said in a statement. “My life was upended by their actions.”
The lawsuit focuses largely on a series of events over several months in 2017 as McGowan prepared to publish a memoir, in which she says Weinstein raped her in 1997. Weinstein has denied the allegation.
Determined to learn what McGowan planned to write and to stop her from publishing the book, Weinstein leaned on Boies and, later, Bloom for help, the lawsuit alleges. Boies’ law firm, in turn, hired Black Cube, a secretive firm run by former Israeli intelligence agents, the lawsuit alleges.
Lawyers for Weinstein and Bloom disputed the allegations. Others named in the lawsuit did not respond to requests for comment or could not be reached.
“Once and for all, Rose McGowan will be shown to be what she is: a publicity seeker looking for money,” Phyllis Kupferstein, Weinstein’s civil attorney, said in a statement. “From the moment she sought a multimillion-dollar payout in return for not making these baseless allegations, which we rejected, we knew that she was waiting for an opportune time to begin this. We will demonstrate that this case has no legal merit.”
Along with firsthand encounters McGowan had with alleged Black Cube operatives who posed as allies to earn her trust, much of the lawsuit is based on information reported by New Yorker reporter Ronan Farrow and New York Times reporters Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey. In a series of articles and books, the reporters detailed the abuse many women say they suffered at the hands of Weinstein and other men, as well as the increasingly desperate efforts by Weinstein to keep his accusers quiet.
The lawsuit alleges McGowan’s career as an actress and author, as well as her mental health, “suffered tremendously” because of Weinstein’s efforts. It seeks unspecified damages for an array of offenses, including allegations of fraud and conspiracy.