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Harvey Weinstein hit with first U.K. civil claim over sexual assault allegations

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Harvey Weinstein hit with first U.K. civil claim over sexual assault allegations

Harvey Weinstein in 2015. (Michael Sohn / Associated Press)

Harvey Weinstein in 2015. (Michael Sohn / Associated Press)

A woman who worked in the film industry has filed the first civil claim in Britain against Harvey Weinstein, alleging a series of sexual assaults by the producer and seeking personal injury damages to exceed $400,000. 

The Weinstein Co. in the U.S. and the U.K. are also named as  “vicariously liable” for the alleged assaults and subsequent psychological damage, which are said to have occurred in the course of the woman’s employment. 

Through a representative, Weinstein has repeatedly denied any allegations of nonconsensual sex.

Personal injury lawyer Jill Greenfield, who has requested anonymity on behalf of her client, told the BBC that she expected a criminal case to go along with the civil suit, although the woman hadn’t yet filed a report with Scotland Yard. In early November, Scotland Yard said it was already handling 11 Weinstein-related investigations. 

The woman in London is seeking personal injury damages, expenses and consequential loss including aggravated and exemplary damages and interest stemming from the alleged series of assaults, Greenfield’s firm said in a statement.

Stateside, actress Dominique Huett filed the first civil suit against the Weinstein Co. in Los Angeles in October alleging the studio and its board were “aware of Weinstein’s pattern of using his power to coerce” actresses into sexual acts. She said the producer lured her into a hotel room in 2010 on the pretext of a business meeting, then demanded that she give him a massage and let him perform oral sex on her. 

Huett’s lawsuit seeks millions of dollars in damages, including punitive damages and money to cover the costs of medical and psychological care.

Dozens of women have come forward in recent months to accuse Weinstein of sexual misconduct.

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