Harvey Weinstein faces new charges of sexual assault and rape, after three women on Friday filed a class action lawsuit against the disgraced former producer.
The lawsuit states that Weinstein isolated the women “in an attempt to engage in unwanted sexual conduct that took many forms: flashing, groping, fondling, harassing, battering, false imprisonment, sexual assault and attempted rape, and/or completed rape.”
The women said in the lawsuit that they were lured by Miramax or The Weinstein Company employees and isolated with Weinstein in his office and hotel rooms.
One of the women, Caitlin Dulany, said in the lawsuit that in 1996, Weinstein assaulted, threatened, and falsely imprisoned her in her apartment in New York City. She also accused Weinstein of sexually assaulting, battering, threatening, and falsely imprisoning her again, several months later, in his Miramax hotel suite at the Cannes Film Festival.
Larissa Gomes, the second woman named in the lawsuit, said she met with Weinstein twice to discuss opportunities to work as an actor, singer, and dancer in Miramax films. On the second occasion, she accused Weinstein of imprisoning her in his hotel room, where he threatened, battered and assaulted her.
The third woman in the lawsuit, Melissa Thompson, alleges that during a pitch of a new marketing tool for TWC films and productions Weinstein sexually harassed her and subsequently sexually assaulted her.
According to a release from the accusers’ lawyers, the suit highlights that at all times, Weinstein’s victims and those who met to discuss projects or audition for him “operated under duress and the threat of being blacklisted” by Weinstein and major producers at Miramax if they refused, or spoke up.
Lawyers for the women said in a statement that they are taking legal action against Weinstein, his former companies and other parties responsible for “facilitating Weinstein’s organized pattern of predatory behavior,” which they equated to an enterprise violating the RICO Act — the same law brought against members of the Mafia for organized crime.
The lawsuit names a host of individuals and businesses as being a part of what the lawyers called the “Weinstein Sexual Enterprise.” The list includes members of the TWC board, private intelligence agency Black Cube, private investigators Jack Palladino and Sara Ness of Palladino & Sutherland, casting directors and agencies, an unnamed freelance journalist, as well as reporters from — and the chief content officer, Dylan Howard — for National Enquirer publisher American Media Inc.
Pamela Chelin contributed to this report.