Second woman sues Casey Affleck for harassment
By Matthew Belloni
LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - Another female worker on Casey Affleck's upcoming Joaquin Phoenix documentary is suing the filmmaker/actor, this time claiming Affleck climbed into bed with her and groped her as she slept.
In a $2.25 million lawsuit filed Friday in Los Angeles Superior Court, cinematographer Magdalena Gorka says Affleck engaged in a pattern of harassing behavior and refused to pay or credit her when the abuse forced her to leave the project. The allegations mirror a separate lawsuit filed July 23 by Amanda White, a producer who says she left the movie after witnessing shocking behavior and after refusing to sleep in a hotel room with Affleck.
A spokesman for Affleck said a statement is forthcoming. Affleck has strenuously denied the allegations in the White case, threatening to countersue the producer and filing court papers this week to move the case to private arbitration. Affleck attorney Marty Singer told The Hollywood Reporter that White has "continuously used different threats and outrageous demands in order to request compensation she was not legally entitled to receive."
According to the Gorka lawsuit, when production on "I'm Still Here: The Lost Year of Joaquin Phoenix" began in New York in mid-December, she was the only woman on the team. Phoenix and Affleck, who is married to Phoenix's sister, decided that the crew would stay at Phoenix's apartment instead of at a hotel. Phoenix allegedly told Gorka she could sleep in his bedroom and he would sleep on the couch.
"During the middle of the night, (Gorka) awoke to find Affleck lying in the bed next to her," the lawsuit alleges. "Unbeknownst to (Gorka), Affleck had entered the bedroom while she was asleep and crawled into the bed. When she woke up, Affleck was curled up next to her in the bed wearing only his underwear and a t-shirt. He had his arm around her, was caressing her back, his face was within inches of hers and his breath reeked of alcohol."
Gorka says she was shocked because she didn't know how long Affleck had been there or where she had been touched. She says she immediately told him to get out of bed. "Affleck responded by asking 'Why?,'" according to the lawsuit. "(Gorka) said, 'Because you are married and because you are my boss.' Affleck, undeterred, asked if (Gorka) 'was sure.' (Gorka) said she was sure and insisted that he leave the room. He left and slammed the door in anger."
VERBAL ABUSE ALLEGED
According to the complaint, Gorka confronted Affleck the morning after the incident, then got on a plane for Los Angeles, consulted with her agent and left the project. Unable to find work, however, she says she returned several weeks later once a female producer, White, had joined the project and assured her she would be present. Continued...