(Reuters) - Harvey Weinstein and the movie company he co-founded, The Weinstein Company, were sued in California state court on Tuesday by an anonymous actress who said she was raped by the movie producer in the spring of 2016.
The actress, who is represented by attorney Gloria Allred and identified in the documents as Jane Doe, said in the lawsuit filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court that Weinstein invited the actress to a hotel to discuss a role in a television show, but instead forced her onto a bed, pulled off her jeans and raped her despite her telling him no.
Because the Weinstein Co knew of the movie producer’s misconduct toward women, it was liable for the pain he inflicted, according to the lawsuit, which is seeking undisclosed damages.
Allred could not be reached to comment, but a copy of the lawsuit was posted online by Variety.
A spokesperson for Weinstein said in an email to Reuters: “Any allegations of non-consensual sex are unequivocally denied by Mr. Weinstein. Mr. Weinstein has further confirmed that there were never any acts of retaliation against any women for refusing his advances. Mr. Weinstein obviously can’t speak to anonymous allegations, but with respect to any women who have made allegations on the record, Mr. Weinstein believes that all of these relationships were consensual.”
Weinstein, who was fired by the Weinstein Co last month, has sued his former employer for company records that he says could help him defend himself against sexual assault allegations, and for a wrongful termination case, according to court documents.
More than 50 women have claimed that Weinstein sexually harassed or assaulted them over the past three decades and Weinstein has been expelled from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Police in New York, Los Angeles, Beverly Hills and London have said they are investigating allegations of sexual assault or rape by Weinstein.
Reuters has been unable to independently confirm any of the allegations.
The actress in the lawsuit charges Weinstein and the Weinstein Co with sexual battery and assault. The company is also charged with negligence, as the actress claims it failed to fire Weinstein despite knowing of his years of misconduct toward other women, according to the lawsuit.
The actress met Weinstein in late 2011 at a party, during which he offered to help her with her career, according to the lawsuit.
In late 2015, she met him to discuss a role in the TV show “Marco Polo,” during which he grabbed her and she claims masturbated in front of her, according to the lawsuit.
Weinstein then contacted her in the spring of 2016 to discuss her upcoming role in the TV show and the alleged rape occurred, according to the lawsuit. The actress never received a job offer for the TV show, according to the lawsuit.
Reporting by Ben Klayman; additional reporting Dan Whitcomb; editing by Richard Pullin