NOTE: This article contains disturbing and sexually explicit language. Please read at your own discretion.
UPDATE: The Walt Disney Company has issued a statement about the lawsuit.
“The Weinsteins operated and managed their business with virtual autonomy, and we were unaware of any complaints, lawsuits, or settlements. There is absolutely no legal basis for this claim against The Walt Disney Company and we will defend against it vigorously.”
A Toronto model and actress, identified only as Jane Doe, claims that disgraced producer Harvey Weinstein sexually assaulted her on multiple occasions more than 10 years ago.
The woman is suing Weinstein, his former film company Miramax, The Walt Disney Company and Barbara Schneeweiss, a vice-president at The Weinstein Company, on Monday in Toronto and is seeking $14 million in damages.
She claims that her career has been irrevocably altered for the worse, and she has suffered numerous mental and physical ailments since the alleged assaults.
Doe was working on a film in and around Toronto at the time. The movie was produced by Miramax.
In a statement of claim proposed by Doe to be issued by the court, released Tuesday to the press by the court office, Doe says she reported the alleged sexual assaults to her agent and others on the days they occurred. She officially reported the same incidents to the Toronto Police on Oct. 23.
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According to Doe, she was only on set for three days, and as she was leaving set on her last day, Weinstein allegedly approached her.
The next day, Doe claims Schneeweiss called her, identifying herself as Weinstein’s assistant. Then, according to Doe’s proposed statement of claim, Schneeweiss asked if Doe was willing to meet “them” for a breakfast meeting at Toronto’s Sutton Place Hotel to discuss her career and potential opportunities.
Doe’s agent at the time couldn’t attend with her, but warned her to be cautious at the meeting since she was new to the business.
Doe claims she showed up at the hotel to discover Weinstein was currently on a call and couldn’t come downstairs — as relayed by Schneeweiss — and was told the meeting was rescheduled to his suite.
The meeting initially involved Schneeweiss, Doe and Weinstein, but then the producer kindly asked Schneeweiss to leave the room.
Once alone, Doe alleges, Weinstein started asking inappropriate questions and making sexually suggestive comments like “What do you think about massages?”
When she replied that she thought they were great, Weinstein chuckled and “stared intently” at Doe for several seconds.
He allegedly insisted that he give Doe a tour of the suite. Once walking around and by the bedroom door, Weinstein allegedly assaulted Doe. In her account, she claims that he “overpowered her, pushed her onto the bed, and took his penis out of his pants.”
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Weinstein allegedly boasted that he’d made various famous actresses’ careers, and then said “the best thing you could do for your career…” before gesturing and looking at his penis.
Then, according to Doe, Weinstein forced her skirt down and held her by the wrists. Doe claims she said “no” two or three times, but Weinstein persisted, and forcibly performed oral sex on her.
At one point, Weinstein relaxed his grip on her wrists, and she managed to break free and escape.
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Doe claims that as she was leaving through the lobby of the hotel, she made eye contact with Schneeweiss, who then “looked down” and away.
After the alleged incident, Doe says that Weinstein called her incessantly and she started worrying about her career. She decided to return to the hotel with her agent and friend.
Once again, Schneeweiss was waiting for her, and took Doe aside to say that Weinstein was embarrassed about what took place and wanted to speak to her in private. Doe went up to his room alone, and after begging her to come in, Weinstein allegedly “threw his weight onto her” and stuck his tongue down her throat. She pushed herself free and left the hotel immediately.
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After the alleged assaults, Doe claims she was given more work and put into additional movie scenes. She also says that Weinstein continued to harass her for approximately a year, calling her to book meetings. Doe refused to see Weinstein ever again, but ended up having a small role in a Miramax film about three years after the alleged assaults.
None of the allegations by Doe in her proposed statement of claim have been proven in court.
Doe joins nearly 100 other women who have accused Weinstein of sexual harassment and assault over the past three weeks. Through his representative, Weinstein has denied all charges of non-consensual sex. As of this writing, Weinstein has not commented on these specific accusations.
At least two other Canadian women — Mia Kirshner and Erika Rosenbaum — have alleged sexual harassment at the hands of Weinstein. He is currently under criminal investigation in London, New York City and Los Angeles.
If you or someone you know is experiencing abuse or is involved in an abusive situation, please visit the Canadian Resource Centre for Victims of Crime for help. They are also reachable toll-free at 1-877-232-2610.
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