New Rape Allegation Against Harvey Weinstein in Class-Action Lawsuit
A class-action lawsuit filed by three women against Harvey Weinstein, his attorneys, Miramax and The Weinstein Company, includes new allegations of rape. In total, more than 80 women have come forward to publicly accuse Weinstein of misconduct, including rape. He denies all allegations of nonconsensual sex.
Melissa Thompson claims that he raped her in his New York hotel room in 2011 as she was pitching him on a movie.
- She also claims that Weinstein’s curreny attorney Ben Brafman and Alex Spiro, a former lawyer at his firm, tricked her into providing them with audio and video evidence that they then planned to use against her. She claims that a mutual friend connected her with Spiro in 2017.
- Thompson says that she was under the impression that they were representing victims of Weinstein, and that because of that, she handed over audio and video evidence of Weinstein harassing her.
- Brafman responded in a statement to CNN: "This firm has never represented Melissa Thompson and I personally never met with her or any of the other women named in the lawsuit."
- Caitlin Dulany is also a plaintiff in the suit; she claims Weinstein forcefully performed oral sex on her at his hotel in Cannes in 1996.
- The third plaintiff’s name is Larissa Gomes. She alleges the Weinstein forcefully kissed her and touched her breasts in 2000.
- The women were interviewed by the NYPD, but they are not part of the current criminal proceedings as their case has exceeded the statute of limitations.
- The suit is naming Weinstein’s former employers for his attacks because many people worked together on a "decades long campaign to squelch complaints or illegally procure the silence of victims, witnesses and others," according to the complaint.
LAWYER SHARES PERSPECTIVE
- In an interview with The Associated Press, Brafman spoke out about his experience with Weinstein. "I'm trying my best to save him in somewhat of an impossible situation he finds himself in," Brafman told The Associated Press.
- "I think part of my ethical responsibility to a client in a high-profile case is to try and prevent a conviction by what's happening outside of the courtroom," he said. "And when there is a tsunami of bad press in a case like this, for example, I have to able to try and level the playing field."
- He added: "I'm not defending the crime of rape. To falsely accuse a person of rape, however, is equally offensive. And in this case, I believe that there are a number of very well-known personalities who have made accusations against Harvey Weinstein that are just patently false."
FILM IN THE WORKS
- Brian De Palma, meanwhile, is extracting what he can from the epic mess. The iconic director is reportedly returning to the horror genre with a new script inspired by Weinstein.
- "I’m writing a film about this scandal, a project I’m talking about with a French producer," De Palma told Le Parisien. "My character won’t be named Harvey Weinstein but it will be a horror film, with a sexual aggressor, and it will take place in the film industry."