Weinstein Co. targeted in new claims of sexual misconduct
NEW YORK (AP) — Attorney Gloria Allred on Wednesday pressed The Weinstein Co. to create a "substantial" fund to pay out settlements to alleged victims of the film's company's former co-chairman Harvey Weinstein.
Allred, in her second press conference in two days, revealed the latest woman — actress Natassia Malthe — to come forward with an allegation of sexual assault against Weinstein. Malthe, an actress with dozens of credits, said the disgraced film mogul raped her in her London hotel room late at night in 2008.
Citing the mounting numbers of women — some 50 claiming harassment and at least half a dozen alleging sexual assault — Allred urged The Weinstein Co. to set up an arbitrator-overseen settlement fund.
"It's time for The Weinstein Co. to put their money where their mouths are," said Allred, who is representing several of the alleged victims. "They made many, many, many millions of dollars while Harvey Weinstein was behaving in the most egregious and reprehensible acts imaginable."
Aspiring actress Dominique Huett is also suing The Weinstein Co., alleging it was aware of is former co-chairman's sexual misconduct dating back to the 1990s. Attorneys for Huett filed a negligence lawsuit Tuesday in Los Angeles Superior Court accusing Weinstein of performing oral sex on her against her wishes at a Beverly Hills hotel in 2010.
Huett did not report the incident to police and is not alleging a crime occurred, said her attorney, Jeff Herman. She is suing The Weinstein Co. because she only recently learned of claims that the company knew of long-running sexual harassment allegations against its co-founder, he said.
The attorney said that information is key to overcoming statute-of-limitations hurdles that would otherwise block the case from moving forward.
"It really is about the casting couch and the company knowing about it," Herman said, adding that he did not know if Huett would speak to police.
Huett's sole credit is as an extra in a 2015 episode of "Blue Bloods," according the website IMDb.com. Herman said he has emails that confirm Huett was talking with an executive producer for "Project Runway" about a role on the series, which The Weinstein Co. produces.
Weinstein representative Sallie Hofmeister on Wednesday reiterated the producer's denial of all allegations of non-consensual sex. Representatives for The Weinstein Co. did not respond to messages Wednesday regarding either Huett's suit or Allred's demands.
Authorities in Los Angeles, London and New York are investigating allegations against Weinstein, 65.
A one-time production assistant on a Weinstein Co. TV show, Mimi Haleyi, on Tuesday said Harvey Weinstein sexually assaulted her in 2006. Allred is also representing her.
Malthe, 43, said she met Weinstein on the night of the BAFTA Awards in London. He asked her where she was staying, Malthe said, and showed up in the middle of the night. After banging on the door, he barged in, took off his pants and sat on the bed. Malthe said he then started masturbating and then forced himself on her.
"It was not consensual," said Malthe. During the act, she said, "I played dead. Afterwards, I laid there in complete disgust."
Weinstein was fired from the company he co-founded earlier this month after The New York Times detailed decades of allegations of sexual harassment by several actresses, including Ashley Judd.
Herman, a Florida attorney who has successfully pursued clergy sexual abuse cases, was forced to apologize to two entertainment industry figures he sued in 2015 on behalf of a man who alleged they abused him while he was underage.
"Based on what I know now, I believe that I participated in making what I now know to be untrue and provably false allegations against you," Herman wrote in a letter to the executives. "Had I known what I learned after filing the lawsuits, I would never have filed these claims against you."
Herman also dropped a lawsuit alleging abuse by "X-Men" director Bryan Singer.