While awaiting the start of his rape trial in New York, on Friday Harvey Weinstein was served with his third class-action lawsuit from a group of his alleged victims. Three plaintiffs filed the new complaint — obtained by Variety — in Manhattan’s Southern District, citing three incidents that occurred in as many countries, between 1996 and 2011. Charges including assault, civil battery, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and negligent supervision were filed against not only Weinstein, but also his brother and former business partner Bob Weinstein; their first studio, Miramax; Miramax’s first buyer, The Walt Disney Company; and board members from the brothers’ The Weinstein Company.
Caitlin Dulany, an actress who appeared on “ER” and “Ally McBeal,” claims she had a pair of unnerving encounters with the former studio chairman. In March 1996, Weinstein picked her up at her New York apartment for what she thought was a platonic dinner. She used the bathroom before they left, and emerged to find Weinstein unclothed in her bed. That May, they crossed paths at the Cannes Film Festival, where she was promoting a film called “Rescuing Desire.” After they attended a dinner together for the Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation, Weinstein had a car whisk Dulany to the Hotel du Cap, located eight miles from the festival. There, she says Weinstein performed oral sex on her without her consent. The Hotel du Cap is the same retreat where Weinstein allegedly harassed Zoe Brock and raped Asia Argento later that decade.
Dulaney’s co-plaintiff, Larissa Gomes, met Weinstein in 2000 while employed as an ensemble dancer/actress in “Get Over It,” a Miramax film with Kirsten Dunst and Mila Kunis released the following year. Production took place in Toronto, and Gomes attended two meetings in his room at the Sutton Place Hotel. The first had other people present, but she was alone for the second, when Weinstein requested that she join him in his bed, and expose her breast. When she refused, Weinstein gave her an unwanted massage, trapped her, and attempted to kiss her.
In September 2011, business school graduate Melissa Thompson met him in his Weinstein Company office, to pitch a start-up. Weinstein reached under her dress, and also touched her arms, legs, and back, and at one point held her against a refrigerator. That night, Thompson met Weinstein at the Tribeca Grand hotel. In his room, he gave her a massage she could not escape, then returned naked from the bathroom. Weinstein allegedly unzipped Thompson’s dress, asked her to take a shower with him, and, when she declined, masturbated, tried to force her into performing oral sex, and then raped her. The Tribeca Grand is the hotel where police had model Ambra Battilana Gutierrez meet Weinstein in 2015 while wearing a wire. In that audio, Weinstein admits to inappropriately touching Gutierrez; The New Yorker published the clip this fall.
The women are represented by Hagens Berman and the Armenta Law Firm, the same legal team that handled a December class-action lawsuit for racketeering brought by six women: Brock, Louisette Geiss, Katherine Kendall, Sarah Ann Masse, Melissa Sagemiller and Nannette Klatt. Weinstein filed a February 2018 motion to dismiss this lawsuit. Hagens Berman was also the firm behind a Jane Doe’s November class-action suit against Weinstein and his former companies, also for racketeering.
A bankruptcy court judge approved the The Weinstein Company’s sale to Lantern Capital Partners on May 8. Less than three weeks later, Weinstein was arrested on two counts of rape and one count of criminal sexual acts. He faces up to 25 years of jail time if convicted on those charges.