An actress filed a proposed class action lawsuit on Wednesday against Harvey Weinstein, alleging that the disgraced producer denied her a movie role after she refused to show him her breasts.
The actress is identified in the suit only as Jane Doe 1. She alleges that Weinstein invited her to his private office for a casting session. She says she was told that she got the part and was given a script to study. But as she was preparing to leave, Weinstein insisted that she disrobe because “the role required him to review and approve of her breasts,” the lawsuit states. She balked, fearing that she was about to be sexually assaulted, according to the suit.
“When Jane Doe 1 continued to refuse, Weinstein angrily inquired whether she knew who he was, told her he could ‘make’ her or ‘break’ her, and that she would ‘never work in this town again,'” the lawsuit states. “You know, I could launch your career and I can make you or I can break you,” the suit quotes Weinstein as saying.
When she again refused, Weinstein demanded she return the script and said, “Without me, you will never work again,” the suit states. He then locked her in a dark stairwell, according to the suit, and she had to be freed by a maintenance worker.
The suit was filed by the class action firm of Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro, headquartered in Seattle. The suit seeks to represent “dozens, if not hundreds” of women whose careers were affected by Weinstein’s alleged “casting couch.” It names Weinstein as well as the Weinstein Company as defendants, and alleges that numerous other parties were complicit in Weinstein’s sexual misconduct. The suit also quotes extensively from reports in the New Yorker and the New York Times to allege an unlawful conspiracy.
The suit argues that the allegations should not be barred by statutes of limitations because the full nature of the conspiracy was not known until the New York Times published its report on Weinstein on Oct. 5.
The Weinstein Co. did not respond to a request for comment.
Weinstein’s representatives reissued a statement that has been given in response to other allegations:
“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.”