Last week, U.S. District Judge Robert Sweet allowed actress Kadian Noble to pursue a sex trafficking lawsuit against Harvey Weinstein. The suit alleged that Weinstein lured Noble to a hotel room at the Cannes Film Festival and then sexually assaulted her, and argued that his misconduct violated the federal statute against sex trafficking.
Weinstein’s lawyers argued that the plaintiff was stretching the statute far beyond its intended purpose, which was to combat human smuggling and prostitution, and vowed to pursue an appeal. But in the meantime, Sweet’s ruling has opened the door for similar claims in U.S. courts about conduct on French soil.
On Monday, a German actress sued Weinstein in federal court in Los Angeles, alleging that he raped her at the Le Majestic Hotel in Cannes in 2006. The woman, who filed suit under the pseudonym Emma Loman, claims Weinstein invited her to his suite for a business meeting. She alleges that he tried to give her a massage, changed into a bathrobe, and then asked her to watch him shower. Loman’s suit says she tried to refuse and deflect his advances, but that he ultimately overpowered her and raped her.
According to the suit, she had two other meetings with Weinstein. On the first occasion, he proposed a threesome with another woman who was present. Loman says she became distraught and tried to leave, but Weinstein blocked the door and held her captive for an hour until allowing her to go. She claims he later called her to berate her about the incident. Loman said she had another meeting with him the following year, when she was in Los Angeles to shop a script in which she had been cast as the lead.
She says she brought a friend, and that Weinstein behaved professionally. He later bought the script and fired Loman from the film, the suit alleges.
Loman alleges that she was forced to engage in a “commercial sex act” under the trafficking statute.
“Weinstein, TWC, and Weinstein’s assistant — who was acting on behalf of Weinstein — coordinated to form a venture that coerced, transported, and harbored Plaintiff, either with knowledge or in reckless disregard of the fact that Weinstein would use threats of force, means of force, and coercion to make Plaintiff engage in commercial sex acts,” the suit alleges.
Weinstein is facing six criminal charges in New York on allegations of rape and other sex crimes. He has pleaded not guilty and denies all claims of non-consensual sex.
Update: Phyllis Kupferstein, Weinstein’s civil attorney, said they would seek to dismiss the suit.
“This lawsuit is an attempt to continue the legal barrage and public attention on Mr. Weinstein,” she said. “The allegations are untrue and the claims are barred by the statute of limitations. We intend to immediately move to dismiss the complaint.”