A federal judge on Monday dismissed most of Rose McGowan’s civil claims against Harvey Weinstein and his attorneys, but allowed her to proceed with the argument that she was defrauded when she was tricked into revealing details of her memoir.
McGowan filed the federal suit in October 2019, accusing Weinstein and attorneys Lisa Bloom and David Boies of conspiring to discredit her and to suppress her claim that Weinstein sexually assaulted her.
As she was preparing to come forward against Weinstein in 2016 and 2017, McGowan was approached by a woman she knew as Diana Filip, who purported to be an advocate for women. According to the suit, Filip gained McGowan’s confidence and was able to see a draft of “Brave,” McGowan’s memoir, in which she accused Weinstein of assaulting her at the Sundance Film Festival in 1997. McGowan later discovered that Filip was working for Black Cube, which had been hired by Weinstein and his attorneys.
McGowan’s lawsuit included claims of civil racketeering, fraud, invasion of privacy, computer hacking, illegal recording, conversion and intentional infliction of emotional distress.
In a ruling on Monday, Judge Otis Wright dismissed nine of the 11 claims in the complaint. Several of the claims were dismissed because the suit was filed after the two-year statute of limitations. Wright also rejected the civil RICO charge on the grounds that the alleged scheme to trick her into turning over a copy of her book did not constitute racketeering activity.
But Wright did allow McGowan to pursue two claims of fraud. Attorneys for Weinstein, Boies and Bloom had sought to have the claims dismissed on the grounds that the acts were committed by Black Cube, and not by them. But the judge found a plausible argument that they had hired Black Cube and were thus vicariously liable for the spy firm’s actions.
McGowan had also argued that the fraud caused her significant harm, including lost job opportunities, damage to professional relationships and mental health issues.
“Based on these allegations, the Court finds that McGowan adequately alleges she suffered concrete damages as a result of Defendants’ fraudulent conduct,” the judge wrote.
The judge also allowed McGowan to amend the claims that were dismissed and refile them.