Harvey Weinstein hit with $10mn sexual harassment suit

Friday December 22 2017

Harvey Weinstein

This combination of pictures created on October 13, 2017 shows US producer Harvey Weinstein (left) taken on March 10, 2015 and the actresses who have accused him of sexual assault. He has been kicked out by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. PHOTO | STAFF | AFP 

By AFP
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Disgraced Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein and his ex-production company have been hit with a $10 million New York lawsuit by a former associate producer on Netflix show "Marco Polo".

The lawsuit, filed on behalf of Alexandra Canosa in the New York Supreme Court on Wednesday accuses the 65-year-old father of five of violations that include sexual harassment, assault, battery and emotional distress.

EMOTIONAL DISTRESS

Canosa "incurred substantial physical injury, pain, suffering, humiliation, mental anguish, and emotional distress," said a copy of the lawsuit, seeking damages and costs "estimated to be in excess of $10 million."

"The causes of action are based on repeated sexual harassment, sexual intimidation, emotional abuse, assault and battery of plaintiff by defendant Harvey Weinstein over a period of years through 2017," said the suit.

The alleged behaviour happened while Canosa was employed by Weinstein and The Weinstein Company. Canosa is listed as an associate producer on the Netflix show Marco Polo on which Weinstein was executive producer before his career imploded.

Weinstein "made it clear that if she did not succumb to his demands or if she exposed his unwanted conduct there would be retaliation, including humiliation, the loss of her job and any ability to work in the entertainment business," the lawsuit said.

It alleged that the production company "facilitated, hid and supported his unlawful conduct" and that members of the board "knew or should have known" about his conduct and "did not act to correct or curtail such activity."

DENIES WRONGDOING

A representative for Weinstein declined to comment Thursday. More than 100 women have accused him of sexual misconduct ranging from harassment to rape since exposes published in The New York Times and The New Yorker in October.

The scandal has finished his career. He was sacked by his eponymous film studio company on October 8 and is already facing several other lawsuits.

Weinstein denies any allegations of non-consensual sex and has said there were never "any acts of retaliation" against women for refusing his advances.

Under US law, battery can include physical injury, but also offensive or insulting contact that includes offensively touching someone against their will.