Disgraced Weinstein hit by new sex attack lawsuit

Another actress added her name Monday to the dozens accusing movie mogul Harvey Weinstein of a litany of depraved sexual misconduct as he was forced to quit Hollywood’s directing union.

More than 100 women have come forward since October to accuse the veteran producer of various degrees of bullying and degrading behaviour over the past 40 years, from intimidation to rape.

In the latest case filed in a New York federal court, aspiring British actress Kadian Noble is accusing Weinstein of inviting her to a hotel room in France and sexually assaulting her.

The civil lawsuit says the producer violated US federal sex trafficking laws during the incident in Cannes in 2014.

Weinstein is accused of groping Noble, pulling her into his hotel bathroom and forcing her to pleasure him, telling her that “everything will be taken care of for you if you relax”.

Noble is seeking unspecified damages, accusing Weinstein of being able “to force or coerce” her into sexual activity in his hotel room by promising to find her a film role and to use his influence on her behalf.

A statement issued on behalf of Weinstein who is reportedly undergoing sex addiction therapy at a facility in Arizona—repeated his denial of allegations against him.

“Mr Weinstein denies allegations of non-consensual sex. Mr Weinstein has further confirmed that there were never any acts of retaliation against any women for refusing his advances,” the statement said.

The new allegations emerged as the spokesman for the Directors Guild of America (DGA) confirmed that Weinstein had resigned from the association, several weeks after president Thomas Schlamme announced disciplinary charges against the tycoon.

The spokesman refused to comment further.

Weinstein has been involved in more than 300 movies spanning six decades but has just two directing credits, for the 1987 animated film “The Gnomes’ Great Adventure” and the 1986 comedy “Playing for Keeps”.

‘Scourge’

The 65-year-old filmmaker has already been expelled from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, which runs the Oscars, and has resigned from the Producers Guild of America.

He also parted ways with The Weinstein Company, the production house he and his brother Bob co-founded, and was suspended by the British Academy of Film and Television Arts.

Noble is also suing The Weinstein Company and Bob, alleging they were aware of Weinstein’s behaviour and of contributing to his foreign travel to recruit women into “forced or coerced sexual encounters”.

Two women-led investor groups are interested in taking over The Weinstein Company — which is on the verge of bankruptcy — with a figure in the region of $275 million reportedly on the table.

The DGA had condemned the “scourge” of sexual harassment when it announced disciplinary action against Weinstein in October, calling for a zero-tolerance approach to abuses of power.

“This isn’t about one person. We must recognise sexual harassment is endemic in our society, and painfully, in our industry. We believe that every individual has the right to a safe workplace,” the guild said.

“For far too long, many have not spoken out — directors, agents, crew, executives, performers, producers, writers. This shameful code of complicity must be broken.”

Police in New York, Los Angeles, Beverly Hills and London have confirmed that they are investigating allegations of sexual assault made against Weinstein.

© Agence France-Presse

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