One-time film powerhouse Harvey Weinstein was hit with another sexual assault accusation Monday by an aspiring actress in a lawsuit claiming he engaged in “sex trafficking” by luring her to a French hotel with false promises of an “audition” and groping her.
British actress Kadian Noble said in a Manhattan federal court suit that Weinstein “groomed” her by discussing a role with her in London, and went from massaging and grabbing her breasts on a Cannes hotel room couch to forcing other sexual contact in the bathroom.
Noble, who is scheduled to appear Tuesday at a Manhattan news conference with her lawyer, said initially she felt “compelled to comply because of the tangible and intangible benefits” Weinstein could offer her career. Later, Weinstein used force to keep her from escaping, according to the suit.
During the encounter, the lawsuit said, Weinstein put Noble on the phone with a producer from his company who told her to be “a good girl and do whatever he wished” and if she did “they would work” with her further.
“Harvey Weinstein actively had no intention of following through with his promise of a role . . ., ” the lawsuit said. “Instead, he used this ploy as a fraudulent means of obtaining sexual gratification.”
The lawsuit was filed under a federal sex trafficking law, based on a claim that Weinstein traveled abroad to use fraud and coercion to obtain a commercial sex act, and also named his brother and their company for knowing about his behavior and profiting from it.
In a statement, Weinstein’s publicist said, “Mr. Weinstein denies allegations of nonconsensual sex. Mr. Weinstein has further confirmed that there were never any acts of retaliation against any women for refusing his advances.”
Weinstein has been hit with dozens of allegations of sexual assault in the wake of press reports last month about accusations by several actresses. He has also been under investigation by police in New York and elsewhere.