Weinstein faces class action suit

An actress filed a class action lawsuit Wednesday against Harvey Weinstein, claiming she and other women had been subjected to brutal sex attacks by the Hollywood producer.

The suit, filed by "Jane Doe 1 and on behalf of all others similarly situated", says the movie mogul assaulted the California actress as she auditioned for a role with Miramax, the studio co-founded by Weinstein and his brother Bob.

"During her audition, Jane Doe 1 was assaulted by Weinstein, threatened, falsely imprisoned, and suffered emotional and physical distress, and was injured in her property or livelihood as a result of Weinstein's actions," the suit says, without giving a date for the incident.

"Weinstein told Jane Doe 1 that if she refused his advances and his requests, he would ruin her, and he ultimately withdrew the offer he had given her for a part because she would not accede to his advances."

The complainant's lawyers appealed to other victims to join the action against the producer, The Weinstein Company and Miramax arguing that "hundreds of other female actors like her" have found themselves on his casting couch.

It adds that victims who wanted careers in film or television "understood that Weinstein was a powerful force in the production world" and acted under duress and the threat of being blacklisted if they rejected him or complained.

Damages being sought exceed US$5 million (S$6.8 million), which could be tripled under federal racketeering accusations made in the lawsuit. - AFP/REUTERS

Celebritiessexual assault