NEW YORK (Reuters) – Movie producer Harvey Weinstein should face a U.S. lawsuit by a British actress who has accused him of violating intercourse trafficking legal guidelines by inviting her to a resort room in France and sexually assaulting her, a federal choose dominated on Tuesday.
FILE PHOTO: Film producer Harvey Weinstein speaks to his lawyer Benjamin Brafman inside Manhattan Criminal Court throughout an arraignment within the Manhattan borough of New York, U.S., July 9, 2018. Jefferson Siegel /Pool by way of REUTERS/File Photo
U.S. District Judge Robert Sweet in Manhattan denied Weinstein’s movement to dismiss the lawsuit filed final 12 months by Kadian Noble. The choose mentioned that whereas the case was “not an archetypal sex trafficking action, the allegations plausibly establish” that Weinstein could have violated the federal Trafficking Victims Protection Act.
Phyllis Kupferstein, a lawyer for Weinstein, mentioned in a press release that her shopper would search to enchantment the choice.
“We believe these claims are not legally or factually supported, and ultimately will not be sustained,” she mentioned.
A lawyer for Noble couldn’t instantly be reached for remark.
Noble is one among greater than 70 girls, principally younger actresses and different girls employed within the film business, who have accused Weinstein of sexual misconduct, together with rape, in a collection of incidents relationship again many years.
Weinstein, who was probably the most highly effective figures in Hollywood earlier than the accusations surfaced in October, is individually going through legal rape and sexual assault prices in Manhattan state court docket over allegations by three different girls. He has denied ever having non-consensual intercourse.
According to Noble’s lawsuit, Weinstein “was able to force or coerce Kadian into sexual activity in his hotel room because of his promise to her of a film role and use of his influence on her behalf” in Cannes, France, in 2014.
Weinstein’s attorneys had argued that the case have to be dismissed as a result of the intercourse trafficking legislation was meant to cowl “commercial” intercourse acts, which might not embrace the alleged encounter as a result of Noble was given nothing of worth.
They mentioned in a court docket submitting permitting the case to proceed would imply that the legislation would cowl “all sexual activity occurring between adults in which one party holds a superior position of power and influence.”
Sweet mentioned in Tuesday’s opinion that Weinstein’s guarantees had been worthwhile to Noble and that his argument “does not reflect modern reality.”
The accusations towards Weinstein sparked the #MeToo social media motion that has seen a whole bunch of ladies publicly accuse highly effective males in business, politics and leisure of sexual harassment and abuse.
After Weinstein was accused, his eponymous company Weinstein Co fired him and filed for chapter.
Reporting By Brendan Pierson in New York; Editing by Bill Trott and David Gregorio