Harvey Weinstein sexually assaulted a female employee, threatening her job and future in the industry if she reported anything, and continued the abuse for years, her attorney said in court papers.
Alexandra Canosa, a producer on Netflix’s Marco Polo, filed a lawsuit in December against Weinstein and his brother Bob as well as their company and board members. She detailed the allegations in a complaint filed Monday.
Canosa said she worked for the company for years and that Weinstein began sexually assaulting her in 2010 at the Tribeca Grand Hotel. The alleged abuse continued until September 2017 and took place in New York, Los Angeles and overseas in Malaysia and Budapest. She says he threatened that she would lose her job and he’d blackball her if she denied his advances. The mistreatment occurred until just weeks before the first news reports about his conduct with other women in the film industry.
“On many occasions, Harvey Weinstein insisted on meeting with plaintiff in isolated environments for business purposes, made sure that no other persons or bystanders were around when having business meetings with plaintiff, demanded sexual contact, and threatened plaintiff if she would not give him what he wanted, and forcing himself on plaintiff despite repeated requests to stop,” the complaint said.
Weinstein attorney Phyllis Kupferstein said in a statement that Canosa was a “friend” who worked for the company for 10 years.
Canosa “traveled the world for the company and held several influential roles; overseeing many projects throughout the years. From someone who has been thought of as a good friend, these claims are not only mystifying to Mr. Weinstein, but deeply upsetting, and they are not supported by the facts,” Kupferstein said.
Scores of women have come forward since last fall to accuse the movie mogul of sexual misconduct. He is under criminal investigation in New York, London, Beverly Hills and Los Angeles.
He was fired from the production company he started with his brother. The business recently filed for bankruptcy.
Weinstein has previously denied all non-consensual sex allegations. He has not been charged criminally.