New rape allegation against Harvey Weinstein in class-action lawsuit

A class-action lawsuit filed by three women against Harvey Weinstein and his former employers includes a new allegati...

Posted: Jun 4, 2018 2:09 AM
Updated: Jun 4, 2018 2:09 AM

A class-action lawsuit filed by three women against Harvey Weinstein and his former employers includes a new allegation of rape against the former movie producer.

Melissa Thompson says she was pitching Weinstein a marketing tech idea for The Weinstein Company in 2011 and alleges Weinstein raped her in his hotel room in New York, the lawsuit alleges.

Thompson also says Weinstein's current attorney, Ben Brafman, and another attorney at his firm, Alex Spiro, used deceptive tactics to get audio and video evidence from her.

She says a mutual friend connected her with Spiro in 2017; she says she was under the impression that Brafman's firm was representing Weinstein victims after the release of the New Yorker article that first detailed allegations of sexual misconduct against Weinstein.

She handed over audio and video evidence of harassment to Spiro and later found out that Brafman was on Weinstein's defense team, the suit says.

Brafman and Spiro, in statements to CNN via a spokesperson, denied Thompson's allegations.

"This firm has never represented Melissa Thompson and I personally never met with her or any of the other women named in the lawsuit," Brafman said.

Brafman said that Spiro "never met with Mr. Weinstein nor did he have any responsibility whatsoever in connection with our representation of Mr. Weinstein in any matter."

Brafman said that if Spiro ever spoke with or met with any of these women, he did it on his own time after he left the Brafman law group and joined another firm.

Brafman has said that Weinstein has never had nonconsensual sexual relations with anyone.

In a statement, Spiro said, "I never have and I never would represent Harvey Weinstein, I left the Brafman firm well before Brafman ever represented Weinstein, and, in fact, I represent one of the key victims, but Ms. Thompson has never been a client."

Another plaintiff, Caitlin Dulany, says Weinstein performed oral sex on her without her consent after he arranged for her to meet him at the Hotel du Cap in Cannes, France, in 1996.

The third woman, Larissa Gomes, says she met Weinstein twice. It was the second time, in 2000, when Weinstein forced her to kiss him and he touched her breasts, she says.

The New York Police Department says it interviewed all three women for its criminal case, but their claims were beyond the statute of limitations. The women are not part of the current criminal proceedings.

The Friday filing alleges Weinstein's former employers are responsible for sexual offenses that happened during his employment and that some employers may have concealed Weinstein's conduct or participated in the "decadeslong campaign to squelch complaints or illegally procure the silence of victims, witnesses and others," according to the complaint.

The lawsuit names as defendants Harvey Weinstein, Robert Weinstein, The Walt Disney Company, Miramax and others, including Weinstein Company board members.

CNN has reached out to Robert Weinstein, The Walt Disney Company, Miramax and The Weinstein Company for comment but not received any responses.

Correction: A previous version of this story misattributed a quote to Alex Spiro. It was Ben Brafman who said Spiro never met with Harvey Weinstein.

Correction: A previous version of this story incorrectly stated that Weinstein's attorney was among the defendants in this lawsuit. The defendants include Harvey Weinstein, Robert Weinstein, Walt Disney Company, Miramax and others, including Weinstein Company board members.

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