Lawsuit accuses Harvey Weinstein of raping woman during 2000 presidential debate

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Harvey Weinstein has been accused of raping a woman in the film industry during the 2000 presidential debate in a new lawsuit.

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The woman, who filed her case anonymously under the name Jane Doe V, alleges she met the fallen movie mogul when she was 19, while attending the 1984 Cannes Film Festival.

She was introduced to Weinstein by her then-boyfriend and, according to the now-55-year-old Pennsylvania woman, for the first few years of knowing Weinstein, he kept his distance from her out of apparent respect for her relationship.

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However, after earning she was single in 1992, he allegedly started to take an interest in her career, which would “quickly turn into unwanted sexual advances,” the court papers claim. The pair met three times afterwards, which culminated in Weinstein allegedly raping her.

In 1993, around the time that Weinstein sold his company Miramax to Disney, he reportedly invited her to his room at The Peninsula Beverly Hills for a cocktail before a dinner, during which he stripped down to “nothing but a bathrobe and exposed his genitals to plaintiff before she could utter a word,” the suit claims.

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She reportedly rebuffed his advances and, given this was the first time that Weinstein acted this way toward her and that he “had continuously promised to get her roles in his movies, she gave him the benefit of the doubt and the two remained in touch.”

The court papers go on to allege they met again 1994 at The Mayflower Hotel in New York City “under the guise of discussing business,” when Weinstein allegedly exposed his genitals to her and rubbed them against her “before she broke free and quickly exited the room.”

Then “after having reestablished their relationship through years of ‘good’ behaviour,” Weinstein “lured” her to his New York home on a pretence of watching the 2000 presidential debate together, where they ate sushi and drank, the papers claim.

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When the woman got up to go to the bathroom, Weinstein “blocked plaintiff’s path, forced her down onto the bed, removed her underwear and forcibly raped her,” per the filing.

“The sheer size and mass of Weinstein prevented plaintiff from being able to escape his clutches, but once he backed up, she broke free, sprinted for the door, and never saw Weinstein again,” the papers explain.

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Since the alleged rape, the woman has apparently endured “severe emotional distress” and “her career was derailed and she all but stopped acting.”

Weinstein’s civil lawyer Imran Ansari said his client “intends to defend against the claims filed anonymously against him.”

Weinstein is currently serving a 23-year sentence in a state prison in New York after being convicted of rape and sexual assault in February. He is currently awaiting extradition to Los Angeles in connection with offences related to three other victims and, last week, he was hit with six additional criminal charges related to three alleged rapes in Beverly Hills, California.

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