Harvey Weinstein has asked an Ontario court to dismiss a sexual assault lawsuit filed against him by a Toronto actress, arguing in court documents that he denies “each and every” one of the woman’s allegations.
The actress, who cannot be named, alleges the disgraced Hollywood producer performed oral sex on her without consent in 2000 and — in a subsequent meeting where she says she was expecting an apology — attempted to stick his tongue down her throat. None of the allegations in the lawsuit filed last year have been proven in court.
Weinstein filed a statement of defence in March disputing the actress’s claims.
“Mr. Weinstein denies that there was any sexual assault, sexual battery, harassment or infliction of mental injury or any other wrongful conduct against (the actress) as alleged,” his Canadian lawyers argued in the written documents.
“Mr. Weinstein therefore asks that this action be dismissed,” they add.
In her statement of claim, the actress asked the court to order Weinstein to pay $2 million in ”aggravated and punitive damages” and another $2 million in “general and special damages” for alleged sexual battery, intentional infliction of mental injury and civil conspiracy.
Weinstein countered in his defence that he ”denies that the plaintiff has sustained the injuries and damages alleged in the statement of claim.”
The damages are ”excessive and too remote,” his statement of defence added.
Weinstein also argued that the case should not be subject to a Canadian law that bans time limits for filing lawsuits over alleged sexual assaults and sexual misconduct in which the alleged perpetrator is in a position of trust or authority or the alleged victim is financially, emotionally, physically or otherwise dependent on the perpetrator.
Under Ontario law, a plaintiff generally has two years from the time of an alleged incident to sue someone, but legislation passed in 2016 abolished any time limitation for filing a lawsuit for a matter relating to sexual violence.
The actress said in her lawsuit that she had a small part in a movie being shot in Toronto by Weinstein’s then-company Miramax, and Disney, at the time of the alleged sexual assault.
She has named both companies, and a woman who worked as Weinstein’s assistant at the time, in her suit.
Weinstein, an Oscar-winning film producer, faces sexual harassment and sexual assault allegations from several women.
He was fired from the Weinstein Company – the film studio he co-founded with his brother in 2005 – in October 2017, days after the New York Times published a story detailing some of the allegations against him. Weinstein’s representative Sallie Hofmeister has said Weinstein denies all allegations of non-consensual sex.
Peter Goffin, The Canadian Press