FILe - In this July 9, 2018 file photo, Harvey Weinstein arrives to court in New York.

Judge OKs Weinstein suit, cites casting couch’s history

Actress Kadian Noble can sue disgraced Hollywood mogul for violating sex trafficking laws

  • Aug. 14, 2018 11:45 a.m.

A New York judge has ruled that an aspiring actress can sue Harvey Weinstein for violating sex trafficking laws because the proverbial casting couch, in which women are asked to trade sex for Hollywood opportunities, could be considered a “commercial sex act.”

U.S. District Judge Robert W. Sweet said the lawsuit filed by Kadian Noble last fall was fairly brought under sex trafficking laws Congress passed that had an “expansive” definition of what could be considered a commercial sex act. His ruling, dated Monday, was filed publicly Tuesday.

He rejected arguments by Weinstein’s lawyers that nothing of value was exchanged between Noble and Weinstein in 2014 when they watched her demo reel in a Cannes, France, hotel room before Weinstein allegedly molested her and forced her into a bathroom to watch him masturbate.

Weinstein denies wrongdoing. His lawyers did not immediately return a request for comment.

“For an aspiring actress, meeting a world-renowned film producer carries value, in and of itself,” Sweet wrote. “The opportunity, moreover, for the actress to sit down with that producer in a private meeting to review her film reel and discuss a promised film role carries value that is career-making and life-changing.

“The contention, therefore, that Noble was given nothing of value — that the expectation of a film role, of a modeling meeting, of ‘his people’ being ‘in touch with her’ had no value — does not reflect modern reality,” the judge continued.

He included a footnote at the word “reality,” citing sources that explain that the concept of the “‘casting couch’ — in which aspiring actors and actresses are promised valuable professional opportunities in exchange for sexual favours — has been in the American lexicon for nearly a century.”

READ MORE: Harvey Weinstein to surrender in sex misconduct probe: officials

Weinstein claimed through his lawyers that letting the lawsuit proceed to trial means sex trafficking laws now cover all sexual activity between adults when one person holds power and influence over the other.

Sweet said that even if the prospect of a film role, a modeling meeting or a continued professional relationship with Weinstein were not enough to constitute “things of value” necessary under the sex trafficking statute, then her “reasonable expectation of receiving those things in the future, based on Harvey’s repeated representations that she would, is sufficient.”

Sweet also dismissed Weinstein’s brother from the lawsuit.

Larry Neumeister, The Associated Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Oil pipeline company offers cash to expand under two Chilliwack school yards

District offered $136,500 to widen from 18 to 42 metres through Vedder middle and Watson elementary

Chilliwack’s Chief Ernie Crey a firm pipeline supporter

Crey lauds NEB focus on marine safety in his role representing Indigenous oversight committee

Sarah Wark’s run just about done at Scotties Tournament of Hearts

With an overall record of 5-5, Wark’s Team B.C. won’t be qualifying for Saturday’s playoff round.

Chilliwack’s aquifer again in the spotlight with NEB pipeline approval

Concerns from WaterWealth Project and Coun. Jason Lum, but mayor says it’s time to ‘move forward’

Sardis Falcons lose heartbreaker to Abby Traditional in Fraser Valley final

The Grade 9 Falcons showed that the future of hoops at Sardis secondary may be very bright.

National Energy Board approves Trans Mountain pipeline again

Next step includes cabinet voting on the controversial expansion

Man sentenced to 7 years for smuggling drugs and shooting at border guards in Sumas

Nathan Hall was arrested in Abbotsford in 2013 after day-long manhunt

No treatment for highly infectious measles, says doctor

10 cases of measles confirmed in Vancouver as of Friday

Two more measles cases confirmed in Vancouver

It brings the number of total cases within the city connected to the outbreak to ten

B.C. Special Olympics officially underway in Vernon

Athlete’s Oath: “Let me win. But if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt.”

Vancouver Aquarium wants your help to name a baby killer whale

The public helped name Springer’s first calf, Spirit, and is being asked to help with the second

Guards protest firing of fellow officers charged with assault at B.C. prison

Corrections officers demonstrated in Maple Ridge on Friday afternoon

Skier dies at Revelstoke Mountain Resort

Cause of death for young man has not been released

R. Kelly charged with 10 counts of sexual abuse

R&B star has been accused of sexual misconduct involving women and underage girls for years

Most Read