Weinstein faces new rape allegation, suit

Gene Maddaus

Three women have filed a new class action lawsuit against Harvey Weinstein, including one who alleged that Weinstein raped her after she came to his office to pitch her internet startup.

The woman, Melissa Thompson, accuses Weinstein of luring her to his hotel room for a meeting in 2011 and then forcibly raping her.

"Thompson was fighting back, but could not out-muscle him," the lawsuit filed on Friday states. "Thompson closed her eyes, traumatised, praying for the assault to end."

Earlier that day, Thompson said that she went to Weinstein's Tribeca office to pitch him on a marketing startup called Intercast Networks. According to the suit, she made a video recording of the encounter on her laptop. As she explained the company's services, she alleges that Weinstein began to caress her legs.

He promised to make a deal that afternoon if she would meet him for a drink at the Tribeca Grand Hotel, the suit alleges. Once there, he brought her to his hotel room, where the alleged rape occurred.

The complaint also alleges that Thompson sought help from the law firm of Benjamin Brafman last (northern) autumn and turned over her video evidence to the firm not realising that Brafman was representing Weinstein.

A second woman, actress Caitlin Dulany, also alleged that Weinstein sexually assaulted her at the Hotel du Cap in Cannes in 1996. Dulany earlier told a version of her encounter in a first-person account for the Wrap, though she did not mention the alleged assault. In the suit, Dulany alleges that Weinstein performed oral sex on her without her consent and then masturbated.

The third plaintiff, actress Larissa Gomes, alleges that Weinstein cornered her in a hotel room in Toronto in 2000, tried to get her to give him a massage and asked to see her breast. She recoiled and Weinstein became angry.

"You know Gwyneth Paltrow and Ashley Judd were exactly where you are at one point," Gomes quotes him as saying. "Look at them now. Ashley Judd had no problem f***ing me." (Judd and Paltrow have both alleged that Weinstein made unwanted advances.)

According to Gomes, she tried to get away and alleges that Weinstein forcibly tried to kiss her, before she fled.

Weinstein has consistently denied all allegations of non-consensual sex. He has pleaded not guilty to charges of rape and criminal sexual acts in New York, and faces up to 25 years in prison on those charges.