Harvey Weinstein suffered a double blow on Tuesday after a federal judge in New York ruled he must face a Netflix producer in court and cannot delay her civil lawsuit while his criminal prosecution is pending.
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Judge Paul Engelmayer denied Weinstein’s motion to dismiss a lawsuit brought by Alexandra Canosa, the producer behind “Marco Polo” who accused Weinstein of rape, sexual abuse, intimidation and harassment “under the guise of conducting business meetings and promoting her career.”
Canosa accused Weinstein of sexually assaulting her at the Tribeca Grand Hotel in New York in August 2010. A month later Canosa said Weinstein flew her to the Toronto Film Festival and sexually assaulted her at the Four Seasons Hotel. In May 2014 Canosa said Weinstein raped her while they were in Malaysia working on “Marco Polo.” She said there were more assaults, threats and intimidation through 2017.
The judge decided Canosa presented enough facts to make her allegations plausible.
Weinstein has denied all instances of forcible sex acts and sought to have her case dismissed, arguing her claims were inadequately pled, untimely or both.
Canosa’s lawsuit also named The Weinstein Company and alleged violations of sex trafficking statues because she said Weinstein flew her on varying occasions to New York, Toronto and elsewhere and sexually assaulted her.
The judge said there was enough merit to Canosa’s argument of a “symbiotic relationship between TWC and Weinstein, in which the companies affirmatively enabled and concealed Weinstein’s predations as a means of keeping him happy, productive and employable which led the companies to achieve fame and reap financial benefits.”
Weinstein’s brother, Bob Weinstein, and members of the company’s board of directors were allowed out of the lawsuit because the judge said Canosa’s claims against them lacked specificity.
The judge also rejected Weinstein’s attempt to stay the civil litigation while the criminal case against him plays out, though the order allows Weinstein to request to keep “discrete those parts of Canosa’s lawsuit “that have potential to compromise his rights as a criminal defendant.”