Publisher's Note: This post appears here courtesy of the The Daily Wire. The author of this post is Brandon Drey.
Emmy Award-winning English actress Julia Ormond accused Harvey Weinstein of sexual battery in a lawsuit filed Wednesday, joining more than 100 women who have alleged patterns of misconduct from the disgraced Hollywood film producer over several decades.
In addition to accusing Weinstein, 71, in the lawsuit filed in the New York Supreme Court, Ormond is also suing The Walt Disney Company, Miramax (now partially owned by Paramount Global), and Creative Arts Agency (CAA), who represented her at the time, for allegedly enabling his behavior.
"Our client has suffered tremendously both personally and professionally due to the assault by Harvey Weinstein, and the failure from Disney, Miramax and CAA to prevent it and to appropriately respond when she reported what happened,"
Ormond's attorneys Douglas H. Wigdor and Effie Blassberger told Variety in a statement. "She feels completely betrayed by CAA for its knowing disregard for her safety and well-being, and looks forward to holding accountable the people and institutions that enabled Harvey Weinstein's horrific and predatory behavior."
The two reportedly first met during a business meeting in London in 1994 after Ormond's U.K. agent told her an "important producer"
wanted to discuss the film business and multiple future roles. Over the next year, Weinstein and Ormond developed a "close, but professional, business relationship,"
Variety noted. By August of 1995, her agents at CAA worked out a two-year production deal for Ormond and her production company with Weinstein's company, Miramax, where she worked out of its New York City offices and lived in an apartment paid for by the company.
According to the lawsuit first reported by Variety, Ormond claims Weinstein forced her to give him oral sex after a business dinner in 1995 - around the same time in her career when she landed roles in films as the female lead, including "Legends of the Fall," "First Night,"
and a remake of "Sabrina."
"At the dinner, Weinstein refused to discuss business matters and kept changing the subject,"
the lawsuit states. "Finally, following dinner, Weinstein said he would only discuss the project back at the apartment Miramax had provided for Ormond as part of their first-look deal with her. Her defenses down because she had consumed several drinks, and wanting to finally get to what she thought was the purpose of their meeting, Ormond agreed to have Weinstein come back to her apartment. Soon after, Weinstein stripped naked and forced her to perform oral sex on him."
The complaint says that the alleged assault could have been prevented if Disney, Miramax, and CAA had protected Ormond. The suit also accused the three entrainment companies of continuing to "handsomely profit from their close association with Harvey Weinstein for many years after Ormond was assaulted by him and then cast aside by Hollywood."
Ormond apparently told her former agents, Bryan Lourd, now the chief executive of CAA, and Kevin Huvane, now a co-chairman of the agency, about the alleged incident afterward. But the complaint claims the agency did not take any steps to protect her, and informed her that the "going rate"
for settlements paid to women who alleged that Weinstein sexually assaulted them was $100,000.
"Rather than take Ormond's side and advocate for her interest, they suggested that if she reported Weinstein to the authorities, she would not be believed, and he would seriously damage her career,"
the lawsuit reads. "Still worse, not long after Weinstein's assault on Ormond and her reporting of the assault to them, CAA lost interest in representing her, and her career suffered dramatically."
Ormond, who an Emmy for her supporting role in HBO's "Temple Grandin,"
told Variety she decided to publicly speak out about the alleged assault after nearly 30 years to be a part of the "systemic change"
she feels is needed in Hollywood. She filed the lawsuit under the Adult Survivors Act, which creates a window outside the statute of limitations to seek civil damages for sexual battery.
"I am coming forward with my story now publicly because I feel as if we still need systemic change, and I feel that we need accountability from enablers, in order to get there,"
Ormond told Variety. "I feel that this is what happened with me."
Weinstein was originally a kingpin of the entertainment industry and co-founded Miramax. His legend status fell apart in 2017 when more and more women came forward to accuse the producer of sexual misconduct in what would later become the beginning of the #MeToo movement.
More than 100 women have accused Weinstein of various sex crimes. The former entertainment mogul denies the sexual acts were non-consensual and maintains that his accusers sought to advance their positions in the entertainment industry.
Weinstein is currently serving a 23-year sentence in New York following convictions for rape and sexual assault from a 2020 case, which will be consecutively followed by serving another 16-year prison sentence in Los Angeles, making it all but certain that he'll spend the rest of his life behind bars.
Imran H. Ansari, Weinstein's attorney, told Variety in a statement that his client "categorically denies the allegations made against him by Julia Ormond and he is prepared to vehemently defend himself."
"This is yet another example of a complaint filed against Mr. Weinstein after the passing of decades, and he is confident that the evidence will not support Ms. Ormond's claims,"
CAA, Disney, and Miramax have not issued public statements concerning Ormond's lawsuit.
Amanda Harding contributed to this report.