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Six women sue Harvey Weinstein, and his ex-assistant makes new accusations

Richard Winton, Los Angeles Times on

Published in Entertainment News

Six women are suing movie mogul Harvey Weinstein and the studio he co-founded, seeking to turn their case into a class-action suit representing what they say are hundreds of women whom he has sexually assaulted in his decades in Hollywood.

The federal lawsuit filed Wednesday in New York against him and the Weinstein Co. outlines what the six plaintiffs allege was a massive scheme that facilitated predatory behavior by Weinstein and, they say, enabled him to rape and sexually assault women.

The plaintiffs are Louisette Geiss, Katherine Kendall, Zoe Brock, Sarah Ann Masse, Melissa Sagemiller and Nannette Klatt.

Meanwhile, Weinstein's former personal assistant of nearly two years said that as part of her job, she provided him with erectile dysfunction medication and stocked an apartment for him with women's lingerie. She said she too plans to sue Weinstein and the Weinstein Co., alleging sexual harassment.

The former assistant, Sandeep Rehal, will allege that starting when she was a 26-year-old Hollywood rookie, she was repeatedly "sexually harassed throughout her tenure" at the Weinstein Co., which ended in 2015, attorney Genie Harrison said.

Weinstein representative Sallie Hofmeister has repeatedly said the producer "unequivocally denies allegations of nonconsensual sex." In recent months, more than 80 women -- many of them prominent actresses -- have publicly accused Weinstein of sexual misdeeds spanning four decades.

 

With more than a dozen criminal investigations into Weinstein underway in Los Angeles, London and New York, the fallen producer is facing a mounting pile of civil litigation. At least one other alleged victim and her attorneys have already sought to bring a class-action lawsuit against him.

Since a New York Times article Oct. 5 first revealed allegations against Weinstein, accusations and condemnations have engulfed him. Weinstein Co. fired him. He also has been expelled from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the Producers Guild of America and the Television Academy.

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