Paz de la Huerta Sues Harvey Weinstein for Rape and Retaliation
Actress Paz de la Huerta filed a lawsuit Monday against Harvey Weinstein, accusing him of raping her twice at her home in New York in 2010.
The suit comes a year after De la Huerta first made the allegations, which she also reported to the NYPD. The Manhattan D.A.’s office has declined to file charges in her case, though it is pursuing charges related to two other Weinstein accusers. Weinstein has pleaded not guilty and denies all allegations of non-consensual sex.
Ben Brafman, Weinstein’s criminal defense attorney, said that the suit comes from an “unstable personality with a vivid imagination.”
In the suit, de la Huerta alleges that Weinstein met her at a party in December 2010 and offered her a ride home. Once there, Weinstein insisted on going up to her apartment to discuss business. She alleges that once inside the apartment, Weinstein raped her. When he left, he said he would be calling her.
The suit alleges that later that month, Weinstein called her and told her he was waiting outside her apartment. She was drunk when she got home, and she alleges that Weinstein again insisted that they speak inside her apartment, where he again overpowered her and raped her.
The suit was filed in Los Angeles, based on a third Weinstein encounter which has not previously been reported. The suit alleges that de la Huerta saw Weinstein at the Four Seasons Hotel near Beverly Hills in January 2011. According to the suit, a hotel concierge brought de la Huerta a note from Weinstein, asking her to come to his room. She said she had been receiving harassing phone calls from him and wanted to tell him to stop. When she arrived, she said that Weinstein opened the door in a bathrobe and exposed himself to her. She alleges that an undressed woman was in the room behind him, and that Weinstein invited her to engage in a threesome.
“Plaintiff told Defendant Weinstein to stop stalking and harassing her and quickly left the vicinity of Weinstein’s room feeling embarrassed, scared, shocked and humiliated,” the suit alleges. “She noted that Weinstein appeared angered by her rejection and denunciation.”
Brafman, in his statement, said that the D.A. had rejected de la Huerta’s claims for “obvious reasons.”
“It is our understanding that the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office carefully reviewed Ms. De la Huerta’s claims of sexual assault by Mr Weinstein many months ago and made a conscious decision to reject her as a complainant for obvious reasons,” Brafman said. “We also believe that her newly minted version of events including her new California claims are equally preposterous and unfortunately, the product of an unstable personality with a vivid imagination.”
The suit also names the Four Seasons Hotel as a defendant, alleging that the hotel was actively complicit in Weinstein’s sexual abuses. It quotes from a 2005 interview in which Courtney Love advised young actresses, “If Harvey Weinstein invites you to a private party at the Four Seasons, don’t go.”
“In fact, in order to promote the business associated with Weinstein’s stays at the hotel, the Four Seasons actively assisted Weinstein in his predatory behavior, as it collected large fees from the Weinstein Company,” the suit alleges.
At the time, de la Huerta appeared on HBO’s “Boardwalk Empire.” Her contract was not renewed the following year, and the suit alleges that was a result of Weinstein’s behind-the-scenes retaliation.
“Plaintiff was warned by Weinstein that any effort to take legal action against him would fail and would prompt him to interfere with her future success and career as an actress,” the suit claims.
De la Huerta’s attorney, Aaron Filler, alleges that the ongoing fear of retaliation will negate any effort to block the suit on statute of limitations grounds.
Filler previously sued a rival attorney, Michael Rubin, for allegedly interfering with his efforts to represent de la Huerta. He claimed that Rubin was secretly working as an agent for Weinstein, and tried to dissuade prosecutors from filing charges. Last week, Rubin filed a defamation suit against Filler in New York Supreme Court, accusing him of making baseless allegations in a November 2017 appearance on “Megyn Kelly Today.”
View the full suit here.
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