Sex trafficking lawsuit against Harvey Weinstein can proceed, judge rules

Aspiring British actress Kadian Noble can move forward with her sex trafficking lawsuit against disgraced me...

Posted: Aug 15, 2018 12:14 PM
Updated: Aug 15, 2018 12:14 PM

Aspiring British actress Kadian Noble can move forward with her sex trafficking lawsuit against disgraced media mogul Harvey Weinstein, a federal judge in New York ruled Tuesday.

Noble accuses Weinstein of sexually assaulting her in a hotel bathroom in Cannes, France, in 2014 and says Weinstein coerced her with talk of a potential movie role for her.

Bob Weinstein

Business figures

Celebrities

Crime, law enforcement and corrections

Crimes against persons

Criminal offenses

Decisions and rulings

Discrimination

Harvey Weinstein

Human rights

Human rights violations

Human trafficking

International relations and national security

Law and legal system

Lawsuits and claims

Sex and gender issues

Sexual harassment

Slavery

Societal issues

Society

Trial and procedure

Noble filed suit in November against Harvey Weinstein, his brother and then-business partner Bob Weinstein, The Weinstein Company LLC and Weinstein Company Holdings LLC.

On Monday, US District Court Judge Robert W. Sweet granted Bob Weinstein's motion for dismissal but denied one from Harvey Weinstein.

The judge wrote it would be the first instance in which a plaintiff asked for the Trafficking Victims Protections Act to be applied to conduct like that alleged in the lawsuit.

Weinstein's lawyer said the act should not be applied.

"A typical sex trafficking case is someone who lures underage girls on the promise of a green card and locking them up in a basement and forcing them to have sex for money," Weinstein attorney Phyllis Kupferstein said.

According to court documents, Weinstein's legal team argued that the sex trafficking statute doesn't apply to this case because, "not every alleged sexual assault constitutes a federal violation" and the application of the statute "would unfairly expand the federal sex trafficking statute to all sexual activity occurring between adults in which one party holds a superior position of power and influence."

They argued that because nothing of value was exchanged by their client, the commercial sex act aspect was not met.

Weinstein, who also is facing criminal charges in New York, has denied all allegations of "nonconsensual sexual activity."

Weinstein's lawyer also said Tuesday the allegations in the lawsuit cannot be proven.

Sweet wrote in his opinion that the trafficking law could apply.

"While the instant case is not an archetypal sex trafficking action, the allegations plausibly establish that (Harvey Weinstein's) 2014 conduct in Cannes, France, violated (federal law)."

The judge wrote that other courts have applied the law to defendants who lured others with false promises for sexual purposes.

In her complaint, Noble says she met Weinstein in February and he asked for an example of her acting, called a reel.

Three months later Weinstein and Noble bumped into each other at his hotel in Cannes and he asked her to come to his room to review her reel, Noble says.

Her complaint says that in his room he began massaging Noble and gripped her shoulders -- telling her she needed to relax, and if she did, his people would "take care of everything" for her.

At some point, the suit alleges, he got a person on the phone whom he said was a producer who told her to be "a good girl and do whatever he wished," referring to Weinstein, and if she did "they would work" with her, the lawsuit alleges.

Noble says she is not sure who the person was.

After that, the suit alleges Weinstein groped her breasts. She resisted but felt "compelled to comply because of the tangible and intangible benefits" Weinstein offered to advance her career.

The lawsuit says Weinstein pulled her into the hotel bathroom and started to sexually assault her. Noble says she told him to stop and attempted to leave the bathroom, but he blocked her exit.

She described other unwanted contact and sexual actions and says she repeatedly implored him to stop.

He told her, "Everything will be taken care of for you if you relax," the lawsuit says.

"We believe these claims are not legally or factually supported, and ultimately will not be sustained," Kupferstein said.

Harvey Weinstein's legal team will ask the judge whether they can appeal the ruling.

The law firm representing The Weinstein Company had no comment. The company is involved in Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings and a litigation stay is in place for all legal matters, including Noble's case, Sweet wrote.

The law cited in the complaint is 18 USC 1591. The judge wrote that law was amended in 2015, but the opinion refers to the version of the law in effect in 2014.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 32888

Reported Deaths: 1188
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hinds264246
DeSoto176718
Madison135536
Jones115949
Neshoba101673
Harrison100312
Rankin99915
Lauderdale93781
Forrest92743
Scott78515
Jackson70417
Copiah62715
Washington62610
Leake59820
Lee57521
Holmes57041
Oktibbeha55728
Wayne55116
Warren54020
Yazoo5336
Grenada5227
Lowndes51513
Leflore50756
Lamar5007
Lincoln49234
Pike46617
Sunflower4368
Monroe43135
Lafayette4194
Covington3965
Panola3926
Bolivar37018
Attala36523
Simpson3603
Newton35210
Adams33218
Tate31912
Pontotoc3166
Marion30812
Chickasaw29119
Claiborne28910
Winston28210
Noxubee2738
Pearl River26932
Jasper2666
Marshall2643
Clay25111
Smith23412
Union23311
Coahoma2136
Clarke21125
Walthall2087
Lawrence1892
Yalobusha1838
Kemper17914
Carroll17111
Humphreys1569
Tallahatchie1564
Montgomery1432
Calhoun1425
Tippah14211
Itawamba1408
Hancock13413
Webster12811
Tunica1153
Jefferson1143
Jefferson Davis1144
Prentiss1113
Greene1089
Amite1043
George943
Wilkinson949
Tishomingo911
Quitman891
Alcorn762
Perry764
Choctaw754
Stone722
Franklin472
Benton420
Sharkey400
Issaquena101
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 48588

Reported Deaths: 1042
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson5687161
Mobile4315136
Montgomery4275109
Tuscaloosa238248
Marshall181511
Madison16208
Lee146337
Shelby141424
Morgan11575
Baldwin10399
Walker101825
Elmore97519
Dallas9189
Franklin90616
Etowah83413
DeKalb7905
Chambers64727
Autauga64312
Butler63728
Tallapoosa60669
Russell5890
Unassigned53826
Houston5366
Limestone5251
Lauderdale5146
Cullman4905
Lowndes47922
Pike4525
Colbert4426
St. Clair4402
Escambia4358
Calhoun4035
Coffee3923
Covington38110
Bullock36910
Barbour3622
Jackson3432
Talladega3337
Dale3261
Marengo32011
Hale31722
Wilcox2958
Clarke2876
Sumter28512
Winston2773
Chilton2762
Blount2581
Monroe2442
Pickens2446
Marion24114
Randolph2289
Conecuh2187
Macon2029
Choctaw19912
Bibb1981
Greene1888
Perry1791
Henry1403
Crenshaw1253
Washington1217
Lawrence1130
Cherokee1117
Geneva860
Lamar801
Fayette721
Clay692
Coosa601
Cleburne391
Out of AL00
Tupelo
Few Clouds
89° wxIcon
Hi: 91° Lo: 74°
Feels Like: 95°
Columbus
Scattered Clouds
87° wxIcon
Hi: 90° Lo: 73°
Feels Like: 100°
Oxford
Scattered Clouds
88° wxIcon
Hi: 88° Lo: 72°
Feels Like: 96°
Starkville
Scattered Clouds
86° wxIcon
Hi: 88° Lo: 71°
Feels Like: 93°
WTVA Radar
WTVA Temperatures
WTVA Severe Weather