Actress Sues Weinstein, Disney

Julia Ormond files case in New York under law providing temporary window
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Oct 4, 2023 5:20 PM CDT
Julia Ormond Names Weinstein, Companies in Assault Lawsuit
Former film producer Harvey Weinstein appears in court at the Clara Shortridge Foltz Criminal Justice Center in Los Angeles last October.   (Etienne Laurent/Pool Photo via AP, File)

Julia Ormond, an actress who starred in major films in the 1990s, filed a lawsuit Wednesday accusing disgraced movie producer Harvey Weinstein of sexually assaulting her in 1995 and then hindering her career. Ormond, who also accuses the Walt Disney Co., Miramax, and her former agents of knowing Weinstein was a problem but doing nothing about it, filed the case in state Supreme Court in Manhattan under the Adult Survivors Act, a law passed last year that allows a temporary window for those who allege sexual assault to file past the state's normal deadlines, the AP reports.

In her suit, Ormond says she was a star on the rise when she met Weinstein in 1994. She says she kept in touch with him to discuss scripts and projects, and in 1995 entered into a production agreement with Miramax, where he was co-chairman. She accuses him of committing sexual battery against her in December 1995 after a business meeting, and then retaliating against her and negatively affecting her career after she confronted him weeks later. The British actress says she told her US agents at the time, Creative Artists Agency, but received no support and was advised not to take any legal action or other steps. She accuses CAA, Disney, and Miramax, saying that they knew Weinstein presented a danger to women but did nothing to stop him or to help her.

According to the filing, "none of these prominent companies warned Ormond that Weinstein had a history of assaulting women because he was too important, too powerful, and made them too much money." The lawsuit marks the first time Ormond has publicly accused Weinstein of sexual assault. Weinstein, 71, was convicted of rape and sexual assault in New York in 2020 and is in prison. Last year, he also was convicted of another rape in Los Angeles. He has appealed both convictions. Weinstein attorney Imran Ansari said his client "categorically denies the allegations made against him by Julia Ormond and he is prepared to vehemently defend himself." CAA, Disney, and Miramax did not immediately comment. Ormond's films include Legends of the Fall, Sabrina, and First Knight.

(Read more sexual assault stories.)

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