English actress Julia Ormond named Disney and CAA in a lawsuit for allegedly enabling Harvey Weinstein's sexual misconduct and failing to protect her.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Ormond blames CAA for failing to “look out for her well-being, to not place her in danger, and to warn her about Weinstein’s predations” despite agents allegedly knowing about his “propensity for sexually assaultive and exploitative behavior,” as well as “multiple confidential settlements that Weinstein reached to keep his conduct hidden from public exposure.”
The Hollywood Reporter continues, “The complaint filed on Wednesday in New York state court points to former agents Bryan Lourd and Kevin Huvane allegedly encouraging her to take a meeting with Weinstein that led to her being assaulted and not to report the incident to law enforcement. She also blames Disney executives Jeffrey Katzenberg and Michael Eisner for negligently shifting responsibility on supervising Weinstein, with the aim of overlooking the misconduct to continue profiting off of the company’s dealing with Miramax. None of the individuals were named in the lawsuit as defendants.”
The Alleged Incident Between Julia Ormond and Harvey Weinstein Took Place in 1995
Julia Ormond is best known for her roles in the 1990s films Legends of the Fall, First Knight, and Sabrina. Other notable movies and TV shows include Surveillance, My Week with Marilyn, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Mad Men, and The Walking Dead: World Beyond (pictured).
Ormond's lawsuit provides details about a meeting between Ormond and Weinstein in 1995 about funding for a project she was developing. The complaint reads, “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 [go down] on him.”
After Ormond told Huvane and Lourd about the incident, they allegedly told her “she may not be believed and that she “risked further angering Weinstein” if she reported it to the police because it was his “perception of the event — not Ormond’s actual lack of consent — that legally mattered.” The statement continues:
“They also told Ormond that she could get a lawyer and seek a settlement, but they emphasized that she shouldn’t expect to receive more than $100,000, which they apparently believed was the going rate for being sexually assaulted by Harvey Weinstein. Lourd and Huvane advised Ormond to consider whether such a settlement was worth it given how much money she was making in film. Finally, they cautioned Ormond that she should not speak to people about what Weinstein had done because he would sue her for libel.”
According to The Hollywood Reporter, “Ormond alleges sexual battery against Weinstein and negligent supervision against Miramax and Disney. She also accuses CAA of negligence and breach of fiduciary duty.” The lawsuit argues that Disney, the parent company of Miramax, had a responsibility to stop Weinstein's crimes.
“After living for decades with the painful memories of my experiences at the hands of Harvey Weinstein, I am humbled and grateful to all those who have risked speaking out,” Deadline reports Ormond said today in a statement from her lawyers. “Their courage and the Adult Survivors Act has provided me a window of opportunity and way to shed light on how powerful people and institutions like my talent agents at CAA, Miramax and Disney enabled and provided cover for Weinstein to assault me and countless others. I seek a level of personal closure by holding them accountable to acknowledge their part and the depth of its harms and hope that all of our increased understanding will lead to further protections for all of us at work.”
“Harvey Weinstein categorically denies the allegations made against him by Julia Ormond and he is prepared to vehemently defend himself,” said Imran H. Ansari in a statement. “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.”
Weinstein is currently in a Los Angeles jail after being sentenced to 16 years for crimes of a sexual nature.