Actress Rose McGowan has filed a racketeering lawsuit against disgraced Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein, as well as against his former-attorneys Lisa Bloom and David Boies and the spy firm Black Cube.
The lawsuit filed on Wednesday alleges that Weinstein conspired with his attorneys to suppress and discredit her allegation that the producer raped her at the Sundance Film Festival in 1997, reports variety.com.
The suit states: “This case is about a diabolical and illegal effort by one of America’s most powerful men and his representatives to silence sexual-assault victims. And it is about the courageous women and journalists who persisted to reveal the truth.”
Weinstein’s civil attorney, Phyllis Kupferstein, said that the lawsuit was proof that McGowan has been seeking a payout all along.
“Once and for all, Rose McGowan will be shown to be what she is; a publicity seeker looking for money. From the moment she sought a multi-million dollar payout in return for not making these baseless allegations, which we rejected, we knew that she was waiting for an opportune time to begin this. We will demonstrate that this case has no legal merit,” Kupferstein said.
The lawsuit lays out the story of McGowan’s efforts to come forward in 2016 and 2017, and of Weinstein’s efforts to contain the potential damage. The suit alleges that the “Weinstein Protection Enterprise” included a web of attorneys, book agents, spies, and others who worked together to thwart McGowan.
McGowan was working on her memoir, “Brave”, in which she planned to publish her allegations against Weinstein for the first time. The suit alleges that Weinstein and his attorneys were able to obtain much of the book in advance, using a Black Cube spy who gained her confidence by pretending to be an advocate for women.
The suit alleges that the spy, whom McGowan knew as Diana Filip, illegally recorded their conversations, and accessed a draft of the book on McGowan’s laptop.
The suit also makes reference to Bloom’s work on Weinstein’s behalf, which was spelled out in a letter published in “She Said,” by New York Times reporters. In the letter, Bloom laid out a plan to discredit McGowan as unhinged.
Among other things, the suit accuses Bloom of invading McGowan’s privacy.
Eric George, an attorney who represents Bloom, said it was “inexcusable that Ms. McGowan chose to include my client in her lawsuit”.
McGowan was paid $100,000 to settle her allegation that Weinstein raped her in 1997.
The suit also lays out accusations against Roy Price, the former head of Amazon Studios, and Jose Baez, a celebrity attorney who formerly represented both McGowan and Weinstein. Though they are not named as defendants, the suit alleges that Price and Baez were part of the broader RICO conspiracy.
McGowan accuses Price of a “catch and kill”, alleging that he acquired a screenplay based on her life and then killed the project. McGowan alleges that she later learned that Weinstein and Price were close.
The suit also tells the story of McGowan’s arrest on drug possession charges, which she has claimed could be attributed to Weinstein. McGowan hired Baez to defend her, and he persuaded her to accept a plea deal.
Thereafter, Baez began working for Weinstein in his rape case. Baez has said that the representation was vetted and approved by his ethics counsel.