Actress Rose McGowan filed a racketeering lawsuit against disgraced film producer Harvey Weinstein and his former attorneys on Wednesday, alleging that they conspired to discredit and silence the women, including McGowan, who’ve accused Weinstein of sexual assault.
McGowan filed the lawsuit in U.S. District Court in California against Weinstein, attorneys Lisa Bloom, David Boies and private Israeli intelligence agency Black Cube. The suit accuses the producer and his former lawyers of racketeering, illegal wiretapping, violating McGowan’s right to privacy and conspiring against her.
In the suit, McGowan accuses the defendants, described as the Weinstein-Protection Enterprise, of working together and hiring covert agents to lie to her, defraud her, and steal information from her computer as she wrote her memoir “Brave” ― all in an effort to prevent her from speaking out against Weinstein.
McGowan “suffered tremendously from Defendants’ conspiracy and lies,” the lawsuit alleges. “Her book sales suffered; her expenses mounted; her job opportunities vanished; and her emotional health cratered. She has experienced trauma and depression from Defendants’ actions, and the deep betrayal will have life-long effects.”
Weinstein’s legal team has denied the allegations in McGowan’s lawsuit. Phyllis Kupferstein, an attorney representing Weinstein, accused McGowan of trying to obtain a $6 million settlement from her client.
“Once and for all, Rose McGowan will be shown to be what she is; a publicity seeker looking for money,” Kupferstein told HuffPost in a statement. “From the moment she sought a $6 million dollar payout in return for not making these baseless allegations, which we rejected at the time, we knew that she was waiting for an opportune time such as this to begin her suit.”
“We will demonstrate that this case has no legal merit,” Kupferstein added.
McGowan publicly accused Weinstein of raping her in a series of tweets posted in October 2017, after a damning New York Times report revealed that Weinstein had settled with McGowan for $100,000 over an incident that occurred in a hotel room during the Sundance Film Festival in 1997.
McGowan’s lawsuit says that Weinstein was “an established power broker in the film industry” when he “summoned” the actress to his hotel room “for what she believed would be a work-related discussion.”
The actress agreed to a settlement “to move on with her career” after being discouraged from pursuing legal action against Weinstein, according to the suit.
“Though there were whispers of Weinstein’s penchant for harassing young actresses and his company’s female employees, the world was a very different place more than 20 years ago,” the lawsuit reads.
Bloom, who has represented survivors of sexual assault throughout her career, stopped working for Weinstein and publicly apologized for taking him on as a client after the Times published the bombshell investigation on him.
Eric M. George, an attorney representing Bloom, also denied the allegations against his client in McGowan’s lawsuit.
“It is inexcusable that Ms. McGowan chose to include my client in her lawsuit. Facts matter,” George said in a statement to HuffPost. “There is simply no credible factual or legal basis for her claims against my client.”
Last month, Bloom was forced to publicly apologize a second time for her work with Weinstein after an old memo she sent to the film producer was made public.
In the memo, Bloom details how she would discredit McGowan and plant an article of the actress that would characterize her as “increasingly unglued, so that when someone Googles her this is what pops up and she’s discredited.”
McGowan is one of more than 70 women to accuse Weinstein of sexual assault. His alleged victims include famed Hollywood actors and former employees of his production company.
Weinstein has denied all of the allegations against him.