Friday 14 December 2018

Weinstein’s lawyers say no duress as Paltrow worked with him after ‘harassment’

They also have used Meryl Streep and Jennifer Lawrence’s words to try and get a class action lawsuit thrown out.

Harvey Weinstein has been accused by dozens of women
Harvey Weinstein has been accused by dozens of women

By Sam Blewett, Press Association Los Angeles Correspondent

Harvey Weinstein’s lawyers have demanded a class action lawsuit is thrown out and have tried to undermine claims by saying Gwyneth Paltrow went onto work with the powerful mogul again after he allegedly harassed her.

The disgraced producer’s legal team also pointed to comments by actresses Jennifer Lawrence and Meryl Streep to try and get the lawsuit dismissed in a response filed in New York on Tuesday.

The lawyers were responding to six women suing Weinstein and the “Weinstein Sexual Enterprise”, which they say includes his brother Bob and a studio they co-founded, The Weinstein Company.

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Meryl Streep praised accusers as 'heroes'

The original lawsuit argued the statute of limitations on the allegations does not apply because they were under duress not to make the claims earlier.

To support the claim, it pointed to Paltrow saying she feared being fired after her then-boyfriend Brad Pitt confronted Weinstein after the producer allegedly harassed her before filming of 1996’s Emma.

Weinstein’s lawyers disputed that accusers were under duress and said Paltrow went on to star in the producer’s Shakespeare In Love, for which she won an Oscar.

“Paltrow was not so offended that she refused to work with Weinstein again, nor did her career suffer as a result of her rebuffing his alleged advances,” lawyers Phyllis Kupferstein and Mary E. Flynn wrote.

The lawyers also claimed the lawsuit should be dismissed saying it is too broad and would include every woman he has ever met, citing actresses such as Streep and Lawrence who have not made allegations of sexual misconduct.

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The lawsuit cites Jennifer Lawrence saying Weinstein 'had only ever been nice to me'

They selectively pointed to Lawrence saying in an interview that Weinstein “had only ever been nice to me”.

The lawyers also pointed to Streep saying Weinstein had always been respectful with her during their collaborations in a statement to the press, but did not mention she added his behaviour was an “inexcusable” and an “abuse of power”.

One of the accusers’ lawyers, Elizabeth Fegan, struck back saying Weinstein fails to understand the law if he thinks he can win by “twisting women’s words against them”.

“His attempt to hide behind female actresses after he’s assaulted their colleagues shows just how low he will go,” she said.

“Our plaintiffs have risen above his cover ups and finally have a voice — and safe place — to name their abuser. Weinstein will not skate by easily just by invoking the good names of other female actresses.”

Weinstein, 65, has been accused of sexual harassment and assault by dozens of women. He denies all allegations of non-consensual sex.

Press Association

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