Producer accuses Weinstein of five years of rape and assault

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Harvey Weinstein Image copyright Reuters

A Netflix producer claims Harvey Weinstein raped, sexually assaulted and verbally abused her over five years.

Alexandra Canosa, an associate producer on series Marco Polo, has filed court documents in New York with allegations against the disgraced Hollywood mogul.

Marco Polo was produced by The Weinstein Company and was first shown in 2014.

Mr Weinstein denies the claims calling them “mystifying” and “deeply upsetting”.

It follows news that actress Ashley Judd is also suing the 66-year-old Hollywood producer, claiming he damaged her career in retaliation for her rejecting his sexual advances.

Ms Canosa had initially filed a $10m (£7.3m) lawsuit in December, but further amended the papers on Monday to detail her allegations against the Hollywood movie executive.

She said Weinstein “constantly threatened” her and “made it clear that if she did not succumb to his demands for sexual contact or if she exposed his unwanted conduct there would be retaliation, including humiliation, the loss of her job and loss of any ability to work in the entertainment business,” according to the documents.

Image copyright Netflix
Image caption Alexandra Canosa was an assoaciate producer of Netflix series Marco Polo

The updated filing also cites sexual and physical assault and multiple instances of rape between 2010 and 2015.

Canosa says she was sexually assaulted in a New York hotel room, “sexually assaulted, verbally assaulted, bullied and intimidated multiple times” in Los Angeles, “sexually assaulted and raped” in Malaysia, and “physically assaulted and verbally abused” inside Weinstein’s room in Budapest.

The lawsuit claims the former film executive insisted on meeting with Canosa in “isolated environments” and demanded sex.

In August 2017, Canosa alleges, Weinstein verbally threatened her, telling her “not to speak to anyone about his abuse”.

Mr Weinstein denies the allegations and issued a statement, through his attorney Phyllis Kupferstein, claiming any relations were “consensual”.

“Ali Canosa was a friend who had worked for The Weinstein Company for 10 years, travelled the world for the company and held several influential roles; overseeing many projects throughout the years,” the statement said.

“From someone who has been thought of as a good friend, involved only in a consensual relationship, these claims are not only mystifying to Mr. Weinstein, but deeply upsetting, and they are not supported by the facts.”

In addition, Ms Canosa has also made claims against Mr Weinstein’s brother, Robert Weinstein, The Weinstein Company and board members of TWC.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Bob Weinstein (left) claims he didn’t know the extent of his brother, Harvey’s, actions

“The Weinstein Company and the members of its Board of Directors, knew or should have known about Harvey Weinstein’s conduct, and did not act to correct or curtail such activity,” the documents say.

“Instead, The Weinstein Company facilitated, hid, and supported his unlawful conduct.”

The BBC has attempted to contact the representatives of Robert Weinstein and TWC for comment.

Bob Weinstein has previously distanced himself from his brother, calling him “sick and depraved” and claiming he should pay for his misconduct.

In his interview with The Hollywood Reporter, he said: “The members of the board, including myself, did not know the extent of my brother’s actions.”

Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Ashley Judd claims she was “blacklisted” by Weinstein

On Monday, actress Ashley Judd also filed a lawsuit against Harvey Weinstein for defamation, sexual harassment and violation of the California Unfair Competition Law.

It comes after Lord of the Rings director Peter Jackson said last year that he had been considering Ms Judd for a role in the 2002 film but that she was “blacklisted” following conversations with the Weinstein Company.

Mr Weinstein, however, has said that he had no role in Mr Jackson’s casting and has denied trying to derail Ms Judd’s career.

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