Actress Paz de la Huerta has filed a lawsuit against Harvey Weinstein accusing him of raping her twice at her New York apartment in 2010.
De la Huerta, who has starred in Boardwalk Empire and Into The Void, previously accused Weinstein of raping her a year ago in Vanity Fair. She also reported the alleged incidents to the NYPD, though the Manhattan DA's office declined to file charges in her case.
According to the lawsuit, de la Huerta says Weinstein met her at the opening party of Blue Valentine at the Boom Boom Room inside the Standard Hotel in December 2010, and offered her a ride to her Tribeca home. Weinstein "continuously pressured" her to have a drink with him and "insisted on coming up to De La Huerta's apartment to avoid discussing business and personal matters in the public lobby," the lawsuit alleges. "Once inside of de La Huerta's apartment, Weinstein made warnings to de la Huerta about harm to her career if she did not submit to sex, then forced himself on de la Huerta and raped de la Huerta."
Weinstein then allegedly called her several times over the following weeks, and would tell her "he was waiting outside of her apartment building in his vehicle or in the lobby of the building waiting for her." On December 23rd, 2010, Weinstein allegedly called her again to say he was outside her apartment; de la Huerta "decided to confront Weinstein to point out that she viewed this as stalking and that he was to leave her alone." However, the lawsuit claims that "during the ride home," de la Huerta "consumed a very large quantity of alcohol out of fear and depression, thereby rendering herself unable to consent to any disputed sexual encounter."
After they met up, the lawsuit claims Weinstein forced his way into de la Huerta's apartment, where raped her and then "left immediately," leaving de la Huerta "in a state of absolute shock, humiliation, embarrassment, and pain, as well as losing consciousness because of progressive absorption of the ingested alcohol. Following this confrontation and attack, however, Weinstein ceased all direct contacts, personal calls, and calls by his office staff directed at Plaintiff as well as ceasing all uninvited visits to her building."
And in a third incident, the two apparently ran into each other a few weeks later at the Four Seasons Hotel near Beverly Hills, where a hotel concierge brought her a note from Weinstein asking her to come to his room. When she got there, the lawsuit claims Weinstein "opened the door, wearing an opened bathrobe thereby prominently exposing his penis to [de la Huerta] in a taunting manner. [de la Huerta] also observed another woman undressed in the room and was then invited by Weinstein to participate in a three party sexual encounter. [de la Huerta] told Defendant Weinstein to stop stalking and harassing her and quickly left the vicinity of Weinstein’s room feeling embarrassed, scared, shocked and humiliated. She noted that Weinstein appeared angered by her rejection and denunciation."
Weinstein in State Supreme Court last month (STEVEN HIRSCH/POOL/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock)
De la Huerta adds in the filing that her encounters with Weinstein gave her "severe emotional distress," and that seeing Weinstein and his wife at the 2011 Golden Globes caused her to drink "very heavily," leading to an incident where she was denied entry to an after-party and videotaped falling down.
She also believes Weinstein had a hand in derailing her career, including helping getting her fired from Boardwalk Empire: the lawsuit states that she "reasonably inferred and herein alleges that the close timing of [a] meeting of Weinstein with [Boardwalk executive producer] Scorsese occurring just before her termination, led her to reasonably believe that Weinstein was making good on threats to harm her career if she defied him."
The Daily News notes that police officials have called de la Huerta's claims "credible," but Weinstein's attorney, Ben Brafman, said in a statement to Variety that the DA had rejected de la Huerta’s claims for "obvious reasons."
"It is our understanding that the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office carefully reviewed Ms. De la Huerta’s claims of sexual assault by Mr Weinstein many months ago and made a conscious decision to reject her as a complainant for obvious reasons," Brafman said. "We also believe that her newly minted version of events including her new California claims are equally preposterous and unfortunately, the product of an unstable personality with a vivid imagination."
Last month, the Manhattan DA's office dropped one of the sexual assault charges against Weinstein, though prosecutors said the larger case against Weinstein—who stands accused of habitually targeting and assaulting women over the course of decades, sexually abusing and in some cases raping his victims—will proceed "full steam ahead."