A sex-trafficking lawsuit against Harvey Weinstein filed by British actress Kadian Noble has been allowed to proceed by a U.S. federal judge, a potentially precedent-setting decision that could lead to greater punishments for movie executives and others who lure victims with lucrative promises of employment. Noble, 31, who filed federal charges against Weinstein in November, has said that the disgraced producer sexually assaulted her in a hotel room in France after telling her that he wanted to review her film reel and discuss a movie role he claimed he wanted her to play. Instead, Noble alleged, Weinstein groped her and forced her into a sex act. The alleged attack occurred in 2014.
Lawyers for the actress have argued that Weinstein should be liable for damages under sex trafficking law. In a ruling on Tuesday, U.S. district judge Rob Sweet concurred, noting that while the case was “not an archetypical sex trafficking action” that the law nonetheless applied to “defendants who have lured women, under false pretenses and with lucrative promises, for sexual purposes.”
“For an aspiring actress, meeting a world-renowned film producer carries value, in and of itself,” Sweet wrote. “The opportunity, moreover, for the actress to sit down with that producer in a private meeting to review her film reel and discuss a promised film role carries value that is career-making and life-changing.”
The evidence presented by Noble’s lawyers, the judge added, signaled “conscious behavior and fraudulent intent” on the part of Weinstein. Below, see video of Noble speaking about the allegations at a press conference when she first leveled them late last year.
Read the full story at The Guardian.