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German actress accuses Harvey Weinstein of sex trafficking

Harvey Weinstein arrives to plead not guilty to three felony counts in State Supreme Court on June 5, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Steven Hirsch-Pool/Getty Images)

An actress from Germany this week became the second woman to file a federal lawsuit against Harvey Weinstein alleging that he engaged in sex trafficking. The actress, who is reportedly identified in the lawsuit by the pseudonym Emma Loman, accuses Weinstein of raping her during the 2006 Cannes Film Festival.

In the lawsuit, which was filed in Los Angeles, Loman alleges Weinstein invited her to his hotel suite in Cannes under the pretense that the two would be discussing the possibility of her starring in an upcoming film he was producing. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the lawsuit states that Loman, who was transitioning from a model career to acting, was reluctant to take the meeting. But Weinstein was insistent having his assistant call her on the phone up to 30 times a day until she finally agreed to meet him at the film festival.

“Upon arriving at Weinstein’s suite, however, Weinstein quickly dropped his professional demeanor,” the lawsuit alleges. “He instead overpowered Loman and raped her. Shocked and betrayed, Loman did not know what to do. Furthering Loman’s disorientation, Weinstein proceeded to treat the rape like a standard component of their business, as if the professional discussion he offered Loman had actually taken place.” Loman also claims Weinstein intimidated her into remaining silent about the incident after the fact. A lawyer for Weinstein denied the charges — Weinstein maintains all sexual acts he had with women were consensual — and said the former producer’s legal team would move quickly to have the suit dismissed.

In a statement to CNN, Loman’s lawyer, John G. Balestriere, said, “Our client brings her claims in an effort to achieve justice for herself, and she hopes that by doing so she can help open the door to justice for the women in her industry who have undergone similar experiences.” He added that the disgraced movie mogul “must answer these allegations and be held accountable for any damage he has caused our client.” In addition to the sex trafficking allegations, Loman is suing Weinstein for assault, battery and false imprisonment.

Loman’s suit is the second lawsuit brought against Weinstein that alleges sex trafficking. Last week, a federal judge in New York allowed a similar suit brought by British actress Kadian Noble to proceed in what could be a landmark case. Noble, 31, alleged that Weinstein lured her to his hotel room in France in 2014 with the promise of discussing her acting reel and future film projects. But when she arrived there, she alleges, Weinstein groped her and forced her to perform a sex act. Noble’s lawyers have argued that by luring her across international boundaries under a false pretense and to exploit her sexually, he’s broken sex trafficking laws. The federal judge acknowledged the case against Weinstein is not a textbook case of sex trafficking, but that the law can be applied to “defendants who have lured women, under false pretenses and with lucrative promises, for sexual purposes.”

Weinstein, 66, has pleaded not guilty to six felony sex crimes in New York and is facing investigations in Los Angeles and London. He is reportedly working as a paralegal on his own case and hopes he can get back into the movie business someday.

Read the full story at CNN

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