As Harvey Weinstein faces multiple charges for sex crimes in New York, including one that could carry a life sentence, the disgraced film producer has been dealt a blow in a concurrent lawsuit. Actress Kadian Noble filed a lawsuit last fall alleging that she was lured to a Cannes, France hotel room with the promise that Weinstein would view her acting reel, but he allegedly molested her and forced her to watch and help him masturbate, constituting a "commercial sex act" that should be punished under sex trafficking laws.
Weinstein's defense team countered that she wasn't offered a "thing of value" for sex and the lawsuit should be dismissed.
U.S. District Judge Robert W. Sweet disagreed, citing about 100 years of the popular use of the term "casting couch" and declining to dismiss the case, even though it explores "uncharted waters." Sweet wrote that, while the meeting between Weinstein and Noble didn't result in her receiving a "thing of value" right then, her "reasonable expectation of receiving those things in the future, based on Harvey's repeated representations that she would, is sufficient" to allow the case to proceed.
Weinstein's brother Bob Weinstein was also named by Noble in the lawsuit, but the judge has dismissed him from the case, finding that he didn't "faciliate" criminal misconduct by his brother.
In addition to his three formal charges in New York, Weinstein is also under criminal investigation in Los Angeles and London, and almost 90 additional public accounts of sexual harrassment have emerged from this seemingly never-ending scandal.
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