Julia Ormond sues Harvey Weinstein saying he assaulted her; accuses CAA, Disney, Miramax of enabling

Actor Julia Ormond has filed a lawsuit in New York accusing disgraced movie producer Harvey Weinstein of sexually assaulting her in 1995 and then hindering her career

Published - October 05, 2023 04:59 pm IST

Julia Ormond

Julia Ormond | Photo Credit: Rich Fury

Julia Ormond, who starred in films alongside the likes of Brad Pitt and Harrison Ford in the 1990s before her spotlight faded, filed a lawsuit Wednesday accusing disgraced movie producer Harvey Weinstein of sexually assaulting her in 1995 and then hindering her career.

Ormond, who also accuses The Walt Disney Co., Miramax and her former agents of knowing Weinstein was a problem but doing nothing about it, filed the case in the state Supreme Court in Manhattan under the Adult Survivors Act, a law passed last year that allows a temporary window for those who allege sexual assault to file past the state's normal deadlines.

In her lawsuit, Ormond says she was a star on the rise when she met Weinstein in 1994. She says she kept in touch with him to discuss scripts and projects, and in 1995 entered into a production agreement with Miramax, where he was co-chairman. She accuses him of committing sexual battery against her in December 1995 after a business meeting, and then retaliating against her and negatively affecting her career after she confronted him weeks later.

Weinstein’s attorney Imran Ansari said his client “categorically denies the allegations made against him by Julia Ormond and he is prepared to vehemently defend himself.”

The British actress says she told her U.S. agents at the time, Creative Artists Agency, but received no support and was advised not to take any legal action or other steps. She accuses CAA, Disney and Miramax, saying that they knew Weinstein presented a danger to women but did nothing to stop him or to help her. According to the filing, “none of these prominent companies warned Ormond that Weinstein had a history of assaulting women because he was too important, too powerful, and made them too much money."

CAA responded in a statement that the agency “takes all allegations of sexual assault and abuse seriously, and has compassion for Ms. Ormond." The statement said the agency hired attorneys to investigate her claims when she first came to them in March, and they found only “evidence of a dynamic and engaged relationship between CAA and Ms Ormond, and the agency’s consistent efforts to support her career.”

“Ms. Ormond’s claims against CAA are baseless, and the agency will vigorously refute them in court,” the statement said. The lawsuit marks the first time Ormond has publicly accused Weinstein of sexual assault. The Associated Press generally doesn't name the alleged victims of sexual assault, but it is in this case because Ormond has spoken publicly about it, including in an interview with Variety.

Weinstein, 71, was convicted of rape and sexual assault in New York in 2020 and is in prison in the state. Last year, he also was convicted of another rape in Los Angeles. He has appealed both convictions. Dozens of women have sued Weinstein, many of them actors, but few have named such a broad list of defendants as Ormond. Suing her own former agents is an especially unusual move. Emails seeking comment were also sent to Disney and Miramax.

Ormond's films include Legends of the Fall with Pitt; Sabrina with Ford; and First Knight with Sean Connery and Richard Gere.

Dalton reported from Los Angeles.

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